This year’s trip to Las Vegas for the ICSC Recon conference is my sixth straight. I have to admit, each year I stop and evaluate the value I get for attending (which is healthy to do) and ultimately decide to go again. I’m never disappointed…
The good news for this year is that attendance is up, “booths” are expanding, and meetings are frenzied. Attendance has been estimated at around 38,000, a few thousand more than last year. I say “booths” in quotes because a booth can be as much as 5,000 square feet with meeting rooms and offices…the bigger the booth, the more deals are happening. One developer team reported nearly 400 meetings scheduled over a 2-1/2 day period.
The great news is that the forecast looks good for the industry. Retail sales are up and strong across the board, with a few key sectors performing beyond previous highs. Development looks to remain solid over the next couple of years, but we’re not overbuilding. Is there another downturn out there? The laws of economics say yes, but the consensus is that it’s a couple of years out (barring some global change).
ICSC conferences continue to be a great source of connection with current clients, as well as a place to expand my network. I will say this year was another successful trip.