For many, it is a long way to come. There's the jetlag to consider. Miami Beach is certainly not the cheapest city in the world.
For those who attended the Global Online Marketplaces Summit in June though, the benefits far outweighed all of those factors. During the many networking breaks, we spoke to industry bigwigs, suppliers and those just starting out. They all spoke to us with a smile on their faces about why they had made the decision to come to one of the industry's most famous events...
As attendees saw, real estate portals around the world are not exactly all the same. They are all faced with similar problems and challenges, however, particularly how to make money from transactions.
“Everyone here is living the same problems so we can understand each other in a certain way.” Juan Elias, CEO of Yapo.cl
For Urban.com.au CEO, Mike Bird, the YouTube videos from previous conferences were useful but there's no substitute for attending in person:
“After watching the conference and some of the guys that were speaking at the Bangkok event, it really made me realise the opportunity we had to move into the transaction space and vertically integrate it.”
“Our goal was always to end up in the transaction but listening to the speakers really just highlighted the opportunity to do that now and speed up our strategy. And now it's a key part of the process we're operating today. But my thought after I learned so much just watching the conference on Youtube was that I had to come and experience it for myself.”
It's not just other real estate specialists that our attendees got insights from at the Global Online Marketplaces Summit. Getting a glimpse of what's happening in the world of automotive marketplaces is just as valuable according to Fincaraíz CEO, Martín Monzón:
“Although our portal Finca Raíz is is the leading real estate vertical, there's all these little things happening in cars too. And there's a lot of things that we can learn.”
Then, of course, there are those networking opportunities. The chance to meet peers from around the world is something our attendees were effusive about...
“I think it's a fantastic networking opportunity. I get to catch up with a lot of colleagues that are in the same industry but not necessarily in the same country. I get to keep up to date with some of the latest trends happening across the industry around the world.” Martin Monzón, CEO of Fincaraíz
“We are very happy because at this global summit, we are able to learn new initiatives and to and to learn from other companies what they're doing, not only in Latin America but also globally.” Jair Morales, Contact Center Manager at Encuentra24
“I think it's nice here that we can meet other companies with different profiles and also get great visibility of what we're doing outside our normal groups.” said, Andries Oudshoorn, CEO of OLX Brazil.
Apart from those networking opportunities and the chance to hear the latest trends from across the industry and beyond, there is business to be done at our conferences. Suppliers told us that the fact that the Global Online Marketplaces Summit attracts C-level attendees is a big pull for them.
“What we do at Freespee requires us to talk to decision-makers, so it’s key to be able to talk to the top level. That's why we're here” Samuel Papon, Senior Sales executive at Freespee
“it's probably one of the few conferences where you have key stakeholders in the marketplace environments, decision-makers.” Gaétan Rougevin-Baville, COO of Meero
Of course, suppliers aren't just selling all day. The intangible benefits of hearing from experts about what is going on in the industry is incredibly valuable as well as Sudonum co-founder, Mark Griffioen told us...
“The intangible stuff is just being able to get perspective on what's happening outside of the market that you spend most of your time in… So you get an opportunity to just broaden your perspective really.”
This year, the summit played host to another edition of the famous 'Pitch Club' where startups put the case to our panel of seasoned experts for why their marketplace deserved to win 2,500 credits from the call-tracking specialists and conference sponsors, iovox.
From a marketplace for creative space to a marketplace for acting talent, hearing about the range of problems being solved by the six innovative young companies was a highlight for many attendees.
The lessons learned, the feedback from the panel and the chance to snag an investor were invaluable for Dror Levy, the founder of legal services marketplace Legal Drop, who participated in the event.
“I came here because I really love the concept of online marketplaces. I always have, but I'm not sure that I know everything there is to know so I came here to learn from people who are veterans.”
“I am also in the pitch looking for my first institutional investor. It's not just that I want somebody on the board, I want somebody who's been there, done that who could show me the way.”
The good news is that the FOMO you might be experiencing while reading this doesn't have to last too long. The legendary Property Portal Watch conference will be happening in Madrid from the 26th to the 28th. Read all about it and get your tickets here.