Last Friday, David Perlmutter and I met with Sarah Malcolm - who works as the Director of Digital Strategy at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). From the ICSC website, “The ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials.”
As Director of Digital Strategy, Sarah is responsible for the creation of the ICSC’s Social and Mobile strategy. In her time at the ICSC, Sarah and her staff have won over 45 awards for the ICSC’s mobile apps, social media and digital initiatives and website. Additionally, Sarah appeared as a guest author for the book “Social Networking For Shopping Centers,” writing on the topics of Effective Tweeting and How Retailers Are Using Facebook. Sarah and her staff have done an incredible job connecting ICSC members to each other and to the organization itself through social media. Her awareness of how the adoption of new technology and platforms have changed communications by Millennials and the next generation, and her ability to educate baby boomers as to why that is important has made her an invaluable resource to the ICSC and its members.
After taking a tour of the the NYC office, and meeting many of the ICSC staff members, David and I were able to discuss a few of the upcoming events/projects Sarah has been working on.
One of the largest conventions each year is RECon, which takes place in Las Vegas, in late May. RECon is the global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from all around the world. For Sarah, RECon is a great opportunity to connect with professionals in the field, and convince them of how social media can positively benefit their business. Sarah’s message is clear, “This upcoming generation, is expecting that they will have a genuine relationship with the business they are working with... Social media and digital media is only becoming more popular and it is imperative that if the industry gets involved and understands that they need to get connected directly to the consumer.”
As social media and applications, are becoming more and more of a staple in real estate, everyone in the industry can take something positive away from Sarah’s message. To learn more about Sarah and the ICSC, check out their website at http://www.icsc.org. Additionally, if you are interested in attending a local, ICSC-hosted event near you, the schedule can be found here http://bit.ly/1QGpASm. If you are on Twitter (and if you are not, you should) be sure to follow @MrsSarahMalcolm for lots of great tips on how to up your social media game, and @ICSC for the latest on the shopping center industry.