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Embracing the new virtual reality: a report from SIOR TransACT360.

By Paul Danks, president of SIOR Europe and director of portfolio solutions at DeVono Cresa

As an association founded on the principles of knowledge-sharing, professional advancement and cross-border collaboration, the past 15 months have been challenging for SIOR. But, empowered by a strong leadership group and supported by an active membership base, the association has successfully pivoted and continued to engage, educate and evolve in equal measure.

Last week, SIOR hosted its second virtual conference of the past year and successfully delivered a programme of valuable content and some enthusiastic networking sessions – despite participants taking part from a variety of locations from offices, spare bedrooms and kitchen tables.

Keynote speakers included former US Secretary of State, General Colin Powell and Mike Krzyzewski (“Coach K”), US sporting legend and celebrated basketball coach. Both shared valuable leadership lessons and experiences and showed the possibilities of overcoming adversity to achieve great things.

Our European Regional Chapter was the largest delegation in attendance, comprising some 35 members from ten different countries. As part of our commitment to diversity and supporting the next generation of professionals, we had also allocated complimentary places to European real estate students.

Between us, we participated in a number of round-table sessions offering a European perspective and contributed to the social programme with a live Irish cocktail masterclass from the bar at Dublin’s Conrad Hotel – the venue for the SIOR International European Conference in July 2022. If the feedback post event is anything to go by, it certainly seems that the prospect of physically visiting an Irish bar will be enough to encourage many of our US counterparts to cross the Atlantic as soon as circumstances allow.

I am immensely proud of what our association has done to remain relevant and add value in these most challenging of times and it is testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the members that we have been able to host an event with a genuine sense of occasion and community.

Although I am very much hoping to be “back in the room” by the time the next conference rolls around in Nashville in October, I am confident that I can be part of a great event whether or not that comes to pass. The working world for many CRE professionals has changed immeasurably since 2019 and SIOR has quickly embraced this and placed itself alongside its members and their clients to support them during this period of change.

7th May 2021

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