IFMA Conference to Highlight Pandemic Preparedness, Sustainability

The International Facility Management Association’s World Workplace Conference & Expo, an annual three-day educational and networking event focused on the future of the built environment will be held Oct. 7-9, 2009, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The Houston-based association says the event will feature more than 75 educational sessions addressing issues relevant to the performance and safety of the workplace.

According to the preliminary program, this year’s sessions will cover topics including pandemic preparedness, sustainable building operations, commercial real estate purchase negotiation, and more, and will feature presentations from representatives of AOL, ARAMARK, Duke University, the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Air Force and General Services Administration, among others.

World Workplace 2009 educational sessions will be held Thursday, Oct. 8, and Friday, Oct. 9, at the convention center. Sessions will follow educational tracks such as Benchmarking & Best Practices, Sustainability, and Trends & Innovation, and conference attendees can earn continuing education units for each session they attend.

On Oct. 9, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., Larry D. Riley, compliance consultant with the Workplace Safety Awareness Council, will present “The Swine Flu Pandemic: Urban Myths and Real Solutions for Your Facility.”

“As business owners and facility managers we need to be aware,” Riley said. “What protective measures are we taking? Across the country I get the idea from people that [the H1N1 influenza virus is] over--the little outbreak we saw was no big deal. I want to keep people in the loop and let them know it’s not over. I want people to leave the presentation with the idea that this is something that can really happen and can affect their business and company, and they need to take protective measures. The simplest way to do that is cleanliness.”

IFMA says that in recognition of the continued importance of environmental responsibility, World Workplace 2009 also will feature more than a dozen sessions on sustainability. On Oct. 8, Bill Conley, CFM, CFMJ, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow, and Laurie Gilmer, P.E., CFM, LEED AP, will host “Sustaining Sustainability: How to Create Long Term Sustainable Operations in Your Facility” from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Conley and Gilmer will cover the five core areas that contribute to sustainable operations and help attendees learn how to implement smart, effective initiatives that will facilitate continual measurement and improvement.

Other event sessions will focus on topics such as sustainable design legislation; integrating social responsibility and green thinking into the workplace; hybrid building power; reducing energy costs; evaluating the sustainability of green products; climate change and facility management; and indoor environmental quality.

Noting the volatility of the real estate market, IFMA says many built environment professionals find themselves second guessing their purchases or negotiation strategy. With this in mind, Brian Woolsey and Frank Sherwood, MBA, commercial real estate consultants with Colliers International, will present “Broker Reveals All! Get the Scoop on How the Commercial Real Estate Game Works from an Insider” on Oct. 9, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Woolsey and Sherwood will outline a 10-step process for making a great real estate transaction, helping attendees learn how real estate companies price their services and how to effectively negotiate with them.

Other educational sessions will cover a variety of topics, including energy management in federal facilities; workplace violence response and prevention; distributed work strategies; the impact of the economy on workplace design; and natural and man-made disaster preparedness. For more information about the conference, visit

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