The IFMA S. Florida Board of Directors and Membership committee firmly believe that our chapter events are a vehicle for business networking. However, how this is done should be conducted at a very high level of professionalism. The following guidelines should be followed when attending our IFMA chapter events:
- All cell phones should be silenced (or on vibrate) during monthly luncheon programs or behind the scenes tours. To avoid distracting the presenter/speaker, please return calls during a break or after the speaker and/or presentation has concluded.
- Avoid having any side conversations during the program so that other attendees can hear the speaker’s presentation without distractions.
- Designated members should attend monthly luncheon meetings. We encourage our members to bring guests. Associate guests must pay the non-member program event fee at their first visit. However, facility professional guests may attend for the first-time compliments of the chapter. Both types of guests are encouraged to join IFMA and the S. Florida chapter by paying their membership dues for future events after that.
- Passing out business cards unsolicited by a facility professional is not acceptable at our events. The program events are specifically designed to be educational and relevant to the development of the facility management professional. It is very poor networking etiquette to interrupt other people’s conversations so that you can hand out your business card and talk about your products and/or services. Facility professionals attend IFMA events to learn and gain more understanding of challenging work-related issues they face daily in their jobs.
- Instead, we encourage all new members to get involved and volunteer on a committee. Building relationships by working towards a collective initiative is a more effective way to get to know other chapter members and vice versa. There is always much to do and never enough help.
- If you are attending your first IFMA event, quickly introduce yourself with your name and company and tell them you are new to the chapter. An excellent ice breaker is to ask if they are a chapter member, how they came to know about the group, why they joined, and what they hoped to gain or benefit from IFMA. Asking pertinent questions related to why you are both at an IFMA event rather than just jumping in to tell others about yourself and your company’s products and/or services leads to an interesting conversation and greater appeal.
- Lastly, adding value by creating meaningful contributions to our IFMA S. Florida chapter definitively garners you more attention and loyalty since we are a group organized and lead by engaged and willing volunteers, who all have a common goal to elevate the facility management profession. Please respect our etiquette policy and join us in this worthwhile effort!