11 Tips for First-Time Attendees at Facility Fusion

May 1, 2024

Katherine Sproles

1. Check out the city and conference area for fun things to do

Take advantage of your time away from home. Facility Fusion 2024 is in the heart of Boston’s Seaport district. Described as a “home for technology, innovation, art” this area is “becoming the most sought-after spot for both Fortune 500s and start-ups to set up shop, one of the top residential areas in the city, and a go-to destination for global travelers.”

Interested in seeing a fascinating facility in Boston? Sign up for our facility tour of Schneider Electric’s Andover R&D Center (ARDC). 

2. Share that you are going on LinkedIn to start networking

Start connecting with others beforehand and see who else is attending Facility Fusion. We created the Facility Fusion Marketing Guide + Toolkit with logos, banners, social media banners and more.

Share the “I’m Attending” graphic on your social media, use #FacilityFusion and tag @IFMA. These templates make it easy to promote your participation whether you’re an attendee, speaker, exhibitor or sponsor.

3. Grab your first-timer’s badge sticker

Near check-in you’ll find a colorful wall of sticker ribbons to attach to your badge. We encourage everyone to grab a few. It’s a fun way to show off why you’re attending and what communities you belong to. First-time attendees can help find others new to the conference with the special “first time attendee” sticker badge. Wear it proudly and start looking for others in your network.

4. Download the mobile app and test it out

Save yourself a headache and download the official Facility Fusion app before you reach the conference. Use this mobile app during Facility Fusion to:

• Receive important event notifications

• View maps, schedule, education sessions and speaker list

• Access the exhibitor list and expo hall map

• Network with conference attendees

You must be logged in to the Facility Fusion app to bookmark sessions and network with attendees. To login, go to ‘MyPlanner’ and use your credentials found on the registration confirmation email.

5. Make an expo plan

IFMA’s expo is packed with some of the most innovative vendors in facility management. While you’re there, make sure to get your professional headshot taken and participate in the expo scavenger hunt for prizes and cash drops. Make sure you get the most out of the experience by using My Show Planner. Create a free account to bookmark exhibitors you’d like to meet, access collateral on their solutions, take advantage of show specials and contact exhibitors directly and book meetings with them at Facility Fusion.

6. Don’t forget to have fun

You never know who you’ll meet or what memories you’ll make. There are plenty of opportunities to meet fellow FMs at the Cinco De Mayo Welcome Reception, community service project or Facility Fusion Fun Run. Taking time to meet others, network or relax are just as important to your conference experience as your educational sessions.

7. Practice your elevator pitch or how you want to introduce yourself

Meeting so many new people can be intimidating. Take a few minutes to figure out who you want to meet and why. Do you want to meet others in your industry or FMs in a similar role? Think about how you want to showcase what you do and what kind of connections would be most beneficial to you. A great way to break the ice can be asking fellow facility managers why they are passionate about the job.

8. Pack comfy shoes and business casual clothes

May temperatures in Boston average between 50-67°F (10-19°C). Temperatures inside the air-conditioned hotel may be cool, so plan to have a sweater or jacket on hand. A pair of comfortable shoes is a must. If you’re attending any facility tours, portions of the tour may be outdoors and comfortable closed-toe walking shoes are required.

Participating in the Fusion Fun Run wellness activity? Remember to wear comfortable workout attire and suitable shoes for outdoor running or walking in Boston.

9. Plan out your education sessions

Familiarize yourself with what sessions you’d like to attend beforehand. Read through the session description and think about what skills you want to develop during the conference. In the session guide, you can see an “Emerging Topic” banner under certain sessions. Emerging topics consist of new or evolving business functions, external influences, or mandates that have a high probability of impacting the FM profession in terms of roles, responsibilities, and skills & knowledge requirements.

10. Carry some extra supplies to break the ice

Having a hard time figuring out how to talk to new people? Offer your seatmate gum or carry an extra pen in case someone near you forgets. Introduce yourself with a strong handshake and don’t forget to ask for their contact information. When you reach out to your new contact later, ask about what they found most interesting about the session.

11. Stay charged

Don’t forget your phone or laptop charger and consider investing in a power bank. With many conference materials being digital, the last thing you need is your device dying. Don’t forget to keep yourself energized too by staying hydrated during the long conference days.

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