BIM Show Live is best known as the Construction Industry conference which delivers advanced technologies in the built environment. The two-day conference took place on Wednesday 28 February and Thursday 1 March, at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle’s Stephenson’s Quarter.
BIM Show Live looked at where we are with the ever expanding digitisation of the construction industry and it is events such as this that provide a platform for built environment experts to share their knowledge, skills and experiences of what has worked, and just as importantly what hasn’t worked in the world of digital construction.
The construction industry is now in an era of innovative technology and BIM Show Live has always been at the forefront of new and emerging technologies. The show was run by Space Group which is based in Gosforth, Rob Charlton is the CEO of Space Group and the man behind BIM Show Live: “We’ve been running BIM Show Live now for seven years, and each year we never fail to present the new and the wonderful. Our industry is progressing at an accelerated rate and we believe at BIM Show Live we have an obligation to bring our visitors the very best our industry has to offer for technology and digital construction, plus what has changed year-on-year and what this means for future projects.”
Paul Szomoru, head of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “In North East England, we have a strong history of producing inventions and innovations – from the lightbulb to the steam engine and lifeboat – and to this day ground-breaking innovations are happening here in the region.
“Therefore, it’s a perfect home for this iconic Building Information Modelling (BIM) event, demonstrating to the world how the North East has led the way in transforming the construction sector with this BIM revolution. We were delighted to work with the team to help make this the best BIM Show Live yet.”
Questions answered by: Rob Charlton, event organiser and CEO of Space Group
How did BIM Show Live come about?
At first it was just myself, Adam Ward, Technology Director at Space Group and James Austin, formerly a Spacer and now a Product Manager at Autodesk.
Between us, the idea of BIM Show Live was created over a few beers and a packet of crisps in a local pub in Gosforth. We could see that there was a need to provide sound understanding and clear direction of what Building Information Modelling (BIM) was and what it meant to individuals and organisations within the UK construction industry. We knew this would be a huge turning point in the industry but there was no clear platform at the time for knowledge exchange and learning in the BIM environment.
Many people had been using digital construction methods for some time but didn’t understand the principles and the impact it was having as a whole.
We launched BIM Show Live under the ethos that we would concentrate not only on the process but the people behind digital construction, their success stories and who had truly embraced the BIM and what this meant to their organisations and projects.
Why did you choose to bring your conference to NewcastleGateshead?
We have been running BIM Show Live for seven years, and for us at Space Group, Newcastle is our home and where the idea of BIM Show Live first began, therefore it felt right, after several years of BIM Show Live success to bring it home – and this was now our second year in Newcastle.
The North East is a thriving region for manufacturing, engineering and indeed digital construction, with many of the UK’s leading BIM experts residing in the North of England, plus no where else can match the Geordie hospitality!
What do you feel you (the organiser) benefited from bringing the event to NewcastleGateshead?
Many large UK events, in any industry, are often London-based, and for several years we did stage BIM Show Live in central London. However, as technology advances, so too does the geographical spread of skills, knowledge and interest. It’s event such as this that allows industries to grow and embrace the expertise throughout the UK and showcase what other regions have to offer. The North East is a hot-bed for some very clever people and some very clever thinking.
At Space Group, we want to encourage new, young and inquisitive minds to consider a future career in construction and the North East has exceptional education facilities supporting digital construction and new technologies, this is our future and we have a large expanse of young talent ready to be shown what opportunities lie ahead for them in construction.
How do you feel your delegates benefited from the event being hosted in NewcastleGateshead?
BIM Show Live creates a community of like-minded BIM and digital construction enthusiasts, and as I mentioned above, the North East has an enviable amount of talented specialists in this field. Bringing visitors to the region not only acknowledges this talent but brings it gravitas and allows us to showcase our capabilities on not only a national but international scale, given that BIM Show Live attracted many international delegates.
Did you come across any difficulties when organising the event and how did you overcome these?
Our aim is to offer a place for learning, sharing and knowledge exchange, mixed with a little magic BIM-dust to ensure everyone has fun. BIM Show Live is an experience, yes it’s a learning platform, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffy and dull! That is our biggest challenge, to get this balance right, of learning and enjoyment, plus ensuring people leave satisfied that they have obtained new and useful skills.
If there’s one thing we have learned it’s that our visitors to the show expect the unexpected and we can promise to deliver on this every time.
The show maintains and fosters a community of individuals who share a passion for improving outcomes in the built environment. It encourages collaboration and ensures we continue to look forward and never rest on our laurels. We see BIM Show Live as an annual milestone event in the construction industry calendar, each year we can reflect on the last 12 months and look ahead to the next.
How did NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau support in the organisation of your event?
The support of the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has been invaluable, not only as an ambassador for the region, but also the construction professionals and organisations based here. Our region makes a major contributor to the UK economy, due to North East businesses supporting a world-leading, integrated supply chain which has significant economic value.
Bodies such as the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau enable us to bring in more international delegates to the show, further expanding the reach of our digital expertise.