Paul McDowell, President, SIOR Europe Regional Chapter
The curtain has now closed on the SIOR Spring World Conference for another year and I have returned from Washington with new connections, plenty of new learnings and continued enthusiasm for the role of the association in facilitating transatlantic and international deals.
This year’s event was the second-largest spring conference ever hosted by SIOR, attracting some 850 delegates and, whilst largely US-centric, also saw representation from the UK, Austria, China, Czech Republic, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland and Mexico.
The European Regional Chapter fielded its largest ever delegation, including three students whose attendance was funded jointly by ourselves and the SIOR Foundation. They made a valuable contribution to our contingent and quickly embraced the values of professional development and networking.
The week’s social events kicked off with a welcome reception hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and was followed by a cocktail party at CoStar’s Washington HQ.
Joseph Coughlin of Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the opening session on the impact of demography on real estate and offered some stark warnings of how an ageing global population might affect the world economy.
A busy schedule of breakout events provided an opportunity for the global leadership to meet and define the future direction of the organisation. The key themes to emerge were that of greater internationalism and greater diversity.
While SIOR has an established reputation and defined presence in the US, my role is to carry that forward throughout Europe by attracting best talent in key markets. Events such as last week’s spring conference help to reinforce the value of this unique organisation which connects a network of leading agents across the globe and provides regular opportunities to meet and exchange ideas.
To that end, the team from SIOR Europe took to the stage on Friday to launch the next European conference, to be held in Dublin in July 2020. Keen to match our US counterparts for showmanship, we unveiled a promotional video that both made an impact and allowed some of our members to indulge their inner rock stars.
The week’s events rounded off with a vintage carnival party hosted by Panattoni, held in the Blue Room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel which has also been graced by Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, Liberace, the Supremes and Tony Bennett.
The leadership of the Europe Regional Chapter has learnt a lot from this event that we will carry forward into our organisation of Dublin 2020 and look forward to seeing many of you there. On that note, I will sign off with a gentle reminder that pre-registration is now open at sioreurope.com/dublin