Submit An Abstract Proposal


Call for Presentations

IFMA’s World Workplace 2020

Call Closing Date: Monday, February 10, 2020

Presentations will not be accepted after this time.

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) invites you to share your industry knowledge and business expertise with professionals who support the people, place, processes and technologies of the work environment.

Presenters have until Monday, February 10, 2020, to submit a session proposal for consideration by our program committee. If selected, you will present your session at IFMA's World Workplace Conference & Expo, Sept. 30- Oct. 2, 2020, at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

About IFMA

IFMA is the world's largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting more than 24,000 members in 94 countries. IFMA members manage more than 37 billion square feet of property and purchase more than US$100 billion in products and services annually. Learn how IFMA empowers FMs worldwide .

About World Workplace

IFMA’s flagship event is the most longstanding and well-respected conference and exposition for facility management and related workplace professions. Held annually, World Workplace is an interactive conference focused on finding innovative, resourceful solutions to common facility challenges; gaining achievable strategies that will get the attention of customers, supervisors and colleagues; and sharing best practices for managing facilities, teams and projects.

About World Workplace Attendees

World Workplace welcomes public and private sector facility management practitioners, educators, topic experts, authors, students, product and service providers, members of IFMA and partnering organizations, as well as professionals in real estate, engineering, architecture, design, security, IT and HR. Last year, more than 4,000 attendees from 40 countries and every U.S. state, representing 2,000 companies and 20 workplace-related industries attended World Workplace. Everyone arrives in search of something — a solution, a best practice, a new skill, a mentor, a client, a fresh perspective, an action plan or a break from routine.

The Benefits of Presenting

The World Workplace educational program is regarded as the finest in the FM industry. Selection as a session presenter is an honor. You have the opportunity to gain recognition as a topic expert among FM leaders and workplace decision makers. Attendees will take your information, tips and techniques back to their organizations for high-level discussions or immediate implementation. As a World Workplace presenter, you can:

  • Enhance your credibility and stature among an influential audience of industry professionals.
  • Refresh your personal knowledge as you prepare your thoughts, handouts and visuals for presentation.
  • Challenge yourself and your colleagues through classroom interaction.
  • Apply your speaking experience toward re-certification of several industry designations.


Honoraria, Travel Expenses & Discounted Registration

As a not-for-profit association, IFMA does not pay an honorarium for concurrent session presentations. Speakers are responsible for their own travel, accommodations and related expenses.

Speakers will receive a 50% discount on conference registration. Each one hour session is limited to two (2) speaker conference discounts. If your session features three (3) or more speakers, you must pay the full conference registration per additional speaker(s).

Speaker Obligations

All submitters will be notified of their final selection status via email within 8 to 10 weeks of the call date’s closing. If your abstract is accepted, you will be expected to:

  • Complete a confirmation and release form.
  • Adhere to IFMA’s session deliverable deadlines.
  • Submit conference proceedings (6-page maximum white paper) in .pdf format.
  • Develop a 5-question true-or-false test to assess the attendees’ mastery of your learning objectives. Attendees seeking Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will complete the assessment after attending your session.
  • Submit the final presentation handout (using the World Workplace PowerPoint template) in .pdf format.
  • Deliver an exceptional educational session at World Workplace.

To maintain the integrity of our educational program, presenters are not to use their session(s) as a platform for promotion of their products, services or company for monetary gain.

Speakers are asked to meet IFMA’s required deliverable deadlines and ensure your ability to deliver your presentation. We understand that unexpected conflicts can occur, and appreciate your advance notice in the event that circumstances prevent you from attending.


Important Tips for Completing the CFP

When completing your application online, please keep in mind the following:

  • Before you begin: Develop your session description, outline, four learning objectives/outcomes, and select the most appropriate topic area (1 of 14).
  • Prior to completing the online application: Save all content in a text document so you can copy and paste large amounts of text (abstract, presentation outline) from your file without losing your information.
  • Proofread your application before submitting: The program committee reviews your application based on specified evaluation criteria. If your application has spelling or grammatical errors, you could lose points in the Quality category.
  • Complete all required fields: Required fields are designated by an asterisk (*). You will not be allowed to submit your application unless all required fields are completed.
  • Fill out the CFP form completely: The program committee bases its decision on your proposal. Incomplete applications will not be considered by the program committee.
  • Fill out all speaker information fields: Even if you have presented at past IFMA events, this information is required. The program committee does not have access to prior presentation submissions.
  • Before you hit the submit button: Be sure your application is complete.

Six Steps for Completing the CFP Form

1. Welcome

2. Search for your name

3. Author/speaker information

  • Contact information, institution information, introduction/summary (up to 150 words), presenting experience and two (2) references.

4. Abstract information

  • Track: Choose the topic area that most closely relates to your proposal.
  • Title: A catchy, compelling session title, no more than 100 characters, including spaces.
  • Email: For the physical submitter. If you’re submitting on behalf of another speaker, enter your email address.
  • Your organization: Select one.
  • IFMA Corporate Sustaining Partner: Select “yes” or “no.”
  • Format: Choose one format that best fits your presentation.
  • Learning objectives: Three to four take-aways that attendees can apply upon their return to work. Describe exactly what attendees will learn after hearing your presentation. Learning objectives are important in assigning CEUs to your presentation — be sure they are specific. 100 character limit for each, including spaces.
  • Abstract: A 150 word summary of your presentation (3,000 character limit, including spaces). This is a succinct summary of your presentation. It should provide enough information for the program committee to understand what you plan to present.
  • Outline: Includes the main points you will cover during your presentation. Main points should be supported by sub-points and sub-sub-points (3,000 character limit, including spaces). Elaborate on specific presentation points and describe how the presentation will flow.
  • Audience: Select one or more.
  • Duration: Select one.
  • Learning level: Select one.

5. Review information (add additional speaker(s) if necessary)

6. Save and be sure to hit “submit”

  • If you need to make changes, use the navigation links on the left of the proposal control panel. Go to the appropriate step, make your changes and hit “save.” Click “submit” on the bottom of the page once you are finished.

Once you have submitted your online application, you will see a confirmation page indicating that your application has been received. If you do not receive this, please re-submit your application. An automatic email will be sent to the submitter as confirmation of receipt.

The Evaluation Process

Comprised of distinguished industry and academic subject matter experts, the program committee will evaluate each application based on the following criteria:

  • Quality: The proposal is free of spelling errors, paragraphs are well constructed, and the information is effectively written and does not read as a sales pitch.
  • Focus: The topic of the presentation and the learning objectives are clearly stated, the presentation focuses on a specific topic correlating to one of the educational tracks and relates to a specific aspect of the workplace.
  • Application to the Profession: Provides the workplace professional with useful information that can be applied upon their return to work.
  • Presentation Experience: The presenter’s experience is sufficient to deliver the session and hold the audience’s attention.
  • Professional Qualifications: The presenter’s background and professional knowledge indicate that he/she is well qualified to deliver a session on the abstract’s subject matter.

The program committee also considers the following information when reviewing each abstract:

  • How is your presentation valuable? Is it relevant? Does it contain practical information that attendees can apply on the job? Determine your value proposition and suggest it in your title, state it in your objectives and support it through your narrative.
  • Why is your proposal superior? Differentiate your proposal through clear objectives, strong writing, correct grammar, and a professional look and feel. The impact of an outstanding proposal cannot be overestimated. Avoid jargon, acronyms and slang.
  • Why are you well-qualified to present? Your list of qualifications should address your communication skills and style, your industry and training experience, your credibility and your track record (past evaluations). Support your expertise through third parties rather than co-presenters.


Sessions will be organized into 12 categories that reflect facility management competencies defined by IFMA's most recent global job task analysis coupled with FM solutions and academic research:

  1. Operations & Maintenance:  Building operations and maintenance, occupant services.
  2. Real Estate & Property Management: Real estate planning, acquisition, disposition.
  3. Human Factors: Healthful and safe environment, security, employee development and stimulating workplace innovation.
  4. Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability: Sustainable management of built and natural environments.
  5. Project Management: Oversight and management of projects and related contracts.
  6. Leadership & Strategy: Strategic planning, organizing staff, leading facility functions.
  7. Finance & Business: Strategic plans, budgets, financial analyses, procurement.
  8. Quality: Best practices, process improvements, audits, measurements.
  9. Communication: Communication plans and processes for internal and external stakeholders.
  10. Workplace Evolutionaries (WE)
  11. Technology: Facility management technology, workplace management systems.
  12. Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity:  Emergency and risk management plans and procedures.
  13. FM Solutions: Specifically designed for IFMA Corporate Sustaining Partners (CSPs) at the Silver level or higher only. If a submission does not meet this requirement, the submission will not be considered. This track has been developed to provide an avenue to educate FMs on cutting-edge products and solutions.  IFMA's Corporate Sustaining Partners (CSP's) are an elite group of companies that have made a powerful statement in support of facility management by partnering with IFMA.  These providers contribute to IFMA's mission to advance the profession, helping the association offer exceptional services, products, resources and opportunities. 
 **Academic & Research: The A&R call for papers will run independently. Please contact for information.

Sessions will be classified by Learning Level, reflecting attendee experience, focus and ability to grasp the information presented:

  • 100 level: Geared toward new or emerging FMs with less than two years of experience.
  • 200 level: Geared toward FMs with two to five years of experience; perfect for credentialed or aspiring Facility Management Professionals (FMP®), Certified Facility Managers® (CFM®) and Sustainability Facility Professionals® (SFP®).
  • 300 level: Geared toward FMs with more than five years of experience; perfect for credentialed or aspiring FMPs, CFMs and SFPs. Visit for information about IFMA credentialing programs.

Thank You! Questions?

Thank you in advance for reviewing the Call for Presentations policies and procedures prior to submitting your presentation for consideration. If you have any questions, please contact IFMA’s Event Specialist, Kimberly Springer at


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