We all went into BIM Show Live with high expectations looking forward to a few days of work hard, play hard! The event did not disappoint, it was also an important couple of days for us in particular as this was BIMcrunch.com’s official launch.
Along the way there were a multitude of surprises and things which you would not expect at a traditional conference. Right from the outset this event made it clear it was going to be different. As you walked into the lobby of the Park Plaza Hotel you were greeted by a full size yellow cow who is apparently the property of BIMstore and goes by the name of Ermentrude.
At registration everyone was given a small hand shaped Poken device to use to connect with other delegates over the two days. The previous events had been at the Business Design Centre. Whilst a good place to start it had been far from the ideal location on the previous year. The Park Plaza is at the other end of the scale. With views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament it certainly has good neighbours.
The quality of the venue set the tone for the whole event. On the lower basement was the software lounge where all of the major sponsors were positioned, along with the food – making it a busy area!
The Tech Hall hosted all of the technology partners and gave the opportunity to play with the latest hardware and software. There was also a Tech Stage which hosted short and snappy 15 minute presentations. The main auditorium hosted the impressive 600 delegates, a large stage and of course the Back to the future car to one side.
The first session was chaired by David Philp from the Cabinet office with the state of the nation keynote delivered by Rob Charlton of BIM technologies. This was followed by three schools presenting their recent work in BIM and Revit. They had been working on the design engineer and construct curriculum developed by Class of Your Own. The delegates were treated to live Revit demonstrations by teams of 14 year olds. This proved a humbling experience to all and inspired everyone in the room.
The main auditorium had the ubiquitous Twitter wall taking live feeds along with a Top Gun leader board. After the keynotes the delegates headed off to the classes. Floating around the space was a Star Wars storm trooper and seven foot tall chewbacca – all adding to the unusual but fun ambience expected at BIM Show Live.
On the classroom floor was the retro room which had a range of computers and gaming consoles from the 80s and 90s. The BIMcrunch team were also based here and held interviews and vox pops throughout the two days – you can watch the latest video on our home page or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Just down the hall was the much coveted Top Gun award which proved popular with all of the geeks brave enough to take the test!
The end of the last day was topped off by a dinner hosted by Autodesk. This proved to be an excellent event and allowed the discussion and debate to continue. The majority of the guests retired to the bar and reports came back the last man standing left at 5.30am clearly this event being hosted in a hotel helped to keep everyone together and encouraged the discussion to continue. The entire two day event had a great buzz about it, if a little more subdued on day two due to a few sore heads!
Rob Charlton the chief executive of BIM technologies took to stage to award the BIMMYs trophies for Best Class, Best Product, Best Tech Hall Presentation and finally the BSL 2013 Top Gun. The drinks flowed for a little while longer as the exhibitors packed up their stands and headed home.
All in all a fantastic event – and judging from what you told our camera you all loved it too! Bring on BIM Show Live 2014… are you with us?