IFMA World Workplace 2023 Denver (US) – The gathering for FM professionals.

Our very own Tom Ryckaert attended THE event for FM professionals in Denver (Colorado, United States) and shares his insights and experience.

The past week was fantastic. First and foremost, a special thanks to PROCOS Group Group and IFMA Belgium Chapter for making this trip possible. If Facility Management is your passion, then this is the conference you need to attend. And no matter how you look at it, the “Lowlands” always come together, as you can see from the picture. 😎

Dean Stanberry, SFP, CFM Chairman of IFMA , started with a clear overview of the challenges in the facility management market today and in the future. Let me list the “emerging topics” for you: PropTech, AI & Generative AI, Climate change, Circular Economy, ESG reporting, and Well-being.

Following that, it was time for the first keynote by Radhika Gangarapu, with a focus on AI, and it was spot on. Don’t look at the immense mountain you have to climb, but try to come up with bite-sized use cases to start with AI. But first and foremost, look at your data management strategy!

Afterward, it was the grand opening of the exhibition, and the ideal moment to connect with suppliers, consultants, tech companies—you name it, they were all present.

In the afternoon, there were plenty of interesting sessions in the “Innovation Arenas.” Topics included the impact of hybrid work on CRE & FM, the top 5 drivers for using AI to improve the workplace, and how data insights can recognize behavioral patterns and contribute to creating a future-proof workplace. In short, lots of valuable insights.

The networking aspect is crucial to the success of such conferences. The first day included the start of the reception for IFMA EMEA , the IT Community of IFMA , and Workplace Evolutionaries , all with a view of the Rocky Mountains. Then, it was time for the highlight of the event—the conference reception at the fantastic Empower Field stadium of the Broncos. Great vibes, food, and drinks!

Day 2 began with insights from George Westerman on digital transformation in Facility Management. The key takeaway was that it’s all about leadership and management.

Throughout the day, there were numerous workshops and panel discussions. One of the highlights was the discussion on the future of work and its connection to future technologies, particularly the Metaverse, which was an eye-opener. Another session focused on applying IoT technology in the workplace environment and how to design your workspace with considerations for health equity, neurodiversity, and sensory processing. Each individual is unique, so consciously design a workspace that is inclusive. To conclude, there was a desire to refine insights about KPIs and explore how they could be optimized.

On the last day, in the morning, there were several interesting panel discussions. One of them centered around digital twins and whether we could agree on their benefits. The emphasis was once again on starting with use cases and not trying to connect everything all at once. Make it manageable.

The IFMA’s expert assessment on new ways of working in 2030, Vol. 2, provided a lot of insights into how the workplace will continue to evolve. The traditional 9-to-5 work environment has long ceased to exist. If you’re aiming for “anywhere 9-to-5,” “anywhere, anytime” and “in the office anytime,” consider these four key factors: who you are, what you are doing, where you are, and who your leadership is.

To wrap things up, there was the IFMA’s Awards of Excellence luncheon, where our very own Lara Paemen from IFMA EMEA was celebrated and received the 2023 Chair Citation for her dedication and hard work within the IFMA community at the EMEA level. Congratulations, Lara!

It were intense and enlightening days during which I got to know many new people. I’m already looking forward to the next World Workplace in 2024 in San Antonio. But first, I’m excited about World Workplace Europe 2024 in Rotterdam!

You can check out the website here: World Workplace Europe 2024 Home Page

About the author

Picture of <b> Tom Ryckaert </b>

Tom Ryckaert

Marketing & Communications Director PROCOS Group

IFMA Belgium Chapter Board Member - Innovation & Technology Lead

Co-founder & Managing Partner 2nRich

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