The AECO community reunited last month for the return of Digital Construction Week (DCW). Visitors flocked to ExCeL London on 24 – 25 November for the chance to meet in-person once again at the show’s sixth edition – its first to run in two years, following postponement because of the pandemic.
With safety measures in place, visitors turned out in their droves to meet more than 140 global brands and cutting-edge start-ups demonstrating the latest digital innovations revolutionising construction.
Plus, they heard directly from thought-leaders shaping the built environment via the show’s impressive ten-theatre seminar programme.
Ollie Hughes, Co-Founder and Event Director, says: “After such a long wait, the whole industry was eagerly anticipating DCW this year – and judging by the glowing feedback we’ve received, we’re delighted to have delivered a show that surpassed all our expectations.
“The event has once again proved itself to be a highlight of the industry’s calendar and showed just how important face-to-face events like DCW are to driving innovation in this fast-paced sector. A huge thank you to everyone who joined us and helped make the show such a success.”
DCW 2021 was an action packed two days, with lots of amazing tech on display. The show floor buzzed with activity as visitors gathered to try out the most recent innovations for the built environment being demonstrated on the stands.
Among them were Boston Dynamic’s Spot, mounted with the Leica BLK ARC autonomous laser scanning module, which traversed the show floor and turned heads. Over at XYZ Reality’s construction playground visitors were among the first to try out their new tool the Atom, the world’s first Engineering-Grade augmented reality headset, which launched at the show.
Seats quickly filled up at the FULMAX Lounge (in partnership with FULCRO and the FULmax WIDE), an immersive 360° projection space where visitors could relax and network while surrounded by inspiring construction projects from around the UK.
DCW’s nine free-to-attend theatres also drew crowds throughout the two days. There were packed out sessions on drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, BIM – just to mention a few of the hot topics discussed in the theatres.
Sarah Delany and Emma Hooper (Government and Industry Interoperability Group), Rahul Shah (BSI), Andy Boutle (Kier Construction), Richard Vilton and Martine Skaret (Emu Analytics), Thomas Gould and Craig Ridout (Skanska UK), Alison Watson MBE (Class of Your Own), Dr Anita Soni (Skanska UK), Tom Boland (Zutec), Ben Pollard (BAM Nuttall) and David Mitchell (XYZ Reality) were just some of the speakers who delivered standing-room-only sessions.
The Main Stage (which was free to all attendees for the first time this year) hosted high profile speakers, with sessions from industry leaders including Sam Stacey (UKR&I), Fergus Harradence (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy), Elizabeth Kavanagh (PCSG), Nick Smallwood (Infrastructure & Projects Authority), Fiona Moore (Government and Industry Interoperability Group), David Philp (Construction Innovation Hub), and many others.
The two-day event has been heralded a major success, with visitors, exhibitors and speakers full of praise for DCW’s comeback show. Many commented it was ‘good to be back’, while others were delighted to have the ‘chance to meet peers and industry professionals’ and ‘experience the recent developments in the industry and its ecosystem under one roof’.
Matt McCarter, Head of BIM, SCS Railways, comments: “This year’s DCW far surpassed all previous years’ events with so many quality seminars across all stages and the exhibition space full of excellent and informative exhibitors.
“I will absolutely be back next year with even more colleagues from outside of the BIM team than this year.”
Sandra Weerasinghe, Design Manager, BW: Workplace Experts described the show as ‘an unmissable gathering of industry experts and innovators taking the construction industry into the future’.
Andrew Rogers, Strategic Operations Director, Gratte Brothers Ltd, comments: “A really insightful few days that has refreshed my appetite to continue developing and being innovative.”
Adrian Houlbrook, Director, A & P Systems Limited, says: “The event was well organised with plenty to interest experienced industry staff and those considering construction as a career. As the predicted growth in the construction industry will be one of the drivers for growth in a post-COVID world, the importance of shared ideas and digitisation cannot be underestimated.”
Ollie Hughes continues: “For those of you who couldn’t attend this year’s edition of DCW, there’s no need to worry as you won’t have long to wait. DCW is moving to a new home in the calendar in Spring, so our next event takes place in just six months’ time on 18-19 May 2022.
“The team are already on the hunt for speakers for DCW 2022, with the call for speakers due to launch in the new year. If you’re interested in taking to the stage to share your expertise, then sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date when the call for speakers launches.”
Digital Construction Week takes place at ExCeL London from 18-19 May 2022. To register for a free trade ticket, click here.
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