CRETECH and some thoughts on keeping up with the Workplace Tech Revolution

How can workplace practitioners keep up with all the technical developments in our industry? 

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Work&Place is a media partner with CRETECH, and the initial purpose of this blog was to draw to your attention the CRETECH London 8-9 May event and highlight what it has to offer (which is a lot).  However, since looking at CRETECH London’s agenda, I have been reflecting upon a more general question: How can workplace practitioners keep up with all the technical developments in our industry? 

I suspect many people are so busy with the ‘day job’ that this education has to be gained as and when possible, in small sessions.   So, here are some thoughts on making that possible:

Sacrifice and focus

Control your scope of interest to what matters to the work you do, and current knowledge gaps.  Otherwise, curious folk that we are, it is too tempting to spend time on ‘interesting but non essential’ stuff.

For example, in respect of tech subjects, I focus on 5 topics:

  1. Artificial Intelligence – How Generative AI will change the real estate industry and what I can do to benefit from it.
  2. Data Management – A better appreciation of this subject area pursuant of assured decision making – mainly data governance, analytics and data visualization.
  3. Collaboration – Evolution of tech enabled developments (from AV to AR data sharing) and what this means for ways of working.
  4. Employee Enablement – Tech that enhances our capability to understand employee needs, realities and how to plan/forecast the need for scarce resources.
  5. Building Operations – SMART tech that will make operations more efficient, effective, safe, and sustainable and who is investing in these capabilities.

Generative AI (or ‘how to avoid the AI rabbit holes’)

I needed a grounding in Generative AI as it applies to the real estate industry.  My solution has been to sign up to the Generative AI in Real Estate course here, run by Antony Slumbers.   A big benefit of this short course and ongoing connection with #trilliondollarhashtag posts is that the information is curated so avoiding the real potential of wasting time on AI subjects that, whilst fascinating, aren’t relevant.

Data Governance

In a World of data driven decision making, you need an understanding of the principles of good data governance and management.  If you haven’t acquired this knowledge, do take some time to reflect on whether you can live without it.  A certified course specific to real estate industry is offered by OSCRE.

Conference Agendas

Event planners must predict some 12 months ahead what we need to know.  As a result, I recommend scanning conference agendas even if you can’t attend as they give a good insight as to what you might need to be thinking and know more about.  For the best updated listing of workplace related events go to Workplace Insight.

After some events it may be possible to obtain access to the slide decks, notes or even video of presentations.  A good example is Workplace Trends Research conferences.

Webinars

Seek out and take advantage of relevant webinars.  For example, I have just attended Zoom’s ‘How to Maximize Your Virtual Events with AI’ (45 mins) and (as a subscriber) MIT Sloane Management Review’s Work/24: The Human Factor – a series of 5 presentations over 3 hours with PDF file of supporting Journal articles.

For workplace practitioners, there are many webinar options.  There should be a directory of them!

For now, I would give a call out to Miller Knoll webinars via their LinkedIn site, Future Forum’s case study shorts here and CRETECH+ here.

YouTube reviews & comments

As a secondary resource, I search YouTube for videos on software and hardware products related to a subject.  The comments sections often provide insightful and unfiltered user experience feedback. A good antidote to the sales patter.

In-Person Conferences

I remain a big fan of physically attending events, when there is a good reason.  This brings me back to CRETECH London.  To quote CRETECH:

“We are the largest international community of professionals devoted to technological innovation in the real estate sector. Our mission is to drive tech adoption and innovation in the built world by organising two large-scale conferences annually in New York and London.”

CRETECH London event is on 8/9 May (agenda here) and New York City event is on 13/14 November.

I think the London conference will be my annual ‘must-go-to’ technology event.  Next year I will register early (big early bird discount) and set up those all-important London side meetings.

The other 2 (non-membership driven) physical attendance events that are currently in my calendar are:

  • Workplace Trends Research Spring/Summer conference (London)  – just attended the April London event here.
  • Workplace Design Show (London on 26/27 February 2025 here and Amsterdam on 5/6 November 2025 here).

For the membership-led events, Work&Place continue our long-term media partnership with IFMA.

To summarise

  • With so many learning opportunities, it’s important to apply a filter using a priority list (or Continuing Development Plan).  But be flexible to adapt to changing needs.
  • Acquiring know-how on Generative AI tools and techniques is now a must have.  To efficiently gain this knowledge base may require you to sign up for structured learning courses.
  • Search out the right (free) webinars and podcasts etc. and build these into your plan. Note that it may take time to find the right ones for you.
  • Use online reviews such as YouTube to gain unfiltered user feedback on new products and services.
  • Each year, attend a few conferences in person and pro-actively leverage all that is on offer when physically being there, immersed in an event.  Book early to get a good price deal.
  • Lastly, engage like-minded colleagues to share awareness of useful learning resources and regularly discuss what is important to further research.  This approach leads to a multiplier effect of increased sharing of the right knowledge to those who need it.

Posted by: Marcus Bowen on 1 May 2024 for W&

 

 

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