A Geek’s Guide to #NARdiGras

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, Facebookemerging 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.

Todd Carpenter

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

  1. Maybe REALTORS should go to both! 🙂

  2. Sounds like NAR is going to rock. A+ speakers and a huge focus on social media and tech! I even heard Tech Savvy Agent is going to be there 🙂

  3. Thanks Todd for outlining the different sessions and their focus! Going to be great!
    I’ve signed up for the ReBarCamp New Orleans, the WordCamp and some of the technology! See you there!

  4. Can’t wait to get my geek on. Not sure how I’ll absorb it all, but I’ve scheduled a whole week for it and I’m very much looking forward to seeing (and learning from) some of my best and smartest friends.

    See you in New Orleans!

  5. Only at the NAR Conference can a REALTOR truly fly their geek flag loud and proud. Looking forward to it and the other geek-flag-wavers like me out there. Great post Todd, thanks!

  6. Thanks for this post, Todd. I must admit that nardigras does have a lot more relevant speakers / topics than I have noticed in the past. But I still feel like it’s 20% helpful / 30% wacky speakers / 50% bureaucratic PAC updates. I applaud you (or whomever) convinced them to get the 20% in there, that’s definitely a start. My two cents is that for the average agent who is soberly, truly asking the question: how can I spend my time to most effectively learn to help my clients in the next month and next 12 months – this agent would be better served at the barcamp. For the agent that wants to have a vacation, party, and listen to Regis, go to nardigras. No offense to Regis, I’m sure he’s a good guy. Whenever the nar events get to the 80% helpful level, I will be there. But this year I am spending my (limited) time and money at #retso and at the ATL barcamp. Every year I come away with more practical ideas than I can use in the next 12 months. I look forward to seeing you again there. By the way, our state AR sent around a survey about our state conventions, asking how to improve them and make them more well attended. My advice was to ask you exactly what to schedule and whom to invite to speak. Hopefully they will! Thanks again for your hard work at NAR.

  7. Thanks John,

    Obviously, I love RE BarCamp and I’m psyched that Melissa is planning one. Every time I attend one, I learn some really cool stuff. But here’s the caveat. I have no idea what I will learn until I’m there. You can’t walk into an RE BarCamp and say to yourself, “today, I plan to learn x and y”. You might lean x and y. You might learn y and z. Or z and w. You never know. Because of that, I think there will always be a place for more structured conferences.

  8. “..place for structured conferences.” — Agreed, and thanks again. Hope to see you at RE Tech South / barcamp ATL!

  9. Jen

    Agent Image is really excited to be a part of NAR this year. Hope everyone will come back our booth #1711 and check out the unveiling of our latest product that is going to change the way agents do business! Best way to reach us during the show is tweet at us: @AgentImage or use the hashmark #AgentImageOS

  10. I am going to finally bite the WordPress bullet… I’m in for all day on Monday! Todd, I am very tech savvy just new to WordPress. What route do you suggest I take on Monday?

  11. Come visit us at the IMSD booth at the trade show!!!!