UK Construction Week leaves a lasting impression on future-thinking industry leaders 

The week before last (3-5 May), UK Construction Week (UKCW), the country’s largest event dedicated to the built environment and all its trades and professions, came to a close in London after three successful days packed full of the latest innovations and products, networking, and learning opportunities.

The event was attended by 20,643 construction professionals and 300 exhibitors showcasing more than 10,000 products, some of which were unveiled for the first time.

UKCW London ended on a high with a great deal of visitor sign-ups and exhibitor rebooks already received for UKCW Birmingham, which takes place on 4-6 October at the NEC.

The key theme for the show was culture change in construction, making it the biggest event in the sector to address and debate the most crucial issues currently affecting the industry.

Topics explored at the event included net-zero goals, sustainability and biomimicry, energy futures, retrofit, digitalisation, modern methods of construction, health and wellbeing, and diversity.

The event also took a hard look at how to enact best practice and real change around building safety and the latest government regulations.

These subjects were driven by 15 keynotes and 300 specialist speakers who presented at multiple theatre stages and in hubs dedicated to innovation, CPD, offsite construction, sustainability, digital construction, and infrastructure.

The Digital Construction Hub, hosted by content partners Build in Digital, was a resounding success with a great audience turnout, featuring the best and brightest from across the digital construction industry.

Sam Stacey, Transforming Construction director at UKRI, opens the floor at the Digital Construction Hub

Speaking of the event, Gavin Skelly, director at Fireaware, commented: “We’ve done a few shows since the lockdown was lifted, and I have to say that this has been the best. It’s the diversity of people we get to talk to at UK Construction Week. So many different sectors – the spread of visitors is really useful to us. The quality has been great too.”

As part of the event, a number of awards were presented to exhibitors with the winners comprising of Bosch for Best Space Over 50, Xero for Best Space Under 50, LAMILUX for Best Shell Scheme, Planet Mark for Best Sustainability Initiative, and SEMIN for Most Interactive Stand.

Another major cause for celebration was the announcement of the coveted UK Construction Week Role Models shortlist nominees, and the well-deserving winners of the Fix Radio Tradesperson of the Year Awards. The winner of the Role Models Awards will be announced at UKCW Birmingham.

Summarising the show, Nathan Garnett, event director, said: “It’s been wonderful to spend our first London show with so many inspired and talented construction professionals, change makers and disrupters that are truly dedicated to building on the positive culture shift that we’re seeing across the industry.

“We’re honoured to have had such passionate, knowledgeable speakers and innovative exhibitors who embody these themes join us for a busy three days and are extremely grateful for the positive feedback we’ve received from our guests. 

“Every visitor to UKCW is a part of driving this positive change, and I hope each one has come away with valuable learning and even more ideas and inspiration than they came with.

“It’s been fantastic to come together as an industry to debate, demonstrate and celebrate in equal measure just how ever improving and evolving construction is, and witness the transformation that has taken place in the last year.

“Thank you to all involved for making it the success that it was and giving the show such a warm welcome in London.”

UK Construction Week will be back in London in May 2023, but for now looks forward to another full three days at the Birmingham show taking place on 4-6 October at the NEC. Once again it will run alongside co-located shows the Offsite Show, Concrete Expo, and Grand Designs Live.

Image: UK Construction Week main stage

Read next: CITB invests £233m to help UK construction bridge skills gap

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