How to Navigate BOMA 2019 Educational Sessions

03/18/2019 | By Janelle Penny

The educational session lineup for the BOMA 2019 International Conference & Expo showcases a diverse collection of learning opportunities, from the Building Operation and Management track focused on reducing daily operating costs to the Occupant Engagement sessions demonstrating how to create better occupant experiences.

Mason Bodie, a senior property manager for Stream Realty, knows firsthand how important educational sessions are – as both a participant and a viewer. This year, he’s participating in the June 24 panel on attracting and retaining talent, then heading to other panels to learn from fellow professionals.

“BOMA does a great job of vetting and curating the education at the international conference,” Bodie says. “For me, it’s tailored to office buildings, but that will be much different for an industrial or retail manager. The good news – there is something for everyone!”

How to Choose the Right Sessions

It’s impossible to make it to all of the 40-plus sessions. Not sure where to start? Try one of these entry points.

1. Focus on a conference track. The conference features seven themed tracks, each with a curated list of sessions you can attend to beef up your know-how in that particular area. Someone whose portfolio contains industrial buildings would probably want to focus on the Industrial Real Estate Management track, for example.

2. Get feedback. Develop a short list of potential sessions, then go over them with a coworker or supervisor to get a second opinion on which ones might be the most valuable. Alternatively, you can also use recent communication with tenants as a type of feedback. If you’re noticing a lot of comments around a common theme – say, inefficient building systems or issues with mobile service providers – you might use that to shape your education schedule.

3. Look at the future. Bodie plans to attend at least one sustainability-focused session at the 2019 show to stay up-to-date with upcoming legislative requirements and smart management strategies. “Sustainability is a hot topic right now,” he explains. “Whether it’s legislation coming down from the government or attractive ways to make your building more efficient, I’m in.”

Maximize Your Time at the Show

There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s important to get the most out of the time you spend at the conference and expo. There are plenty of opportunities to learn. The educational sessions are a reliable source of cutting-edge industry knowledge, but you can also grow as a professional by talking to other attendees to see what they’re doing and why. Networking is a vital source of know-how.

“Get involved. Contact your local BOMA to join a committee or, if you’re a vendor, sponsor an event,” Bodie says. “From there, there will be plenty of opportunities to network, learn and bring the value back to your employer and career.

“At the conference, don’t be afraid to talk to a stranger,” he adds. “I’ve met so many great people at the BOMA conference – the attendees are a wealth of knowledge. I’d also encourage younger professionals to attend as many of the educational sessions and events as possible. You’ll be exhausted by the end, but I promise it will be worth it.”

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