National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Center World and Midwest Real Estate News have joined forces with the Real Estate Management Technology Conference (REMTEC), produced by Management Reports International (MRI), to present the first-ever 2001 Growth in Real Estate & Technology Conference.

The Conference reaches executives and decision-makers, who now have the opportunity to come together in a single forum to discuss key issues and trends in the real estate industry.

Conference participants include technology executives, owners, brokers, investors, consultants, advisors, developers, lenders, property managers and corporate real estate executives. They will participate in insightful discussions with their peers and colleagues, and hear powerful presentations from industry experts.

Session topics will cover the five branches of commercial real estate — office, industrial, retail, hotels and multifamily. Technology, a hot topic in every business, will be specifically addressed in 14 of the 28 sessions.

The “tech track” has been developed to explore the key issues facing technology executives in commercial real estate companies of any size.

REMTEC is creating all of the content for the technology sessions at the Conference. As users and developers of technology, REMTEC professionals provide the necessary perspective from technology practitioners.

“REMTEC, now in its third year, has built up a bit of a following,” said Ron McComas, vice president of marketing for MRI. “We want to provide users of technology with a forum and a means to exchange new information and stories from the industry.”

Indeed, the unique blending of technology and real estate is expected to attract a large number of participants, among them readers of the industry magazines. “The Growth in Real Estate & Technology Conference harnesses the great resources of three industry publications,” said John Davis, group publisher for National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Center World and Midwest Real Estate News. “With expertise in multiple property types through Shopping Center World, our apartment and hotel and capital markets coverage in National Real Estate Investor supplements such as Wall Street Wrap, Multifamily Monitor and Hotel Strategies, we can provide a unique perspective on these markets that no other company can match.”

“There are conferences for technology and conferences for different aspects of real estate but few to none that dovetail them together,” said Matt Valley, editor of National Real Estate Investor. “By the time attendees leave the conference, they will walk away better informed about the various property sectors and technology.”

The selection of Chicago as the location for the first-ever Growth in Real Estate & Technology Conference helps to ensure the success of the conference. Not only is the Windy City home to Midwest Real Estate News, it also serves as a model city for two of the conference topics.

“Chicago is truly one of the most energized cities in America. It’s a microcosm of what’s occurring in the industry, from office development to mixed-use properties to exciting retail venues,” according to Valley. “It’s also conveniently located and a great convention city.”

“Chicago is central to our constituency,” McComas agreed. “The kind of companies we expect to attend are primarily on the East Coast, and Chicago is easy to get in and out of.”

“Chicago is a good selection for our first-ever Conference because it is a hub for financial, technology and real estate professionals,” added Elise Vachon, editor of Shopping Center World. “It’s the perfect city for easy show attendance and networking.”

With such a diverse group of attendees descending on Chicago for this conference experience, the Growth in Real Estate & Technology Conference sessions will deliver information on a variety of topics, rather than focus on one property type or capital source. Some sessions offer a broader perspective while others focus sharply on one topic.

The sessions include “Wireless Today,” “Smart Growth: Bright Idea Coming to a City Near You,” “The Advantages of Net Lease Financing,” “The Impact of Demographics in Retail Real Estate,” and “Building Websites — What Tenants Really Want.”

“We’ve done a good job in terms of designing a very broad-based agenda,” McComas said. “There’s something for everyone.”

“As editor of Shopping Center World, I am most looking forward to the sessions discussing the notions of ‘bricks and clicks’,” Vachon said. “The sessions will really show companies a fresh perspective and real-time solutions for the technology revolution taking place.”

Technology-related sessions are expected to be well-received, both for the topics and for the speakers themselves. “We’ve received a lot of insight from technology leaders in the industry to develop the agenda and to find the best people that will execute that agenda,” McComas noted.

Despite the hoopla about technology, conference attendees will also want to soak up new information about the real estate industry. “Navigating the Capital Markets in Choppy Waters,” a look at the debt and equity markets, will likely yield a good turnout, according to Valley. “Attendees will be exposed to a comprehensive overview of the state of capital markets. The material will either reaffirm or challenge their perspectives,” he explained.

For the local attendees, and other parties interested in the Midwestern markets, the conference has scheduled two sessions with high impact: “Chicago’s Growing Skyline” and “Midwest’s Up and Coming Markets.”

“As an editor, I have a vested interest in those sessions,” said Paula Widholm, editor of Midwest Real Estate News. “Panelists, ranging from institutional investors to top real estate appraisers, will reveal their top picks for the product type and heartland locations most likely to see rapid appreciation.”

The underlying theme of each of the sessions, and the Conference itself, is to provide something that industry professionals can’t afford to miss. “Our readers frequently say, ‘Tell me something I don’t know’,” Valley said. “At this conference, they are really going to get a good feel for the hot topics affecting the industry.”

“There is not an executive in the industry that does not need to know the impact of technology on real estate,” McComas agreed. “They will walk away with a minimum of one or two big ideas for their business.”

In addition to gaining valuable information for their businesses, attendees will also have the unique opportunity of interacting with the magazine’s editors. Seeing the magazines “in action” as opposed to just on paper provides a forum in which attendees can interact with the professionals who provide balanced coverage of the industry.

“Our magazines have always been passionate about delivering unbiased, solid, credible information that the industry could depend on month after month,” Davis said. “The Growth in Real Estate & Technology Conference carries on this tradition by presenting a conference that is focused on providing the same high level of information as you would expect in the pages of National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Center World and Midwest Real Estate News.”

All of the magazines’ editors will be in attendance. “We realize that our industry already has many conferences, exhibitions, association meetings and networking events,” Davis added. “Launching a new conference was not a decision we made quickly but one we felt was necessary to continue to provide information to the industry.”