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3rd SIOR International European Conference Round-Up

The SIOR International European Conference took place from 13-15 July 2022, with over 340 delegates and guests from across Europe, the Middle-East, Asia the US and Canada. A long awaited, in-person conference, it was productive, collaborative, sociable and a lot of fun.

Here’s a round-up of the event.

Day One

Whenever we host a conference, we like to immerse ourselves in the host city and so we did the same this time in Dublin, especially on day one.

  • The day started with a Dublin Port tour – an educational industrial tour of the port and harbour.
  • Then it was time to visit the Microsoft Campus in Leopardstown, Dublin – home to 2,000 individuals spanning 71 different nationalities. This inspirational visit looked at how the premises empowers everyone within the organisation individually and collectively to drive the business forward.
  • Guinness Storehouse Tour and Teeling Whiskey Distillery were next – Ireland’s number one tourist attraction and a must in our programme!
  • Last but not least, the Meet and Greet – the first key networking event of the conference, sponsored by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland at the Conrad Hilton Hotel, the conference venue. This was the precursor to other events the same night, including the IBG dinner which attracted 100 guests and the TSL leadership dinner, another exceptional, well-attended event.

Day Two

  • David McWilliams, economist, broadcaster and author, was our first keynote speaker. He talked about rising inflation, the economic landscape and how we need to evolve. In our response to the current market, he celebrated different perspectives and ideas and warned against ‘group think’, where we surround ourselves with people who think like we do.
  • Next up was an interactive panel moderated by Paul McNeive and alongside David McWilliams, included panellists, Jackie Wild CEO of TSL Ltd and CEO of SmartParc & Kevin Nowlan, CEO of Hibernia REIT plc that looked at Opportunities in a World of Risk. Panellists spoke of acknowledging dramatic events and responding quickly to turn them into opportunities. There is the obvious need to address climate change, but key to this will be actions to ensure global food security & production, which is currently hugely inefficient and needs much better property solutions. The critical role of technology and data was also a key point raised as was the revolution that will come with taxonomy and our need to evolve our planning system and how we build as a result.
  • James R. Scott, Director of the MIT CRE Real Estate Technology guided us through the metaverse, which he termed the next iteration of the internet. He stressed that real and virtual worlds co-exist rather than being independent of each other. And that we need to seriously consider the digital rights of owners and tenants in leasing contracts.
  • Then, another panel discussion, moderated by Paul Danks, President of SIOR Europe and including panellists James R. Scott, Claire Penny, Director of Global Partnerships at Invicara and Katie Whipp, Head of Deepki UK & Ireland this time on the Future of the Workplace. The three-day week in the office is here to stay, so we need to consider how we repurpose our empty office buildings to provide much-needed homes and bring life back into our cities. Plus, to make our workplaces and indeed all types of buildings more sustainable, we need accessible, centralised data to improve performance.
  • The last educational event of the day was a series of round table discussions focused on the logistics and office sectors, as well as the European property market, diversity and inclusion and attracting the next generation of real estate professionals.
  • We rounded off the day with a spectacular gala reception and dinner at Christchurch Cathedral, lit with candles and a light show, a choir and music from the amazing Irish singer Tommy Fleming.

Day Three

  • We started with Paul McNeive, motivational speaker and business development expert, who urged us to visualise our goals and take small steps, every day, to reach them.
  • And finally, Mike Berners-Lee, sustainability expert at Small World Consulting gave a talk called ‘There is no Planet B’. He talked about the need to look at climate change holistically and tackle everything together, not one issue at a time. Humans use 59 kWh per person per day and a lot of this comes from our built environment, so our sector has a key role to play.

The three-day conference programme was the main event but pre-conference, we hosted a 245 kilometre cycle ride from Dublin to Kilkenny (and back) and a SIOR Europe “Ryder Cup” which together raised circa €40,000 which will go to the Ukraine Appeal and the SIOR Foundation, to support young people from the Ukraine interested in a career in the property sector. Overall, a brilliant SIOR International European Conference once again.

That’s a wrap!

Get in touch if you want to register your interest for the next International European Conference to be held in a major European city in 2024.

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