The International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) RECon event is one of the most highly-anticipated retail real estate events of the year. To get ready for this year’s event, we asked ICSC’s Vice President, Communications Jesse Tron to guest author a post on what attendees can look forward to next week. Read on for his thoughts and follow him on Twitter @TronJesse for his on-the-floor musings from the show.


With more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, 36,000+ attendees, and over 1,000 exhibitors, you may be wondering where to start at ICSC’s RECon, the world’s largest retail real estate conference to be held May 22-25 in Las Vegas.

This year, we’re making things a little easier by providing you with a cheat sheet of our top five picks (brought to you by a true insider). Get your calendars ready!

  1. Beef up your resume. Before the exhibit halls open, take advantage of non-compete time to enhance your career skills at Professional Development Day at the Westgate Hotel on Sunday. From quick-hitting sessions to in-depth industry courses, there’s something for everyone. The educational opportunities continue throughout the show–the newly revamped program features 25 Professional Development Workshops–ensuring that you leave the show cannier than you came. Attendees with full convention registration badges receive complimentary admission; all others must pay an additional registration fee.
  1. Technology Lab. Beacons. RFID tags. Big data. Everyone’s talking about technology. Be sure to visit our very own slice of Silicon Valley at the new Technology Lab and mingle with the cutting-edge technology companies who are poised to innovate in the real estate industry in 2016. See the same companies duke it out in a Shark Tank-like competition for the title of “the next big thing” on Monday and Tuesday morning at the Westgate Hotel.
  1. Who to see. There’s going to be magic amongst us. But really, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, basketball legend turned powerful businessman, is Sunday’s keynote speaker. Which is in itself should be enough to get you off the couch and onto a plane. But then add in Tony Hsieh, author of #1 New York Times bestseller, "Delivering Happiness," and Zappos CEO (who may or may not be bringing a llama), and Bobbi Brown, the founder and chief creative officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and you’ve got yourself a reason to run, not walk, to the airport. Need more? We have two more speakers to add to the mix–Gary Friedman, chairman and CEO of Restoration Hardware and Parag Khanna, leading global strategist and best-selling author (his name may also ring a bell from his widely-watched TED Talk). This line-up is one that shouldn’t be missed.
  1. ICSC Live! The perfect break (for your feet) from the show floor: join the live studio audience and hear what the industry’s heavy-hitters have to say as they catch up with me on Monday and Tuesday. The C-suite level interview series will take place in the LVCC Grand Lobby. Check out the full interview schedule and strategically time your 15-minute water break. Can’t make the show? Don’t worry, we’re bringing the action direct to your iPhones and tablets–watch the series digitally on ICSC’s YouTube channel and via iTunes Podcasts.
  1. #RECon16 @ICSC. Don’t miss your chance to win a whole lot of swag (we’re talking more than just lanyards–Chipotle gift cards, high end speakers, and more). Find ICSC’s Social Squad, who will be patrolling the show floor, and participate in the Hashtag Hunt, where we’ll snap a picture and you handle the rest: post the pic to your social accounts, tag #RECon16 (NOT #RECon2016) and our handles @ICSC or @ICSC_Recon, and the loot is all yours.

Bring your A-game–the Social Squad will also be conducting interviews on the fly, broadcast in real time via Facebook Live. If you haven’t already, throw us a like on Facebook and maybe we’ll swing by.

Whether you’re at the show or not, keep up with the latest RECon happenings on Twitter @ICSC and @ICSC_RECon and use the hashtag #RECon16.