An Afternoon on The Fox

It was a beautiful Fall afternoon on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 when approximately 100 inquisitive people gathered at the Hotel Baker in St. Charles, Ill. What was unusual was that they chose to invest an afternoon of their time to attend the first statewide Real Estate Bar Camp (REBC), hosted by the Illinois Young Professionals Network. An event that did not have a predefined agenda.

As they passed thru registration, cards were completed where preferences for topics were jotted down. Based on the attendees wishes, sessions were scheduled and facilitators were slotted. We ended up with sessions covering Technology, Social Media, Professionalism, Future of the Business. IPads and applications as well as Paperless Agent and Blogging were also subjects. Individual platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook were discussed. Additional topics like Broker’s Role, and Android vs IPhone were added as the day evolved. In short, it was truly a user built conference. Oh, and it was followed by a great networking event complete with some fantastic door prizes.

Session Board

From this person’s perspective it was all I expected and more. People were engaged with each other, learning from each other both in-session and out of session. Comments that I heard were positive – except for the volume level because two of our spaces were too close together.

If you attended and have some feedback feel free to add a comment below. Suggestions for next year’s event (hopefully it will happen)? Comment below. And thanks from the organizers for investing your time and making REBarCamp Illinois 2012 a success!

Check out the gallery below of images from the event.

REBarCamp – A Perspective

I first heard the term REBarCamp almost 4 years ago when MORe brought in a group of people to present on Social Media and technology at a session somewhere in the western burbs. Intrigued, I attended my first ones in Phoenix and Denver several months later. (It happened to coincide with a family visit). Shortly there after I was fortunate enough to become involved with the planning of the first REBarCamp-Chicago.  Over the next several years it was BarCamps in San Francisco (2x) New York, Columbus, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Nashville and others. And my participation evolved from observer, to participant, to session facilitator, to organizer.

Marc Davison of 1000 Watt Consulting once asked me why I travelled all over the country for the same event – on my own dime. Couldn’t I get the same information at any event? In a nutshell – No! While REBarCamps are loosely structured around the same concepts, every one is different and has their own personality. Some camps have been more formal than others, complete with classroom settings, projectors, and powerpoints. While good for fundamental instruction (much like a class offered by a brokerage or association), not quite as productive or interactive as the typical barcamp session – one where the chairs are circled, and beginners to pro’s discuss a topics from tech to business philosophy – peer to peer. Often times these sessions continue in the hallways and after parties where some of the best learning takes place.

Plus, the environment is open, casual, and pitch free.Vendors often participate in sessions or may help facilitate one or more. But it’s not a sales pitch. Friendships are often formed, networks are expanded. Learning is enhanced in a semi-structured free flowing environment. Don’t like a session – The Law of Two Feet applies – Get up and go find one that interests you. What you get out of your REBarCamp experience is much dependent on how much you participate. The choice is yours. Give it a shot. Join us for the sessions and the after party. It will cost you a few hours. The return could be huge. Just click the Register Tab above. See you in St Charles!.

Click on any image for a full size.