May 21-23 saw the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2023 premier event take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Approximately 25,000 people attended, including developers, retailers, dealmakers, and real estate brokers. Some sought information on the tenants that would make their properties stand out. Others were looking for the best strategies regarding safety and security. Over 800 exhibitors displayed their services and products that impact the retail real estate industry.
Here’s a recap of the event that drives industry experts to Las Vegas every year.
Retail Real Estate and the ICSC
ICSC, an organization founded in 1957, attracts some of the biggest names in the retail real estate industry at its yearly three-day event in Las Vegas. Here, they discuss the latest trends and innovations, looking toward the future and how they can contribute to the economic and social vibrancy of the communities they serve.
The 700,000-plus members of the ICSC focus on building communities, fueling economies, and inspiring innovation. The organization also works with the top decision-makers that create public policies affecting the industry. In addition, ICSC promotes the spaces and marketplaces where people dine, work, shop, and play, seeing them as vital ingredients of the economy and communities.
The ICSC Experience
As one of the largest conventions in the industry, a big draw is the vast networking opportunities. This year’s events included a speed networking session for emerging professionals and students, giving them the chance to meet with industry leaders and discuss career opportunities.
Sunday night brought everyone together for a reception where friends and colleagues celebrated their reunion over great food, beverages, and entertainment.
Professional Development Workshops
The many workshops offered extensive, up-to-date information on real estate marketing, optimum leasing opportunities, and site selection criteria. Included in the roundup was a Dealmaking Masterclass that offered the best practices for getting the deal done and the current trends shaping the industry. For example, one landlord suggested that founder businesses are the future of retail.
The Psychology of Real Estate Marketing included the seven Principles of Psychomarketing developed by ATYPICAL. This marketing strategy applies human psychology, setting your content apart.
Roadmap to Innovation focused on the latest technology innovations and how they support operational efficiency. Additional covered topics included marketing with limited resources and the key elements in lease provisions.
As you can imagine, mixed-use development was a hot topic. These developments combine commercial and residential space, attaining the highest use of any property. Moreover, they offer a solution to the current housing crisis and the shopping centers imperiled by online retail.
They are also becoming increasingly popular as a means to create livable, vibrant urban environments. Leaders in this space discussed the planning, design, operations, finance, and leasing required to build these vibrant centers and communities.
Attendees learned about the economic incentives cities use to attract retail development and how to bolster capital to make projects more viable. The specific incentives for real estate development include tax incentives, grants, and loans. In addition, talks included how retailers view site selection, what draws them to specific locations, how to get them to stay, as well as filling vacancies with unexpected tenants.
Future-Proofing the Supplier Network
Another popular topic was the supply chain disruptions and the importance of diversity. As resources run low, companies pursue a diverse, agile, and sustainable supplier network. They explored how to identify new strategic partners and suppliers.
Andy Reid, the two-time super bowl champion and head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, shared his insights as one of the professional sports’ most successful coaches. When discussing the importance of surrounding yourself with a great team, he said, “If you’re an energy taker instead of an energy giver, you’re gone. It’s simple.”
They were undergoing a rough spell when he became the team’s head coach in 2013. To build trust, he regularly met with players and listened. Then, he took action, addressing their concerns. Out of this level of communication and mutual respect came three coveted NFL Coach of the Year titles and nine playoffs in ten seasons.
EMERGING’s real estate team was there, sharing their expertise on restaurant expansion. One of their divisions, EmergingConcepts, provides real estate solutions for leading restaurant and entertainment concepts. As real estate experts, they negotiate with developers and landlords and use predictive data analytics and other strategies to maximize returns and minimize risks. To learn more about the many benefits of becoming an EMERGING partner, including supply chain expertise, financing, and optimizing revenue strategies, schedule a consultation today.
What are the top issues confronting property owners and developers?
Currently, higher interest rates and economic uncertainty are the two main concerns. However, despite these, occupancy rates remain high. Additionally, store openings are outpacing closings.
How are developers transforming spaces to fill vacancies?
Mixed-use retail is filling vacant spaces with needed housing. They are also embracing an experiential approach, adding restaurants and activity-oriented businesses.