Ollie’s roundup of the Facilities Show 2017

On Tuesday, I attended my first ever Facilities Show, hosted at the ExCel in East London. The show was an incredible exhibition of all things FM. Catering, building, supplies, developing, gadgets, tech, workplace, staffing – you name it, the ExCel had it. As my first ever exhibition on this scale, I was highly anticipating the event, and what it was going to offer. I attended with Alice, another Account Exec, and we later met our MD Cathy and Senior Account Manager, Xen.

Upon our arrival to the ExCel, after a surprisingly smooth journey… Alice and I quickly made our way to the FM section of the show, and found our seats at the talk on Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace, featuring key note speakers such as Gold Medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, Principle Psychologist Dr Carolyn Yeoman, and Health & Safety expert, Martin Coyd. The talk provided some truly invaluable notes and discussion points on the importance of wellbeing and mental health in general, and particularly within the work place.

A stand-out point for myself, was Martin Coyd noting the difference between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental ill-health’. The first, sounds more positive and generic. The latter, however, directly points that there is an issue within said person’s health. Another thought-provoking comment, was made by the ever-inspirational Dame Kelly Holmes, who noted just how well catered for people with physical disabilities are, especially in the workplace – compared to those with mental disabilities. To quote, “If you are physically disabled, there are specific doors, entrances, areas, almost everything you could need, you will have.” Which highlights an important, particularly dark cloud on the topic – discussion, and being open. Thankfully, in 2017, we are finding people becoming more open to sharing and discussing their mental health, or ill-health. Many, however, will continue to struggle to share their issues because of the stigma that has unfortunately been attached to mental health.

Following this inspirational and interesting talk, we stayed put for the next speakers – discussing design, wellbeing and productivity within the workplace. With keynote speakers from architecture, design and wellbeing organisations, this proved to be an engaging talk which provided some great quotes, facts and figures for us to use and portray to our clients regarding workplace, space and design. It was regularly flagged that, “designers are so busy focusing on getting the best-looking space, that they often forget the people who will actually be in them” provided pivotal discussion amongst the audience.

Post-talks, Alice and I made our way to visit a few clients. It was fantastic to see Autonomous, Servest and OCS at their stands (and to other clients I didn’t make it to, apologies – hopefully the rest of the M-People found your fantastic stalls throughout the week!). It was also fantastic to see BringMe, our newest client to sign with Magenta Associates just last Friday, specialising in innovative locker technology from Belgium. The day then concluded by attending the FM Ball at the Grand Connaught Hotel in Holborn, which was a fantastic way to end the day and an amazing experience for me to attend as my first FM event! Raising close to £30,000 for charity was just the cherry on top of a great evening.

Ben Keeley