I mention all this because The International Council of Shopping Centers New England Idea Exchange & Deal Making was held this month at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. We were of course an exhibitor at the show, one of several ICSC events in which we participate. It was a successful show. by the way. The energy was high and the mood positive. Our booth was quite active, with many solid inquiries about investment sales as well as leasing.
|Our market aerial portfolio:|
documents delivered digitally
Our industry has for a long time functioned largely through the exchange of a veritable stream of documents. But really what we are doing is exchanging “parcels of information”, so to speak. That’s what a document is: a parcel of information organized for clear, easy consumption. We brought no leasing brochures to the show this year, but we distributed a lot of information. With all the activity at our booth, although we communicated a great deal to a great many people, we handed out essentially no documents.
Why would we? Our leasing “brochures” are instantly accessed through a phone, our detailed market aerial portfolio can be thoroughly toured via tablet, and complete corporate information including our entire portfolio of listings can be handed to you on a USB drive. These tools have made the task of coordinating “parcels of information” for a trade show exponentially easier – and infinitely more complex.
Of course there will always be “old school”. Many exhibitors are still “paper based, and we’re all still creating documents that look like traditional documents, even if they never physically exist. And there is no digital substitute for a phone call from a broker, or a face to face meeting between a property manager and a client. But the way information is exchanged before and after that call or meeting is profoundly different. What we’re moving toward is not a different way of doing the same thing – it’s doing a different thing entirely. When a document is no longer a document, it can be anything; it can take whatever form you like, and be as long it needs to be.
|Our ICSC tradeshow booth graphic: traditional tools of the trade and powerful innovations of the digital age|
This was all in my head as we updated the large pop-up graphic display we use in our tradeshow booth. The concept is an enlarged image of a busy desktop, on which a variety of elements illustrate the breadth and depth of the many services we provide, our ever-widening business territory, and the types and quality of properties and tenants we deal with. If I say so myself, it’s a fairly striking image, especially when viewed at full size, under the lights of an exhibition venue. The image is a mix of old school elements and new school technology, information organized into recognizable documents, but able to become information simply organized. That’s where we all are right now, still defined by the old, poised on the edge of the paperless new.
Chris Cardoni, Marketing Manager
Come see our tradeshow booth at the ICSC New York National Conference & Deal Making in December.