The rate of registrations for UK Construction Week (UKCW), the first major construction event in two years, has got off to a record-breaking start, running at 22% higher than for the same period in 2019.
Demand for face-to-face events and networking appears to be returning fast. Since publication of the Government’s new guidance on the safe return of major events, organisers have confirmed that UKCW will return to the NEC in Birmingham on 5-7 October 2021. This event is free to attend.
UKCW 2021 is expected to attract more than 300 exhibitors covering over 25,000 square metres at the NEC, providing launches, demos and offers on more than 6,000 products.
Indeed, 80% of the exhibition space for October’s show is already booked. While some companies have waited for restrictions to ease, many rapidly took the opportunity to ramp up their marketing plans.
Major brands such as Google, HS2, Geberit, Hanson Plywood, Ford, Xero, Procore and the Construction Innovation Hub will be promoting heavily at the event, making up for two years of new product launches, innovation and recruitment.
Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, commented, “Businesses are telling us that they urgently need to get back to the quality of engagement that comes from face-to-face events. We are working flat out now to deliver the event people have been waiting for.
“If you work in the construction industry, UKCW has always been the must-attend event due to the calibre of the attendees it attracts. The bulk of visitors are senior managers, 85% are authorised to spend, and right now they’re looking for new suppliers, new recruits and new relationships. It makes sense to register for UKCW and to meet your market in person once again.”
Each day of UKCW in October will have a topical theme: Tuesday October 5 will focus on quality, social value and building safety; Wednesday October 6 will promote diversity, equality and inclusion in construction, and October 7 will be dedicated to sustainability. The UKCW’s long-established half-day summits on Quality and Wellbeing will also be scheduled during the show.
Co-located with UKCW will also be Grand Designs Live (6-10 October 2021), the BMF Young Merchants Conference and the Considerate Constructors Scheme national awards.
Key features of this year’s event include the UKCW main stage, sponsored by COINS, which will see keynote presentations by senior leaders from, among others, McKinsey, the Construction Products Association, CIOB, Willmott Dixon, Barratt Homes, Bioregional, Grimshaw, the Sustainable Energy Association and the Construction Leadership Council.
The COINS ‘Future of Construction’ series of seminars will be looking at how the last 18 months have changed the way we build and how that catalyst for change can now be used in a positive way. These sessions will cover updates in technology, procurement, sustainability, wellbeing and more.
During the pandemic, construction has accelerated its digital transformation and the adoption of new technology. Therefore, the Digital Construction Hub, sponsored by Procore, is already a massive draw. In an extensive seminar programme delivered in partnership with the UK BIM Alliance, delegates will be hearing about others’ BIM implementation stories, digital strategies and practical tips for overcoming challenges. The UK BIM Alliance will also be hosting a series of essential networking events.
In addition, there will be a large Sustainability Hub, supported by the Renewable Energy Association, plus the Regeneration Hub, sponsored by Easy-trim, which will focus on social value and quality issues in construction.
Working with the Offsite Alliance, the Modern Methods of Construction Hub will deliver three days of MMC and offsite construction case studies. The Innovation Zone will also return this year – a collection of the most interesting and inventive products to have emerged in the last two years.
The UKCW Role Models initiative is also back for 2021. Following a record number of entries last year, the shortlist of 102 Role Models was chosen from all parts of the industry and the overall winner will be announced on Wednesday 6 October.
Role Models are inspiring people who have a strong story to tell and can help to attract others into similar roles. They also act as mentors. Previous years’ Role Models have been out visiting schools and meeting young people to encourage them into construction as a rewarding career.
UKCW won the Best UK Tradeshow award by the Association of Event Organisers in 2020, recognising its innovations, positive delegate experience and sustainable procedures.
One entry badge gives access to multiple sections: Build, Modern Methods of Construction, Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy and HVAC, and Surface and Materials, as well as Grand Designs Live.
To get regular updates on the event, including safety protocols and new features, follow UKCW on social media using the hashtag #UKCW2021. While to register for free, you can do so at the UK Construction Week website.