The first ever Futurebuild has been hailed as a resounding success with 27,283 visitors joining the event to address the industry’s biggest challenges. Bringing together senior decision makers and innovators from across the built environment, the event furthered ecobuild’s legacy of fostering collaboration and enabling new business opportunities.
Innovation was high on the agenda for visitors as professionals continue to seek new and pioneering solutions to address the multiple challenges facing the industry. Futurebuild’s position as a leader in this field was solidified after an increase in attendance among research and development professionals. The event also saw an 8% increase in the number of housebuilders and developers visiting over three days and organisers, Futurebuild Events, have said that architects, buyers and specifiers took up 23% of the total visitor number.
To meet the industry’s demand for more opportunities to learn about innovation, Futurebuild exclusively partnered with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial (BEIS) to deliver the Innovation Zone in conjunction with Innovate UK.
Offering a platform for a range of innovators and businesses to come together and share advice and knowledge, the Zone provided inspiration and information to visitors through a dedicated seminar programme. Key topics included the government’s approach to meeting carbon targets, transforming our economy, and how we build, use and heat our buildings in order to meet these goals. As well as creating a buzz around innovation, the Zone brought together key players to help drive the industry forward, showcasing over 40 innovative start-ups, and hosted a dedicated business bar focused on knowledge sharing and one-to-one expert advice.
This wasn’t the only aspect of the event putting a spotlight on innovation. Many exhibitors utilised Futurebuild as a platform to launch new products, publications and innovations. Gemma Burley, Marketing Operations Manager at ACO, said:
“Futurebuild has given us the opportunity to develop relationships with customer types we don’t always get the chance to speak to and has allowed us to showcase new products and innovations.
“The event was a great place to launch askACO, a service which will allow us to offer expertise to our customers such as professional development and design support.”
Kelly Knight, Brand Marketing Manager at ZIP, said:
“Futurebuild is a great fit for us, its focus on sustainability aligns with our own brand values. Last year we launched Reuse Refill Refresh, a campaign designed to educate, and support businesses reduce single-use plastic use in their workplace.
“We are encouraged to see that Futurebuild has committed to going single use plastic bottle free – this is something we are helping more businesses to do by building awareness around filtered drinking water systems that are mains-fed, so don’t require any plastic bottles.”
As well as learning more about the latest innovations, visitors were keen to know more about the latest trends in the built environment and the biggest challenges facing the industry. Futurebuild provided more structured learning opportunities than ever before, with over 500 hours of CPD-accredited sessions spanning an inspiring conference programme, 11 seminar streams and four deep-dive workshops hosted in the Knowledge Forum. Visitors were able to experience the event’s unrivalled conference programme and dedicated series of seminars across each of its six Hubs, which debated the latest in urban infrastructure, offsite, materials, interiors, energy and buildings, and waste and the circular economy in the Waste Zone.
In the Time for Action ecobuild conference arena, 13 of the biggest challenges in the built environment were explored. From health and well-being in design and maintenance, to the circular economy and the housing crisis, the key discussions were led by a wide range of industry leaders including Cristina Gamboa, CEO at World Green Building Council, Professor Peter Madden OBE, Director at ecovivid, and Jane Briginshaw, Director at Design England.
Setting the stage for 2020
With 2020 a key milestone for many businesses when it comes to sustainability, next year’s Futurebuild will provide an unrivalled platform for the innovation which is helping industry deliver on its promises.
Innovation, knowledge sharing and education will drive the format of the event, with visitors able to experience the latest thinking and ground-breaking solutions through Futurebuild’s innovation trails, exhibitor showcases and demonstrations, key partnerships with government and help in funding SMEs. With a focus on key trends including carbon, the circular economy, wellness and digital construction, it will be home to collaboration and the go-to event for visitors who want to be the first to see and get hands-on with new products from the most forward-thinking brands across the built environment.
Martin Hurn, managing director of Futurebuild Events, said: “Futurebuild 2019 represented everything we set out to achieve as we evolve to meet industry demands for innovation and forward-thinking solutions. From key partnerships fostering innovation to setting clear agendas for a more sustainable built environment, the feedback we’ve had so far is that Futurebuild is the place to showcase new ideas, thinking and solutions.
“As we look forward to 2020, we will continue to be an event for the industry, created and curated by the industry – we are 100% committed to championing innovation and sustainability for the future of the built environment. We will continue to support, encourage and help develop cutting edge thinking across the industry as well as offer a platform to debate the key issues touching the heart of the built environment.”
To find out more about Futurebuild 2020 exhibiting opportunities, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk/exhibit.