Paid Industry Conferences: @ what level do you get invited?

TLDR: Doesn't matter what asset class (MF, hospitality, office, whatever). At what level should you start getting invited to, and attend, paid industry conferences?

The question could really go a few ways:

  • At what level did you start getting invited to attend industry conferences?
  • At what level do you feel you should have been invited to attend industry conferences?
  • If applicable, at what level do you feel your younger staff should be invited to attend industry conferences?

To frame this up, I've seen a lot of companies set the bar at VP-level and above. For example, Company X sends their VPs and above to the annual hotel conference, all expenses paid. Is VP-level and above the standard?

I always feel that it would be nice for lower level Analysts-Associates to attend to start building a network and really contributing to the firms growth. It also shows who can cut their teeth in the social settings with big players in an industry where this will undoubtedly play a major role at some point. I get there are downsides and risks associated with sending younger staff, but just getting a temperature of your experiences/insight.

I guess if you really want to get into it, just blindly sending all VP-level staff and above, some of whom could be duds, seems like more of a waste of time and resources vs. sending your rock star Analyst/Associate. This angle can be debated too.

Comments (4)

Aug 14, 2019

It varies.

Typically you'll see the larger brokerages roll out the cavalry for conferences/events in their local markets. Less men will be tapped for national conferences.

Principals are a bit more stingy when it comes to sending staff out to conferences. My personal exp has been you don't get invited until you're a meaningful player in whatever market the conference is taking place.

To draw the line in the sand: an associate assisting in the execution of a deal in texas for a director who covers the market will probably not get the invite; however, an associate sourcing a couple deals in markets with lesser portfolio allocation to get his feet wet would be expected to ask and attend an event in said market.

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Aug 14, 2019
ThatGuyBalls:

Typically you'll see the larger brokerages roll out the cavalry for conferences/events in their local markets. Less men will be tapped for national conferences.

Principals are a bit more stingy when it comes to sending staff out to conferences. My personal exp has been you don't get invited until you're a meaningful player in whatever market the conference is taking place.

This is my experience as well.

Aug 14, 2019

I've noticed that it tends to be a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. In that revenue-producers and folks sourcing deals can go to these events every time, because the perception is they'll drum up business. Of course, the networking is such a huge part of that that it denies the project managers/analysts/whatever the opportunity to make those connections. That's from the developer side, at least.

Aug 14, 2019
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