16 Must-Dos at the IFMA’s 2014 Conference

by James McDonald on September 9, 2014

The International Facilities Management Association’s World Workplace Conference & Expo is recognized as the largest annual conference and exposition for facility management and related professions. This year, the Conference will be held September 17-19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Whether you are attending the conference for the first time or returning for another year, there are many exciting events planned. Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of your experience.

1) Participate in the 24th Annual Doug Underwood Memorial Golf Tournament. Stonebridge Golf Club is the location of this annual tournament. Tournament golfers play on this beautiful course, while networking with IFMA-world-workplace-2014colleagues. Proceeds of the tournament go towards awarding scholarships for our future facility managers.

2) Arrive early enough on Tuesday, September 16 to attend one of the facility tours. Gain valuable insight into space management, innovations and daily operations of large-scale operations such as the New Orleans BuiInnovation Center & Louisiana Cancer Research Center or the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (just to name a few). Space is limited, so be sure to sign up online while planning your trip.

3) Attend the IFMA Foundation Celebration on Tuesday, September 16. If you are not a golfer, you still have an opportunity to help with the IFMAs scholarship fundraising efforts. Celebrate the facilities management profession with great food and drinks. A wonderful way to kick-off the Conference!

4) If this is your first IFMA Conference, be sure to attend the First-time Attendee Orientation & Breakfast. This is a chance to meet other first-timers and receive guidance and tips on how to make the most of your experience.

5) If this is not your first rodeo, morning coffee is a must. Held each morning, this is a great time to connect with old friends and make new ones. Time and location varies daily, so be sure to check the schedule for details.

6) The opening keynote speaker this year is Peter Sheahan, Founder & CEO of ChangeLabs and author of several books. Gain valuable insight into our ever-changing profession.

7) You will want to visit all the booths, located on the expo floor. Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to iOffice, booth #1328.

8) The welcome reception will be held at Mardi Gras World this year. Grub on traditional New Orleans Mardi_Gras_Worldcuisine, sip on a Hurricane and enjoy a see what the Fat Tuesday experience is all about. Don’t forget to bring a camera, as there will be some great photo opportunities that evening.

9) If you are looking for a job change or just entering the FM field, attend the career fair Thursday or Friday. This is a wonderful opportunity to make new professional connections. Prepare ahead of time by visiting our popular blog post 6 Tips to Build Your Best Facilities Management Resume.

10) This year’s learning labs are full of valuable information for everyone. They have been divided into 14 sub-categories, making it easier to map out your days according to your interests and needs. 

11) We are excited for our own Elizabeth Dukes will be speaking at a learning lab Thursday at 4pm. Be sure to leave time in your schedule for her session and stay after to get your free, signed copy of “Wide Open Workspace”.

12) The Solutions Arena will host a series of facilities management topics each day. Added bonus—several are CEU-approved sessions!

13) Visit the Social Media Lounge to get away from the bustle for a few minutes. It’s the perfect spot for catching up on emails and tweeting about your experience.

14) IFMA’s Awards of Excellence Luncheon is held on Friday, September 19 from 1:15-2:15 pm. Enjoy a seated luncheon and cheer on iOffice as we accept out reward.

15) Many of the local chapters host happy hours throughout the week. Find out the time and location of your chapter and spend some time catching up with your peers.

16) The Closing Keynote this year will feature three speakers. This is a great way to close out your week with information on social media strategy, FM leadership and innovative idea development.

We hope you are as excited as we are about this year’s IFMA Conference. This is a great opportunity to learn, grow and make connections across the globe. Be sure to stop by and say hello to us!


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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