Now that the Dust has Settled

18 Oct

Following on from last month’s blog regarding preparations for the annual Ground Engineering Basement Conference; now this has been and gone and the dust settled, perhaps it is time to reflect on the event and to assess whether it has all been worthwhile.

We had committed at a very early stage to be the event’s Platinum sponsor, which obviously involved a sizeable financial investment up-front. As well as the usual exhibition stand and publicity opportunities, platinum sponsorship entitled us to have a 30-min presentation slot in one of the breakout sessions.

The cost effectiveness of these events is always a bit of a gamble and difficult to assess as you have no idea of likely attendance until well after you have committed and really not until the actual day itself. Roland Maybank and his team at GE did an excellent job of publicising the event and it was good to see our logo at the forefront of the marketing literature. Based on last year’s encouraging attendance we were confident of a good show. So how was it for us then?

The build up to the show was quite frenetic to say the least and despite all the best laid plans, ended up as a tearing last minute rush. This was especially the case in bring together and rehearsing all the elements of our 30 minute presentation slot in the major projects breakout session. As mentioned last month, this was to be a three pronged case study event involving our friends and colleagues Arne Eigerland and Vidar Flatekval from Norway to present on the Oslo Barcode project and Sam Reed from CSJV to give an insight into his Crossrail Paddington station box. I was nominated to sit on the corner of the stage to answer any sticky questions!

The event kicked off with an interesting and well attended workshop session the afternoon prior, chaired by Byrne Looby’s David Beadman who themed on a lack of holistic approach to basement construction between the various parties. This subject certainly struck a chord throughout the audience.

After all the preparations, it was quite a relief therefore to get the show underway and for those of us with speaking parts; after a nervous mornings waiting in the wings, it was good to get into the auditorium and get on with it! Judging from the attendance and feedback questions, our session went very well chaired ably by Peter Richardson. I managed to field a few of the questions, hopefully in a coherent manner. During the lunch break immediately after the session, our stand was swamped with people asking questions; so much so that I ended up missing the fine lunch provided by our hosts!

As platinum sponsors, we were asked to conduct a couple of impromptu interviews for the roving camera team. Hope they will not be too cringe worthy!

As stated earlier, it is always difficult to assess the cost effectiveness of getting involved in these events. Attendance numbers were good although not staggering; however there is an undeniable feel-good factor for being there getting involved and being recognised by senior industry figures. Hopefully some of the promises of jobs to look at will materialise to add a bit of icing to the cake.

Roll on next year??

Tony Gould
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