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Facilities Show 2016: London draws the crowd again

With the dust settling on another fantastic edition of the Facilities Show, FMJ looks back on three days of inspiration, insight and innovation at the ExCel in London

This year was the 18th incarnation of the Facilities show, the third held in the capital. Over 40,000 people visited the Protection and Management Series as a whole, with over 11,000 of those coming along specifically for the Facilities Show.

Flanked by the Safety and Health Expo, IFSEC International, the Service Management Expo and Firex International the Show was incredibly busy, welcoming thousands more visitors. When you throw in top quality speakers, debates and network opportunities there is no doubt that the Facilities Show is the leading event in the FM calendar.

The Facilities Show has a history of attracting fantastic speakers, last year we saw six time Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy, West Ham big wig Karen Brady and the world’s most famous explorer Ranulph Fienes. This year they were replaced by Tim Collins, Kate Adie and James Cracknell.

Collins attracted attention on both sides of the Atlantic for his rousing speech to the troops before going into battle in Iraq. His autobiography, Rules of Engagement, subsequently went straight into the bestseller lists and he is now CEO of a security company.

Adie became a household name as BBC chief news reporter, covering the Gulf War, the demise of the Soviet Union, the protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and NATO’s campaign in Kosovo. Aside from her autobiography, The Kindness of Strangers, she has published Corsets to Camouflage and Nobody’s Child. She has also won the Royal Television Society Journalism Award and the Monte Carlo International Golden Nymph.

Finally James Cracknell is one of Britain’s greatest ever oarsmen. After victory alongside Redgrave and Pinsent in the coxless four in Sydney, he went on to achieve another Olympic gold in Athens. He spoke about his adventures, the build-up to both Olympics and how they were nowhere near as straightforward as the public seemed to think.

FMJ spoke to attendees, exhibitors and speakers to see what they thought of the three days. Jo Sutherland, senior account manager at Magenta Associates was attending her first ever show. She thought: “Having jumped ship into the world of workplace nine months ago, I can honestly say that FM is an exciting industry to be part of, mainly because it is constantly evolving. What’s more, it’s an industry that places people at the heart of everything. The Facilities Show is testament to that fact; this week’s exhibition showcased the latest innovations in the market, and the line up of inspirational speakers addressed a number of key issues. Working with an array of built environment clients has really opened my eyes to just how fast-paced this sector of ours is, and events like the Facilities Show promote cross industry learning, which is vital considering we’re on the cusp of a workplace revolution!”

After a great show in 2015, De-ice once again hosted their De-ice bar and café and the ‘Snowball Challenge’ went down a storm. Show visitors got very competitive, some returning on more than one occasion to try and beat their last score! In its own EU Referendum straw poll, more than 70 per cent of respondents at the show voted to remain in the EU – unlike the result that came out shortly after the event. De-ice also presented a seminar with its client ENGIE in the FM in the Real World. The presentation was entitled: ‘800,000 patients per year, 1,400 inpatient beds, five hospitals, two trusts – one FM solution’. Here, ENGIE provided a case study on the work it undertakes at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham – to keep the site moving and operational.

Mark Lopez, managing director at De-ice, said: “We always like to have a big presence at the Facilities Show – it’s one of the main events in the FM industry calendar, and our chance to meet with companies in time for the busy winter gritting season.

“The last three winters have all been relatively mild with few major snow events. But, the question remains, will the cards fall the same next winter? Or are we due arctic conditions with plummeting temperatures? The truth is, no-one knows.

“What we can be certain of is that being unprepared has the potential to set us on a slippery slope to open ended risk and litigation. FMs need to ask themselves whether they can afford to take a gamble and do nothing. It is never too early to get the ball rolling and start your winter resilience planning.”

About Sarah OBeirne


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