As BIM Show Live is packed away for another year, we've taken the time to reflect on what could possibly have been the best one yet.
Synonymous for being the UK's original BIM conference, BIM Show Live once again proved itself worthy of such a title with its range of innovative and inspiring content married with a buzzing atmosphere across its two days. It all kicked off with an annual inspiration day, where sponsors and hosts alike were given the opportunity to inspire the next generation of BIM'ers and prove that our industry involves so much more than construction sites.
A lot of the girls are interested too!
It's safe to say that amongst students, the most popular class of the day revolved around the use of VR headsets and stepping into real world projects that are currently being built. One student from Monkseaton Middle School told us: "The world is becoming more technical and digital, so construction needs to, too.
"It's really cool how you have VR, I want to be an engineer so this is really cool for me to see."
Jen Brown, a teaching assistant for Monkseaton Middle School added: "The children are engaging really well with all the practical aspects of it.
"It definitely opens lots of different doors and opportunities for them, a lot of the girls are interested too! It's really been a positive experience."
Later that evening, BIM Show Live got their festivities underway by presenting the annual BIM Awards, but this time - mit eine twist. Taking on a European theme, Newcastle's Boilershop was transformed into a traditional Bavarian beer hall completed with Oompah band, Baghdaddies, who emerged from within the audience whilst drinks were served before the ceremonies began.
Steins of beer and pretzels filled the long, narrow tables as pitchers of beer were handed around. A joyous occasion, sehr sehr gut! The host for the evening, Mark Shayler, lead the night through nostalgic notes to success with award winners including Tata Steel for Best New BIM Product, Dr. Arto Kiviniemi taking home the Rob Jackson OpenBIM Certificate and Rebecca De Cicco accepting the award for BIM Personality Of The Year with a video acceptance all the way from Australia.
Content truly is king.
Day 1 of BIM Show Live began with an energy unlike other conferences. Attendees, delegates and others amongst the crowd were buzzing to make their way around the various classes, keynotes and exhibitions. After an inspiring opening remark from our chair, Simon Rawlinson, a 'head over heels' State of the Nation address was delivered by co-founder, Rob Charlton.
There's no doubt of the impact that the event has had on the industry since its first show in 2011, bringing together a community, hosting 4500 delegates and 260 classes is a real feat, and adding to that list this year, were some real show stoppers. With an additional 50 speakers and 4 keynotes to add to the grand total, it was clear to see that content truly is king as there were times in the conference where it was difficult to choose one class over another - my deepest sympathies for anyone who attended BIM - The Musical.
By the way, it's OK to say I don't know.
At the other end of the spectrum, keynotes from the likes of Semblr Technologies' Ivo Tedbury on the future of robotics in construction and Jay Zallan's enlightening take on why we all need to consider human nature and the human mind in the work we do were truly eye opening. An honest, poignant message of the entire event came during Zallan's keynote when he told a full room of submerged attendees: "By the way, it's OK to say I don't know."
It's that sentiment which rings true thoughout BIM Show Live. The "I don't know" is why the conference is vital to our community and industry. The "I don't know" is why so many of us attend, and out of it, comes groundbreaking progress and future collaborations. I, myself, don't know much about everything at BIM Show Live, but even in my field I believe I left with valuable lessons and ideas to take forward in my work. "I don't know" what it is, but BIM Show Live has it.