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From Site Selection magazine, November 2020

Highlights of IAMC’s First Virtual Forum

Jennifer Roth

Many of you attended IAMC’s first Virtual Forum on September 14 and 15. If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it and benefited from the professional development programs. Piecing together anecdotal evidence with data from the post-event survey, we have strong indications the conference was highly valued by most of the participants. Overall, they liked the education programs and the plenary session speakers. The networking experience was less well rated, but that can’t be surprising for people in an industry that so highly values face-to-face relationship building. A common descriptive expression was: “It exceeded my expectations.” Hey, that’s what we always want to do. I call it a strong outcome. Here are some highlights.

The C-suite Spotlight presenter was William “Bill” Concannon of CBRE. His industry service extends from the 1980s through to today. He walked us through corporate real estate’s evolution over the period and then focused a bit on what he believes are the key linkages between CRE and the C-suite.

Two paid speakers also favorably impressed attendees. Phil Jones got rave reviews with his talk, “Exactly What to Say — The Magic Words for Influence and Impact.” And Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph told us how he did it.

The professional development programs, the meat of every Forum, were rated as a group the second highest of any IAMC Forum ever. One post-event survey respondent said, “On a very positive note, I found myself being very focused on the content of the presentations, taking notes, etc., which in my opinion is a bit more difficult to do being there live, which I guess maybe has its distractions.”

The top-rated workshop was “Distribution in a Post-COVID-19 World,” in which IAMC Executive Director Tate Godfrey moderated a panel of Jon Anderson, Volvo NA; Tim Brosnan, LBA Logistics; Alan Darner, Kellogg Co.; and Betsy Power, PepsiCo. This was followed closely on the ratings list by “Get Some Help!” featuring a moderator trio of Kevin Dollhopf, Hanesbrands; Ashley Snyder, Cresa; and Jennifer Lantz, Wilson (NC) EDC.

Other well-rated programs included “Logistics Real Estate Design & Technology — Nowhere to Go But Up,” “Manufacturing, Warehouse & Distribution Center Robotic Automation and Implications for CRE Investments and FM in a COVID-informed Environment,” and “The Realities of Reshoring/Nearshoring and Industrial Platform Design.”

As always, IAMC organized programs exclusively for Corporate members. The Research Roundtable session featured Kate Hay of Juniper Capital Partners speaking on “Best Practices for Transitioning CRE’s Focus from Tactical to Strategic.” And the always popular Peer-to-Peer for Corporate members provided breakout-group discussion opportunities on a number of CRE topics. Both programs were highly rated by the Corporate member participants.

In closing, I’ll suggest that as a community we all express our gratitude as a constructive response to this strange and tortured year. I am grateful for my family, friends, job and the unique professional support group that is IAMC. For the very positive outcome that was the Virtual Forum, I’d like to extend my thanks and appreciation to my board of directors, President Tate Godfrey, our talented and determined staff, our dedicated sponsors, the excellent speakers and panelists, the many committee members who assist staff, the Forum attendees and to every other member. I’m grateful to each and every one of you for your presence and support.

If you have comments, ideas, etc., reach out to me. I’m here for you.

Jennifer Roth
Chair, IAMC Board of Directors

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