1. For a snowy state, it can get really hot.
It was in the 95-degree range in Denver the entire time we were at the conference. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
2. More than 11,000 people is a lot of people.
It was a record attendance this year, which made it an awesome opportunity for networking and learning about innovative technology partners in our industry. It also provided a snapshot of just how big our “small” industry is.
3. It's really important to stay hydrated.
(Technically, I knew this one before Apartmentalize.) The water bottles and water stations that NAA provided were very helpful in keeping dehydration at bay, particularly in this high-altitude locale.
4. I am an excellent dancer.
Well, at least when I'm the only one who can hear the music! (Silent Disco, anyone?). Beyond the gorgeous outdoor setting, the disco was the highlight of the epic Thursday night party.
5. The polling feature during sessions was beneficial.
It is a great way to benchmark data and industry attitude and progress when it comes to projects and initiatives. It also allowed attendees to genuinely take part in the sessions by providing real-time data for the panelists to discuss.
6. The Gen Z session was my favorite.
Full disclosure: Because I am raising two Gen-Zers right now.
7. Gen Z comprises 25% of the population.
Gen Z's members are more focused on the environment, reducing their carbon footprint and sustainability. They also avoid debt at any cost and love to assist charities. We should cater to them accordingly, including community events and amenities centered on social experiences.
8. Performance matrixes make a difference.
Industry operators are establishing performance metrics based on actual transactional data. From a marketing perspective, we should be able to apply this methodology and use competitor information, reputation scores and more to enhance performance and rent growth.
9. Mindy Kaling is one of my favorite actresses.
I literally bought her book before I left the ballroom! She wasn't originally part of The Office cast upon being hired. According to the charismatic actress in her keynote session at the conference, she was initially brought aboard as “a token diversity hire” to the writing team. I also recently saw her new movie Late Night, which she wrote and produced, and that is loosely based on the beginning of her writing career.
10. Boston better be ready!
Yes, I peeked ahead to see next summer's conference destination. Yes or no to Red Sox gear? Might take some convincing.
Anna Shea, Laramar Group, Denver