What do you get when you bring together nearly 50 facilities management professionals in a ballroom at The Westin in The Woodlands, Texas for eight hours? EMPOWER: Our first iOffice User Conference, and a heck of a good time. As those who attended can attest, it was a jam-packed (and food-filled) day. There were product demos, big announcements and, perhaps most memorably, a make-your-own granola bar.
Overall, we loved having the opportunity to get to know you, your challenges and your triumphs a little better. Whether you missed the conference and want a recap, or just want to relive the magic, we’ve rounded up the top five major moments.
1. You Told Us What’s Really Going On at Your Office
We asked, and you weren’t afraid to lay it on us straight. According to the conference attendees, some of the biggest challenges facing FMs and their organizations include:
- Space utilization and optimization. Making the most of your workspace isn’t always easy, especially in modern businesses where everyone is constantly on the go. It’s your job to ensure every square foot is being used efficiently and effectively, and that requires sophisticated intel. To succeed with space utilization, you need accurate data, and you need it fast.
- Attracting and retaining talent. People are your organization’s No. 1 asset, and the difference between treading water and becoming an industry leader. The workspace plays a crucial role in attracting rock star employees and keeping them aboard for the long haul. You’re working tirelessly to strike the perfect balance among the three F’s: flexibility, fun and a financially sound space.
- Creating standard processes. When we asked customers what they were doing before iOffice, many of them said “paper and pencil.” Whether you’re responsible for thousands of square feet across multiple locations, or just one smaller space, rolling out a standardized process across departments can be a headache.
We hear you loud and clear, and are currently working to improve our solutions to address and solve your biggest challenges by the most efficient means possible.
2. We're Seeing Huge Trends
Bear with us for a moment because it’s about to get buzzwordy. According to our customers as well as our internal research, there are three mega trends rocking the FM world:
- Most businesses want to be on the cloud. The need to access data from anywhere at any time is driving organizations to the cloud. If you’re not already there, you’re likely making preparations to be there soon. Similarly, you prefer SaaS-based solutions that complement your cloud-based environment.
- Mobility is non-negotiable. People are always on the go—not only are more and more employees working remotely or seeking flexible hours, but professionals are also more mobile within the office. Sitting at the same desk for an entire workday is quickly becoming a trend of the past. And while this is great for most employees, mobility can make an FM’s job just a little more difficult—especially if you don’t have the appropriate tools to keep up.
- The Internet of Things is here, and Big Data is getting bigger. Nearly every asset in your office can be internet-connected. With so many devices “talking” to one another, you’re amid a blizzard of data. Organizing this information into digestible reports will change your life for the better, and protecting this data has become priority No. 1.
3. Erin Weed Taught Us How to Speak Our Truth
When you first meet someone, what’s the first question you ask? If you’re like most, it’s probably “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?” And while the answers to these questions can help us find commonalities, they rarely lead to any true, authentic connection.
My friend and favorite speech guru, TED Talk coach Erin Weed, taught us how to tap into our most authentic selves to truly connect with the world around us. She helped everyone find their “dig word”—or the word that best represents your story, lessons, truths, thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
We discovered how to speak from the head, the heart and the core, and what it means to be wholly authentic. According to Weed, we are all “vessels for awesomeness.” I couldn’t agree more.
If you didn’t attend the conference, I strongly recommend you visit Erin’s website to learn more about how to speak your truth.
4. We Showed You How We're Keeping Up With Workplace Changes
As a facilities management professional, you know better than anyone that the workplace is evolving at a rapid clip. You also understand how difficult it can be to keep up with these changes or, more specifically, convince the leadership team to provide you the resources you need to keep up.
To help you stay ahead, and make your life easier, we’re also evolving. From updates in UX to our open-platform API and powerful reporting that ensures you can prove the ROI to skeptical C-suite executives, we’re working to offer you the best solutions for your modern challenges. One of the ways we’re helping meet your growing needs is with our brand new iOffice Marketplace.
5. Everyone Wants to Know About Wayfinding
At the end of the conference, we asked all attendees to complete a survey. We asked what topic you wanted to understand better. The No. 1 response? Wayfinding.
Over the past few years, people have come to rely on a GPS to safely and quickly route them from Point A to Point B. And while a GPS is a powerful tool, it’s not a workable solution for finding your way around inside a building. If you’ve ever become lost inside a space, you know all too well the stress and anxiety your visitors likely feel on a regular basis. Through location-aware technology and wayfinding, we’re helping you offer interactive maps, step-by-step navigation and a more satisfying overall experience for your visitors and customers.
Stay tuned for more information on wayfinding and its many applications.
To those of you who attended last week, we’re thankful for your feedback and collaboration. To those of you who missed out, don’t worry! This year’s iOffice User Conference is only the beginning of many opportunities to learn, share and grow together.
Interested in learning more about the best practices powerful facilities leaders like you are using to reach success? Check out our free guide, 4 Ways Innovative Leaders Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve.