The last thing facility executives need is one more thing to do. That obvious fact is something editors periodically ignore when we ask readers for their time. A phone interview is one thing, but to ask a busy facility executive to carve out half a day or more to join a roundtable discussion or other event — well, let’s just say that anyone who has ever made a cold call knows that the result is sometimes a cold shoulder.
It’s not just editors, of course. Anyone sponsoring an industry event does the same thing. And we’re all promising one reward: networking. Is networking a practical benefit? Based on one of our recent roundtables, I’d have to say the answer is yes. Consider these three practical payoffs:
- During the discussion, participants talked about challenges they face. Not surprisingly, their peers sometimes had suggestions to offer — suggestions that often led to other suggestions in an exchange of ideas that benefited all sides.
- Three facility executives are using the same real estate software system. An update is on the way; now they have peers to compare notes with.
- One participant knew that a pending reorganization might eliminate his position. It did. But now senior facility executives from several large organizations know that he’s looking for a job and has experience in technical areas like energy efficiency and data centers, plus experience as a BOMI instructor.
Most facility executives who participate in an industry event come away with at least one of those rewards — and that payoff is generally enough to keep them coming back for more.