CHICAGO—The latest news and trends in CRE from all sectors of the industry will be at the forefront for attendees of NAIOP’s CRE.Converge 2017 conference here October 10-12, which also celebrates the association’s 50th anniversary, NAIOP’s 2017 chairman Jonathan Tratt tells GlobeSt.com. We sat down with Tratt, a 30-year veteran of the CRE industry and a NAIOP member since 2001, who is also principal of Tratt Properties LLC in Phoenix, to discuss what’s new and exciting at this year’s fall conference and the value of NAIOP membership.
GlobeSt.com: What can attendees expect at CRE.Converge 2017?
Tratt: NAIOP’s fall conference always delivers the latest news and trends in CRE that will resonate with CRE professionals from all sectors of the industry—and this year is no exception. Educational sessions will delve into hot topics including capital markets, the last mile, infill development and more; attendees also have the opportunity to take exclusive project tours of cutting-edge developments in Chicago.
We are pleased to present an outstanding slate of keynote speakers—the best in business, geopolitics and innovation—at CRE.Converge 2017: acclaimed physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku; Jon Gray of Blackstone Group with Dr. Mark Eppli of Marquette University; international affairs specialist Dr. George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures; and former Amazon.com real estate executive Julie Benezet.
We are especially looking forward to a new, special set of sessions this year exploring the latest trends and innovations in CRE technology. Tech experts and CRE practitioners will share best practices and insights into the latest CRE tech—practical information that attendees can take home to their businesses—in either panel format or as short, quick-paced info sessions.
GlobeSt.com: Why do you believe this conference is a can’t-miss event?
Tratt: This is the greatest annual opportunity to connect with other power players in commercial real estate. More than 1,500 attendees are expected to attend this year’s conference in Chicago. Attendees come from across North America and include developers, brokers, owners, investors, architects and engineers. I always add this conference to my calendar at least a year in advance.
In addition, 40% of conference attendees reported that they made or started a deal on-site, so if you don’t come to CRE.Converge, you run the risk of missing the deal.
GlobeSt.com: Having been a member of NAIOP since 2001, what does NAIOP membership mean to you?
Tratt: There really is nothing like NAIOP when it comes to connections, industry advocacy and education. It’s an organization that anyone can be involved in and through which you can build tremendous partnerships that last years or even a lifetime. I’ve been a NAIOP member since 2001, and I am honored to serve as the 2017 chairman.
GlobeSt.com: What special events are planned for NAIOP’s 50th Anniversary?
Tratt: The 50th anniversary is a good chance to pause and reflect on how far NAIOP and the industry have come in five decades and to envision where we are headed over the next 50 years. NAIOP has seen incredible growth from nine individuals in 1967 to 18,000 members across the US and Canada today.
We’ll have events throughout CRE.Converge 2017 to build on the year-long celebration of this milestone anniversary. We will honor the past and current leadership of our association at a special dinner and at a keynote luncheon. The special 50th-anniversary celebration reception will take place at Chicago’s Crystal Gardens at the iconic Navy Pier, a 1-acre botanical garden with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop—the perfect location to celebrate in style.