Interview with Vik Venkatraman, GM of Blueprint Events
1. Tell us about Blueprint and how you approach the communities in real estate that you serve?
We see Blueprint as a “big tent” event, including all of the different real estate asset classes, and all of the different ways that technology is disrupting their various businesses. Blueprint is the single event every year where you know that all of the major players in the real estate tech ecosystem will be gathering to learn, network, and get deals done. We see our annual Vegas event as a vital mechanism for the industry to push innovation forward, and we take a “white glove” approach to building our community in the sense that we want to facilitate as many connections as we can among the important players. We have done our job right if everyone at Blueprint feels like they’ve made important contacts at the end of our event, and can go back to their offices energized, full of ideas, and with connections for partnerships.
2. While many live in a world of Zoom, what are the special and particular reasons to do a large physical event?
I think COVID taught us all that there is only so much that can be done over Zoom. We all did the best we could to keep things rolling while under lockdown, but I don’t know anyone who prefers virtual events to meeting in person — both from an experience standpoint, and in terms of outcomes. It is just much, much harder to create the kinds of meaningful professional relationships that result in major deals without the experience of being in person. During our inaugural event last October, which was the first time many of our attendees had gone anywhere since the pandemic, we received overwhelming positive feedback about the joy and relief people felt in being around others again face-to-face — and I’m sure that was a major factor in why several fundings and M&A transactions can be traced back to connections made at the event last year.
3. You have a mighty array of speakers. What are the binding and common elements that make these speakers so great?
Ultimately we feel like the speaker lineup is the very best collection of real estate tech innovators and technologists ever assembled under one roof. We work very hard on our programming throughout the year to engage with the most dynamic companies and people who are working on solving the most difficult and important issues facing the real estate industry as it evolves. As we put together the agenda, industry leading VCs like Fifth Wall, Navitas, Moderne Ventures and Metaprop have been a great resource to help us identify rocketship startups destined for great things. And it’s essential to have the major real estate operators like Tishman Speyer, Cushman & Wakefield, Jamestown, Lincoln Property Company and Greystar to share with our attendees what the needs of industry buyers are, and where they need innovation most.
4. As you think about the real estate ecosystem, what are the nuggets that attendees can expect to receive- that help them, practically, do their jobs better?
We have a fairly wide range of content on stage, much of which is aimed at understanding where the ball is moving in real estate tech (both in terms of client needs and investor enthusiasm) and figuring out which innovative practices and technologies will be truly game-changing for the industry broadly. We’ll have panels that dive deep into multifamily management, fractionalized assets, ibuying, uses of data in construction, and much much more. Attendees will come away with a better and broader understanding of the industry, and that sharp lens will help them have a better understanding of how their individual companies can find green space and thrive.
5. Do you see a lot of investment activity in the space and do you expect a good number of investors to be present?
According to CRETI, $13.1 billion in venture capital was invested in the real estate technology space in just the first half of 2022. While the climate has been a bit rough for some sectors of the startup economy, proptech has continued to attract strong backing, and we’re still hearing plenty of optimism from the venture community. We are proud to say that every prominent firm investing in proptech will be at Blueprint, so it should be a rich environment for companies looking for funding.
6. What are your parting thoughts on attending your event?
Blueprint Vegas 2022 is the only event where the entire real estate ecosystem will gather. There is no better place to make meaningful connections with peers and potential partners. Come for the thought leadership from companies like Pacaso, Compass, Moinian Group and Morgan Properties; don’t miss the packed Innovation Stage filled with the entrepreneurs changing the face of the built world; take advantage of our world-class networking technology; and make time for a little fun at our After Party featuring the Grammy Award winning performer Nelly. This is really an event NOT to be missed!