Thoughts from a First Time Attendee

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I loved the NAR Annual Conference, but truth be told, as a first time attendee, I found it just a bit overwhelming. So much going on and so many things happening at the same time. I know I missed many events I wanted to attend, and with some advanced preparation I could have done much more.

Here are some of my thoughts on what I will do differently next year:

  • Plan a get together for people who will be attending from my local board and WCR chapter a few weeks before the conference. We have members who have been going for years, and they are often invited to things that are not on the official schedule, and they are happy to take their friends along when they can. What a great way to learn more about things that interest you, like RPAC, political affairs, etc. I will ask the experienced attendees to be prepared to share some advice with newer folks and put together a contact list so that people can find each other easily while they are in San Francisco.
  • One of my friends organized his whole registration package into a binder while he was still at home. Certainly, he is far more organized than I am. Since I was juggling time between WCR events and NAR events, it’s a challenge to figure out how to fit it all in. NAR’s Boopsie app was great, and I wish that WCR had used the same app with a shared calendar for NAR and WCR for those attending both.
  • Book your room at the hotel closest to most of the things you want to attend. I spent a lot of time “in transit”, which meant I could not go to as many things as I might have liked.
  • I applied to be on a NAR committee. While committee assignments did not come out in advance of this year’s conference, hopefully next year I will be able to participate in NAR in a much more personal way.
  • I used Twitter to keep some of my notes about things that I want to follow up on after the conference. I plan to share lots of tips that I picked up with my Birmingham Bloomfield Chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® on our Facebook page. The chapter generously funded my conference registration and travel. I highly recommend checking out all of the informative tweets that came out of #NARAnnual on Twitter.

I feel so fortunate to have attended my first conference, and so very honored to participate in NAR Conference Live. Looking forward to San Francisco next year! Hope to see more of my REALTOR® friends from across the country.

Twenty years ago, Maureen Francis left the United States to work as a business advisor in the first group of US Peace Corps volunteers to serve in the former Soviet Union. After nearly a decade in advertising and management consulting in Ukraine, Maureen found a new calling: residential real estate sales in her hometown of Birmingham, Michigan.

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