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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
News
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Why attending FM events is good for your organisation, the industry...and your career.

Keith Seymour, Head of Business Development for ISS Office Services shares his thoughts on why - even in our social media age - event networking is still a great way to learn, promote your company, the FM industry and yourself. Keith also shares his tips on how to get the most out of attending events.
In the summer 2018, I attended a launch event for a new facility management networking group – The Property Management Club. Unlike most events in our industry (which typically take the format of a presentation on a single topic, Q&A and an hour or so of networking), this was just about meeting people in the industry and making contacts. I also recently attended the ISS hosted Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM- formerly BIFM) International Special Interest Group event on transforming international contracts, where Claire Harman shared her experience and the ISS method of mobilising contracts and bringing consistency to the process across regions both before and after go live.

I had made a conscious effort to attend these, as after a few months away from the events circuit it’s so easy to stay in the habit of not attending. Work and home pressures for everyone are such that attending evening events usually takes some organisation and commitment; it’s not hard to find an excuse not to go. Those of us in sales or operational roles though will always find something to take away from any event, whether a direct contact and relationship that ultimately leads to new business or just keeping in touch with what’s changing in the industry. Speaking to peers, even competitors can provide insight into challenges we all face. Even in a market as competitive as FM, the people who attend these events are keen to share their experiences and create as sense of pride and purpose in what we all do.

The FM industry is sometimes criticised as one that has a disproportionate amount of over 40s and where attracting new talent is a challenge. Interestingly, those who attend industry events and display a passion for their role and progressing in the industry are often made up of the new crop of rising FM talent. This is thanks in no small measure to the efforts of PFM and IWFM to encourage this group, recognising ISS’ own Conrad Dinsmore and Candy Hollingum in the two key emerging talent awards last year.

If you are new to the FM events world or want to re-establish connections I would offer these tips to get the most out of your time:

1. Be selective in what you attend. If you have a particular interest or specialist area, the IWFM (formerly BIFM) Special Interest Groups can be particularly beneficial and have content directly relevant to your current or desired role. They cover a range of topics, from People Management through to Sustainability and Procurement.

2. Be generous with your time. People attending events will be from a wide array of backgrounds and will often include smaller FM companies, suppliers, SMEs and consultants. They will be keen to hear about how ISS operates or how they can work with us.

3. Be more than just an attendee. Most groups are operated on a voluntary basis and are always keen to find people who can share the workload and participate. This can also be a great ice-breaker in the networking that is always part of the agenda.

4. Use Social Media. If you are attending and discovering interesting content don’t keep it to yourself. Using Twitter or LinkedIn to share your experience is a fantastic way to raise your industry profile overall and show support for your industry colleagues.

5. Make it a habit. Put the events in your calendar well in advance and try to attend one each month.

6. Take somebody along. It takes practice to network in a group and having a colleague with you can help to make approaches and keep a conversation flowing.

If you work for ISS and are interested in attending industry events, contact our Conference and Events.

Keith Seymour is Head of Business Development for ISS Office Services.

Click here to contact Keith to find out more about how ISS Office Services is helping customers with every element of their facilities and support needs.

@KeithASeymour

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