IFMA Conference Offers Timely Expertise on Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity

In the wake of destructive hurricanes Harvey, Irma Jose and Maria, the Houston-based International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is inviting professionals to learn about emergency planning and business continuity at its flagship event, the World Workplace Conference and Expo to be held in Houston, Texas, USA, on Oct. 18-20. Presented in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), this year’s conference theme is “We are FM: A Universe of Possibilities.”

The statistics are shocking: 43 percent of businesses that close their doors following a natural disaster never re-open, yet 81 percent of the organizations IFMA surveyed did not have an up-to-date emergency preparedness and business continuity plan. As the largest and best-recognized professional association for facility management (FM) professionals, IFMA polls its members around the world to identify key competency areas and then builds educational curricula around them. One such competency area for FM is emergency preparedness and business continuity — the ability to plan for emergencies before they hit and to recover quickly after.

Registration for World Workplace Conference and Expo is currently open at

What: World Workplace Conference and Expo

When: Oct. 18-20, 2017

Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, Texas, USA

IFMA’s matrix of educational offerings includes 8 courses about emergency preparedness and business continuity. For FM professionals, these courses can make all the difference in preparing for and recovering from natural disasters including hurricanes, earthquakes and fires, as well as events like terrorist attacks, active shooters and more. Class offerings include sessions such as:

Ready, Set, Exercise! How to Develop and Conduct a Business Continuity Plan Exercise

Successful crisis management and disaster recovery takes more than a plan: it requires realistic testing and validation. Are your exercises smoke and mirrors or do they provide as-close-to-real situations as possible? How can you improve? During this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to set up and conduct a successful business continuity plan exercise. Through a mock exercise of an actual event as the case study, you’ll participate in response and recovery activities. We’ll use some surprise participants and provide timely insertions to add realism to the scenario.

The Facility Manager’s Keys to Effective Emergency Preparedness

Facility managers and building engineers are the most important people when it comes to the safety and well-being of the individuals working in and visiting facilities. You are the one responders want to talk to when they first arrive on the scene after an incident. So, how can you be fully prepared to answer their questions? We’ll equip you with the key steps, strategies and resources necessary to achieve effective emergency preparedness. We’ll also highlight effective methods of staff instruction. You’ll walk away with the strategies and resources you need to either strengthen your existing emergency preparedness program or to begin building one. We’ll enable you to work collectively within your organization to protect your most valuable asset (your people) and give your operations a way to recover more quickly from a disruptive incident.

Developing a Portfolio-wide Emergency Management Program

Many aspects of resiliency are the responsibility of the base building operator, but there are also features and operations that should be the responsibility of the facility manager. It’s important to understand the respective roles and responsibilities and ensure that there is good coordination and collaboration between the building manager and the occupant’s facility manager. This presentation describes a strategic approach to evaluate the resiliency of a corporate portfolio in terms of the four pillars of an emergency management program: 1) Mitigation; 2) (documented) Plans; 3) Readiness to respond; and 4) Recovery to business as usual.

World Workplace is the original all-encompassing learning and networking event on facilities and how to manage them. There’s program value for FM professionals at every point of their careers and across all types of facilities. Although many have tried to imitate its success, World Workplace remains the gold standard for discovering new ideas and technology impacting the FM industry. Just as Houston has been a key staging point for humanity’s exploration of outer space, World Workplace in Houston will be the launching point for FM professionals into exciting new dimensions of discovery.

About IFMA

IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting over 24,000 members in 104 countries. This diverse membership participates in focused component groups equipped to address their unique situations by region (133 chapters), industry (14 councils) and areas of interest (six communities). Together they manage more than 78 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than US$526 billion in products and services. Formed in 1980, IFMA certifies professionals in facility management; conducts research; provides educational programs, content and resources; and produces World Workplace, the world’s largest series of facility management conferences and expositions. To join and follow IFMA’s social media outlets online, visit the association’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr pages. For more information, visit the IFMA press room or

About RICS

RICS is a global professional body. We promote and enforce the highest professional qualification and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards – bringing confidence to the markets we serve. The work of our professionals creates a safer world: we are proud of our profession’s reputation and we guard it fiercely.