Walking into the Excel hall you could immediately tell this was different.
It was only 9.30, and already there was a buzz in the air and long queues to get in.
My immediate impression of Digital Construction Week 2017 was “Wow baby! My, how you’ve grown!”
Walking around you could see a plethora of really good stands and the presentation stages and the main conference area where world class content was to be delivered over the two days.
Mark Bew, head of UK BIM gave an overview of Digital Built Britain, and what the future might hold. The direction of travel is awesome – this is no longer about BIM, it is about UK PLC and the digital economy. Much discussion about productivity and efficiency and how we can improve through adopting digital ways of working.
Terry Stocks gave an overview of the DBB L2 group and how they are working with central government to move L2 implementation forward, in the central government public sector departments. He admitted it wasn’t perfect, and there had been recent twitter traffic around some EIR’s! However, government does need to show some leadership here, so if “industry” is expected to step up, so should government!
I was able to give a footnote on the main-stage talking about the growth of the UK BIM Alliance over the last year since our launch at DCW last year. For me the message is still very much about getting to Level 2 across industry in the next few years.
My fear is that the message around Level 2 will be drowned out by all the talk about Level 3 and beyond, which of course is really exciting, but we need to get the basics in place first from Level 1 and Level 2.
Putting our processes in place, using the standards, learning to collaborate using a Common Data Environment and learning to use consistent, structured data and all the tools that go with it.
And of course the UKBIM Alliance needs support, people to collaborate and lean in on the work streams, and to provide sponsorship and patronage to fund the programme going forward.
We launched 2 of our first projects, guidance on defining client data requirements and guidance on cyber security, PAS 1192/5. Both were well received and the guides are available on our website.
We hosted a great programme of talks at the BIM Village and Clinic, and generally it was packed out with people standing as well. Caused a few problems having enough headsets to listen to speakers but we managed!
Certainly I very much like the format of the different stages and you can drop in or out as you wish. It’s a bit like a food court only for BIM and digital, and I think fits the spirit of our age where people are restless and attention spans are short.
It has been my privilege to work with Ollie and Luke at DCW for the last 3 years now, firstly as BIM Regions UK and now as the UK BIM Alliance with the BIM Communities. They have supported us all the way and given us great opportunities to grow. In return we have provided speakers and content and this has worked really well. Over the 2 days we’ve provided world class CPD at no cost to the attendees.
In conclusion my lasting impression, to quote John Adams, is that “DCW has come of age”. I think it is now the centre-piece of the digital industry calendar in the UK, the go-to event. It is an important part of the landscape now and the quality of venue, speakers, content and exhibitors has helped cement that position this year.
Regarding the UK BIM Alliance, we are now part of that landscape too, the go-to organization for Level 2, and we now have a big part to play in transitioning with industry through Level 2, to Level 3 and beyond.
John Eynon, Engagment Lead, UK BIM Alliance