Many members will have already come across this edition’s staff profile feature, Tom Vink, at one of INREV’s events across Europe. Often on a plane dashing from one European city to the next to negotiate the ideal setting for our members to link up, learn and exchange ideas, or welcoming members, the past months have been somewhat different for Tom as almost all global travel has ground to a halt .
Hardly a newbie to INREV, Tom joined the Events team just a little over 18 months ago when word of a global pandemic would have been met with dropped jaw aplenty. Tom works on the busy international programme of events – 4 flagship conferences, a busy roster of smaller events and many networking initiatives for members to mingle, meet, learn and develop themselves in the non-listed real estate industry.
The past months have been somewhat different for Tom as almost all global travel has ground to a halt
‘I do indeed meet a lot of our members face-to-face at one of our many events and networking initiatives throughout the year. A large part of my role is working behind the scenes, liaising with sponsors, planning the logistics side of the event, ensuring we have a beautiful venue, top-notch catering, and really making sure that the whole event runs like clockwork to make sure our members get the most out of their time away from the office. I have also started to become more involved in the programme planning side of our events which I particularly enjoy as I have learned so much about our industry in a relatively short space of time .’ shares Tom.
Prior to joining INREV, Tom worked in member relations and events at the American Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam, a largely Netherlands focused role, leading him to join INREV in search of a more international and diverse environment, with a new challenge.
I have also started to become more involved in the programme planning side of our events which I particularly enjoy as I have learned so much about our industry in a relatively short space of time
As COVID began to grip the globe, INREV had to refocus and rethink the entire event and training programme in light of an almost global travel ban . ‘We had to act fast and find a way to still provide all of our members with the latest knowledge and insights that they’ve come to expect and adapt to what specific insights they were looking for during these exceptional market circumstances. We developed an online market insights and market impact seminar, inviting industry experts to present on the latest developments and impacts of COVID-19, and we have since received a lot of positive feedback – it’s really good to know that we’re doing the right things for our members .’ tells Tom.
As COVID began to grip the globe, INREV had to refocus and rethink the entire event and training programme in light of an almost global travel ban
But, if there’s one silver lining that can be sought out of the pandemic is that more members are engaged in our events than ever before. ‘As strange as it sounds, we’ve been able to reach and engage with more members than onsite live events usually allow .’ Tom remarks, ‘Due to budget or time constraints, or our own limited capacity at some events, this does mean that members can’t always attend and participate in the activities that we have to offer, but with the entire events programme shifted online this year and recordings made available on-demand exclusively to members after the event, this has increased the learning and education possibilities for our members tenfold. They can now decide last minute to attend, can drop in as their schedule allows and catch the rest of the programme later. We’re also exploring ways to create even more tailored events by taking advantage of the increased flexibility that the online platform offers’
As strange as it sounds, we’ve been able to reach and engage with more members than onsite live events usually allow
The Annual Conference originally planned to take place earlier in the year in Athens was postponed as the pandemic began to unfurl. But, in September a record number of over 850 registrations were received to attend INREV’s first online annual conference, broadcast live from a film studio in the Netherlands bringing together an impressive line up of global speakers and industry experts in a hybrid online setting. ‘My favorite session of the annual conference had to be the investor panel this year’, tells Tom ‘It was really quite something to have three investors streamed in from various locations around the globe, sharing their expertise and discussing the impact of the global pandemic while sitting digitally next to each other in the studio’.
Despite the challenges this year, the INREV events team have worked tirelessly to ensure that all members can still access an event tailored to their needs and level. The last event of the year will be the online Young Professionals Seminar, taking place on 10 December ensuring the Young Professional segment of INREV members can tap into a programme with content designed specifically for them.
As the year winds to a close, Tom is busy preparing the events schedule for 2021 and tells, ‘As much as I would love to kickstart the new year by catching up with our members face-to-face, we have to wait a little longer for that. The annual INREV Investment intentions roadshow begins on 14 January from the INREV Live Online Studio but I very much cross my fingers that we can resume our on-location events very soon’.
Register for the Investment Intentions Roadshow 2021 or take a look at the events calendar for next year.