Author: Maggie Procopi
As we approach our October Workplace Trends conference, The Changing Nature of Work, around two thirds of the available tickets have been sold (see the delegate list here), which is wonderful news to me as the conference organiser. It’s real vote of confidence from our regular delegates and the newbies who have signed up.
So what’s the conference all about?
We were arguably the first workplace conference on the scene in the early norties, challenging the onset of the recession of that time. Now, in a conference season brimming with events about work and the workplace, we’re honoured to remain firmly in the calendar, and going from strength to strength. In recent years we’ve introduced our Spring Summit – so we currently have two major events a year – and right now we’re hatching plans to bring Workplace Trends overseas. More news on that very soon.
What makes us different?
We discuss trends that are real, looking forward to the workplace of the next 10-20 years. Over our 15 years we’ve examined many subjects that are now becoming mainstream: wellness, productivity, happiness, psychology in the workplace, biophilic design, agile working, cellular vs open plan, to name but a few. Nigel Oseland, speaking about the conference in 2013 accurately predicted a continuing increase in workers’ movement and flexibility, with the office being used as a place to bring a team together to share knowledge, for mentoring and becoming a showcase for our clients. He also talked about the psychology of the workplace – at the time (and still) occupiers and designers were gradually realising we are all different, and so the space we need to make us more effective also differs. We’ve visited aspects of this regularly at Workplace Trends, and will do so again in October, when we are joined by Sally Augustin from the US, who will be talking about Culture-Right Design.
We’re not overly commercial. Speakers never pay us to step up on the platform – they’re either invited or come to us independently with a good idea. Speakers must be proven good communicators; presentations are research or case study driven, and no sales pitches are allowed. Exhibition stands are minimal and intended for our regular sponsors or past attendees of the conference.
Our delegates all want to be there: Conference organisers often stress about the ratio of occupiers to commercial delegates. We don’t. Our delegates want to be at the event 100% and have paid to be there. And yes, we have a good number of occupiers attending, but they’re not used as delegate bait – they’re with us for the same reasons as everyone else – they have an interest, want to learn and connect with others. We know a conference without occupiers would be just as valuable – how many contracts these days are won by collaborative pitches?
We’re in it for the long game: We’ve built a community. A loyal core of our attendees return year after year, most often as delegates and sometimes as speakers. We have a lively 8,000 strong LinkedIn Group, and have just launched a Facebook Group. Visit our website at any point in the year and you’ll find something of interest.
It’s an enjoyable day: Our events have quality 30 minute presentations, with time scheduled for questions. Speakers usually stay the whole day too, so there’s an opportunity to catch up with them individually. Within the usual breaks, we allow plenty of time for networking with colleagues, fellow architects, designers, occupiers and other real estate professionals. Then at the end of the day there’s our traditional drinks reception where the conversation continues in the same relaxed mode. You’ll come away inspired and energised.
So that’s what Workplace Trends is about! Our next conference has the theme ‘The Changing Nature of Work, and takes place on Wednesday 18 October at The British Library. I hope you’ll join us. For full details click here or follow the Workplace Trends tabs above.