Did you know that every fall an estimated 1,000 REALTORS® from Canada head south for the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo, presented by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)? This annual four-day extravaganza includes more than 100 education sessions, featuring nationally-recognized speakers, trainers, and industry experts, who discuss timely topics and critical issues of value to REALTORS®. There are also unlimited networking and referral-building opportunities for REALTORS® from up north.
CREA has had a presence on this event’s tradeshow floor since 2007. As manager of the CREA booth, I have observed with pride the progress and popularity of our Canadian booth.
The first year, we were merely a curiosity and people would drop by, say “eh?,” grab a chocolate loonie, and walk away chuckling. However, things changed after a couple years. In the words of the NAR organizers, we have become “one of the major anchor booths” of the tradeshow.
As they say in the real estate world, “location, location, location!” Indeed in the last few years, we have built a reputation as the place to be to network with our Canadians members. The annual migration of our snowbirds to warmer climates has become a major market for REALTORS® from outside of Canada and they are lining up to do business with CREA members.
For a true Canadian experience away from home, in past years we have had the honour of having a bona fide RMCP Officer patrolling our booth. However not on official duty, our star attraction was always available for a firm handshake and a photo op with the ladies. Many of these pictures have shown up on social network sites!
It wasn’t all fun and games however, as we offered the chance for CREA members to setup shop temporarily at the booth and network with international visitors. Many REALTORS® took the opportunity to develop alliances with their peers and promote their respective regions. For a snapshot of their views on the experience at the CREA Booth, watch the video below.
This year’s conference will be in San Francisco, California, November 8-11. We will once again set up networking stations for REALTORS®. We also have a few surprises in store for our visitors. Stay tuned for more information as the event gets closer. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.