This week, thousands of facilities management professionals gathered at the NEC in Birmingham to browse a vast variety of exhibitor stands, engage in topical debate and address some of the most pressing issues in the FM sphere today. Facilitated by Western Business Exhibitions alongside the Health and Safety Show and the Fire Safety Show, the three events provided an excellent environment to learn, network and see what the industry has to offer in 2018.
Heading to Birmingham late Monday, a small yet mighty team of the M-People (Cathy, Gemma, Louise, Ollie and Simon) arrived straight at the NEC and began setting up their stand. Showcasing a brand-new show stand, brochures and business cards freshly designed by Mark, the team hit the show with clear roles. Cathy chaired the FM Matters theatre, Gemma helped facilitate the FM Dialogue theatre, Simon ran several of the key debate sessions and Ollie and Lou managed social media, client liaison and the Magenta stand.
With keynote speaker presentations from Magenta clients, Raj Krishnamurthy of Workplace Fabric, addressing the future of workplace optimisation and C-J Green of Servest UK, discussing how to manage a people-centric approach to FM, finished with an ever-insightful presentation from Magenta-friend, Mike Gillespie of Advent IM, and engaging debates in the FM Dialogue theatre; Tuesday saw a great start to what was set to be a brilliant event.
Wednesday brought yet more Magenta clients and friends. There were presentations from OCS on its FM delivery at the NEC, a fascinating look into the relationship between Biophilia and design by Oliver Heath, and panel debates discussing productivity, FM services and boardrooms featuring Churchill, JLL, Active and Servest. Along with the strongest footfall across the event, multiple press titles in attendance and satisfied exhibitors, the second day of the Facilities Event was a fantastic success. Lou and Ollie were lucky enough to attend the Health and Safety Awards at the glamorous Vox Conference Centre, and were on hand to help facilitate the event and provide social media management for the entirety of the evening.
Thursday, the final day of the Facilities Event, was a steady, smooth and shining example of how to bring a trade show to a close. This included a presentation from Sheffield Hallam University on apprenticeships and one on the journey towards service excellence, delivered Anne Lennox-Martin. In the FM Dialogue, key debates and themes within the FM sector were picked apart in detail. Led by Magenta’s newly appointed content manager, Simon Iatrou, and 3edges’ Ian Ellison, the panel discussions focused on how businesses can turn data into insight and action, the changing role of the Ministry of Defence, and importantly – diversity and inclusion in FM. A big thank you to all who contributed to our panel debates and speaker sessions.
And so, the event drew to a close, mid-afternoon Thursday! By 6pm the exhibitors were gone, the hall 12 of the NEC was just about back to normal, and the M-People travelled back to Brighton. There were several key takeaway points from the Facilities Event 2018. Firstly, diversity and equality is no longer a myth – workplaces and employers have to invest their efforts into equality for all. Secondly, FM is an incredibly exciting sector to be in at present. With the likes of technology, the blurring lines between FM and HR, and the position of FMs within a building and a business high on the agenda, the discipline isn’t set to go anywhere anytime soon.
We hope everyone who attended this year had a fantastic time! A massive thank you to all Magenta clients and friends for attending and providing your valuable time, effort and insights and making the event such a success, and the WBE team for being such delights to work with.