(2:33) Introducing Bill Yanek
(10:05) Adapting To 2021 with ConnexFM Conference
(15:42) What to look forward to for 2022?
(17:15) Highlights of ConnexFM
(26:04) New Member Initiatives
(28:15) Experience of Switching to Virtual
(36:54) Wrap Up
"We're here to help and connect FM… to get our facility managers connected to exhibitors and suppliers."
(12:34) - Bill Yanek
"FM is really about people. You know, it's not about the facilities as much as it's the people that work in them, the people that run them. People who are doing the day-to-day."
(13:00) - Bill Yanek
"We put out our magazine, we put out our videos, we put out our virtual events, but nothing replaces talking to people like you face-to-face, even though we really didn't get face-to-face or connect."
(17:51) - Bill Yanek
"Not everyone is the same type of multi-site facility, manager or supplier. We have different ecosystems and communities within our membership."
(26:42) - Bill Yanek
"We're definitely going to have some virtual events, probably some hybrid, but the bread and butter of our organization will always be facilitating those face-to-face connections."
(30:07) - Bill Yanek
The Future of ConnexFM
FM Evolution was honored to sit and speak with Bill Yanek of Connex FM to discuss what the future of this network will be looking like. With the growing and changing landscape of FM, we wanted to hear how they will be adjusting to the reality of life after the past year and a half of COVID-19.
For those of you keeping up with our FM Evolution episodes, you have most likely heard us raving about Connex FM. Just as a refresher, Connex is a multi-site facilities management association. Connex is known for empowering facilities management professionals with programs such as education, discussion forums, best practices, benchmarking alongside trusted partnerships. It has around 950 members, started in 1995, and has an ongoing foundation built upon "innovation, resourcefulness, the quest for knowledge and ethical business relationships." (ConnexFM.com, 2021)
Bill Yanek is a skillful and accomplished chief executive officer with experience in leading associations. He has accomplishments ranging from business planning & development, marketing and management strategizing, and organizational development. His achievements include a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law, and he added so much value and insight to this FM Evolution episode! Bill also is a host on the ConnexFm podcast that comes out daily, The Daily Grind. He was quite excited to sit back and be the interviewee instead!
This is Bill's fifth year at ConnexFM; he has been able to experience its rebranding, virtual adaptations during COVID19, and the reorganization of internal operations. When the 2020 national conference was canceled, the pressure for this year's conference skyrocketed. All in all, both Bill and Shawn were happy to see that all the attendees could cut loose, have fun and connect with other people. This sparked a return to the original purpose of the ConnexFM conference.
While walking through the pandemic, the Connex FM organization took on three main mantras: to be agile, to be transparent, and to be forward-thinking. All three have served the industry well in terms of moving forward.
In the last month of registration, the delta variant was rising, and people were almost altogether stopping traveling. The questions were mainly on health and safety more than the conference's content. That was an adjustment that Bill had to help lead out on with the rest of the conference crew, hence the curation of the mantras.
Some great adaptations made during this past conference include the facility managers' grant initiative. Whether it was helping cover registration, travel, or both, this is an initiative that will most likely continue on past this year.
There's Life After Connex 2021
In the future, Bill wants to continue to see the members of FM in person. Without that aspect, there is hardly a way to get helpful feedback. Without the in-person events, the hard conversations are so much more likely not to happen or lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings.
Another shift is that in November, Connex is partnering with NFMT down in Orlando for a face-to-face meeting. There will be room for exhibiting, educational courses, and social events, along with boardroom sessions where suppliers will get to present to FMs. Ideally, in December, the technology council team will be sent out to ICSC in Phoenix, Arizona.
Different Needs in FM
Learning about the different ecosystems and communities with the COnnexFM members has become very apparent this year. Looking at verticals, Bill and his team began to understand that is a different realm for each ecosystem, from topics such as health care to safety protocols to management styles. And even the same type of FM place in a different geographical location can change all of their needs and challenges.
What's Next for Connex FM?
Bill gets the most excited about the digital transformation of the organization. Whether it's the continual rebranding, location setting, and technological infrastructure within the headquarters, he is hopefully expectant for the growth and innovations occurring in Connex FM.
"ConnexFM doesn't exist by itself, it exists to give our members a competitive advantage in facility management. And you have to evolve to deliver that." (36:40) Bill Yanek
Bringing you the latest trends, innovations, and advancements in the facility management universe is our goal.
Guests such as Bill Yanke of ConnexFM are on the front lines of these movements, and we will continue to bring on professionals to grow us in knowledge and insight! What current events, programs, or people would you like to hear about? Let us know by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
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