Family Reunion is a convention put on by Keller Williams Realty. It’s their largest and offers something for everyone. Here, you can learn more about this popular event as Lori “Vegas” Ballen shares her tips.
The format consists of big room sessions in the morning such as Gary Keller’s session, with a look at where the market is going and where the company is going.
The evenings are a great time to connect with friends, network with colleagues, and meet new people. Keller Williams puts on events at night such as Red Bash and agents also hold their own social gatherings.
Here are some of my tips to make the best of your family reunion.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Family Reunion 2020
Keller Williams Family Reunion 2020 begins February 14th with the welcome reception at 3 PM and is over at 11 am when Inspirational Morning with Mo Anderson finishes.
Where can First-Timers Learn More About Family Reunion?
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Friday, February 14th, join others in the KW Exhibit Hall for the First Time Attendees Session.
How Can I Transfer a Keller Williams Family Reunion Ticket?
What is Security Like at the Convention Hall?
There is always security at the doors entering into the convention center. They are usually looking for strange items in bags. The lines are often long. Some people use clear bags and backpacks to move through faster.
Can I Go To Any Breakout Session?
The guides and app will provide an agenda. Breakout sessions will often suggest the topic and ideal audience. You are welcome to join any of the listed public sessions, but they fill up quickly. Be sure to mark your favorites and get to those early. KW Command and tech sessions will be extra full. Some repeat, so check your app.
Where do I Get My Name Badge?
Name Badges are printed at the convention center. Before it begins, look for a barcode in an email titled “What to Know Before You Go”. You can print that and bring it or save the barcode to your phone. If you forget the code, you go to another line for those that don’t have a code. Attendees are required to wear the name badge at every event including Red Bash.
Where Can I Find a Hotel in Dallas for KWFR?
Hotels book up early and will be hard to grab online. There are many social groups like this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyReunionKW/ or this one: KW Family Reunion 2020 where people post rooms they need to transfer. You can also reach out to market centers and see if they have rooms and tickets to unload as they often buy in blocks. https://familyreunion.kw.com/hotels/
How Do People Dress for Keller Williams Family Reunion?
You’ll see suits and dresses and jeans and tennies. Smart Casual is generally the suggestion for any business convention. That being said, KW agents have gotten less formal year over year since we’ve become a tech company. Jeans, Blazers, and Tennies are popular and you can buy KW and KW command t-shirts on site. It’s FREEZING in the rooms, so you’ll want to have something warm (like a Parka haha) with you. They also sell fleece jackets and other branded swag in the convention center.
What Social and Networking Events Should I attend?
2020 Annual KW Family Reunion Agent-To-Agent Referral Networking Brunch
Nearly every night, there will be events put on by agents for networking. Market Centers will often have their own awards nights and dinners and the various groups have their own events. You are also free to go see Dallas! Jump on the social media groups and you’ll see a lot of posts about networking events.
On Sunday, February the 16th, there is a Red Bash Happy Hour 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM in the KW Exhibit Hall followed by Red Bash from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Costumes are welcome. There will be light appetizers and bars. There is generally a short talent show and Gary Keller’s band plays. It’s dark and loud, so don’t expect great networking there.
Don’t get so drunk that people remember you as the drunk rather than the social giant that you are. I remember meeting more than a few people and thinking, man I would love to be able to refer to them and then 2 hours later I was thinking, please someone find them a cab so I never have to see them again.– Mateo Colton
From the opening ceremony on day one to the inspirational morning on the last day, you don’t want to miss all of the action of Keller Williams Family Reunion.
Lori Ballen @loriballen Use the Twitter Hashtag #KWFR for Keller Williams Family Reunion. Keller Williams also uses #KWRI. They will often display the tweets on a large tweet board, so get SOCIAL with the #KWFR Hashtag!
When you arrive at the convention and check in, you will be given a guide with these sessions as well. Generally, only the presenter is mentioned so it’s hard to know where your favorites will be on panels during the sessions, which is why I suggest going with topics you want to learn more about.
Sometimes in these convention centers, there’s a lot of floor to cover, and it’s easier to pop into a closer session than cross large areas to get to another. I’ll do it though for my “must attend” sessions.
I tend to have a goal in mind for learning. I ask myself “What do I need to learn more about?” and I go to every topic I can find on that subject. It’s easier to retain information when you are hearing more content on that one topic.
There are times when I will go to a presenter, even though I know the subject well because that presenter inspires me. I always take away one thing from the presenters I most respect and admire in the industry.
Lori Ballen’s Tips for KWFR: Here are some best practices for everything from packing to networking!
1. Family Reunion Packing List
Being prepared is going to allow for a more comfortable convention. Yes, you want to look great, but limping around on feet that have been in heels all day is not at all attractive.
What to Pack for Family Reunion
- Hand Sanitizer
- Sensible Shoes
- A Jacket for the Convention Center – it’s usually Freezing! (They will sell jackets there as well)
- A Portable Cell Phone Charger along with chargers and chords for your hotel room.
- Emergen-C or Ziacam – Something to fight off colds.
- Bandaids – especially if you are wearing new shoes!
- Quick change clothes for the evening if you can’t make it back to the hotel
- A Clear Backpack – You can bring a regular backpack, but they will search it. Some use a clear bag or backpack. Sometimes a bag is distributed on location.
- A travel umbrella and a rain jacket or poncho if there is rain in the forecast.
- Flip Flops, shower Shoes, or slippers for the room
- Bathing Suit if there’s a hot tub in your room
- Business Cards!
- Card Scanner App on your phone
If possible, alternate shoes because even when you have comfortable shoes, they can become painful in certain areas when walking for long periods at a time. Best to alternate at least every other day if possible.
TIP: Get a pair of fold flats (um, ladies only) for your purse. They can save you when you are running from one breakout session to another. Try on your outfits early
I like to take a picture of mine all together and even hang a plastic ziplock bag with my coordinating jewelry in it over the hanger (or attach to outfit). Once you arrive at KWFR, it’s a whirlwind of meetups and classes, speakers, and dining, and you will not want to have to think about your clothing.
Wear pants. You never know when you will be sitting on a floor in a packed breakout session!- Sarah Herda from Boxford, Massachusetts
Many convention-goers swear by packing dry shampoo, for those hurried mornings. Bring hair ties and pins for the “oh my gosh I’m late” morning.
No matter what the weather is outside, it’s typically very cold inside those rooms, so bring a sweater. Bring extra batteries for your technology, as our phones tend to scan for internet signals all day and will drain fast in that environment (course some carriers are worse than others… like Mine!).
TIP: Bring your phone charger plug with you in your bag, there will be places to plug in for a quick charge.
Beth Torrence Packing Lists
2. Eat and Drink
I’m always dehydrated and underfed at Family Reunion because I’m hurried. If possible, carry a water bottle and healthy snacks with you at all times in your bag.
Typically, the wonderful team at Keller Williams gives us a book bag or backpack to carry our items in, so it’s good to consider nuts, granola bars, and other snacks to carry along. While there is lunch for sale at the convention center, as well as Family Reunion lunch events, many leave the convention center.
TIP: Nearby restaurants fill up quickly, so it’s a great idea to have someone from your group head over early and hold a table. Reservations for finer dining in the evening are recommended.
Family Reunion is all about relationships. Sure, I love the learning, but I learned year one that the true return on this investment of time, money, and energy is in the networking.
I have built AMAZING personal and business relationships from this event, and I understand that I need to be seen in order for that to happen. In the evenings, I attend the networking events and then find the most “happening” bar and plant my feet in the front of the bar for maximum exposure. Lori Ballen
Is it always comfortable? Honestly, no. But it’s purposeful and if you are not there, you can’t meet whoever the universe is wanting you to meet.
4. Have a database afterplan
Know in advance how you are going to connect with people once you have their card and enter them in your database and collect a business card from everyone you meet. Have one place where you drop all of your cards when you get back at night.
You can also use a scanner on your phone.
I like to use our pictures and make cards through Send Out Cards. No selfie left behind!
5. Have a Recent Picture
Hopefully not too late, if your picture is on your business card, MAKE SURE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU. It should be updated, not overly photoshopped, and professional (not taken out back by your hummingbird feeder).
People do look at the cards after Family Reunion. Consider matching your Facebook Profile pic with your business card picture so when people look you up on Facebook, they will make the connection.
TIP: When you get home, enter them all in your database and send them a card, a video, or something that helps them remember you. I’m one of those people who really believes in providing value everywhere I go, so I would think about something really cool like sending your digital notes from Family Reunion to everyone. How’s THAT for making an impression?
6. Get Away from your Market Center
OK, that sounds worse than intended, but I still mean it. This is a networking opportunity, and you can’t get referrals and meet new people while hanging out with the people you already know!!
Get outside of your comfort zone and get into places where you don’t know anyone and make friends. Everyone is here to network. Introduce yourself. We won’t bite.
7. Bring Plenty of Business Cards
TIP: It’s surprising when people say “Oh, I only brought a couple of hundred and they are gone”.
8. Attend Events
Red Bash is a fun event where everyone dresses up in their favorite “Red” gear. You’ll see everything from Las Vegas Style Show Girls, to Super Heroes in Red Capes. I’ve seen it all!
There’s food, fun, and music, but the food is more “appetizers” so I do not suggest going in hungry and lines are sometimes very long at the tables and the bar, so come prepared! There is usually a talent show followed by Gary Keller’s Band.
The inspirational Morning with Mo Anderson is simply amazing. She brings guests on and tells their story and then surprises them somehow with a gift
I cried the entire time last year, so be prepared with the tissue. It’s uplifting, inspiring, and a great way to cap off your reunion. Get in EARLY for a good seat.