February 28, 2011
Future Meeting Format for REITWeek and REITWorld
NAREIT annually convenes two large-scale, industry-wide meetings which bring together REIT executives, institutional investors and other stakeholders in the REIT community. Increasingly, these two meetings, REITWeek (June) and REITWorld (November), serve NAREIT's corporate members as investor-oriented conferences; with one-on-one and group investor meetings conducted in hotel suites. NAREIT recently reviewed the format and logistics associated with the two meetings in an effort to ensure these meetings continue to provide the greatest benefit and value to NAREIT's corporate members.
As part of the review, we solicited the input of NAREIT's roughly 200 corporate members using a short, eight-question survey. Over 100 corporate members responded to the survey.
The survey asked whether the use of hotel suites for one-on-one and group meetings is preferred; or whether a format for one-on-one and group meetings closer to the approach utilized by Citi at its annual event (convening all participants in a common space appropriately dedicated and subdivided for the special purpose at hand) is preferred.
Of the respondents, the majority prefers hosting investor meetings in hotel suites; however, there is minority support for the use of semi-private cubicles offered at the Citi conference and the other meeting space options offered at NAREIT conferences, namely the networking room and the REITPAC suite.
When asked specifically about changing the existing format of NAREIT conferences to the Citi format, the minority was in favor of changing to a Citi format while the majority was in favor of continuing NAREIT's existing format of providing investor meeting space for corporate members through access to hotel suites, meeting rooms, the networking room and the REITPAC suite.
Many survey respondents commented on the growing size of meetings held in hotel suites (particularly those where sell-side analysts bring multiple investors to a company meeting) and the increasing need of many companies to run multiple tracks of meetings at NAREIT conferences. With respect to these situations, the feedback we received indicates that the semi-private cubicle format presents more limitations than efficiencies to companies conducting investor meetings. Additionally, the majority of respondents believe the privacy and comfort afforded by hotel suites are superior to the semi-private Citi cubicle format; however, they dislike the inefficiency and lack of interaction with other attendees the hotel suite format dictates.
When asked if it is important for NAREIT to host at least one of its two large conferences in New York City each year, the substantial majority agreed. However, while most respondents favor hosting at least one meeting in New York City, it is clear from the comments we received that most corporate members would like us to experiment with other venues in New York City. Our New York meetings in recent years have taken place at the only venue that offers the appropriate number of pure suites and dedicated meeting rooms required by NAREIT to fulfill the needs of our corporate members and sponsors.
In response to the feedback we received from corporate members and our own analysis of the format and logistics of the REITWeek and REITWorld conferences, we will proceed with the following approach:
REITWeek (June) will continue to be held in New York City in most years, with a rotation to other appropriate cities occurring every 3 to 4 years.
REITWeek Venue – NAREIT will experiment with other venues in the New York City area. For 2012, we will hold REITWeek at the New York Hilton.
REITWeek Investor Meeting Format – To provide adequate investor meeting space for all of NAREIT's corporate members and sponsors in New York City, we will develop a hybrid format for one-on-one and group meetings with investors. The hybrid format will offer NAREIT members a choice among reserving hotel suites, meeting rooms and semi-private meeting spaces. We will create a centralized location for those companies who prefer a semi-private meeting area.
REITWorld (November) will continue to be held in a variety of appropriate cities and locations.
REITWorld Investor Meeting Format – Rotating REITWorld among a variety of cities and locations allows for more options in venues. NAREIT will do all that it can to identify properties that will support the preferred format of private, hotel suites for one-on-one and investor meetings. In the event that we cannot identify a hotel that can accommodate our suite requirements, we will offer the hybrid format described above.
Steven A. Wechsler
President and CEO