International Council of Shopping Centers

7 ICSC Prep Secrets


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Looking for tips and tricks on how to prep for ICSC? Read this article to learn seven secrets we’ve gathered through our years of experience.

1. Always research the attendee list

Break them up into three categories:

  • Meeting Targets: Reach out at least a few weeks in advance to set up a meeting.
  • Conversation Targets: These are the people you know and have something specific to talk with them about.
  • Networking Targets: These are the people you don’t know. If you can’t recognize them, look them up on LinkedIn or ICSC. Always keep these apps open at the conference for identifying people on the fly.

icsc prep

2. Strategize Meetings

You can see your local colleagues anytime you want, so it’s best to set up meetings with folks you don’t see that often. Of course, it’s an entirely different story if you are closing deals, they have a new project or portfolio or need to meet with multiple parties.

3. Attend the Seminars & Roundtables

There is so much information to be gained and relationships made inside the meeting rooms and seminars. Even if you get one snippet of information and meet one new friend, it’s worth attending.

4. Divide & Conquer

My partners, Dave and Jon, don’t like to hit the parties the way I do, but we all network in different circles and in different ways. They tend to attend dinners and target smaller groups. This gives us exposure to multiple people and dealmakers in the industry.

5. Know The Parties & People

Set a plan for the night and figure out who you need to see. That also means going to multiple parties and it’s best to stick to a schedule to maximize your networking. Send thank-you notes after as well!

icsc prep

6. Stay Late at the Show

I have so many great conversations at the end of the day. ICSC requires that someone be at the booth until closing. A lot of companies have people there who are all alone and would like to talk shop. I’ve gotten some great leads over the years by being the last one there.


That young, aggressive leasing agent could become the new Senior Director of Real Estate for a great retailer in the years to come. They will remember who was nice to them. Just ask Matt Livingston at First Watch!

Janet Galvin

Janet Galvin

Janet has over twenty-five years of retail experience, has facilitated numerous deals for tenant store rollouts and assisted a wide array of owners, with varying types of assets, reach their occupancy goals.

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