Lessons learned at IFMA’s 2018 Facility Fusion, and why we're going back

Redesigning Food at Work

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

During IFMA’s 2018 Facility Fusion last week, we had the chance to connect with a number of facility managers on the expo floor. It was our first time attending an IFMA event at the national level and we’re happy to announce that we have already made the decision to exhibit at the World Workplace Conference in Charlotte this October.

While we were too busy manning the Fooda booth to attend most of the sessions, we learned a lot from our conversations with facility managers in the expo hall as well as from the couple of sessions that we did manage to attend.

From our perspective, there were two major themes that stuck out from the event: Employee Experience, and the Multigenerational Workforce.

1) Employee Experience

A few of the facility managers we spoke to told us that the employee experience has become a central focus in the field. It makes sense. Facility Management is not just about taking care of the physical plant. It’s about taking care of the people who spend their time inside your space and making sure the environment is a place where people want to work (i.e. recruiting and retention, which is more relevant than ever in today’s climate). Facilities Managers are also playing a much larger role in positively affecting work productivity by removing barriers that slow people down and creating opportunities for teams to collaborate.

At Fooda, we get it. We understand that employee culture and productivity is relevant to your role. Of course we’re biased in saying this, but we believe that creating an onsite meal service that employees will love and look forward to every day can make a big impact. Check out our case study with Tractor Supply to see how we worked together when they moved their corporate HQ into a new building.

2) Multigenerational workforce

There was a lot of talk about how to engage and retain young professionals, within the companies where facility managers work, and also within the profession itself. Meagan Johnson addressed this in her speech, “Zap the Gap: Generations At Work” (did anyone else feel a little awkward when we were split up into two groups – millennials and non-millennials – and asked to shout out some not so flattering adjectives about one another?). From our perspective, it looks like young professionals are very interested in the field. There were a lot of students at the event. Especially from Ferris State University’s Facility Management program.

Interesting food related fact: over 50% of millennials self identify as being “foodies”. Our data shows they are very interested in trying out authentic mom and pop restaurants and less likely to be happy with the kind of generic food you might find in a cafeteria. Check out our whitepaper, The Workplace Food Hall & the Future of the Company Cafeteria, to learn more.

We love learning about what’s important to Facilities Managers like you from all over the country. And we can’t wait to learn more at the international conference in October. If you’d like to learn a little more about us, please be sure to stop by our booth.

See you in Charlotte!