Several people have asked whether I would be at the Chicago ICSC Deal Making conference tomorrow and Friday. I'm going to pass on this one, but will probably be at one or more in the future. I am also skipping the legal conference this year as it is in Florida, but I do plan to attend next year's law conference as it will probably be somewhere in the west, where I prefer to travel. I also have some personal and business commitments that would limit my ability to be there anyway.
The ICSC conferences are great. I love meeting people with whom I have been in touch, be they lawyers, deal people, brokers, clients and even people who were on the other side in past deals. (I have converted more than one of those into clients in the past.) But a lawyer's function, when the focus is major league deal making, is helping get that deal done. Right now non-retail matters are keeping me busy. On the off chance a deal was being worked out where I need to be involved I'd rather be near the office where I can literally crank out a first draft overnight and keep the ball rolling.
So what about RECon? I'll probably go to that every few years or so, although I reserve the right to change my mind. I see RECon as mainly a function of keeping my name out there and networking with people and learning more about the industry rather than actually getting anything substantive done. My clients are rightfully too busy doing deals. That is one down side to being the back room guy, so to speak.
But for those heading to the conference, do me a favor: get some deals done! Everyone keeps talking about the market picking up (yeah, tell me about the Water Tower Place refi...if that wasn't a no-brainer loan then they don't exist) but while I am busy personally I would sure like to see more evidence of it! (Case in point: I am blogging on a Wednesday, my usual day off.)