UK Construction Week’s Nathan Garnett looks ahead to next week’s show, highlighting the key topics for discussion, the importance of role models and why in an ever evolving industry, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve.
Building an exhibition must provide some insight on what it's like to work in the construction industry. We go onsite this Saturday (6th October) to begin building UK Construction Week and the nine shows that make up the 50,000+m2 exhibition. Yes, I know what we do is temporary – three days of build, three days of exhibition, and one day to take it all away – but the satisfaction of seeing things coming together, the ability to adapt and change plans, the camaraderie of team work, and the sense of achievement, must all have parallels with a building project. It’s these elements of working in construction that we would like to talk about over the next week, through a coming together of over 30,000 trade professionals and 650 innovating exhibitors.
There will be a lot to discuss. In the last week, James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced the forthcoming ban on combustible cladding on all new high rise buildings, but that has prompted many more questions on the detail, and why he has not gone further to look at fire prevention, regulation and low rise buildings. Our recent survey paints a picture of frustration from industry through slow government action, and evidence that changes have been undertaken through all parts of the supply chain taking their own initiative. But is this enough?
We will also be discussing how we reverse the decline of people choosing construction as a career, coupled with the potential decline in construction workers that Brexit may or may not be responsible for. We will be discussing diversity, asking the difficult questions and highlighting the huge benefits ED&I policies can have.
This brings me to what will undoubtedly be a highlight for this year, seeing our role models take to the stage and the announcement of our first ever UK Construction Week Role Model of 2018. The only way we can increase our home grown talent will be to shine a light on those who have inspirational stories, those who can articulate just why they love construction, and are happy to share their experiences to the wider world. We start this process on Wednesday 10th October on the UKCW stage with Steph McGovern and Barbara Res, who will present our role models.
Role models will be crucial to growing the next generation and fundamental to the Future of Construction, our theme for 2018. There is a huge amount of innovation this year, and technology will be everywhere you turn. We have structures that have been built by robots, offsite manufactured houses, VR simulators, advances in renewable energy production and storage, robotic exoskeletons, 3D printing, and a whole area dedicated to how buildings are integrating the IoT to become more efficient. Construction is adopting technology and evolving at a frantic pace. Keeping updated or get left behind.
I have to say a big thankyou to the 650 companies who have supported us this year. I know already they will create a very vibrant, bright and immersive exhibition. And to all of our amazing speakers who will inspire and educate us all and help shape objectives for the year ahead.
UK Construction Week will help you stay ahead. Nowhere else will you be able to see and do so much under one roof, see so many industry pioneers and see the massive potential in the future of the built environment. The week after show, I will be a bit jealous, as we will go back to event planning, whilst you are all building our future!
Nathan has worked in the event industry for 17 years and is currently responsible for UK Construction Week and 100% Optical; spearheading these launch events to become market leaders in their respective fields.