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Updated: January 20, 2022

MEREDA 2022: Maine real estate forecasters take center stage at Portland event

Screenshot Larry Wold, of TD Bank, speaks Thursday morning at the forecast conference of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association.

Maine real estate prognosticators took center stage Thursday morning at the 2022 MEREDA annual forecast conference in Portland, and the event was set to run all day.

While the conference, hosted by the Maine Real Estate & Development Association, was 100% remote last year, the 2022 edition takes place in a hybrid format at the Cross Insurance Arena and online. Masking and other protocols at the arena include a requirement to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Organizers also moved the gathering, held previously at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, to the larger venue, better-suited to social distancing. Even in a different environment, presenters told Mainebiz they relish a return to in-person networking.

"What I am a looking forward to the most is being back together in person, as best we can," said the Dunham Group's Sam LeGeyt, ahead of his southern Maine industrial forecast presentation with colleague Justin Lamontagne. "Obviously not all can make it in person, but hoping it’s a step towards normal networking again."   

Offering a more tongue-in-cheek perspective, Lamontagne said, "I’m looking forward to fulfilling my childhood dream of taking center court at the Cumberland County Civic Center."

As of Tuesday, MEREDA had received just over 430 in-person registrations and nearly 200 virtual, according to Shelly Clark, the organization's vice president of operations.

"We felt confident that we could produce a safe event with a large enough venue but we knew not everyone would be able to attend in person," she noted. "Some companies still have restrictions against attending large events. We also recognized that COVID had impacted some people’s ability to attend in person whether that be child care challenges or personal health concerns. And we wanted members from all around Maine to be able to attend. The online version was so well-received last year we felt sure that some would prefer it still."

The conference kicked off this morning with a keynote address by state Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, highlighting the need to address Maine's affordable housing crisis.

In keeping with tradition, the program includes an awards ceremony and member showcase and will wrap up with a late-afternoon social hour and raffles.

“MEREDA’s annual forecast conference is the premiere Maine real estate event for those important forward-looking conversations," Joshua Fifield, MEREDA board president and a vice president at Portland-based Clark Insurance, told Mainebiz ahead of the conference.

Find full coverage of the 2022 MEREDA Forecast Conference in Friday's Mainebiz Daily Report. 

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