The world's largest facilities management event of the year is almost here! The booths are packed, the speakers have rehearsed, and all that's left is for all of us to travel to beautiful San Diego. The first day of World Workplace can often be a busy blur, sometimes we forget to stop and truly connect during this awesome event. Social media can help you make the most of your experience, and may introduce you to a new session or new contact you may have otherwise missed. Here's how to really connect with everything going on at this year's conference using social.
1) Use the Hashtag
This is the easiest way to keep up with everything going on at World Workplace. IFMA keeps it simple, and this year's hashtag isn't much different than last year's. Simply place #IFMAWW16 at the end of your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts to have it included in the information stream. Aside from just adding your posts to the conversation, you can also just follow the hashtag periodically to see what other attendees are talking about, or to learn important bits of information about what's happening at the convention center. IFMA will tweet every few minutes to let you know of changes to the schedule, fun happenings around the expo floor or just to share fun photos people have submitted. Which leads us to the next step...
2) Snap a Selfie
While you are there to learn and network, having a bit of fun is part of the experience too! Grab your coworker or new friend and take a fun photo for your company's Facebook or Instagram page, or just to remember your experience.
Need some inspiration? Take a picture of you on one of World Workplace Facility Tours or during your time on the USS Midway for the Welcome Reception. Particularly proud of your pic? Post it with the World Workplace conference hashtag #IFMAWW16. This way, everyone at the conference who is participating on social media can see your fun picture. Because, after all, if you don't take a selfie, did you really even go?
3) Get Questions Answered
We know IFMA has been working hard to prepare all year for this event, and they have done a wonderful job answering everyone's questions and laying out what to expect on the website. However, sometimes little things are missed. If you have a question and can't seem to find someone to answer it for you, try tweeting it. Be sure to use IFMA's Twitter handle @IFMA in your tweet and also include the conference hashtag, #IFMAWW16 to try and get a faster response. This works with companies during the expo as well. Just be sure to include their company handle or they won't receive your tweet.
4) Connect on LinkedIn
This is your homework assignment for after you return from San Diego. Don't worry, it's an easy one. Take all of your business cards you acquired throughout the week and locate those individuals on LinkedIn. If you're worried they won't remember how you were introduced or what you talked about, mention it in the pop up LinkedIn provides you when you ask to connect with a new person. It's probably a good idea to do this anyway, as many people are going to have multiple connection requests, and sending them a more personalized message gives you a better chance of standing out.
Once you're connected, keep your conversation organized by typing a few key points of your conversation into your "relationship" section of your connection. This is located on their page right underneath the bio section. This is information you can enter for your own records, and rest assured, it's only visible to you.
This is also a good time to follow the companies you visited on the expo floor. You never know when you may want to reach out to them in the future whether it's for a potential job opening or to learn more about their services. You can also follow your favorite session and keynote speakers on LinkedIn. If you don't feel comfortable asking them to connect directly, following their profile is a great way to keep up with their posts and items they share. Here are a few keynote and breakout session speaker profiles to save you time searching:
- Elizabeth Dukes, Co-Founder of iOFFICE, Inc.
- Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media
- Meredith Thatcher, President of Thatcher Workplace Consulting
Every year our expectations for World Workplace are exceeded, and this year in San Diego should be no exception. It should be a few busy days packed full of learning, networking and making new connections. Make the most of it by using social media to take your experience one level above. If you have any questions about using social or about iOFFICE, be sure to stop by booth #1041 during expo hours. We would love the chance to meet you and address any questions you may have. Or just for you to show us your awesome selfie.