Buono explains that the symposium, the second such event thatCBRE has conducted, is an outgrowth of a strategy that the LosAngeles-based firm has been pursuing in recent years to increaseits dominance in the world of retail services and to refine theCBRE retail services model. He says CBRE's clients have beentelling the firm that although large gatherings like the ICSCconference in Las Vegas are important, the clients would like tospend more time examining the retail world in-depth without thetime limitations of a large, heavily attended conference.

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The program for tomorrow's symposium will feature a keynotepresentation by founder Ron Pompeii of New York City-based PompeiA.D., a presentation by Torto Wheaton Research economist AbbyMarks, an overview of CBRE retail services, an occupier anddeveloper panel and a capital markets panel. "The idea here is tooffer a symposium where our clients can spend time with some of thebest thought leaders in the industry, along with some of our CBREprofessionals, and come out of the symposium with information aswell as actual deals that can materialize," Buono says.

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CBRE tested the format for the event in January in Hawaii withits first symposium. It has decided to roll it out across thecountry, with the second symposium here in Southern California andwith others tentatively planned for Florida, Dallas and the NewYork Tri-State area later this year and next year. There is alsothe thought of such an event in Canada, possibly in Toronto.

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"We're going to do them in places where our professionals wantto fully support them," Buono says. Markets like SouthernCalifornia, Hawaii and others where CBRE has a dominant marketshare make the most sense for the first events, he says.

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The CBRE symposiums are client-driven, designed to answerquestions that the firm's retail industry clients--includingtenants, shopping center developers and owners, capital sources andothers--are asking about the economy, development, capital marketsand other factors that drive retail development, financing andleasing. Buono says that about 60% of CBRE's retail clients arelandlords and about 40% are occupiers, a change from the time whenup to 80% of the firm's clients were landlords. He estimates thatthe split will be 50-50 between occupiers and landlords within thenext year or so as CBRE continues to focus on achieving thatbalance in its retail business.

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