Networking and professional development have always been important, but if 2020 taught us anything, it's that new challenges can come out of nowhere. Things change quickly, and you always need to be at the top of your game.
The good news is that 2021 is full of opportunities to learn and improve, especially now that so many conferences, workshops, and classes are going online. It's perfect if you're a conference veteran looking to branch out from your tried-and-true favorites or someone just starting out with industry events.
So here's our list of some of the ones we're looking forward to over the next 12 months.
It's a good place to start, but our list doesn't cover everything. Also, some event line-ups and dates could change as organizations move between in-person and online formats. After you find the events you want to attend, make sure to check back often for any updates.
2021 Facility and Maintenance Management Conferences
ARC Advisory Group
With the title Accelerating Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World, it's no surprise that the ARC Industry Forum is heading online this year. The goal is to help organizations prepare for the "new normal" as COVID-19 blurs the traditional lines between information, engineering, and operations technologies.
Is it right for you? With a focus on cutting edge technologies like machine learning, digital twins, and autonomous assets, it's likely best suited for organizations with fairly developed systems. That said, it looks like an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning about bleeding-edge maintenance tech.
The University of Tennessee Reliability and Maintainability Center's MARCON boasts something for everyone, from specialists to students, old hands to the "new and uninitiated," focusing on one-on-one collaborations.
The workshops look interesting, especially Implementing Best Practices to Improve the Organization's Bottom Line by Ramesh Gulati from Jacobs, who recently appeared on our Asset Champion podcast.
SMRP Spanish Virtual Symposium
Currently, there's only a short blurb explaining the event. It looks like it's the Spanish-language version of the symposium SMRP is hosting in June.
From the website: join "maintenance, reliability and physical asset management professionals from around the world for unparalleled access to education and networking."
Worth bookmarking and checking back for updates.
Although there are in-person events, you can skip the trip to Australia and attend online. The webpage is up, but they haven't posted any information about workshops yet. There is a call for abstracts, including peer-reviewed academic papers, so that should give you some idea of the general focus and level of the event.
IFMA's Facility Fusion
IFMA's focus is on supporting facility and maintenance professionals at every level in their career. Past events have attracted "facility management professionals from 46 U.S. states and 20 countries, representing approximately 800 companies."
And on top of the industry-specific workshops, this year's power speaker, Jessica Rector, is going to cover how to turn negative thoughts into positive results.
CNAM Refocus the Road Ahead
The Canadian Network of Asset Manager’s virtual conference looks at new ways to overcome the challenges of COVID-19, with presentations and workshops on a variety of topics, including:
- AM 101
- Organization and people
- Long-term sustainable financial planning
- Operations and maintenance infrastructure development
Best line from their website: "Join us remotely from the comfort of your home or office with a coffee in hand."
SMRP Denver Symposium
Not much information out on this one yet, but it does sound interesting, with an opportunity to join "maintenance, reliability and physical asset management professionals from around the world for unparalleled access to education and networking."
Worth bookmarking and checking back for updates.
The call for abstracts is open, but there's not much information up on the website yet. That said, PEMAC bills itself as "a Canadian not for profit association enabling excellence in maintenance, reliability, and asset management through collaboration, applied learning, and leadership," which should give you an idea of what to expect from their conference.
You can also download the program from 2018 to get a feel for past events.
Make sure to check out the Hippo CMMS ad on page 32, including our claims of "Fanatical lifetime customer support." Hippo still has it, but these days we tend to phrase it differently.
IAM North American Conference 2021
The Institute of Asset Management has six conferences planned, but the main event for the American and Canadian chapters is the IAM North American Conference 2021. There's not much information available, but so far they're promising "a forum for information exchange, problem-solving, and collaboration among asset owners, consultants and vendors in the North American region."
SMRP 29th Annual Conference
St. Louis, Missouri
Still in the early stages, SMRP is opening booth and sponsorship sales February 1. Presenters can submit ideas for workshops starting February 10. Worth bookmarking and checking back for updates. If you do decide to attend, registration opens early summer, so plan accordingly.
International Maintenances Conference (IMC) and The Reliability Conference (TRC)
Marco Island, Florida
Promising experienced leaders from the industry, the IMC covers all aspects of "reliability, condition monitoring, machine learning, asset management, operational excellence, precision maintenance, human capital management and competency-based learning."
At the same time and location, the TRC covers Maintenance 4.0, warning that what worked 20 years ago does not work today. It looks like a good opportunity to learn more about the roles new technology are set to play in maintenance. If you're just now making the jump from paper- or spreadsheet-based methods, the Internet of Things might be more aspirational than practical for you. That said, there is always value in learning about where the industry is headed.
Registration info is not up yet but should be soon.
Outside of the conferences, there are plenty of additional opportunities for professional development.
Greeman Asset Management Solutions Inc. AM 101
Suzane Greenman teaches the class, so you know it's good. Here's her most recent appearance on our Asset Champ podcast.
CM&E Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention
Postponed (but worth waiting for)
Here's a sobering stat: same-level falls are the third leading cause of injuries in manufacturing. In this workshop, you can learn:
- What contributes to slips and trips
- How to look at system-level factors to implement effective risk-based controls
- Which types of flooring help prevent falls
- How to prepare winter slip prevention plans
Although you can learn a lot about an event by reading the website, if you have any questions, make sure to reach out to the organizers and ask. To get the most out of any event, you have to make sure it's going to be a good match for you in terms of industry and topics.
And related to the topic of making sure you reach out when you have question, if you'd like to talk with someone about the benefits of CMMS software in asset and maintenance management. we'd love to hear from you.