Our very own Ed Damphousse, Client Partnerships Lead, recently attended ICSC Vegas, the leading conference in the Marketplaces Industry. As a relationship-driven professional, Ed was most excited about networking with existing clients, making new contacts for future business, and interacting with his fellow peers.
We recently sat down with Ed to discuss the conference in more detail.
Between events, receptions, and prescheduled meetings, Ed had to take a strategic approach toward planning his time at the conference. Fortunately, ICSC does a great job of providing a database tool highlighting exhibitors and attendees. Before he arrived in Vegas, Ed knew which clients would be there, new prospects he wanted to connect with, and other vendors to seek out. “I was able to map my time out and make sure my dance card was full,” he explains. There were also lots of rich conversations to have on the Expo Floor.
Spoiler alert: he made the most of his time. “My Fitbit had me at 12 miles on the [Expo] Floor on Monday alone.”
Ed notes that the energy level at the conference was electric and attendees were eager to engage in face-to-face conversations after so much virtual-meeting time. “The pandemic made people appreciate how special events like this really are and how productive they can be,” says Ed.
Hot Topics at ICSC
ISCS is known for celebrating innovation in the “marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather,” so, it’s no surprise that innovation was front and center at the conference. Electric Charging (EV) Stations for the retail environment was one topic of conversation that piqued a lot of interest. The EV vendors, of which there were many, were experiencing high foot traffic to their booths. Ed speculated that the current gas prices have woken up the industry and retail properties are prime candidates to integrate EV charging. “It is a win-win for the industry.”
Other top topics of conversation at ICSC included:
- Inflation – Cost of Construction
- Human Resources – Everyone is looking for qualified talent
- Potential Recession – Are we ready for a market correction?
After many conversations and industry presentations, Ed is convinced that in light of current market conditions, the retail section is still bullish and is going to keep plowing forward. “The past few years has created a considerable amount of tenant turnover and new tenants are emerging looking for prime locations,” he explains. “We’re supporting this firsthand at HFA with numerous clients acquiring, retooling, and upgrading their properties to accommodate newer active tenants.”
There was also a special celebrity appearance that caused quite a bit of buzz among the attendees: Dwyane Wade. Ed didn’t let that phase him, however. “Mr. Wade is a class act both on and off the court,” he muses, “but my sole basketball focus right now is with our boys in green. Go Celts.”
Ed left ICSC with a sense of excitement for the future of the marketplace industry, as well as the quality connections he made. “While HFA is focused on delivering high-quality architecture and engineering solutions, we’re in the business of supporting all retail businesses,” he says. “We're proud to play our part in that.”
For questions about our work in the retail marketplace industry, reach out to Ed Damphousse, Business Development Lead, (508) 294-4425 ext. 425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.