1. Facilities Management 2016 will be returning to the NEC again next month, what can visitors expect to see this year?
The Facilities Management team has been working really hard to create an event that provides both an educational and practical visitor experience. FM professionals attending can expect to find a brand new seminar programme, which has been designed in response to industry feedback, so it really reflects the key challenges faced by FM’s every day. We have some fantastic speakers and industry ‘celebrities’ on the show floor including Julie Kortens from Channel 4 and Chris Moriarty from Leesman Index, to name just a few. We have also partnered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, who will provide the visitors with an exclusive snapshot of its Strategic FM case study programme.
As well as an exciting new seminar programme we have a host of new and returning exhibitors such as Tradepoint, Service Master, Gritting.com and Schneider Electric. All will be demonstrating their latest products and innovations and excitingly many tell me they’re launching new products at the show.
2. How has the seminar programme been tailored to meet the changing demands of the industry?
We believe that the feedback we receive from our visitors is a real reflection of the demands the industry is facing, so we have tailored the seminar programme, in partnership with Magenta Associates, to match. The seminars will include over 25 educational sessions, which embrace the key themes of People, Policy and Politics.
These specifically designed streams embrace the macro environmental factors which are affecting the industry. With business’ workforce becoming increasingly mobile, maintaining safe working practises is more important than ever. Similarly, facilities professionals are under increased pressure to guarantee business continuity and maintain high levels of business service, hence our first theme will focus on people.
With new policies and legislation having widespread business implications, the second aspect of the programme will look at the impact major policies are having on organisations and clients. Finally, the third stream is set to look at the common political trends affecting organisations within the facilities management sector.
3. As the show returns for its third year, what has been particularly rewarding for you?
Facilities Management 2016 is still relatively new in terms of trade shows, but what has been particularly rewarding for me is the warm welcome we have received from the FM community. We really do feel as though we have the industry’s support both from the individuals working in the market and some of the big players such as Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). People have always been willing to give us their insights into the world of FM, which helps us to be a part of the solution, especially when it comes to some of the biggest industry questions.
4. Has there been an increased demand this year from any particular sector?
Absolutely, this year we have a lot more exhibitors from the Energy Management sector on board. This was in fact the most looked for service taxonomy at last year’s event. We have an array of top Energy Management exhibitors signed up, including Llumarlite, Schneider Electric and ND Metering Solutions.
We have also seen new support from partners in other areas of the wider FM community. The partnership with Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a prime example of this. As well as exhibiting at the show, it will be giving an exclusive snapshot into some of the lessons learnt from its strategic FM case studies, as part of our redesigned seminar programme
We are also thrilled to welcome The Hill Club, the important cleaning leadership networking event, which will be meeting at Facilities Management 2016. It is a major coup for the show and reflects the markets increased demand for cleaning to be part of the wider FM market.
5. As the remit of a facilities manager’s basic role grows, how does the show remain relevant?
The basic role of our visitors is indeed evolving. To respond to this we’ve looked to co-locate our show with other highly complementary events.
The first co-location is Maintec 2016, the leading UK event for the maintenance, plant and asset management industry and the second co-location is the Health and Safety Event. Each visitor is able to gain access to all three shows with one badge, which means that if they do have a wider remit, they can see the very latest in innovation across the full spectrum of their job.
6. How can visitors make the most of their experience at Facilities Management 2016? How do you make the most of a tradeshow?
The visitor experience is key to us as event organisers. We understand that the FM professionals time is precious and it is vital we ensure that a day away from the workplace is as inspirational as possible.
Our educational programme and exhibiting companies are designed to be on point, relevant to the FM professional and provide attendees with real insight and solutions to the issues they face every day. This coupled with dynamic and interactive sessions will give anyone attending the show a real opportunity to get a boost to their personal and professional FM career. The beauty of a tradeshow is the human interaction and networking opportunities there are. I think it is important to make sure you get the opportunity to speak to existing and potential suppliers in person, not only does this help to develop relationships, but it presents you with an opportunity to explore all the options available to your business.
Similarly, people always underestimate time at trade shows. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get around the show and make sure you attend all the sessions that are on offer. By getting to the show early, you’re giving yourself a full day to be inspired by innovation, watch thought-provoking debates and network with your fellow FM professionals!