ASSIST FM Conference 2019

Last month saw the annual ASSIST FM Conference come to Glasgow in its 19th year with the theme of ‘Watchers on the Wall’ tying together the TV phenomenon, Game of Thrones, and the role that ASSIST FM plays in watching over its services and protecting them in difficult conditions.

On day one, Dr Jeremy Leach presented to a packed out seminar on his Nudge Theory which looks at ‘how to nudge people using behavioural sciences’ and how to apply this to the FM sector. Jeanette Orrey MBE followed, delving into her impressive career from dinner lady to the founder of Food for Life and becoming a commissioner on Food and Poverty with the Fabian Society in 2015. Dr Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine from the University of Oxford presented on ‘What is Sleep and Why Does it Matter?’, providing an insightful look into the importance of sleep and the workplace. The seminars then concluded with an emotional and inspirational session from Nigel Owens MBE, the Welsh international Rugby Referee who truly captivated the audience.

The feedback from delegates was fantastic and Sue Nield of Highland Council said that “I especially enjoyed the speakers this year, the messages they shared are especially important due to the ever-challenging climates ahead.”

After the seminar, delegates were invited to attend the biggest ASSIST FM Conference Exhibition to date, with more suppliers in attendance than ever before, including a number of organisations new to the event such as Nespresso Professional and The Scottish Salmon Company. ASSIST FM also continued with their fantastic initiative backed by Hobart UK and Brakes Scotland to get the exhibitors to donate any unconsumed stock to a local food bank, combating food waste as well as supporting a local cause.

Jason McKeon from Unilever Food Solutions described the Conference as a “Great opportunity to chat with Local Authorities, Buyers, Industry leaders and decision-makers over 2 days” and “the best in class industry event for FM in the UK by a mile.”

Day two saw an update for Local Authorities from Education Scotland delivered by Shirley Beattie which sparked great discussion from the delegates in attendance. Paul Fletcher and Kevin Onanu from Achieve More Scotland spoke about their work to tackle poverty and ‘enable the life chances and health and wellbeing of young people and families at risk’. Catherine Agnew, Chief Inspector for Children at the Care Inspectorate discussed the role of the Care Inspectorate and the upcoming partnership that will be developed between the Care Inspectorate and Local Authority FM services. Gary Ennis of NS Design provided a compelling crash course in getting the most out of Social Media and the importance of developing your online presence. Most notably though was the presentation from Dr John McKendrick of Glasgow Caledonian University where he shared the research findings that himself and a team of students have been working on for ASSIST FM on issues pertaining to School Meals Provision in Scotland. The research will be published by Glasgow Caledonian University and ASSIST FM in the coming months.

The ASSIST FM Conference 2019 was a fantastic and informative event that has become unsurpassable for the Facilities Management sector in Scotland.