Day three is what I call a transition day as activity shifts from committee meetings to the opening of the conference with the first keynote address and the grand opening of the exposition floor, followed by the evening’s welcome reception. From my personal rounds of the day I noted the following highlights.
The First Time Attendees breakfast was packed out. There is lots of new blood entering the profession as evidenced by the SRO crowd and the energy level of the attendees. This breakfast introduces first timers to the conference offerings and gives them a chance to get their feet on the ground and guidance on how they might structure their time, based on personal career path and affinities. I spent time talking with one young man who should be an inspiration to all. He joined IFMA in March and at his first chapter meeting heard about the CFM credential. He signed up for a weekend prep class the chapter was offering, took the class and then took the exam in April. He may well be the fastest “rookie to CFM” on record!
Over a thousand new credentials issued in the last year. The afternoon Credentials Reception honored those who have achieved one of IFMA’s three credentials, the Facility Management Professional (FMP), Sustainable Facility Professional (SFP), or the premier Certified Facility Manager (CFM) since the last annual conference. Again the room was filled and the dialogue lively as we celebrated their success.
The Future Trends panel concluded its second session with an emphasis on technology. I will tell you, this was one interesting and lively discussion, one that could easily have filled the entire afternoon. A couple of key points to note, some of which I may expand upon in future posts.
- The nexus of forces concept is becoming reality. Cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Everything, mobile deployment and the pace of innovation are shaping the technology front.
- Data analytics are now key to optimizing operations and innovating. A growing consensus says that the FM suite needs to have its own data analysis capabilities.
- We have two big picture data issues: FM is awash in disparate data. The Internet of Everything is beginning to have an impact on that front but we still need to connect the dots on a much larger scale. Second, FM needs to own its data issue and internalize accountability.
Registration and enthusiasm are up. This is IFMA’s largest registration in several years and it shows. Session attendance is strong and the activity on the exposition floor is positive. I spoke with several exhibitors yesterday and without exception they all were encouraged by the strong activity and discussions with potential customers. Good to see and great to hear.
Stay tuned for more from today’s educational sessions. Follow my #WW2013 tweets via @FMandBeyond and check back tomorrow for an update on today’s action.