Last week, I attended the CRE//Tech event in Los Angeles. While I flew 3,000 miles to be there, the journey started over a year ago.
It started with a simple phone call to my friend, Pierce Neinken, the founder of what was then called CRE//Tech Intersect. I explained to him that I was hoping he would partner with Michael Beckerman and The News Funnel to take it to the next level.
After a few calls, a lunch, and some very friendly negotiations, the partnership was sealed. CRE//Tech Intersect, now just CRE//Tech, was now part of The News Funnel family.
In March, my friend, Lew Horne, the President of CBRE in Southern California and Hawaii, introduced me to Andy Cohen, the Co-CEO of Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. He’s a rock star in our industry. Andy made a presentation at a CBRE conference on the impact driverless cars will have on real estate. I sat in the front, riveted. I wrote a blog post about his presentation shortly thereafter, and he and I have been emailing articles on the topic back and forth since.
As soon as I saw the presentation, I knew it would make for an amazing CRE//Tech event. I called Michael Beckerman again, with my idea. He and his amazing team jumped at it and told me to make it happen.
Since Andy is now a friend, when I asked him if he would make the keynote presentation at CRE//Tech’s Los Angeles event, he didn’t hesitate. Once he committed, I asked Lew if he would host it at CBRE’s Headquarters. He also didn’t hesitate.
From there, Michael recruited Brad Greiwe, the co-Founder of Fifth Wall Ventures, and Andy recruited Max Crowley, who heads up Uber for Business.
The event was an overwhelming success. It wasn’t just because event sold out, although that’s a great metric. In my opinion, the biggest achievement was that we provided the attendees with content that was unique, thought provoking, and left attendees smarter than when they arrived.
And it all happened because of a simple idea and, unlike the song, a lot of help from my friends.
That’s the magic of the CRE Tech community. Michael talks about it all the time. Unlike most industries that are heatedly competitive, this community knows that each successful company paves the way for another. They root for each other.
If you haven’t attended a CRE//Tech event, you should, whether it’s in New York (December) or next year in Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta or Boston. If you have attended in the past, but haven’t recently, give us another shot. You won’t be disappointed.
Most important, if you have an idea for event or speaker, reach out. A few friends can make some amazing things happen.