We’re just back from an invigorating trip to San Diego for this year’s Western Conference and Deal Making, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers. It was our first time participating in this conference, and we’re glad we could be there. Motionloft had a booth in the Convention Center, and a lot of our current clients stopped by to say hello. San Diego was a beautiful site for the conference, and the programs were excellent!
This conference is a gathering of people from all segments of retail and it’s a terrific opportunity to meet face to face with clients and partners. With an estimated attendance of 12,000, it ran from Wednesday through Friday, and was packed with knowledgeable speakers and a wealth of networking opportunities. Special Industry Group sessions focused on Retail and the Next Generation, Finance, and Alliance. There were sessions on omni-shopping, accounting, specialty leasing, and more. An especially interesting session for us dealt with tools that cities and real estate developers could use to fully utilize sites for potential developments. The panel included both city officials and real estate professionals interested in making the most of underused urban spaces.
These two groups seem to be collaborating more with property owners, working toward the shared goal of attracting more retail to urban areas. We saw a significant number of municipal groups and city representatives at this year’s conference. This sort of partnership is ideal for gathering and effectively using the kind of data that we collect. Traffic and pedestrian counts are powerful indicators of site potential and optimal use. With the involvement of municipal groups the effort can be well coordinated and more useful overall.
Much of our time at the conference was spent in meetings with retailers, property owners, and municipalities. We had some great conversations with leading CRE professionals too; everyone seemed excited by the networking opportunities at the event. Some of the best discussions were serendipitous meetings at our booth in the conference hall.
We set up 3 sensors (naturally) at our booth, and gathered live data throughout the show. Motionloft had 5,253 people pass by our booth in total on both days with 4,136 on Thursday and 1,117on Friday. It was great to be able to use these operating sensors to describe our service to visitors. Real estate brokerage JLL also used our sensors at their booth, to monitor the traffic passing and entering their conference booth.
Based on our conference experience, we expect to see city planners and property owners working closely to make the best possible use of urban spaces. They’re utilizing data and digital tools to guide decision-making, and we think the process will continue to improve as input from everyone involved is taken into account.
The Western Conference was a success for us, and we look forward to returning. There is nothing like gathering and networking with your industry to get your ideas stirring and enthusiasm renewed. There was a lot of interest in our products, and we’re excited about moving forward with new projects.