By Todd Carpenter, Social Media Manager, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
I’m a big fan of RE TechSouth. It’s a regional real estate technology conference that’s been held in Atlanta every spring for the last three years. As you would imagine, the focus is on Web tools, blogs, online reputation management, and social media. While attending last spring, an agent said to me, “Why can’t NAR be more like this?”
The NAR Annual Conference and Expo isn’t designed to be just like RE TechSouth. There’s a much more diverse audience and a broader assortment of topics covered. Technology is not the only component of a successful career in real estate. But just because #nardigras doesn’t focus solely on cutting edge technology, doesn’t mean there will be any shortage individual sessions and opportunities focused on it this year.
e-PRO® and RE BarCamp
Before the conference sessions even begin, e-PRO® relaunches with all new content presented in a live curriculum on Thursday. At mid-day, I’ll be moderating a Q&A panel featuring Stephan Swanepoel, Ginger Wilcox, Bill Lublin, and Richard Silver.
If you want a more collaborative, user generated experience, Melissa DelGaudio, Elaine Hanson, Lisa Heindel, Amanda Hall, and a group of grassroots volunteers are hosting an independent RE BarCamp event on the same day. There’s something for everyone.
Social Media, Agent Reviews, and how to be a Road Warrior.
Friday kicks off our education sessions and Ginger Wilcox will be there for Social Media 101 and 102 sessions. I’ll be moderating a panel on the emerging trend of consumer generated agent reviews and Shannon Williams King will be talking about what tools to use to take your business on the road.
An expanded “BizTech” Forum
As the current chair of Saturday’s Business Technology & Information Systems Forum, Daniel Rothamel wanted to make this session more interactive. We came up with an expanded format that includes unconference inspired round table sessions and a great forum that includes industry tech trailblazers; Bob Hale, Sherry Chris, Eric Stegemann and Michael Wurzer, and a “virtual offices vs. brick-n-mortar offices” debate between Gretchen Faber and Michael McClure.
Something for everyone on Sunday
The Center for REALTOR® Technology will be hosting a series of sessions about online security and privacy with some great minds like Matt Cohen and Ken Moyle . I’m moderating a panel on mobile with Joel Burslem and Max Pigman (among others). Eric Stegeman is hosting a panel on new technology adoption from the broker perspective that includes Aaron Wheeler and Dale Chumbley. Reggie and Nicole Nicolay will present the Evolution of Real Estate Marketing.
WordPress Camp on Monday
A key to an agent’s online marketing strategy is building a central hub where they can drive consumers. More and more, agents are turning to the WordPress platform to host this hub. For the final day of our general sessions, we teamed with Dustin Luther to build a dual track set of six workshops on WordPress including sessions from Kelley Koehler, Gahlord Dewald, and Steve Zehngut.
But wait, there’s more
There’s sessions on online branding, marketing, Facebook, emerging trends, and leveraging the Web to communicate internationally.
There’s a startup pavillion on our expo floor. Our venture capital group is hosting a fast pitch contest. There will be tweetups, RPR demos, RETS sessions, MLS meetings, and networking events. Get your geek on. This is going to be cool!
Is #nardigras the geekiest RE conference ever? Nope. We’ll still be focusing on the State of the Real Estate Industry in general. But the Morial Convention Center is a big place, and there will be no shortage of sessions that feed your inner geek. Hope to see you there.