As I prepare to leave my hotel room here in Barcelona Spain after speaking at the luxury real estate symposium (which was AWESOME!) my thoughts turn to my next event.

Inman New York 2023

It's a bit of a grind to there this time (no idea why I did it this way, I guess I'm just a travel masochist) 

My route to New York is: 

From Barcelona to Frankfurt > Frankfurt to Vancouver > Vancouver to Nanaimo

I land in Nanaimo around 3 PM, and I fly out at 6 AM the next day (15 hours to change suitcases, kiss my wife, snuggle my dogs, give my daughter the Manga I bought her in Spain) and... hopefully sleep a few hours before I have to leave again. 

Inman New York, will it ever be the same again?

That is the question I'm asking myself.

Inman used to be one of the best events in the industry. EXPENSIVE.... But awesome! 

When you went there, you were guaranteed to meet hundreds (maybe even thousands) of really great people in real estate, and maybe (just maybe) if you put in enough effort building your brand and relationships you might end up on the big stage where the exposure (used to be) HUGE! 

I think my most significant moment in Inman New York was taking the stage with the one and only Barbara Corcoran and Brad Inman. (What a wild ride!) It was clear there were thousands of attendees there, everyone was engaged and the value as a partner and sponsor was huge for our company. 

Fast forward to post COVID Inman: 

I have attended 2 Inman events post-COVID. Inman NY 2022 (though we stayed off the property and did mostly meetings) and Inman Las Vegas 2022

Inman was NOT the same! 

Inman New York was the first time I had been to the new location (The Hilton New York). I didn't stay there, but I visited the hotel. I didn't love it... (great location though). 

My perception was Inman New York was clearly a shadow of what it once was. There seemed to be almost no people around, and the feedback from my friends and colleagues was that it seemed to be the worst-attended Inman they had been to. 

On the sponsor side, one of my competitors (who is also a friend) shared that he even sent his team home early as it was so dead. 

Not a great start.... but since it was post-COVID, I thought perhaps it was just that people are still afraid, or not traveling. Maybe all events would be like this in 2022? 

Not so.. many real estate events were AWESOME in 2022! 

Some of my favorites were LeadingRE (Vegas and Portugal), RISMedia CEO Exchange (Washington DC), RE/MAX Europe (Canne France) even NAR in Orlando (which got hit by a hurricane) still ended up pretty good for us. 

So I can't say 2022 was "lame" for events or seemed to suffer too much from Covid. 

But Inman's hangover seemed to persist. 

Since I did not sponsor or attend much of anything in NY, I thought let's give Vegas a shot. 

We decided to sponsor a small booth (again VERY expensive compared to other conferences) and we attended Las Vegas. 

First, let me say that I HATE that Inman is in Las Vegas in July / August.

Who does an event in Las Vegas in the summer??? Gross!

And Vegas is super overdone... but I get it. Cheap hotels, easy to get to, cheap flights, etc. 

But why I really don't like events in Vegas is because there is way too much distraction. Vegas is fun (especially at night) and it tends to lead to conference folks sleeping in late, showing up late.... or not at all. 

Inman Las Vegas was DEAD! 

I am so glad that we did not do a bigger sponsorship. 

The vendor showcase floor was so dead that literally, the only people we talked to were other vendors (and the only conversations we had were with each other about how quiet it was and what a huge waste of money the overpriced sponsorships were). 

I told myself then and there, unless something changes, I will never sponsor Inman again. (At least not Vegas... PLEASE move it from Vegas!) 

Headed To New York with hope in my heart. 

If Inman was so bad in Vegas, why are you going to New York? You might be asking that (or you might have already left thinking I'm just an Inman-hating rage monster and left already) but please don't misunderstand. Hating on Inman is not the purpose of this post. 

Truly Inman has in the past had a major (positive) impact on my business and has been great for making friends and connections. 

And New York has been (in the past, not more recently) THE kickoff event of the year for real estate. 

So as myself and my team travel to Inman NYC, we have great hope in our hearts that it will be far more like the Inman of old. 

Where people are engaged. They are motivated to connect. Where they "attend" the showroom floor and meet with the vendors (those people pay WAY too much money, please visit their booths, you might just find exactly what you need). 

As I said, we're not a sponsor (and we won't be until we see sustained change and Inman adjusts their prices to be more in line with their competitors and the diminished value of the events of late). But we are attending. 

And we have a plan B: (Let's lock ourselves in a room and map out our entire year of marketing!) 

Our core marketing group Myself, Amy and Elianna have rented a suite, and we have committed to spending our entire time (plan B) working on our digital assets, planning out our events, redesigning parts of the website, and a bunch more important marketing items. So we'll "make the most of it" if Inman NYC sucks as hard as Inman Las Vegas did. 

But plan A? It's to network the s@#t out of New York. 

I'm hoping that Realtors® will be back! I am hoping the Inman will be back! (As I said, Inman NYC used to be "the best")

But either way, myself, Amy Perlman Pye, and Elliana Fajilan are going to make the most of it! 

We have a suite at the Hilton and we are looking forward to having client meetings, having friends drop by, meeting with prospects, and using this event as an opportunity to plan and kick off 2023's marketing right! 

If you're down with a meeting, want to a do a new professional headshot, want to shoot some great video content or you just want to hang.... hit me up on LinkedIn or Facebook and let's connect.

I'll be posting a recap of our experience post-Inman NYC for those vendors interested or thinking of attending/sponsoring future Inman Events. 

And for the Inman folks who may be reading this (and did not ask for my advice lol) 

Here are a few things I'd love to see change... 

#1: The luxury event was awesome when it was in Beverly Hills and stand-alone. It should go back that way. Combining it was Vegas is no Bueno. 
#2: Reduce ticket prices. 2023 is going to be a HARD year for Realtors® Now more than ever they need to save money and reinvest in their business. If you do this, way more Realtors® will attend which will make the event much better for the Realtors® and the vendors. 
#3: Same goes for vendors. The price needs to change. Sponsoring is way out of reach for struggling vendors (especially when no one attends the floor). Do #2 and then #3 and you'll bring massive value back to the Vendors and they will start sponsoring again. 
#4: Find ways to ensure the Realtors® actually engage with the vendors. Doesn't have to be rocket science. But make it fun. Offer a raffle for free tickets to the next event for people who sign in at the vendor booths. Have some of your "celebrities" available on the show floor to draw people in (remember the Gary V signing? That was great! But do it ON the show floor! Make it a benefit to the vendors. 

#5: Change up your speaking lineup! Ryan Serhant is awesome! But how many times is he going to be on the stage? Compass Compass Compass? They have a hard road ahead. Rifkin's a great guy too. But Inman covers them to death, and they are circling the drain. Sends the wrong message. Realtors® need leadership, encouragement, actionable ideas, and inspiration. 

Anyways, that's my rant. I'm cautiously optimistic, looking forward to spending time with my marketing team either way, and I can't WAIT to see so many of our Realtor® friends this week. 

To connect: 
Morgan Carey Facebook
Morgan Carey LinkedIn

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