ICSC Las Vegas: What to Expect Day by Day at the Big Retail Convention

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ICSC’s annual retail convention is back this month at the Las Vegas Convention Center with a full schedule bound to render all but the most vigorous attendees dead on their feet.

Here’s everything you need to know about the largest retail real estate conference in North America.

SEE ALSO: As ICSC Las Vegas Wraps, Attendees Lament Too Many Deals and Not Enough Space

ICSC is a trade organization that promotes retail marketplaces where people (as its mission statement says) “shop, dine, work, play and gather.” The initials once stood for International Council of Shopping Centers, but these days it’s just ICSC.

Officially starting May 19, ICSC will get the ball rolling with a Retail Real Estate Case Competition with students from university real estate programs across the country presenting their solutions to real problems experienced by real companies.

The winners who impress the judges the most could get up to $20,000 in prize money, as has been the case in previous years.

This will take place May 19 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Vegas time at the Wynn Las VegasMouton section of the casino.

From 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., you can pick your poison with a whole bunch of workshops that cover topics such as capital stack management, learning about search engine optimization and leveraging artificial intelligence, as well as a dealmaking master class.

These can be found in the Wynn’s Lafite section.

Then close out the day with a reception that will see sportscaster and former professional and college football coach Nick Saban give a keynote speech at the Cristal section of the Wynn, followed by an opening reception in the event pavilion and garden. ICSC’s Global Awards ceremony at Margaux then caps the day.

“Ninety to 120 days out, my team will start to focus on the meetings we want to schedule and think about how we want to spend that social networking time, because if you go there without a very defined agenda it’s really difficult to have the kind of interactions and meetings that you want to have,” Michael O’Neill of Cushman & Wakefield (CWK) told Commercial Observer.

ICSC’s first day will wrap up at 8 p.m. on Sunday — it’s a school night — but that doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities to mingle. After-parties, however, may be invitation-only.

Nevertheless, Newmark will have a celebration on Sunday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Intrigue Nightclub at the Wynn and Marcus & Millichap will be hosting The Retail Party from 7 to 10 p.m. at XS Nightclub.

Shake off that hangover and do it fast because Day Two waits for no one.

If you get to the convention center by 7:15 a.m., you’ll be just in time to catch breakfast and a forum called “Women Dealmakers: Empowering Women to Do Business Their Way.” Moderated by ICSC COO Valerie Richardson, panelists will include Amy Fingerhut of CBRE (CBRE), Tanya Ragan of Wildcat Management, Tabassum Zalotrawala of McDonald’s USA and Robin Zeigler of Mural Real Estate Partners.

For those who hit the snooze button, another opportunity to digest food and insights will come in the form of “Building Retail Bridges: How Cities Can Align With National Retailers for Economic Development.” Starting at 7:30 a.m., the forum will be moderated by David Barilla of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and include Pat Barber of Grocery Outlet and Meredith LeNoir of McDonald’s as speakers.

At 10 a.m., Naveen Jaggi of JLL will moderate the forum “The Marketplaces Industry:  Innovative Perspectives to Transformative Insights.” The discussion will include Angele Robinson-Gaylord of Starbucks, Barrie Scardina of Cushman & Wakefield and Zalotrawala of McDonald’s.

At 10:45, Ken McIntyre of the Real Estate Executive Council, a trade association seeking to boost industry diversity, will moderate “Deal or No Deal: Key Considerations for Future Investing” with Karly Iacono of CBRE, Bryant “Bo” Okoroji of Steerpoint Capital and Vince Tibone of Green Street.

“Transforming Tradition: Reimagining Mall Design to Meet Consumers’ Needs” will begin at 1 p.m. and will be led by Stephanie Cegielski of ICSC. The forum will include Mark Hunter of CBRE, Annmarie Plenge of Pacific Retail Capital Partners and Greg Whitney of Poag Development Group speaking on the topic.

“The Breaking Ground Series: Women-Led Retail Concepts Transforming Shopping Spaces and Places” will start at 1:45 p.m. and will be a chance to hear from Open Realty AdvisorsCarren Coston on her successes and future prospects.

At 2:30 p.m., retail coach Caroline Harrelson will moderate “Urban and Suburban Renewal Strategies — Lessons From Successful Revitalization Projects” with panelists Kevin Kramer from Village of Hoffman Estates, Arturo Sneider of Primestor Development and D. Lynn Spruill, the mayor of Starkville, Miss.

Meghann Martindale of Avison Young will moderate “The Office: The Effect of Flexible Work Models on Foot Traffic” at 3:15 p.m. with panelists Ethan Chernofsky of Placer.ai and Brandon Isner of CBRE.

“Retailtainment Concepts – An Experience Worth Shopping” begins at 4 p.m. and will include Alanna Joy Loeffler of Cushman & Wakefield as moderator and David Hochberg of Jaguar Bolera, Christine Nebiar of Brand Urban, Holly Rome of JLL and Eric Taylor of Sky Zone as panelists.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. ICSC’s diversity reception will take place in the Margaux section of the Wynn.

“We’re focusing on meeting with all the child care operators. We actually have a private event that we were invited to by a broker on Sunday, and we’ll meet with child care operators there and outside of the ICSC event itself,” Pablo Barreiro, chairman of Fortec, told CO. “I think that it is good to have a conversation off site because it is a big event, things go fast and you don’t have a lot of time to talk.”

On Monday night, NY Developers are hosting an invite-only party at LIV Beach in Fontainebleau Las Vegas from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Thus Day Two will end.

Day Three will start at 10 a.m. with panels much like the day prior. “The Social Shopper: Influencer Marketing’s Impact on Consumer Buying Habits” will be moderated by Najla Kayyem of Pacific Retail Capital Partners and paneled by Ashlyn Booth of JLL, Liz Glosson of The Dealey Group, Kyle Inserra of Zelnick & Company and Christine Mastandrea of Whitestone REIT.

Learn about “Shifting Store Formats: The Impact on Tenant Mixes, Leases and Portfolio” at 10:45 with moderator Anjee Solanki of Colliers (CIGI) leading the discussion with Michael Moran of CBRE, Scott Schnuckel of Kohl’s Department Stores and Caroline Wu of Placer.ai.

The last panel of the day will be “Tech-Driven Retail Experiences: From Augmented Reality to Contactless Payments,” which will be moderated by Amanda Metcalf of ICSC and include James Cook of JLL, Darren Mann of The ARIA Network and Deborah Weinswig of Coresight Research.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.