The poster boy of UK proptech James Dearsley is today launching what he says is the first online conference for the sector featuring user-generated content.
Dearsley, who is co-founder of proptech platform Unissu, says the event will not feature speakers or group discussion in the traditional sense; i.e. where an audience watches experts on a stage.
He says trying to replicate a traditional hotel ballroom conference online during Covid doesn’t work, and that until people can once again reconvene face-to-face, his alternative is the only way to go.
“In January of 2020 we had looked at virtual conference software and dismissed it out of hand,” he says.
“Trying to replicate a physical conference into a digital format also didn’t work.
“Conferences in person create a ‘stickiness of location’ which keeps people present at least till mid-afternoon.
“Digital conferences that we are seeing at the moment suffer a lack of this.”
Dearsley’s new proptech conference is called RE:Connect where visitors can create sessions on topics they want to discuss and “in doing so you encourage a cross pollination and democratisation of ideas in the process and create an experience that is, hopefully, new and refreshing for the attendees,” he says.
“No more standard stage with sessions laid on for you for you to watch like a passive observer. If you want to create something, go ahead. If you want to just watch, no problem, create your own experience.
Dearsley has gathered 40 global industry partners and promises 500 sessions and over 100 hours of content.