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An FM's Guide to Attending an IFMA Conference


First time attending an IFMA conference? Make the most of your conference with these essential tips:

1.  Plan Your Schedule: Review the event schedule and plan which sessions, workshops, or networking events you want to attend. Can't decide between a certain session? Ask a friend or colleague who is going to the other session to trade notes after so neither of you miss out. 

2. Set Goals: What do you hope to achieve by attending the event? Whether it's gaining new knowledge, making connections, or exploring career opportunities, setting clear goals will guide your experience and ensure you stay focused. 


3. Network Strategically: Networking is a key benefit of attending IFMA events. Prepare your elevator pitch and be ready to introduce yourself to fellow attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. Don't hesitate to exchange contact information and follow up after the event. Make sure to post on LinkedIn that you'll be attending the event and coordinate with contacts beforehand. 

4. Stay Engaged: Actively participate in sessions and discussions. Ask questions, share your insights, and contribute to conversations. Engaging with others not only enhances your learning but also helps you build relationships within the industry.

5. Take Notes: Carry a notebook or use a note-taking app to jot down key points, ideas, and action items. Reviewing your notes after the event will reinforce your learning and help you apply new knowledge to your work. 


6. Visit the Expo: Explore the expo area to discover new products, technologies, and services related to facility management. Exhibitors offer demos and special promotions that can benefit your organization. The IFMA expo is a great place to see if working with a particular service team would be a good cultural fit for your organization. Don't forget to sign up to win expo prizes and cash drawings! 

7. Stay Flexible: Events can be dynamic, with schedule changes or unexpected opportunities. Stay flexible and open to adjusting your plans to make the most of every moment. Don't be afraid to join a new networking connection for lunch or explore the destination city.

8. Dress Appropriately: Dress comfortably yet professionally to make a positive impression. Good walking shoes are a must. As you explore the venue, some rooms may be hot and others may be chilly. Bring light layers to stay comfortable. 


9. Follow Up: After the event, follow up with the contacts you've made. Send thank-you notes, connect on LinkedIn, and continue the conversations you started. Networking is ongoing, and nurturing relationships is key to long-term success. Post your photos and takeaways from the event to organically connect with your new contacts.

10. Reflect and Implement: Take time to reflect on what you've learned and how you can apply it in your role. Implementing new ideas and strategies will help you maximize the value of attending future IFMA events. If you can show leadership or your supervisor how you implemented something you learned at the conference, you can easily make your case to attend an event in the future. 

Attending an IFMA event is not just about attending sessions; it's about immersing yourself in the world of facility management, connecting with peers, and gaining insights that can drive your career forward. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your IFMA event experience.

Check out what IFMA events are coming up