Five years ago I spent a day at a local hotel in a new conference. A few weeks before that, I had recieved a call from Matt Fagioli, reaching out to me individually to come to the new event he was putting on with Brad Nix. It was called REtechSouth (that was before they thought of calling it RETSO). I spent my $99 and made plans to attend.
Since that day, five years ago, I have managed to go to four more RETSO events. In fact, it wasn't that long after that I ended up with Matt as my broker. Matt moved on from RETSO, leaving it in the very capable hands of Brad. Matt went on to create Xplode, a series of events around the country.
This year will mark my sixth RETSO... which makes me part of a small group that will have been to all of them.
Why do I make time for RETSO?
Every year, I am challenged. I learn and grow from the information and opportunities I gather at each year's event. In addition to meeting my peers from other parts of the country (yes... country, not just a bunch of Atlanta agents...), I have also had the opportunity to spend time with some of the industry's deepest thinkers. People like Jeff Turner, Pat Kitano, the Notorious R.O.B (Rob Hahn), Jay Thompson, David Gibbons... you get the picture.
For the first few years, technology was the focus. Last year, I started to notice a shift away from pure tech... especially tech for tech's sake. I started to see more of a focus on WHAT the tech was delivering. Customer Relationship Management. Content Manegement. How to truly engage clients. How to better deliver on the promises we make...
This year RETSO is about "Refocusing". The move away from tech and toward experience will be on the front burner. Tech for the sake of having groovy junk on the website or nifty new toys to carry around is NOT what REtechSouth is about anymore... although, honestly, it wasn't about that to begin with. But not it is even more plain.
I make time for RETSO because it makes ME better...
Because of the information I have learned at RETSO, I am better at doing my job. Five years ago, I needed to learn about technology. Three years ago I needed to better deploy the cool tech I had. Last year I needed to be reminded WHY I had the cool tech in the first place.
I think that this year will be more about the business we are really in... getting it done... and done well... and more or it.
There are a LOT of conferences. Heck, I don't know how some people can afford to go to all of them since they are so frequent that they barely have time to work between them.
But there are a few that are REALLY worthwhile. RETSO is one of the best.