Atlantic City

Know When to Make a Change in Atlantic City

A friend of mine organizes an annual law enforcement trade show each year in Atlantic City since 1986.  He’s up to 400 booths and about 6,000 participants.  Website

He reached out last month, saying there is an increasing request for a media training expert.  Having spent 35 years on TV and radio, I would consider myself more well-versed than most about how to deal with the press.

So, I planned to work remotely on my real estate business for a few days while I taught media skills to law enforcement at the Atlantic City Convention Center. (He wasn’t going to pay me, but best-case scenario, some police departments may want to hire me, freelance, to give a course via Zoom to their respective public information officers.  Combine that with a deep discount for hotel and airfare, and I was ready to go.

When I set up my table at the trade show, I reserved a little corner for a small sign and some appropriate cards that said “Ask me about Florida real estate.”  I didn’t give it a lot of thought, just figured there might be someone at the convention who was thinking of taking their police pension and retiring to Florida sooner than later.

Within the first hour of the first day, it became apparent that little corner of my table that mentioned real estate was getting more attention than the original reason I traveled across the country. 

By lunch time, I asked my friend/event organizer if he had the tools to produce a new sign for my booth.  He did.  “Media Training for Police” came down and “Florida Real Estate” went up!  You have to know when to make a change!

The shift in the body language of passersby was immediate.  People no longer walked by and gave me nods and tight-lipped smiles: now they were lighting up, talking about their goals to buy a place in the Sunshine State.

Atlantic City

I thought of a lesson I heard motivational speaker Tony Robbins mention thirty years ago when I first bought his cassette collection, “Personal Power.”  He said, paraphrasing, “Have a plan…have the presence of mind to evaluate if it is working…and if not, don’t be afraid to change it.”


At the end of the two-day convention, I had a dozen new leads and many more took my card. Only one person ever asked me about media training. I almost wanted to say, “Wouldn’t you rather hear about condos on Siesta Key?”

One of my Realtor friends back here in Florida summed it up nicely in one phrase: “Nice pivot.”

Ray Collins is a former award-winning newscaster and is now one of the top-selling Realtors in the Sarasota area.  For more information, Ray Collins Real Estate

Ray Collins Photos

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 1k

Event organizer, Events, Florida, Law Enforcement, Media, participants, Public Speaking, Ray Collins, real estate, Siesta Key

Skip to content