By Devon Maresco
Any time people gather in mass in a centralized location, there’s bound to be logistical concerns. When those logistical concerns involve facilities, there’s an exponential level of foresight required to ensure everything holds up. Conference center facilities management becomes a paramount focus of planning any large-scale event, and has significant bearing on the success of that event.
Overseeing facilities for a conference event is a major undertaking that spans a broad swath of duties. From ensuring the restrooms receive regular cleaning and restocking, to garbage collection and A/V technical assistance, the demands of facilities get pushed to their limits for the duration of the event. A proactive and comprehensive approach to facilities management ensures that everything runs smoothly.
Here’s a look at how conference center facilities management factors into a successful event—and how coordinated management efforts impact every aspect of the event, big or small.
What is conference center facilities management?
Conference center facilities management involves overseeing all aspects of the buildings and grounds where an event takes place. It ensures the facilities support the event and the people attending it. This ranges from simple things like ensuring proper wayfinding signage for an event, to complex demands like managing vendors who can service the HVAC system before a big gathering.
Facilities management spans six major areas of focus, according to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). These include employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. Foresight to these pillars ensures that conference centers are ready, willing, and able to meet the influx of people flocking to them for a special event.
Well-managed facilities add up to better preparation for an event, stronger responses to unforeseen demands, and the ability to host an event that’s comfortable, safe, accommodating, and welcoming to attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and anyone else coming together.
Benefits of facilities management for conference centers
Though it takes tremendous effort, conference center facilities management is well-worth the benefits it offers. Event planners and organizers will find themselves amidst facilities that run smoothly and are able to handle the stress of a significant population influx. Some of the benefits that accompany forward-thinking facilities management include:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to event operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate event activities
The last thing event organizers need is facility failure. Bathrooms that can’t stay stocked. Damage to entry-exit doors that makes them unusable. An escalator that’s out of commission. Each failure on the part of facilities affects the experience of event-goers and can result in ongoing headaches for facility managers. Proactive management of facilities ensures they’re able to stand up to event demands and perform as-expected for the duration of the gathering.
How does conference center facility management software help?
Managing an event is a complex endeavor. Managing the facilities hosting it takes an even more herculean effort. It goes beyond managing the everyday demands of a building—it means planning for the type of stress test only tens of thousands of attendees can deliver. To prepare, conference centers have begun turning to facility management software.
FM software aggregates all important facility tasks into a centralized system. Here, administrators can visualize the needs of facilities, delegate to in-house staff or partners, assess facility trends, and make informed decisions prior to an event. Not only does software improve the everyday performance of facilities, it ensures they’re ready to meet an impending stress test in optimal condition.
Facilities software also provides important data about facilities during events. From support tickets submitted in real-time to streaming data about occupancy and space utilization, software enables rapid response and agility from event organizers as they respond to the ebb and flow of an event. Whether it’s last-minute floor plan changes to improve pass-through traffic or allocating extra staff to sanitation to handle rubbish accumulation, events simply run better when there’s data-driven insights available.
Keep facilities welcoming, accommodating, and accessible
The stakes are high for event organizers when it comes to putting together a seamless conference. Focus on facilities management and responsive oversight tops the list of concerns. From ensuring the basics like restrooms, sanitation, security, and accessibility, to more complex demands like vendor support, access control, and wayfinding, facility management is at the core. Event admins need to consider the many facets of facilities and rely on management software to ensure everything is under control for the duration of the event.
And, as any event manager knows, not everything goes according to plan. A well-conceived facilities management plan can mitigate issues, prompt rapid response, and ensure contingencies that keep event-goers happy, safe, and unconcerned. With so much of the event dependent on the facilities hosting it, few things rank more important than conference center facility management.
Keep reading: Conference Center Stack Planning Software Benefits