MovePlan has been a garden level sponsor of IFMA (International Facility Management Association) for several years and we were delighted to attend this conference with our New England team.

We had a stand at the conference exhibit hall where we raffled off four Red Sox game tickets and a custom London Skyline chess set before taking part in a series of Tech Talks with industry experts.

This included the event’s keynote speaker Steve Weikal, from the MIT Center for Real Estate.

During his presentation, Steve offered an insight into trends in the real estate industry.

He spoke about the increase of VC (venture capital) investing in real estate technology innovation and explained how companies are using apps and technology to help use and market their spaces differently.

This ranged from apps to allow you to ad-hoc book unused meeting spaces in hotels to allowing clients to sub-lease seats in their current office spaces using a reservation app.

Chris Colón, Senior Project Manager at MovePlan, who attended the event, said: “The trend for many companies is allowing hybrid work, with some studies showing an almost 25 per cent increase in workers preferring the flexibility of working from home and the office as they choose.

“The workplace is being rethought with the intention of bringing people in to collaborate and providing options for the type of work and peer interaction required.”

— Chris Colón, MovePlan Senior Project Manager

Chris explained that much of the discussions held during the conference focused on the role of facilities managers in bringing employees back to the office.

“Many companies are moving to a hybrid model and trying different ways of achieving this. But they don’t necessarily think about their facilities manager playing a role,” he said, adding: “The conversation focused on facilities playing a big part.

“The keynote speaker highlighted the importance of innovation and how companies are now using their existing space differently. For example, they might use an app to book out space.

“From what we’re seeing with our clients we work with; many are using desk booking for internal employees, but they haven’t considered offering this out externally. This might be a way, going forward, to give up unused floor space and save on operating costs.”

Chris said it was great to be back in-person at a conference, where attendees also enjoyed less formal networking opportunities including a cocktail hour and cornhole tournament.

The 19th Annual Awards of Excellence were held during the conference when several chapter members were presented with awards of achievement.