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World Workplace hosts 5,000 in New Orleans

31 October 2007

Nearly 5,000 people from 40 countries attended World Workplace 2007 at the three day event last week held in New Orleans.

The International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) World Workplace 2007 Conference & Expo a three-day event showcasing the latest products and trends affecting the built environment was held in New Orleans last month. The event brought industry leaders from the world’s top business and government organizations together with educators and exhibitors to focus on the future of facility management and related fields.

The conference featured 317 exhibitors and the conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in as many as 78 different educational sessions relevant to the performance and safety of the built environment. Sessions followed educational tracks such as Sustainability, Trends & Innovations and this year’s new track, International Perspectives. The New Orleans conference featured sessions with a special focus on disaster preparedness, with a former member of the U.S. Air Force and representatives from Entergy and the New Orleans Museum of Art discussing how they survived the storm and weathered the ensuing crisis.

“By every measure of performance we have as an organization — from positive attendee responses to diverse exhibitor offerings, multiple participating organizations and broad media coverage — this year’s event ranks as a tremendous success,” said IFMA President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Brady. “We’ve always believed our annual World Workplace conference is an enriching experience, not only for conference attendees, but also for the cities that welcome us. The data speaks volumes about the economic value of World Workplace and the facility management profession as a whole.”

In addition to education, industry partnerships took center stage at World Workplace 2007. Major announcements included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IFMA and the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) designed to advance the interests of engineering and health care facility professionals. Representatives from IFMA and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) formalized a Memorandum of Intent, establishing a cooperative relationship between the organizations promoting healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound facility management practices. USGBC also used World Workplace 2007 to launch LEED® for Existing Buildings v.2008.

Another highlight of this year’s event was the IFMA Green Zone, an area of the Expo floor devoted to companies offering environmentally friendly products and services. Nearly 90 exhibitors were showcased in the Green Zone.

The IFMA Foundation’s Volunteer Rebuild Project helped repair the lingering damage of Hurricane Katrina by painting, cleaning and repairing six of the 22 fire stations debilitated by the storm. The project, which took place on the Saturday following World Workplace, recruited 130 volunteers to stay a day after the conference and offer their time and talent to the people of New Orleans.

With World Workplace 2007 now complete, momentum is building for World Workplace 2008, scheduled for Oct. 15-17 in Dallas, Texas.

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