Bring a friend

I attend many workplace conferences, I’m even asked to speak at some of them. The company I work for has sponsored many of them. Some are better than others, and I can use a mixture of words to describe them.

Frustrating – Exhilarating – Informative – Well organised – Fun – Too commercial – Appalling – Repetitive – Groundbreaking

You will have your own views, and people have taken the time to blog both their appreciation and their abhorrence of them. Some people have even come up with the idea for an Unconference next year called Workstock. I’m intrigued by this and hope they let people from the supply side in!

However you can be sure that at  most conferences the people we really need there don’t show up. I am not just talking about the people in the real estate and FM  roles from less enlightened institutions and companies, but people from other fields in our own companies who can impact the workplace.  People who can make a huge difference to the success of a workplace programme, but who may not officially be part of the team.

So, that’s where this ‘bring a friend’ idea comes in, it came to me yesterday in a Corenet Workplace Committee meeting. In my experience many groups which want to grow often encourage this. For me though, this is about getting the people to these conferences who need to hear some of the talks. I’m not suggesting that they need to hear the arguments just so that they can accept them, although that wouldn’t be a bad thing. More importantly you need to hear their feedback afterwards on the ideas being proposed. If they thought they were great, how can they help them be introduced? If they though they would never work, then find out why.

So, conference organisers, how about encouraging people to ‘bring a friend’ to your next conference and offer a ‘buy one, bring a friend for 50% deal’  Just ensure that the friend is from outside of the real estate, workplace or FM functions. (Linked in makes this very easy) Someone from the HR,  IT or Marketing team. maybe? You never know, we might learn something new.

See you at the next conference. You can see a list of events here

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About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
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