April saw thousands of FM professionals gather at the NEC in Birmingham to browse a variety of exhibitor stands, engage in topical debate and address some of the most pressing issues in the FM sphere. Magenta Associates reviews the event.

Facilitated by Western Business Exhibitions, the Facilities Event, Health and Safety Show and the Fire Safety Show ran alongside each other and provided opportunities to learn, network and see some of the best of the industry offerings in 2018.

On Tuesday 10th April the event was opened with keynote speaker presentations from leading industry figures. Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO of Workplace Fabric addressed the future of workplace optimisation, C-J Green, UK CEO at Servest, discussed how to manage a people-centric approach to FM, and Mike Gillespie Managing Director of Advent IM delved into the issues of cyber security.

With exhibitor stands ranging from pest control to security, cloud-based platforms to road repair systems – there was a vast variety for attendees to browse. This, combined with engaging debates in the ‘FM Dialogue’ seminar theatre was a promising start to what was set to be an insightful event.

Wednesday brought with it yet more topical debate – with a fascinating presentation from Jeremy Dicks, Director of Operations at OCS Group, on delivering FM excellence at the NEC itself at the beginning of the day. Further debates and presentations followed, delving into the relationship between biophilia, productivity and architectural design with Oliver Heath, and panel debates discussing what productivity is and how we measure it, how to approach reshaping boardrooms to include FMs.

With speakers and contributors from Churchill, JLL, Active Workspace Management and Servest to name a few, the FM Dialogue theatre saw engaging debate throughout the day. With the strongest footfall across the event, multiple press titles in attendance and satisfied exhibitors, Wednesday was a fantastic success for all.

The closing day was a shining example of how to conclude such an event. Momentum was maintained by speakers, exhibitors and attendees – with speaker presentations from Dr. Paul Wyton, a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield

Hallam University discussing the value of apprenticeships in business, and the ongoing journey towards service excellence delivered by Anne Lennox-Martin, Managing Director at FMP360.

Both topical presentations were well-received by a healthy sized audience, with a great deal of engagement in the Q&A session following. In the FM Dialogue space, key debates and themes were chaired and moderated by Simon Iatrou from Magenta Associates, and Ian Ellison, cofounder of 3edges. The discussions looked at how businesses can turn data into insight, action and inclusion in FM.

Concluding the event, Geoff Robson, COO for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (the Infrastructure Lead for the Ministry of Defence) presented a seminar on the changing role of the organisation in the MOD and how FM can help deliver better estates, business and services.

“The industry is rapidly growing, adapting and diversifying,

and there appears to be no signs of this abating.”

There were certainly several key takeaways from the Facilities Event 2018. Firstly, equality, diversity and inclusion is without doubt one of the hottest topics within FM, as it is many other sectors – workplaces and employers have to invest effort, energy and time into making their organisations equal for all. Secondly, FM is an incredibly exciting sector to be in at present. The industry is rapidly growing, adapting and diversifying, and there appears to be no signs of this abating. With new technology and the data it provides, a shift more towards the inclusion of people and workplace trends and the ever-flexible definition of ‘facilities manager’ blurring more year on year, FM is without doubt an incredibly exciting and rewarding sector to work in, in 2018.


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