Let’s start out with some stats. How many conferences publish stats and are as transparent as this? Not many, if at all!
EXPO REAL 2019 in figures:
46,747 participants from 76 countries (2018: 45,058 / 73) came to EXPO REAL in Munich, an increase of 3,8 percent.
The total number of participants can be divided into 22,065 trade visitors (2018: 22,029) and 24,682 company representatives (2018: 23,029).
The top ten countries of origin among the visitors were (after Germany): United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the US, and Spain.
The 2,190 exhibitors (a rise of 4.5 percent compared to 2,095 in 2018) came from 45 countries.
The top ten countries of origin among the exhibitors were (after Germany): Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, UK, France, Romania, US, Czech Republic, and Luxembourg. Source: ExpoReal
Impressive you must admit. How many conferences in the US do the whole “we are the biggest… blah blah blah bullshit PR blasts? Just fucking stop it!
So, as I’m known throughout the planet for my personal takes/opinions on all things #CRE #TECH and #Conferences..let’s get fucking started.
Strap In! Hang On!
First off when I arrived at the airport the German efficiency hit me right in the face. They just know how to do it. Fast friendly clean and no BS, move your ass get your passport out and get going. (In contrast on my way back into the US a Customs Agent/girrrrl popped off some serious shit to a woman, her child, and mother who I sat next to on the plane while in the long ass line to get checked in. I just stood there and shook my head. Welcome to the fuck you US. What a proud moment for our country.) Did I digress, do I digress, I digress a lot.
Once into the Uber, holy shit do they know how to drive in Germany. Big black fast cars and they throw down the hammer. We were doing like 140 kph which I know isn’t that fast in Germany and getting our doors blown off. I was like “dude, let me drive, and show you how it really is.” The Uber guy then hit it hard and we flew to the hotel. I was like “Yes, this is how to do it,” oh and in the pouring rain by the way.
The Uber then deposited me right into the way modern designed hotel that has like no door handles or color or walls dividing the bathroom from the rest of the room. Hey, just shower wherever you want. Oh, and the toilet was like in the corner around a corner, with a shelf for???? And of course, it being Europe, the hotel had many many places to smoke. Just weird to see.
Literally dropping off my clothes then a quick shower and I was off to…OKTOBERFEST!
Well, well, well, well, well. How about a humongous stein of beer? Why, yes thank you and it was just as good as you could imagine. I was told that the beer is brewed exclusively for the event and that it may be more…potent. Oh, well if I must. The food was excellent if not on the hearty side and from what I understand the event is trying to lean back towards the more traditional and nostalgic. The first tent I was in included children singing and dancing. It was definitely more of a family atmosphere which I quite enjoyed. It was also mentioned that some of the tents were targeted towards the younger crowd with laser lights, smoke and, electronic dance music type stuff. I get that and if you are of a certain age that’s your thing. But for me? NOPE! Crack the whip to the music, wear your lederhosen and sing your drunk ass off. I’m all in.
If you want to get the vibe from my second day, yes I had another day of “local flavors” click on the video below for a quick take.
Believe it or not, there was an actual conference, shall we just…
The scale of the event and venue was impressive. Think ICSC only smaller, not much but it took three entire large buildings to fit everyone in. It was more like a city and regional pitch-fest with brokerage and a whole bunch of tech layered on it. As a matter of fact, the tech section or as they called it the ExpoReal BuiltWorld Innovation Area was as big as I have ever seen and well thought and laid out.
Below are two pics from just the startup area.
The stage itself was tucked back in a corner so that you could hear the jam-packed content and they even had a free bar at the back serving coffee and snacks throughout the day. Now that’s thinking. There was also a huge cooler of free water that changed over to…beer at the end of the day for anyone to take. Again, brilliant.
This is from the stage looking out towards the bar.
There were also plenty of designated spaces to sit and talk beyond just a booth, which I utilized as much as possible. One of the things that hit me at these events is the enormous amount of time effort and money that goes into the booths along with the commitment of people. Beyond amazing.
As you can imaginge CBRE was right upfront when you walked in and of course JLL right next to them. Whenever I passed either of those areas during the event they were always full up. Lots of brokering type things going on, of course, there was representation from many other brokerages as well. I loved the vibe. It was hard to miss. As the stats mentioned it was dominated by European companies and I did notice that Germany had every region of the country represented and again staffed to the gills. Some booths had people stationed out front three or four abreast handing out stuff all day long. I also noticed that the food and “drink” never ran out from breakfast until the networking hours at the end of the day. The event organizers also had information booths in every doorway with friendly smiling people and they could not have been more helpful. Did I mention everyone was wearing either blue or black? I mean everyone. When as a society did we decide that was a thing? I wore jeans, must be the American in me. I’m such a rebel!
I suppose I am obligated in some way to comment on the tech part of this event. Well, it was tech and #CRE what can I say that hasn’t been said. Was I impressed? Yes. Was it the same as some of the stuff we have in the states? Yes. Was it earth-shattering beyond anything I have seen? No. I’ve said it a thousand times. We in the US raise a bunch of money and figure shit out (maybe) and in Europe, they figure stuff out and try to scale and make money. It is what it is now and always has been.
I must give a shout out to Wolfgang and his entire Builtworld team, they were on it. Not one thing was missed. It’s that efficiency thing they have going. For some reason, I feel like I must put this out there but I was invited to attend this event specifically by Wolfgang way last year and had committed to the event then. I paid for my own flight and hotel. The Ubers and taxis were all at my cost also. Now, I did get “tickets” to the beer tents and for food. The NAR Reach Team invited me to dinner also and I would like to thank them for the kind invitation and interesting conversations. I also need to give a personal shout out to Gordon the CEO of Biproxi.com as he attended the event and paid for one of my dinners too. That’s just Gordon being Gordon. Why disclose? I don’t know but there it all is!
Is this a glowing endorsement of EXPOReal 2019? That’s for you to decide. Will I attend again? I’m sure I will if I’m asked back. Did I leave a bunch of stuff out on purpose? Probably. Is there a reason for anyone involved in #CRE and #Tech to attend this event? Hell yes, you never know who you are going to meet. It happens at every event I attend and that’s the point of these things in the first place.
ExpoReal Munich 2019, Es War Spektakular!
+1 #SausageFest (You Had To Be There.)
+1+1 Man Pockets. (Trust me, you don’t even want to know.)
*Dave and Tyler you two are fucking legends!