For the first time ever, Keller Williams Northwest Region hosted their own in-person gathering on August 23-26 at The Mirage. With over 400 real estate agents and leaders attending from Keller Williams Westside L.A., L.A. Coastal, and Northwest regions, this group gathered for digitally based, physically enhanced learning and networking.
Because of increasing COVID cases in Texas, many top-producing agents who were originally invited to join Mega Camp in Austin rerouted their plans to attend the Vegas event, when Gary Keller made the responsible decision to cancel the in-person portion. “I never miss them. Digitally, in-person, if there’s an invitation I’m going,” said solo agent Aubrey Martin of KW Sunset Corridor. “I was supposed to go to Austin and because we couldn’t have the Austin experience, Mega Camp Vegas was definitely the next best thing.”
Making headlines during the event, Gary Keller was quoted in Inman saying, “COVID is not out of control. The lack of faith in vaccination is out of control.” This messaging was at top of mind to all KW Northwest Region event planners and leaders, enforcing masks to be worn at Mega Camp Vegas, encouraging social distancing at every opportunity, avoiding any buffet formats for meals, and even going as far as to have a sticker system on each attendee name tag indicating each individual’s comfort level: Green – hugs are welcome; Yellow – elbow bumps only; Red – no touching of any kind. Many attendees have already commented in the post-event survey, saying the sticker system helped them feel safe in their environment.
A Hybrid Program
The hybrid format was a first for the Northwest Region, kicking off with Gary Keller’s live-streamed ‘Mega Agent’ General Session from Austin, as he got candid about the cooling of the real estate market and cyclical nature of the industry. Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Julia Lashay Israel dove into the business strategies behind the Keller Williams diversity movement. KW legend Mo Anderson hosted the Cultural Summit, where the Northwest Region had the pleasure of honoring their Cultural Ambassadors, Amy Bloomer and Danielle West, as they were sworn in.
Beyond the digital portion, Keller Williams Northwest Region organized a full in-person program, including an inspirational keynote presentation by Kevin Hall, author of Aspire!: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words. Luxury real estate was a theme throughout the event, with a lively panel discussion from KW experts, in addition to a unique Q&A with Amanuel Gebremeskel, Luxury Experience Manager at The Mirage, followed by a private tour of The Mirage Villas reserved for top-producing luxury agents only. Breakout session topics ranged from Stacie States, Team Leader of KW Boise, diving in on ‘Winning Social Media Strategies’ and Chase Williams, KW Northwest Region Growth Leader, welcoming a full house to ‘Preparing for an Imminent Market Shift’.
The digital and physical hybrid format was also seen throughout the breakout sessions, like the Top Producers Mastermind, an invitation-only gathering facilitated by KW Northwest Regional Director Bruce Hardie where he asked Gary Keller to join via Zoom, allowing the highest producing agents onsite to engage in an intimate discussion with their fearless leader. The Commercial Mastermind, facilitated by Cameron Schwab, saw a surprise video chat with Cynthia Lee, Executive Leader for KW Commercial. Another popular session, Tax-Free Wealth Building with Tom Wheelwright, hosted a private screening of an hour-long pre-recorded video discussion with Wheelwright and Gary Keller.
The final day of Mega Camp Vegas was reserved for Leadership, with a morning session streamed from Austin followed by the KW Northwest Regional Meeting, which was not just reserved to the Northwest leaders present in-person, but also opened up to attending leaders for L.A. regions, as well as Northwest leaders who were unable to come to Vegas and zoomed in from home to join the conversation.
Another hybrid perk? As part of their ticket, Mega Camp Vegas attendees also receive access to the same digital materials as those that registered for the Austin livestream, which they will be able to take back to their offices and continue to reference for months to come (over $100 value).
Keeping Fun At The Forefront
Mega Camp Vegas attendees noted their ‘need’ for the event beyond the classroom, including the social aspects as well. The KW Northwest Region planned a variety of activities for real estate agents to network with each other, catching up with old friends and welcoming new ones from all over the West Coast. The Welcome Reception, Social Power Hour, and Leadership Mixer provided ample opportunities for attendees to connect. Not to mention, a night of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ where market centers and teams were encouraged to make their own plans on the Vegas strip to bond and make memories. Some agents noted that this was their first Keller Williams event since joining the company, and their first opportunity to meet their peers in-person.
“I really wanted to meet agents from other states and start building those relationships,” said Rashelle Newmyer, a new agent joining KW Portland Premiere in February earlier this year. When asked why she chose Keller Williams as her new home, Newmyer commented, “The training, the support, the collaboration, and to be honest the energy from our office. I just love it.”
Looking Towards The Future
The theme that shined throughout Mega Camp Vegas was undoubtedly the unique strength of KW culture. The co-mingling of agents, leaders, and guests, displaying acts of kindness, respect for each other, and appreciation for being able to gather after being apart for so long.
Will this hybrid format be the future for the KW Northwest Region moving forward? Only time will tell.