“Even though we hadn’t budgeted to bring Attainium’s Disaster Experience to BOMA SFL, it was so highly recommended to us by other BOMA locals that we decided to do it anyway,” says Melanie Schrul, BOMA SFL’s executive director. “To compensate for the lack of budget, we decided to run it in conjunction with a trade show to make it a profitable event.”
The result? Not only was the event successful and well attended, but the training and tradeshow drew some 200 attendees – BOMA members and allied members – and earned a substantial profit for BOMA SFL, the largest BOMA affiliate in Florida, which has approximately 300 members in Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward counties.
“Everyone got value out of the event,” said Lauren Stephenson, chairperson for the event and VP of marketing at Jantrex. “I’d never attended a training session like this. From attendee comments, the Disaster Experience seems to have exceeded their expectations of emergency response training.
“It’s one thing for a property manager to sit in an office and read a plan,” Stephenson said, “but executing it would be chaos without some type of practice. It made you think about your processes and procedures… the thinking is extraordinarily valuable. You had to make your next decision stand on the foundation of your last decision.”
Jerry Gardner, senior building engineer for Opus South Management Company, was enthusiastic about the training and the opportunity it provided for hands-on planning and participation. “This type of program clearly shows people why training is important,” Gardner said. “It teaches how to work with the team to make decisions on critical issues – you can’t sit around and hem and haw about decisions.”
“The energy at the training was amazing,” Schrul said. “The situations were realistic, and Attainium worked closely with us to develop the scenarios. People found it interesting and fun and learned a lot from actively participating with their teams. The addition of the trade show added value for our allied members, so everyone got something out of the day.”
Schrul and Stephenson both credit an extremely aggressive marketing program with the success of their effort. “It brought out people who normally don’t come to events,” Schrul said. “We’d like to do another one!”
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