The final day of the UK’s largest construction trade event UK Construction Week has been buzzing with high-level debate from some of the industry’s biggest names, as well as exciting new products and special offers.
Television presenter and business journalist Victoria Fritz hosted the main stage (1:30) content and chaired several engaging seminars including one that looked at the impact of BIM six months on from the Government’s soft landing deadline. Joined by panellists from Crossrail, NBS / RIBA Enterprises, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Bluebeam Inc and Faithful+Gould, Victoria asked questions such as: has it worked in practice? And what does the industry need for level 3 to be a success?
Among the panellists there was a consensus that technology will not be the problem but instead the human element of BIM, that is the trust, collaboration and new methods of working, is what will need the most work. It was also said that to progress to the next level SMEs must be accommodated for and supported as they make up the majority of the industry.
Also on the main stage another of the key issues currently facing the construction industry was tackled by leading figures. ‘How can we better harness the potential of SME builders?’ was a question asked of Paul Bogle, Policy Manager at theNational Federation of Builders (NFB), Sarah McMonagle, Head of External Affairs at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), James Talman, CEO of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and Conrad Ford, Chief Executive of Funding Options.
Among the new products on display JCB has been showcasing its new Teletruk, which is the world’s only telescopic counterbalanced forklift truck. Mark Hobbs, Business Development Manager at JCB, commented:
“It’s been a very good day with a great amount of quality business leads coming through for the Teletruk. Being able to showcase the product at our stand has been a massive help and it has definitely increased footfall.”
Another new product at the show came from Civils Expo exhibitor and global provider of aluminium access systems Instant UpRight Ltd, which launched its new heavy-duty Instant HD Modular Scaffolding System to the UK. The new system is stronger, 50 per cent lighter, safer and faster to assemble than conventional systems.
Chris Golder, National Sales Manager at Instant Upright, commented:
“It’s been a very good show and we’ve managed not only to garner some fantastic business leads but also to launch our new Instant Upright HD scaffolding. We feel really confident in this product and wanted to get it in front of as many people as possible. UK Construction Week is the perfect venue to do this as it connects such a broad demographic of individuals from within the industry.”
Another exciting feature which took place was the Construction Products Association (CPA) Networking Lunch at the Timber Expo Restaurant. Hosted by Peter Caplehorn, Deputy Chief Executive of the CPA, the lunch was an opportunity to learn the latest news and views from the UK’s leading trade association for construction product manufacturers and distributors. It included an overview of the CPA’s work with government on infrastructure and housing, regulations and standards, BIM and digitalisation, and also the latest construction industry forecast.
Speaking about the lunch, Peter commented:
“UK Construction Week is the centre of focus for the construction industry so it made sense to host our networking event here. The event attracts such a broad range of exhibitors and visitors that it forces people to come together and really enables collaboration – at a time like now, when the industry desperately needs a more joined up thinking approach, this is vital!”
Nathan Garnett, Event Director for UK Construction Week, commented:
“The past three days have been an inspiring display of innovation, collaboration and leadership, both from the exhibitors and speakers. The amount of new ideas, products and services showcased has been overwhelming and the feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike is very encouraging. I believe the seminar content, along with the unique features such as the Business Advice Centre, various sector specific pavilions and evening entertainment has meant that there is something at UK Construction Week for everyone. Our aim has always been to bring the whole industry together under one roof to boost business and build a more prosperous future for everyone in construction and I’m confident that the show has achieved this – as such, the dates are already set for next year’s event back at the NEC.”
Returning to the Birmingham NEC, the dates for UK Construction Week 2017 are set for 10 – 12 October.