The Business Benefits of the CREW Network Convention  and Marketplace

September 20, 2017
Written by: Susan Caudle, CREW Northern Virginia

One could easily compare the 2017 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace in Houston to a Texas barn-burner, which, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a “very exciting or dramatic event.” This three-day event is going to be filled to the brim with networking, professional development, and industry knowledge. Not only will you add key contacts to your business network; you’ll also gain a wide range of market information, learn from industry leaders and business strategists, and spend time exchanging information about challenges and opportunities within our markets; all of which will leverage your CREW membership to build business contacts which in turn will strengthen your contributions to your company.

Increase Your Market Knowledge

Through a series of cleverly designed Breakout Sessions and a newly added agenda item called Conversation Corners, participants will have direct access to some of the brightest minds in the business. The Breakout Sessions (nine total), sponsored by AEI Consultants, Bock & Clark and Haworth, will provide attendees with market information on topics such as Hospitality Trends and Challenges in 2017 and Beyond, Real Estate and Social Sustainability, The Challenging Delivery of Healthcare and its Impact on CRE, Driverless Cars, and my personal favorite, Leaders in Retail Real Estate featuring Jodie McLean, CEO of EDENS, and JP Suarez of Walmart Realty.

Beginning on Thursday, the Conversation Corners will bring you face-to-face with CREW Network’s new CEO Wendy Mann and 2018 CREW Network President Tara Piurko as they skillfully facilitate conversations to get your thoughts on industry trends affecting the global marketplace and ideas about the industry, what members need, and how we can strengthen our organization through collaboration and partnership. On Friday, you can share your story and hear from others with Ann Hambly of 1st Service Solutions, or pull up a chair with Sara Shank, CFA, of Beacon Capital Partners and discuss new innovations and disruptors that you see and how they are impacting or will impact the way we do business, manage projects, and close deals.

CREW Network convention breakout session

The Stars at Night Are Big and Bright in Texas

The star-studded lineup of general sessions speakers will not disappoint. Dr. Travis Bradberry, the award-winning co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the co-founder of TalentSmart, will kick off the opening session on Thursday. Later that day, Spencer Levy, Americas Head of Research and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE, along with Collete English Dixon, Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate and Chair, Real Estate at the Heller College of Business, at Roosevelt University in Chicago, team up to present on capital markets in an engaging and interactive discussion.

Ashwin Karuhatty, Business Development Lead with Amazon, Kristy Simonette, Senior VP and Chief Information Officer with Camden Property Trust, and Jeremy McBride, VP of Two Roads Hospitality will talk about how voice command technology, such as Amazon’s Alexa, is revolutionizing the way we live, work, and play and the impact this has on multi-family, hospitality, medical, and commercial sectors. And on Friday, our keynote speaker, Academy Award winner Geena Davis, will speak to us about her non-profit which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children. 

One final reminder. Bring plenty of business cards. Pack them now! With more than 1,200 commercial real estate professionals (male and female) looking to expand their network and market reach, your time will be well spent. And remember… everything’s bigger in Texas.

Susan CaudleSusan Caudle is the Director of Entitlements and Corporate Communications for Equinox Investments, LLC, a boutique land development and management firm headquartered in Northern Virginia. She oversees multiple projects and communities for Equinox. Susan is the immediate past-president of CREW Northern Virginia and previously served on their Board of Directors as Director of Communications. She has been a member of CREW since 2010.