Friday, 12 March 2021

Are construction conferences really worth it?

So, this is a question which I get asked a lot. Conferences are used in many sectors of the work place and their value is real. But, are they as important in the construction industry? 

Really this depends what you’re looking for. Each conference is designed around a certain area of construction, so you need to make a list of what it is you want to get out of them. Once you have that list, you can make more informed choices. 

These conferences are excellent ways to network. You might find a product which will make your life much easier, and it just so happens that the said product is to be showcased at the conference. To you, your projects and your clients, this is invaluable information and you could potentially be one of the first to use this product on your builds, and therefore be ahead of the game. 

At the moment, with the world the way it is, there is a lot of uncertainty. We may have issues on site which are a direct result of the lockdowns, or even Brexit. So much has had an impact on the way we work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. If there is something we all have to remember it is, if we can’t change it, change with it. 

These conferences showcase innovative designs and new technologies, and can answer questions you’ve got stored away. So yes, they really can be beneficial, in my opinion. Assuming you know exactly what you’re going for, pick the right one for you and go with the right attitude. You’re not going to be excited by every part, but, if you come back with more understanding than you went with, that’s a win.  

Also, what you need to remember is that at these conferences they tend to have ‘high achievers’ delivering the speeches. Pick their brains, ask questions, find out what is going on in the background. How is your industry changing? What are they going to do with the change? How are they handling it? It might not be the ‘hands on’ work that you normally do, but you can get a lot of knowledge from these conferences, and from the people working them. 

This year, there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to conferences, not just for our industry, but for all industries. Currently the UK’s construction week is 5th-7th October 2021 and is to be held in Birmingham NEC. The London dates are 3-5 May 2022. If you’re interested, they do have some virtual dates and information of these can be found here

Remember, whatever your industry, you get out what you put in. So, make the most of all the opportunities you have. Even if you learn one thing, that’s one thing you didn’t know yesterday!

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