Last week, for the first time ever, I had the pleasure of attending (and sponsoring) the Global Workspace Association’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in Boca Raton, Florida. The event, which officially kicked off with a President’s Casino Party in the Exhibitor’s Lounge on Wednesday evening and ended with tours of local innovative workspace operators on Saturday, was packed full of great content, speakers, networking and fun for all.
If you did not attend, you absolutely missed out on opportunities to improve your business. But fear not, this is an annual event, and GWA provides several ways to learn throughout the year.
It’s About People
The underlying theme that I took away from this event was People. It was Frank Fabish, President of Executive Office Place in Columbus, OH, who upon accepting the Presidential Recognition Award said “It was the people who kept us coming back” [to the GWA conferences.]
In business it’s easy for us to get caught up in spreadsheets, projections, products, services, sales, revenue, occupancy, configuration, lead flow, KPIs, etc. Yes, these are all important to operating a successful business, but it is people who matter most.
We’re in business to solve problems for people. We work with people. Our income supports our families (people). We network with people. We learn from people. We motivate people. We relate to people. We trust people. We build relationships with people. And it’s these relationships that make us successful business people.
Frank Fabish Acceptance Speech
GWA Board Member William Edmundson, Abby Executive Suites
Simone Rones, Carr Workplaces
A Cause Bigger Than Us
The GWA gives us all an opportunity to rally behind a cause bigger than ourselves, bigger than our business, and bigger than our industry.
On its website, The Global Workspace Association is defined as “your source for information, education, networking, and client referrals, in the workspace-as-a-service industry. GWA members attend the best educational meetings and trade show in the industry, network with colleagues from over thirty-five countries, and collectively market workspace-as-a-service to the public and the real estate industry at large.”
The GWA mission statement: “Advancing Workspace-as-a-service.”
That’s a torch I am happy to carry, and the description above represents features and benefits we receive as members of this great association.
But advancing workspace-as-a-service isn’t just about learning how to driving occupancy and profit. We’re part of a bigger cause to help people do business and improve their lives in the new economy.
The New Economy
The world of business is changing rapidly. Yesterday’s successful methods of working make mediocre companies today. Technology and innovation has made the world smaller and business more dynamic. Gone are the days of the static office. Workspace has become transient and ubiquitous, which leads to choice and convenience, but also confusion. Many have entered unfamiliar territory, and it’s our job to help them find their way. To listen to people, understand their needs, and then help them understand which way of working will help them succeed.
In the new economy we are increasingly relying on digital communication with our colleagues, clients and partners and benefit from the massive cost savings and convenience it affords. But though the methods of how we do business may be changing, business principles have not changed. Cash flow, communication and image have never been more important.
At my company, MeetingRooms.com, our mission is “to help people succeed in the new economy.” We believe relationships are key to business success, and we help people strengthen relationships through face to face communication.
And so it all comes back to people.
Creating a Better World
Last week at the GWA Conference I believe the biggest value I received was the face to face communication with my industry colleagues, partners and friends. I left the event feeling inspired, grateful and optimistic. We are in a great industry with so many amazing people.
Together, as the Global Workspace Association, we can “advance workspace-as-a-service”.
Members of the GWA, from workspace operators and technology providers, to marketing channels and consulting firms, and everyone in between, all support this mission.
And as we succeed we will improve the lives of others.
That’s why you should join the Global Workspace Association.