Is there a more bizarre and depressing circus than a tradeshow? The absolutely sexless hotel. The Tote Bag of Crapola. The inflatable enthusiasm.
My first trip to an Inman real estate conference was last summer in New York. I slept on a friend’s couch. I got drunk with a Dostoevsky scholar who admitted at the bottom of it that he had no idea how old his live-in girlfriend was.
The show itself was a bit different than a conference on, say, corporate software. New Jersey brokers with a fake-bake kept giving me their business card, “in case I wanted to buy or sell.” I found myself on a mobile devices panel in which I was forced to admit I didn’t have a mobile device. I gave a little speech about empowering consumers that was interrupted in its first five seconds by a jolly giant saying in a thick Brooklyn accent, “NOT IN MANHATTAN.”
It was fun. And it was pretty good, too. As at most social gatherings, we were pariahs. A few months later, when we visited Inman in Emeryville for our launch, we proposed starting a new kind of show, for real estate technologists like us. And Inman said, “OK.” It’s called Inman Connect Tech & we think one day it might be bigger than all the conferences for agents. Google, Microsoft and MapQuest have signed on. And, if you’re interested in real estate technology, you might want to, too. The agenda looks pretty good, with stuff on AJAX, analytics, data mining, community, maps. July 26, in San Francisco. There’s a discount for early sign up.
Don’t worry if you want to come but don’t like Redfin. We’ll be there, but you don’t have to talk to us.