I'm still trying to make sense of the day. For starters, be sure to check out some great commentary on day one of ICSC RECon 2010 from Jones Lang LaSalle's Greg Maloney and the always insightful David Stejkowski. They both have some great insights into what happened.
In addition, Scott Wendling's excellent compilation of ICSC attendees Tweeting from the show floor (including us provided an amazing running commentary of the day's events. Anyone that didn't make it to Vegas would be well served to monitor that list for the rest of the convention. (And, of course, you can find our ongoing coverage of the conference here.)
As for me? Some of the questions I raised this morning got answered.
For starters, the overall mood today seemed bright and optimistic. Commercial real estate pros tend to be an optimistic lot. And that definitely seemed evident today. The most common commentary I heard in terms of why people felt good about the industry's outlook was the fact that retailers have gotten more active in recent months and many are at the show looking for deals. That's in stark contrast with last year when few deals were being negotiated at the Leasing Mall.
Attendance seemed somewhat light today, but ICSC reports that conference registrations are high and the final tally of pre-registrations and on-site registrations may reach 35,000--a healthy improvement over last year's numbers. It seems that a lot of companies didn't fully adjust their schedules to match the new conference format. Instead, there are a lot of meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and there were a lot fewer today.
Lastly, most people I spoke with were massively disappointed with Sarah Palin's keynote. She made a few mentions of malls and shopping, but largely gave a standard stump speech. The notes that connected most with the audience were a few choice digs at President Barack Obama, warnings against excessive regulation and some pro-business and pro-free market remarks. However many felt disappointed that Palin didn't make more of an effort to talk about issues important to the industry. She did not, for example, say anything about the tax treatments of carried interest--a topic that surely would have resonated with the audience. And it wasn't like she didn't talk about taxation at all. She talked about higher taxes when making comments about the recent health care reform.
Anyway, there's more to say about the show. But my head is spinning already. I'll throw together some more thoughts in the morning and then look for more updates Monday and Tuesday. One day down, two to go!