ThinkFM is the annual flagship conference from the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM). Launched in 2011, the concept of ThinkFM is to promote debate and future thinking to focus the FM profession on how it needs to evolve to deliver benefits to business, the economy and wider society.
Created as a platform for these wide-ranging discussions around facilities management’s role and impact, the conference is relevant for business leaders, FM, HR, IT and workplace professionals and attracts more than 300 delegates each year.
In 2015 it was awarded a ‘Mark of Excellence’ for Best London Conference at the Association Excellence Awards.
The agenda generally comprises strategists, futurists and case studies. Delegates from outside the FM sector attend to get the opportunity to understand how they can harness the expertise of their FM for their business.
What to expect from ThinkFM 2018
In 2018, the FM sector’s flagship conference took place near St Pauls, London. The theme: Think(beyond)FM ‘Adapt or Disappear’ explored the major disruptors in facilities management and how businesses and individuals can turn them to their advantage. The conference featured debate by the industry’s leaders on business profitability and the major disruptors which will impact FM and FM professionals. Using exciting and interesting case studies from other sectors, the conference explored the opportunities of automation and big data for facilities management – and the potential pitfalls as well as looking at contractual difficulties and major economic forces which FMs will need to prepare for.
ThinkFM conference 2018 featured debate by the industry’s leaders on business profitability and the major disruptors which will impact FM and FM professionals. Using exciting and interesting case studies from other sectors, the conference explored the opportunities of automation and big data for facilities management – and the potential pitfalls as well as looking at contractual difficulties and major economic forces which FMs will need to prepare for. Delegates to the conference came away with an understanding of the major cross-winds buffeting the sector and what strategies might be available to secure a stable future.
Although the conference is essential for those concerned with FM strategy, it was also been designed to provide real take away learnings for operational FMs who need to be able to implement who need to be able to implement plans on the ground.
ThinkFM Content 2018
The age of uncertainty and the commercial world of FM
The ThinkFM Conference opened with papers covering the macro economic shocks that FM professionals will be facing in the coming years, exploring potential major changes to outsourcing and PFIs. This section of the conference culminated with industry leaders insights on imminent changes for FM and how they can be dealt with advantageously.
This session was opened by Vicky Pryce who will provide the keynote. The noted economist and much feted public speaker will provide valuable insights on the imminent changes for FM and how they can be dealt with advantageously. She talked about the ‘dark art’ of forecasting and whether we should believe economic forecasts including a look at Brexit and the re-balancing of the economy – financial services vs manufacturing, north vs south.
Don’t fear the algorithm (but don’t believe it either!)
Big data is both a threat and an opportunity, and facilities managers are being faced with countless apps and software solutions promising to make their jobs easier. This section of the conference aimed to provide you with an understanding of the developments in this area with practical examples of how data is being collated and analysed to provide useable information and meaningful intelligence. Delegates came away with an understanding of the developments in this area and possible advantages of big data analysis, how to avoid the pitfalls and how to make the most of the data you already have.
The international angle
UK FM managers are highly sought after internationally and are infiltrating international markets, some of which are less mature than in the UK. Delegates who are considering the possibility of working overseas will be interested in expert speakers who will alert them to high paid opportunities and explain how to find out what’s available.
This session explored FM data from various international regions and will make the case for additional data gathering.