In a REF Club episode, today’s episode is with George Przybylowski, the Vice President of Real Estate at Informa Canada. Aaron and Adam believe that the impact George has had on this industry is paralleled by none, making for a particularly interesting episode.
George first brings us through the deep history of how the Canadian Real Estate Forums began. He shares challenges he faced in building the forums, stressful moments at events, and a decision he feels some regret towards.
Topics covered include:
- How George began planning events when he was in high school.
- Political connections that George formed in the early 1970s.
- Problems the high interest rates of the early 1980s caused.
- The formation of the Building Industry Strategy.
- Launching a company in 1989 and the recession that happened shortly after.
- How George first got the idea to create a conference.
- The first Real Estate Forum in 1992.
- Expansion into all of the six biggest Canadian cities by 2000.
- People that have been integral to the growth of the forums.
- One of the most stressful moments in the history of the forums.
- Why the 2009 forum had such high attendance.
- Difficulties that George experienced when trying to expand into the US.
- The decision to sell the event company in the 1990s.
More about our guest:
George’s 50 year career has included working for one of Canada’s leading rock bands, organizing large scale concerts and programming for youth, holding a wide range of policy positions within the Government of Ontario, conducting a consulting business serving public and private sector clients, and launching a company producing B to B conferences, consumer shows and trade expositions.
In 1988, George and two partners launched one company to organize B to B conferences and another to produce consumer and trade shows. Their goal was to become the producer of Canada’s largest annual conferences and expositions for the design, construction, development and management of new and existing buildings.
Today, we have become the organizers of Canada’s largest annual conferences and expositions focused on commercial real estate investment, leasing, financing and development; building design, construction and renovation; and real estate management and property operations. For more details, check our website at www.realestateforums.com, www.thebuildingsshow.com, www.springfesttoronto.com, and www.rooftech.ca. Informa plc (our parent company) is the world’s largest exposition producer.
A strong believer in giving back to the community, George has served on several boards: the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (since 1986), Prostate Cancer Canada (2006-2013) and Rotary Cheshire Homes for the Deaf Blind (1992-1998). He has been inducted into the BILD Hall of Fame and received the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons Award and the NAIOP Toronto Community Service Award.
His hobbies include downhill skiing, golf, reading and listening to old time rock ‘n’ roll.
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