It’s been quite a few years since I last attended a real estate industry conference, sales rally or convention but as I recall, they were often quite a hoot. Oh sure, many times there was valuable information that attendees would take away from the event, but just as often (at least in the crowd I ran with) there were memories that may have been entirely unintended by the organizers. Either way, there was always great value to me when the conferences came around every year.

1)  Why is it so important to support and attend real estate conventions?

a)  It is inspiring to meet with fellow leaders in the industry.

b)  It is motivating to learn fresh sales techniques or emerging technologies.

c)  Still being awake at 4:30 am when the office joker blasts cola out of his (or her) nose after hearing a really good joke in the hospitality suite…priceless.

2)  How do you prepare in advance of the conference, to maximize your personal benefit?

a)  Start seven months prior, brainstorming and preparing unforgettable self-promotional packages.

b)  Take an intensive Dale Carnegie course, to assist with nerves when networking.

c)  Visualize your intended outcome for the event, but also ensure that you know a great place to get chicken wings and a beer nearby, if the keynote speakers get a bit dull.

3)  Who should you try to make your best impression with?

a)  A Realtor from an area you are most likely to refer to.

b)  That delightful bartender who keeps smiling at you.

c)  Impression? Ask Bob to do his Woody Allen…it’s freakin’ hilarious!

4)  Once the convention has started, who should you sit with?

a)  Your fellow office-mates. Avoid making eye contact with “outsiders”.

b)  The guy in the cowboy hat (there’s one at every convention).

c)  Who cares? As long as you’re in close reach of the no-host bar.

5)  What are your prime objectives attending any convention?

a)  Networking with other Realtors and ultimately soaking in all the information presented by the keynote speakers.

b)  Trying just this once to not get so hammered that you leave your pants in the elevator (again).

c)  Discreetly gathering all your fellow (competing) office agent promotional brochures, and pasting on “Referrals Suck” stickers.

6)  What do you look for in motivational speakers at a convention?

a)  Enthusiasm.

b)  Just one nugget that you can take away and put to immediate use in your real estate practice.

c)  Sobriety and a general ability to keep even remotely on topic.

7)  How do you prepare for the formal dinner evening of the convention?

a)  Get the Emily Post book from the library, at least browse through the Eating with Utensils section.

b)  Beg your broker/owner to give you a few private dance lessons (believe it or not, it’s part of your desk fees. Check the fine print.)

c)  Surf the Google for appropriate dinner conversation. You’re probably safe with, “How about those Dancing Stars?”, “I sure do love me some cod!” or you can choose to initiate some lively discussion with “When are those wacky Albertans gonna elect a Liberal?”

 Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsenseandstuff.com, or contact him at ThatDanGuy@shaw.ca.