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At Village n Life, it is always imperative for us to help our staff members better themselves in their careers and their personal lives. Whether this involves community upliftment and help throughout Doo Good platform, or sending staff members to take part in enriching workshops, conferences or talks, we always like to lend a helping hand and enrich our staff where we can.

This was the case most recently when a handful of our facilities managers attended the annual SAFMA Conference in Sandton in Johannesburg.

The SAFMA (South African Facilities Management Association) Conference is an annual event that hosts a slew of proficient speakers, as well as an exhibition where several companies can showcase their innovations in the facilities management field.

We recently spoke to Louise McArdle, Facilities Manager at The Bay Hotel, to get the inside scoop on this year’s conference and what she and her colleagues experienced at this 2-day conference. This year’s conference took place at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 15th – 16th of July.

Louise and the other VNL Facilities Managers

Louise says of their experience:

“The facilities conference in Johannesburg was extremely enlightening and motivating, especially looking at where facilities management is progressing in the future. With my colleagues, Daniel Louw, Henk Engelbrecht, Sean Van Duiker and Nico, we gained a lot of knowledge and understanding of our industry.

The conference was over two days, and with the sponsored companies that presented and the exhibitors showcasing everything revolving around facilities management, it truly was extremely beneficial to us.

We especially gained quite a bit of insight and information when we were networking with other facilities managers and companies, and it was nice to share and compare notes with fellow facilities managers.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Workplace Disruptions – Spiralling into the Future”.

The presentations were really very inspiring and motivating. It was great to see that the industry that is growing rapidly, and that it is going in a direction that is extremely exciting.

Speakers like Andre Klopper, who heads up the Facilities Management department for Redefine Properties, or Beverly Hancock, who mentors on leadership as well as Andre Mason, a workplace fundi, was not only insightful and informative, but inspiring as well.

Some of this year’s interesting topics of discussion included:

  • Creating a thriving management ecosystem through applying process and people design.
  • Cultural disruptions – transforming your culture to innovate
  • African Brands using digital platforms to compete globally
  • Cleaning evolution – labour vs technology
  • Future of work
  • Facilities management 2020 and beyond
  • Thinking better facilities management business
  • Should renewable energy be part of your business strategy

All of these topics touched base with us, and we are excited to implement some of the things we learned and new ideas that has come out of the conference in the Village n Life properties we manage”.

We are also excited to see what Louise and her colleagues plan to bring to the table in terms of facilities management, and how Village n Life can continue to excel in this department.