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With facilities managers now spoilt for choice when it comes to industry conferences, Simon Iatrou looks back at some of the key themes to emerge from the 2015 calendar


nce upon a time, facilities managers didn’t have a lot of choice when it came to attending conferences with much real relevance to FM. There was the BIFM Conference (before it was branded ThinkFM), a clumsy three-day, multiple-room affair, held in some of the more difficult-to- get-to places in Great Britain, as well as a number of other events whose roots really lay in workplace design and architecture. In an industry that was crying out for better leadership, communication, engagement and professional learning, that wasn’t enough. How things have changed. In 2015, FM professionals are spoilt for choice. i-FM launched its Workplace Futures conference in 2008. BIFM rebranded its event to ThinkFM and streamlined the content to an action-packed one-day programme, in which delegates could listen to every speaker on the bill. And,


150 FACILITIES


having made a big push into the FM space, RICS, too, now organises an annual FM conference through its increasingly popular FM membership group. Andrew Mawson, founder of Advanced Workplace Associates, formed Workplace Week, a five-day stretch of visits to some of London’s most innovatively designed workspaces, featuring the Workplace Week Convention. Established conferences such as WorkTech and Workplace Trends continue to create some debate. New meet-the-buyer event FM Inspired introduced a full-day of speakers and panel sessions. Even the BIFM special interest groups, such as Women in FM (WIFM) and the London Region, now organise increasingly popular conference programmes. So, with so many different events to attend, logic dictates that facilities management professionals must be more informed than ever.


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