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ICSC Survival Guide

National Retail

This weekend, the retail world hits Sin City for the biggest industry event of the year, ICSC ReCon. Bisnow will be there live, and our Washington, DC, reporter Chris Baird will be burning up shoe leather to give you the most up-to-date coverage. So you first-timers won't be clueless before heading out to Vegas (and because we're always looking out for you readers), we've polled a few of the country's biggest retail names for their best ICSC advice. Massey Knakal's Bob Knakal (with partner Paul Massey) says staying hydrated is rule #1, since the Vegas air is so dry and since a few cocktails are likely to be had by many. NYC-based Bob also points out that keeping a busy schedule proves beneficial. "You don't want to just go and wander around."

Another New Yorker, Douglas Elliman retail queen Faith Hope Consolo, tells us starting your ICSC days with a good breakfast is key, since days are long "and it might not be easy to squeeze in a bite during the day." Carrying a cell phone charger and wearing comfortable shoes are also big, and Faith says it's important to come away not only having set up new business, but also feeling like you learned something.

Pine Tree Commercial Realty's Peter Borzak has been attending ICSC for 20 years, and the Chicago-based retail expert says having a ride, be it a rental or hired car service, is important since since cab lines are often overflowing. Once on the convention center floor, dropping one's stuff off at a booth—if you have one, or at that of a fellow company's—is a must, so you're not lugging all your gear around all day.

Hartman Simons' Lori Kilberg (with former CNBC economist Marci Rossell) is one of the most respected retail lawyers in the country, and says pacing yourself will result in a more productive conference. Atlanta-based Lori tells us since there are meetings and activities almost 24 hours a day in Vegas, it's important to be selective and allow time for enough sleep to be ready for the next day.

Putting yourself out there and attending meal functions with those you don't know is high on John Bucksbaum's list. The CEO of Chicago-based Bucksbaum Retail Properties says "you never know who you are going to meet at the table," so it's key to not be shy. And don't be shy in reaching out to Bisnow: Chris Baird be on-site Sunday through Tuesday to report all of the happenings on the Convention Center floor, as well as the glitz and glamour of the night's evening festivities. We'd love to see you there. To meet up, email Chris for editorial needs or Bisnow SoCal business director Frank Sanchez for sales.