Ramble On

Monday, March 28, 2016

Shipping Off to Baltimore - #nfmt16

Looking over my past posts I thought I had written about the NFMT conference in Baltimore more frequently.  I have been presenting there every year consistently since 2007, although I was sick in 2008 and didn't go.

My scan of posts shows that although I've written about the sister shows in Las Vegas and Orlando more recently, I haven't posted about the Baltimore show since 2010!  So I'm overdue for an update.

I ended up in the facilities management field after I completed my MBA at USC in 1997.  When I got back to DC from LA, they had a management consulting practice focusing on this specialty just starting up at what was then known as Sverdrup (subsequently bought by Jacobs), and I was the third employee to join it.

Here we are, nearly 20 years later, and it turns out that my work with 80+ clients has revealed some inscrutable truths about how organizations run their real estate and facilities - and this discovery convinced me that maybe I should talk about some of the things I've learned in the field.

So, in 2007, I put together a talk about prioritizing facilities investments, and presented it at NFMT in Baltimore.  Then, in 2009, I gave a new talk about high-performing facilities organizations in Baltimore and Las Vegas - I also gave the prioritization talk in Vegas that year.

Every year since then, except for 2014, I have presented at Baltimore, and in alternating odd-numbered years, I've given my talks in Vegas or Orlando.  In 2014, while I didn't present, the company put a booth up at the Baltimore show, so I did attend - I hate the idea of missing it, truth be told!

The topics continue to evolve.  After the high-performance talk had run its course, I made up a new one called "Building a Better Business Case" - once again, featuring how to make good investment decisions about facilities, but adding the key concept of how to justify funding requests to management.  This year was another new topic, although the title is no where near as catchy:  "An Overview of Facilities Management."

A few of my team members joined me in Baltimore this time, and I was very happy to run into some current and former students from the graduate program I teach in at Catholic University.  Since this was a new topic, I didn't know how the audience would receive it, but it ended up that there were more than 180 attendees in the room!

So we'll call that a success!  I already have some updates for this talk to keep it fresh a year or two, and I'll see if I can take it to Vegas this year.

Some might say that facilities management isn't a glamorous field.  I beg to differ.

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