Seven Reasons Why NAA 2011 was Super Special

NAA 2011 had to be one of the best conferences yet that I have attended. The amazing attendance demonstrates the growth of our industry and the desire to see continued growth. Everyone I am sure had their special moments or reasons for loving this event. I am going to share seven of mine below.

Apartment All Stars Session

I do my best never to miss out on this and it’s for good reason. There are always key takeaways from this session. It was awesome to see standing room only and watch the All Stars do their magic. The session had its full mix of emotions from laughter to determination and even a couple of moments where there were some tears. There is good reason why they are called All Stars and117522315 300x182 Seven Reasons Why NAA 2011 was Super Special they showed it once again.

Student Housing Session

I have been to Kim Cory’s and Dan Oltersdorf’s session before but it was excellent to see how much more work they put into this session. With every word that came out of their mouth you could sense the passion they had for their craft. Student housing is definitely in a niche all its own. This session was packed out as well and there were many people who had questions for the presenters after the session. The session left me thinking of how many of the great ideas and concepts could transcend over into the conventional market. Think creative and be different and wow your residents.

Border Grill

This may seem like an odd one to list but I have a good reason. My biggest issue with attending conferences is the food. It can be really really hard to eat healthy while you are away. We were looking for a lunch choice on Thursday and a good friend recommended Border Grill. Excellent food and super healthy!

Sessions VS Exhibition

Hat tip to the NAA planners for their timing this year. I thought it was an appropriate balance of when the sessions and the exhibition floor time took place. As an industry partner I felt that it helped keep the traffic flowing. There was hardly a quiet moment in our aisle.


Once again the supreme power of social media showed itself. I completely loss count of the amount of people whom I have connected with via social media that came to see me or those that I chose to see out. It was simply amazing to connect with people and have some face time. This is always one of my highlights since it clearly demonstrates one of the truest values of social media which is developing friendships.

Twitter Stream

Twitter showed its value once again. Those who were following the #NAAEduConf stream would know this. Endless tweets about the sessions or events helped keep all of those who were not as fortunate to attend keep in tune with what is going on.

Our Clients

I left the best one for last. It meant so much to us as a team to see all of you. Thank you for taking the time to visit our booth. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation for what we provide for you. Thank you for your excitement over the new features we released for your preview. Thank you for being not only super special customers but for being wonderful friends. We look forward to continuing our growing relationship and making you happy each and every day.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any key items or moments from NAA 2011 that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to comment about them below.


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  • Kim Cory

    Thank you so much Jonathan for the mention and for the feedback to the session.  We really wanted to bring a more dynamic approach this year with what has been working, what we do that attracts attention and things we are still skeptical about.  Like you the reasons for attending are the same, but when I get back to the office there’s nothing greater than feeling my passion for what I do ignite from all that I have walked away with.  Whether it was in the sessions, networking with peers and learning more from the Vendors, it truly was a remarkable event!

  • Jonathan Saar

    Thanks for the comment @google-4172d45f74b52609f27dfa2c24d7ebca:disqus .  You and Dan did a fantastic job!  We really feed off of each other don’t we?  I have done nothing but reflect on all the cool people I met and the impact they made on me.  You got to love the industry.  All too often it brings out the best in all of us.