September 26, 2018 0

4 Tips To Get The Best Out Of IFMA 2018

Posted by:Bridie Kruck onSeptember 26, 2018

What is the IFMA conference?

IFMA World Workplace 2018 is the International Facility Management Association’s largest trade expo. Centered around a host of seminars, talks, and technology demonstrations, the IFMA World Workplace conference is the premier event for facility management professionals the globe over.

 The IFMA conference, the longest running and most well-attended gathering of facility management practitioners and associated professionals currently in existence, brings together some 4,000 attendees, vendors, and presenters in a central location for three days of professional growth and collaboration.

 Over 2,000 companies from 40 different countries will all have representatives at World Workplace 2018, making it the largest and most diverse networking opportunity in the entire facility management ecosystem.

How do I get the most out of attending IFMA?

A professional conference always best treated as a learning experience. Your company is probably footing the bill, and so you may be tempted to treat IFMA World Workplace 2018 as a paid vacation. Don’t do that, as you’ll be missing one the greatest growth opportunities in this field and your career. Here, I’ve included 4 simple tips to get the very most out of your attendance in this or any other conference.

1.Treat the conference like a class

If you’re attending the IFMA World Workplace conference, the odds are good that you’re a facility management professional, and that means the odds are good that you’ve spent some time in a classroom at some point in your life. To make the most of this experience, you need to bring those skills to bear on conference seminars, workshops, and demonstrations.

 A good way to take notes at a trade exposition or industry gathering is to identify which areas your organization could improve upon, and then tailoring your attendance schedule to events that address these specific issues. It may help to prepare an outline of events you want to attend ahead of time, and use that outline to guide your note taking during the events themselves.

2. Compare notes with other professionals

Every good manager has an emergency response plan for their facility. One of the most beneficial ways to interact with the IFMA World Workplace conference is to bring a copy of this plan with you so that you might compare it against the suggestions and innovations offered at various conference events. In this way, you’ll be able to identify where your plan could be improved, and what aspects of your plan have been rendered out-of-date by advances in technology.

 Likewise, actively working on your emergency response plan while attending the conference will give you the added bonus of providing a product that you can show your employer. By showing your colleagues and supervisors a tangible benefit to your attendance, your organization will be much more likely to consider participating in the future–which is a nice way of saying you might be able to earn yourself another free working vacation!

3. Participate!

Another critical aspect of making the most of any conference–and this one in particular–is to actively participate in events and workshops. Some of the brightest minds in facility management will be on hand to answer questions–take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to get insight into your organization’s problems by identifying areas in which your team could improve and drafting a series of questions to ask during the question and answer sessions that often follow convention events.

4. Pace yourself

Some conference goers face the opposite problem than that alluded to in point three; they not only participate, they run themselves into the ground doing so. Rebecca Knight, of the Harvard Business Review, notes that conference goers who are actually enjoying the experience and that are actively engaged in what’s going on tend to get a lot more out of their attendance than those who feel pressure to perform.

Ms. Knight suggests that it’s okay to spend a significant amount of time with a few select people if you’re more comfortable networking among smaller crowds. Put another way, don’t feel pressured to perform or participate in a way that’s going to distract you. The key to getting the most out of a conference is to be actively and positively engaged with the material, and you can’t do that if you’re constantly in a state of dread or fear–remember, not everyone is built the same way and that’s okay.

 

About the Author

Blaine J. Hoffmann, MS OSHM is an entrepreneur, podcaster, business coach, and a leader in the field of industrial safety and health management. With over 20 years of industry experience and more than a decade as a full-time corporate consultant, he has become highly proficient at designing, implementing and sustaining organizational management systems. Blaine is consistently on the cutting-edge of management best-practices and industry standards. Click here to read more from Blaine on LinkedIn.

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