Earlier this month, Tom Bigwood, Business DevelopmentManager for Adexon® and Jamie Nelson, Design, and Installations Manager for Adexon® attended the UK's leading construction and design show, London Build 2021.
This ‘Festival of Construction,’ Winner of Best Brand Expansion at the Exhibition News Awards, and finalist of Best Trade Show in theUK at the AEO Awards; London Build 2021 brings together some of the biggest names in construction, with 500+ speakers, 220+ CPD sessions and 100’s of exhibitors meeting at networking events.
Jamie Nelson, (blue tie) has managed within the company forthe past four-years, bringing with him his in-depth industry design engineeringknowledge and manages internal and client projects from cradle-to-grave.
While, Tom Bigwood, (no tie) is a relative newcomer to Adexon® but a veteran in the fire industry, heads up our UK business development. I interviewed the dream-team this week, to see the expo from an inside perspective, helpful, if like me, you were unable to attend.
As with other key events this year, there is a close focus on staying COVID secure. To gain entry to London Build, a COVID passport or a negative COVID test was necessary. Staff reported feeling safe moving around the venue and were not worried about possible infection, allowing them to focus on the exhibition itself.
First Impressions of the Expo
Tom felt that the main room was well-attended and busy, and that while the stands sometimes felt quiet, the seminars appeared well-attended, demonstrating that CPD continues to be of a high importance for professionals within the construction industry.
Jamie was keen to explain how while he felt slightly uneasy to be in such a large, crowded space, that the sense of ‘strangeness’ soon passed,and he was able to relax and enjoy the event. With social distancing and the avoidance of busy social spaces being a key feature of the past 2 years, social unease is likely to be felt by many attending large, large-capacity events, at least for the next few months at least.
Attendees to London Build may attend for a wide variety of reasons,with speakers, industry networking, and CPD being the biggest draws. From a sales perspective, although Tom felt that the ‘Meet the Contractor’ area may have been underutilised by attendees, the various talks on themed stages were insightful and captured large crowds.
Tackling Modern Slavery in Construction
This in-depth panel discussion focussed on construction industry concerns around modern slavery and contractor welfare. By drawing links with the agricultural industry standards, the speakers raised the idea that similar standards need to be utilised within construction- an idea that has generated much discussion within the office since.
Insightful and thought-provoking, the ASFP discussed the challenges the construction industry is facing in relation to fire safety, and how changes to current systems can save hundreds of thousands of hours, and pounds, for the industry moving forward.
Highlights from the Expo
Adexon® staff found many elements of the 2021 exhibition to be particularly stimulating and engaging.
The use of example products was utilised especially well by Flannery Plant Hire and ESS Steel, who brought in a full-sized rainbow JCB, among other plant. This was extremely effective at creating audience engagement with visitors to the Expo and created Wow! Moments.
Similarly, celebrity endorsement and interaction, featuring The Chase’s Dark Destroyer, Shaun Wallace, Mr Motivator, and a lone Chewbacca helped to create a buzz and provided an atmosphere that encouraged networking and enjoyment for all. Especially if you had the chance to win a free drink by answering general knowledge questions from the Chaser himself!
London Build also gave our two professionals a chance to engage their competitive natures- with Jamie closely beating Tom in a putting competition on the Crannull’s stand, with a score of one. Something we are sure neither will forget in a hurry!
Take-aways from the Expo
London Build 2021, amidst the fun and frolics, has left staff with a lasting sense of hope for the future of the construction industry, and exhibitions in future, and raised some key issues, such as modern slavery, that will be acted upon in future projects.
For example, the issue of modern-day slavery and it’s hidden position within the construction industry. Already an issue widely evidenced, researched, and discussed by the charity Focus on Labour Exploitation (Flex)and covered by undercover investigations from the BBC, Adexon’s increased awareness of this important moral and social issue ensures that we can push further research, and encourage checks on contractors to ensure they are working within appropriate standards, with protected rights, and they remain free from abuse.