For those of you gearing up for this year’s IFMA World Workplace Conference in Denver, we have one question for you: What are your goals for this conference?
There are so many opportunities awaiting you at this event that it becomes difficult to prioritize and determine what your focus should be. Should you soak up all the knowledge this year’s event has to offer by attending as many Learning Labs and Roundtable Discussions as possible? Should you focus on the Expo and learn what innovative tools are available for Facilities teams today? Or perhaps your goal is to network and build strong connections with your colleagues?
To help discover your goals, and make the most of this great networking opportunity, we have broken down the list of attendees into specific “personas.” Armed with the right information, you can identify yourself within the list, and learn who to seek out and who to avoid. You have only 3 days at IFMA's WW2015 Conference, so you won’t want to waste a single moment!
1) The Networker
Goal = Meet leaders in the industry
The networker’s primary goal is to meet and make lasting connections with others in the FM industry. This person likely has a strong social media presence and has already made online connections with attendees they are looking to meet. You’ll find the networker chatting and handing out business cards at Morning Coffee and the multitude of social events the World Workplace Conference has to offer.
2) The Information Sponge
Goal = Soak up as much knowledge as possible
This is the person who is attending the conference for the wealth of knowledge they stand to gain. You’ll find the sponge with their schedule in one hand, juggling their laptop, smart phone, and notebook with a pen in the other. Socializing is for another time; they’re in attendance to learn as much as they can while at the conference and the biggest challenge they face is choosing which Learning Lab they should attend first.
3) The Thought Leader
Goal = Share knowledge with colleagues
The thought leaders are those typically chosen to speak during Roundtable Discussions and Learning Labs. As a recognized and valuable resource within their field, they are there to share specifics regarding what they have learned through years of experience. Ultimately, their knowledge and experience is what has helped shape the facilities management profession into what it is today.
4) The Decision Makers
Goal = Discover key investments for the future of their company
The World Workplace Conference draws FM leaders and decision makers from across the globe. Key stakeholders attend to learn about both current and future investments in both education and products and services that will help their organization maintain a competitive edge in this ever-changing business environment.
5) The Vendor
Goal = Teach others about their innovative products
Innovators, thinkers, and problem solvers fall under this category. They are there to share their excitement about the latest and greatest in facilities management tools and services, as well as to get inspired by others. Yes, the vendor is there to sell a product/service, but they are also leaders in their industry and have a wealth of information to share. Your interaction with them will hopefully spark creativity and reenergize your enthusiasm for your chosen field.
6) The Job Seeker
Goal = Find a job
The job seeker is there to learn, but their primary focus is on networking and advancing their career to the next level. Their goals vary, depending upon what stage they are in their career. They might be there to simply listen and learn about the various facets to the FM profession; or they’re there to personalize connections they have made via LinkedIn or Twitter. Between the Job Fair, social events, and the Expo, there are a multitude of opportunities for the job seeker to capitalize on.
Which of these types of persona do you identify with the most? Whether you identify more with one or a little of all of these categories, the IFMA’s World Workplace Conference is an opportunity to reach out to and learn from the very best. Take advantage of all it has to offer and make the most of your time there. Map out your schedule ahead of time, make sure you have business cards handy at all times, and take notes whenever possible. Last but definitely not least, make time for fun - you never can tell how you’ll meet who you meet!