The Commercial Property Forum has around 8 members, two of whom are former Presidents of the Society. It is one of the most active Forums in the Society, usually arranging at least one event a term.
The Forum “does what it says on the tin”, focusing on organising events around the commercial real estate sector, but as investors’ perspectives widen, we have included sectors such as Student Housing and residential investment in our remit.
We have a number of annual fixtures in our calendar – two in particular stand out:
1). Firstly our Market Prospects panel each November, staunchly (and very kindly!) hosted by BDO now since at least 2007. This brings together a panel of 4 experts in the field, all market leaders and chaired now by Steve Mallen, to give their views on the commercial property and investment market for the coming year. It is always a popular event.
2). Secondly, we have a long running series of breakfast briefings by Chief Executives of major property businesses, normally scheduled after their annual results go out, so that they are free to say something interesting. CEOs who have taken on this challenge include those of Land Securities, British Land, Great Portland, Hammerson, and Intu.
The Market Trends panel and the CEO talks both run as breakfast seminars, and we arrange a number of other breakfast events, generally picking up subjects which are topical – and in some cases linked to work the Department of Land Economy is currently involved in. But some of our meetings also run in the early evening, with some refreshments afterwards – and the informal networking time is an important element of our gatherings. Other meetings can run for a morning or an afternoon – for example a recent seminar on the Housing Crisis which we ran jointly with Shelter at the RIBA – a morning conference with lunch.
In addition to seminars, lectures, and the like, we arrange occasional site visits and/or tours of new developments – but since new developments can be a bit dry and dusty, if there’s a bar in the development that’s always a plus!
We encourage the current generation of Land Economy students to join our meetings, as they can be an ideal opportunity for students to learn about the property world, and network with potential employers, clients and/or suppliers – whenever possible, we usually provide a number of free or subsidised places for students.
If you’re interested in joining the CULS Commercial Property Forum, please do contact the Chairman or one of the other committee members.