Banff Western Connection Conference

It’s Monday morning. Last week on Wednesday at 5am I hustled out to the Kelowna Airport to fly to Calgary and from there take the airporter to Banff….

I love conferences; every time I go I take away so much knowledge and meet so many great people. I booked Banff after I came home from the Royal LePage Toronto Shelter Foundation Galla. Once I booked the trip, I got busy and forgot about it. Time is the darnedest thing, it just passes and each moment I take in soon becomes history.

I was on the airporter tweeting with one of the conference speakers and she sent me a picture of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where I was headed. I looked at the picture and all of a sudden I realized that this wasn’t just any trip, this was an opportunity to learn about a beautiful castle. I had kept my conference attendance a secret, but not on purpose, I just had so many other things going on locally in the Penticton Community that the conference dates crept up on me. Now I was excited. I was tweeting with the Concierge at the Fairmont Banff Springs about the weather, the attire and what to do once I arrived. They were so helpful!

Fairmont Springs Hotel, Banff Canada

My Castle

This historic Castle is huge and gorgeous! I went up to my room and turned it upside down laying out all my conference attire and the first thing I did was stroll into the village. It was “Australia Day” and it sure showed. I had lived in Whistler for a year and it reminded me of those good ol’ days, young adventurous spirits floating about in the downtown core. A street filled with snowboards, ski’s a few costumes and Australian flag capes. As I visited with the locals, I spoke with one store owner who knew immediately from my Royal LePage tote that I was a conference attendee…she said the store owners had been slow this year and all increased their hours when they heard of the real estate conference that was in for the weekend.

I arrived a day early to get my bearings….I put a quick note on Kevin Kole’s Facebook that he may run into a familiar face when he posted that he was headed to Banff. The whole South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB) came as a group for the event. I usually attend these events on a solo mission to connect with out of town Realtors® planning to extend my referral network so when my clients are relocating, I know first hand they are well taken care of through a referral to an agent who really betters themselves with attending these events. I like to meet the agent prior to sending them my valuable clients. Kevin texted that they were all out for dinner as a board and saved head of the table for me. How could I turn that down?? So I marched up to the Italian restaurant in the hotels’ conference building. OK, I will admit, I was more or less turned all around in the castle and had nice young man escort me to the correct wing/area. The restaurant was gorgeous, unfortunately Kevin was on the other end with his beautiful wife Jen. So I sat with Karen Amos, Judy Klassen, Gary Gratton, Roger Yeo (I just love saying his last name….Yo!) and Pamela Hansen. I was the only Royal LePage Penticton agent there. It was noted that no Royal LePage Penticton agents sat on the board.

I have this mantra…if that’s the right word in life. Sometimes I feel out of place, or that I want to be somewhere else. Having an office beside Yvonne and reading Eckhardt Tolle, practicing Yoga with Jen, I always am reminded that “I am always exactly where I am supposed to be; enjoy the moment.” This observation is consistently proven to be right over and over again. Normally I wouldn’t sit with other local Okanagan Realtors® as I try to meet all the out-of-towners. But now I can truly say that these local guys and girls have become my friends and the wealth of knowledge, encouragement and support I received during the first dinner with the members of SOREB were worth the trip alone. Karen spoke of her 2 daughters that were just getting geared up for the Real Estate business over in Oliver…..she gave me some tips; we discussed the changing market places, what it was like to work for the different offices, what we hoped to receive from the conference, about the changing world of social media.

I mentioned that I knew the speakers of the social courses and had dinner with one of them whenever I was in the Vancouver area. Most of these Okanagan Realtors® planned to be in attendance on the social media classes offered, but because I already embraced the concepts and began social media at least 2 years ago, I told the board that I would attend the commercial real estate conference as well. I received some moans and groans they commented on how they hated commercial, boring….well let me tell you I had an adventure with it!!! I did pop in and out of the social media room on day 1 but within a few minutes of going over the basics I knew that Day 2 social media advanced was where I needed to be so I popped on back to the commercial side for some unexpected connections.

I will inform you of that adventure in the next day or two….it’s time for lunch.