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2019 World Workplace Builds Knowledge and Network

World Workplace Builds Knowledge and Network

World Workplace lived up to its “gold standard” as the place to be for knowledge, networking and career development. Jeff Touchette and Dave Gardin (CFM) were among the more than 30 chapter members who attended the 39th Annual World Workplace in Phoenix, AZ, from Oct. 16-18. And Jeff and Dave say the event lived up to its billing as the top conference and expo for the facility management industry.

“As a vendor, one of the things I enjoyed most at World Workplace was seeing everything offered to facility professionals by other vendors,” says Jeff, Chapter President and Sales Manager for Jarrell Mechanical Contractors. “Every time I attend a conference or event like this, it amazes me to see the new products and services available to our industry. And I also learned what products and services caught the interests of St. Louis facility managers who attended the expo.”

Learning from vendors on the exhibit floor and educational sessions support professionals, adds Dave, Chapter Treasurer and Facility Manager for KDG. “There are great vendors at World Workplace that have the solutions we need as we encounter issues and manage real estate. I brought back a wealth of information and product samples that will benefit our facility management team in the future.”

Networking with colleagues remains a key benefit, Jeff adds. “The connections I made at the show are already benefitting me personally and professionally.” While he met many new people, he found the time he spent with IFMA St. Louis members invaluable.

“We were lucky enough to have more than 30 people attend World Workplace this year,” he explains. “Quite a few of them are already customers of Jarrell. The time we spent in Phoenix just strengthened our existing relationship in ways that are difficult to replicate in normal day-to-day business interactions.”

Jeff also gained some insights on improving the chapter’s performance. He says it’s important to keep a 60 percent, 40 percent ratio of professional to associate members to ensure the chapter’s health. Professional members drive the organization. “If we keep the professional members engaged in our committees and programs, we underscore the value of membership while also naturally attracting the support of associates.”

Next year’s World Workplace takes place closer to home in Chicago from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Jeff and Dave encourage all members to make plans.

“It’s such a great opportunity for professional members to network with their colleagues and to learn,” Dave says.

“There are many incentives,” Jeff notes. “Just being able to see and interact with vendors who serve our industry provide enough reason for professional members to attend. Every aspect of a facility manager’s job is represented in the vendor area.”

Attendance also elevates a facility manager’s standing. “It’s a great way for management to show a facility professional the importance of his or her position within an organization,” Jeff adds.

And whether a professional or associate member, the ability to network is immeasurable. “There are not many better ways to build a relationship with someone than to attend a conference and share a meal or two,” Jeff says.