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Alexis Fermanis SIOR Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

SIOR DC Spring World Conference Explores All Rapidly Changing Industry Trends


Conference Provided Insights into Impacts of Increasingly Tech-Driven Environment while Providing Tools and Success Strategies for CRE Pros

SIOR recently held its annual Spring World Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Northwest DC from Wednesday, April 10 through Saturday, April 13. The international event drew a gathering of over 800 SIORs from 12 different countries around the globe.

The industry’s top commercial real estate brokers and global thought leaders came together to discuss the most pressing and relevant topics facing the industry today. Major topics of discussion at the conference included: the impact of e-commerce on the red-hot industrial market; emerging digital technologies and their practical applications for the brokerage community; a discussion of how brokers and investors can access opportunities with the U.S. Government General Services Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs; and a session on how emotional intelligence impacts success in our personal and professional relationships.

Special guest speakers included Joseph F. Coughlin, PhD, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab and author of “The Longevity Economy,” who provided insight into how the lifestyles of an aging but energized, techenabled, older demographic will impact the built environment; Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar and author of “Peers Inc,.” who discussed how a combination of people power and corporate power can unlock the potential of a new, collaborative economy; and Greg Lindsay, a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation who gave a talk on the emergence of walkable urban (and suburban) places where people can “live, work, and move” – powered by scooters, bikes, and Uber/Lyft – and how it is becoming the new model for cities and town centers.

In addition to the educational sessions, the various constituencies within SIOR (Young Professionals Member Group, Technology Committee, SIOR Foundation Board of Trustees, to name a few) held meetings to advance initiatives and review progress of existing programs.

Outgoing SIOR Global President Robert Thornburgh reported that membership levels have reached an all-time high and that the financial condition of the organization “has never been stronger.” But what he is most encouraged by is SIOR’s newly finalized three-year strategic plan, which he said will position SIOR to play an even larger, more substantial role in the industry throughout the 21st century and beyond. “It touches on everything from thought leadership, advanced education, innovation, and mentoring the next generation of CRE professionals.”

Thornburgh also had high praise for this year’s SIOR Spring World Conference, calling it “a tremendous success on all accounts.” He continued, “There is a willingness to share information and collaborate here that is unlike any organization I have ever seen. This is a direct result of the quality of our members, sponsors and industry friends who lead with excellence and integrity.”

Attendees also had ample time to partake in social and networking events, including a Young Professionals Night Out event, a sold-out office broker dinner, and the perennial favorite Panattoni Party, which this year featured a circus theme. The conference also featured a number of outings for SIOR members and their spouses/partners, including a tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, another of the US Capitol & Library of Congress, as well as architectural and food tours.  

“It was really an honor to share our nation’s capital with all of our fellow SIORs,” said Matthew Laraway, president of the SIOR Maryland, District of Columbia and Northern Virginia Chapter. “I received so much positive feedback on both the conference and our city, as people really took advantage of the opportunities that DC has to offer. The feedback that I received on the conference itself was that it was as positive as the market activity that we’re currently experiencing across the office and industrial sectors.”

Photos from the conference for use in publication are available here. Photo credit: Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.


Media Contact
Alexis Fermanis SIOR Director of Communications