UK Construction Week: Exclusive interview
UK Construction Week is an inaugural event that will bring together stakeholders within the built environment across every facet of design, build and product information.
The event at the NEC in Birmingham will attract more than 1,000 exhibitors and in excess of 55,000 industry professionals, providing a unique opportunity for people in the industry to connect with each other.
In the first of a two-part interview, Richard Morey, Director of Media 10 – the media and events company putting the exhibition together – spoke to UK Construction Media about the origins of the event and the challenges in organising it.
Could you give us some background information about UK Construction Week and how it came about?
UK Construction Week is an umbrella brand that consists of nine individual events crossing all aspects of the construction industry.
It runs from the 6th–11th October from Birmingham’s NEC and sitting underneath the umbrella brand, there are nine other brands; The Build Show, which incorporates Civils Expo, Kitchens and Bathrooms Live, HVAC, Plant and Machinery Live, Smart Buildings, Energy2105, Timber Expo and Surfaces and Material Live. Those eight shows run from the 6th-8th October for industry professionals. They are trade shows, professional business-to-business events.
From the 8th-11th, we have Grand Designs Live, which targets self builders and home renovators. The professionals are allowed free movement to Grand Designs Live on the cross over day.
UK Construction Week is a new brand but of those shows I mentioned, two are existing shows; Timber Expo which we acquired in December now in its fifth year; and of course, Grand Designs Live, an event we launched back in 2005.
What was the thinking behind the umbrella brand and how did it come about?
There are so many shows in the UK that cover vertical markets in and around construction; but if you look at those on the European mainland, you have large horizontal markets construction shows.
So effectively what we’re doing is pulling together the construction industry and every facet within it.
With the nine shows, we have nine individual marketing campaigns targeting professionals specific to those industries, but also for people who go across to those industries.
So if you register to come to the build show and because that’s your primary area of interest, you’d quite possibly be interested in what’s going on in some of the others like HVAC, Timber Expo etc.
It’s a concept we’ve wanted to launch for years and now the time is right to do it. The state of construction in the UK is in a good place and we believe the forum and platform of UK Construction Week is needed, where the industry can have a voice.
It seems quite an ambitious undertaking in terms of the volume. How do you go about planning so many exhibitions?
We’ve put a team together consisting of seasoned, experienced people from within Media 10, adding experienced talent from elsewhere; each show has its own individual champion heading it up with individual teams that work on different shows to pull all content together.
So, Smart Buildings will have its champion, as will Timber, and so on. Therefore, there will be one person dedicated to overseeing each event and as far as UK Construction Week is concerned, I sit over this and am ultimately responsible for the success of the event on each level, whether it be content, revenue, profit etc.
How is the lineup chosen in terms of speakers/exhibitors/seminars?
It’s quite an undertaking but it’s a big industry that has fuelled economic recovery in the UK.
How we organise this is through all facets at our disposal. For example, I’ve got teams on each show covering content, sales marketing etc. Each has its own individual marketing budget for visitors and each has its own exhibitor promotion budget to make sure we get the right content in each event.
The easiest way to look at it is we’ve got 1,000 exhibitors across the event with sales teams for individual areas. We have over 300 hours of debate, education and business advice across the event in seminars.
On top of that, we have 45 hours of specific BIM workshops with 35 curated editorial features at the event.
So how do we do it? We have our own in house individual teams but we also lean heavily on our partners for UK Construction Week and for the events individually, such as Glenigan, BRE, CITB, RICS, CIOB, RIBA, SBID, with the likes of HBF for house building and so on.
We rely on our partners and Advisory Panel to make sure we’re going in the right direction and getting the right content for each individual industry and event.
How is it decided who exhibits?
I would guess eventually, people will apply and we will vet and source. But this year, because many are launch events, we are going out and sourcing. I’m confident we’re getting it right and I’m sure it won’t be perfect but this is a long term plan for us. We’re looking to create a platform with UK Construction Week where we get all stakeholders from the built environment across all facets of design, build and product innovation, all in the same place.
It’s a long term goal and the response we’ve had has been amazing.
For more information about, please visit http://www.ukconstructionweek.com or to register, go to https://registration.n200.com/survey/2jsfod60tef4u/start?translation=17jon6p8dqyon