KWFR started today with many early arrivals and although I only live 80 miles away I won't be driving over to Orlando until tomorrow. However, Chad Hyams has put together a very thorough guide to making Keller Williams Family Reunion a memorable experience!
Are you one of the lucky 10,000+ that got a ticket for Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015?
If you are, then read on and get some suggestions on how to make the most of the 94 hours of the event.
If you didn’t get a ticket, read on anyway as there will even be suggestions on how to attend Keller Williams Family Reunion without even leaving home and make sure you follow #KWFR on Twitter for great AHA’s from home.
My name is Chad Hyams, and I have attended many Keller Williams Family Reunion events over many years and I have been able to attend in many roles:
- Team Leader
- General Manager
- MAPS Coach
- Growth and Productivity Director for the Southeast Region
- Breakout Session Leader
Let me start by congratulating you on making the wise business choice to attend Family Reunion 2015. Let me also applaud you for obtaining your ticket early enough, or managing to find one of the available tickets out there.
Family Reunion Survival Guide!
Family Reunion 2015 has been sold out since November! This is the earliest the event has sold out and each year it sells faster and faster. As Keller Williams continues to grow there are more people searching for the same limited number of tickets. TIP - Register for Keller Williams Family Reunion 2016 as soon as possible!
If you have your ticket and are reading this and you have not yet booked a hotel room, good luck. This is the last year that you should have this issue with changes coming to the hotel booking system for 2016. For this year though, you might need to find someone to bunk up with. Check into vacation rentals and find a condo not too far to share with others.
No flights that work for you for one reason or another? Open up Google Maps and figure how long it will take to drive to Orlando!
Before you get near the airplane for your trip to Orlando (or in your car if you live close enough) visit FamilyReunion.KW.com and check out the breakout schedules (as soon as they post them.) Take the time in advance to figure out the 2 sessions you want to attend in each time block. This will save you hours of panic at the last moment and save you from running from room to room not sure what it is that you are hoping to learn.
How do you select the best breakout sessions in advance? What is the ONE Thing that you wish to learn more about while at the event? Find ALL of the breakout sessions on that topic. Still unsure, find the instructors that you have always learned from and go listen to them. Still unsure after that, ask a friend which breakout session they will be in and go to a DIFFERENT one. Share notes later!
If you really want to make the most of Keller Williams Family Reunion we suggest you figure your ONE Thing in advance. Turn your ONE Thing into a question and ask everyone your question.
- Maybe you want to know how hold the world's best open house.
- Maybe you want to know how to list more homes.
- Maybe you want to learn how to close quicker.
Whatever it is, figure out your ONE question and ask EVERYONE you can.
Now that we have that part covered let’s jump into what to expect from a Keller Williams Family Reunion event.
Make The Most Of Your Time at Family Reunion
Be ready for organized chaos. There will a LOT of real estate agents, staff and vendors running around the very large Orlando Convention Center.
You are NOT on vacation this is not a chance to finally be sleeping in! Start each day with a breakfast appointment. You have to eat and they have to eat. Eat with someone and develop a business referral relationship, get some great coaching or just share AHA’s from the day before.
The training at the event will be world class, the culture will be breathtaking and the fun will be off the charts. Still, it is the one-on-one opportunity of masterminding over a meal that will be the best use of your time during Family Reunion.
If possible, plan for these in advance and reach out to people that you would like to meet and schedule a morning meeting. Do the same thing for lunch, as breakout sessions don't start until 1:30 each day!
To get the most out of the various sessions at Keller Williams Family Reunion you must have an open mind. The agents that walk away with their notes and saying things like “I can’t wait to give this a shot” are the ones that will grow their business. The agents that walk out with their notes saying, “this will never work in my city” are the ones that should have just stayed home. Open your mind and be ready to learn from those that are already making it happen.
The biggest challenge that many attendees have is that they get so many notes and ideas that they just don’t know where to start. At the end of the day, quickly look over your notes and circle The ONE Thing that jumps out at you. You can only implement a small batch of new ideas so figure those out right away and you will have much better focus.
As Gary Keller and Jay Papasan remind us in The ONE Thing, if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.
Family Reunion Exhibit Hall
This is one of my favorite parts of the event, the vendor madness. As soon as you get to the exhibit hall (and do this as early in the event as possible) do the quick trick or treat walk. What is the trick or treat walk? That is when you zip up and down the aisles to each booth and grab whatever they are giving away (anything from pens to magnets to candy) and make sure you grab their information handouts. Just like on Halloween you always remember the house with the big candy bar.
Decide what your budget is for new services, software, marketing, and other items at the show BEFORE you get to Orlando’s convention center and have a plan as to what you are looking to take home with you. Make notes on which vendors you want to return and visit later. The best times to meet with vendors are early in the morning, over the lunch break since everyone else will run to eat (more on that below), or where there isn't a breakout session that you click with. Don’t forget to say hello to the companies you’re already using!
· Do you need KW branded clothing? Leave room in your suitcase
· Do you want some great reading? Hit the KW bookstore
Realtors are all looking for the new magic bullet. Listen to the experts speaking on panels and in breakout sessions and you will recognize that there are no magic bullets. The principle is work, work, work. Keep that in mind as you shop, shop, shop. Find things that work and generate more business for you... those are the things to invest in on the exhibit floor.
Always remember the lesson of Lead with Revenue. Leave your credit card at home, and bring your debit card instead! If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it!
You do not want to miss the large sessions offered at Family Reunion. You will notice that nothing competes with these on the agenda. We are talking about:
Gary Keller's Special Session - Saturday 2pm-5pm
Opening Ceremonies 8:30am-9:00am
Vision Speech 9:00am-11:30am (PowerPoint slides will be available after the event)
Red Bash 7:00pm-10:00pm
State of the Company 9:00am-11:00am
Family Reunion Block Party 6:30pm-???
Keynote Speaker – Adam Grant (author of GIVE AND TAKE) 9:00am-11:00am
The Inspirational Brunch 8:30am-10:30am (more below)
During these large sessions, plan in advance where your group is going to meet. This is the time to catch up with the people you came to the event with.
When Sessions Are Out
Lunch break is a madhouse! On Sunday and Monday there is an Attendee Lunch. Please do NOT sit with the people you see each day. If you didn’t set a lunch appointment, this is the time to sit at a table of strangers and create business relationships and mastermind. If you want to skip the Attendee Lunch, the best thing to do is bring a power bar and take advantage of the quieter time on the exhibit floor.
The event never ends as Keller Williams Family Reunion just turns into an all night party. Just because you are not in a breakout session doesn’t mean there isn’t a great opportunity to learn. Some of the best ideas are shared in the hotel lobby. Check out the different hotel lobbies and see which one becomes "the" place to be.
Remember that while you are out, anything that happens at #KWFR probably ends up on Facebook before the night is over! Be smart and be safe.
This part of Family Reunion deserves its own section. There are many agents that decide to leave town Tuesday night to save money. To those that leave, you are missing one of the key things that makes Keller Williams the company it is. During brunch on the last day, Mo Anderson shares with everyone unbelievable true stories. You will hear tales of hardship, loss, and disaster and all of it will end with someone overcoming a challenge in a way that makes you want to change the world. Get there early as seats fill. Take this last chance to share a special moment with someone you don't know, as you will be able to relive the stories with your traveling partners when you get back home.
Suggestion – bring Kleenex with you.
A Few More Tips
One of the things that Keller Williams promotes is sharing and Family Reunion is no different. Use the power of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites) and remember the hashtag #KWFR. Share with each other, find each other and share with those that were unable to join the event in person.
Make the most of this event by setting goals for Keller Williams Family Reunion
· What do you want to learn about?
· Who are you hoping to meet and get a moment to talk with?
· What do you need to find out about in the exhibit hall and what should you avoid spending money on?
Bring business cards, hand out business cards and remember the lesson that Gary Keller has been teaching us since Keller Williams began…it isn’t about handing out your business card, it is all about collecting business cards to add to your database! Of course you will also want to have business cards so that you can enter all of the iPad drawings on the exhibit floor.
94 Hours is Not a Lot of Time
Before you know it all of these hours will have come and gone. What will you have to show for it?
- Notes you will use or notes you took so you could show someone you took notes?
- A hangover because you thought with no early sessions you could stay out later?
- A stack of business cards you collected that you will do nothing with? Or worse that you will put in your database for no real reason?
OR will you use your 94 hours to:
- Develop a referral network
- Focus on the ONE (ok maybe two) things that you WILL implement into your business
- Meet new people and learn why this isn't just a convention, it is a FAMILY REUNION
Looking for me at #KWFR?
If you are looking to find me at Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015 here are the breakout sessions I will be hosting…
· 1:30-2:45 Business Focused – Advanced Social Media. Join me as I lead a panel of top experts in the company, Jay Papasan, Liz Landry, Lisa Archer and Ben Kinney. Come for the information and ideas, stay for the fun learning.
· 3:15-4:30 Cha-ching! Fatten Your Wallet with Your Database. Come join me and learn tips and tricks to feed your database daily
· 3:15-4:30 Business- Building Systems. In this breakout session we will look at the secret formula for adding the right technology systems at the right time.
· 5:00-6:15 8 x 8 + 33 Touch = MAGIC! The last breakout session time slot of #KWFR and your brain will be filled with amazing ideas. Don’t miss out on one of my favorite topics, capturing and retaining mindshare. Walk out of this session with 3 new 8x8 systems, a new 33 Touch system and learn how to TOAST your database so referrals show up for life!
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We know that you've got some veteran conference tips, too, so please be sure to add your advice in the comments in below for Keller Williams agents who have never attended Family Reunion
I can’t wait to see you all at Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015 and hope you will come find me to say hello! If not, I will see you online!