The Association said it had taken the decision to “embrace technology and move to a virtual platform” in response to the extraordinary circumstances facing the industry.
The Conference will look to build on the success of BESA’s series of daily webinars that kept the industry updated on commercial, business and health and safety developments throughout the Covid-19 crisis. These were a huge success reaching an audience of more than 20,000 between March and August.
“We are using the extensive digital experience we gained this year to bring the industry two days of top notch technical, industry and business content on a brand new virtual conference platform,” said the Association’s chief executive David Frise.
“2020 has thrown many challenges at us; as individuals, businesses and as an industry. That is why it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest advice, thinking and initiatives to ensure your firm is best placed to benefit from the economic recovery.”
With discussion topics spread across a main digital auditorium and a series of smaller virtual seminars, there will be content to suit all building engineering interests. Delegates will even be able to ‘network’ in specially designated areas and there will be a virtual exhibition hall to showcase the latest products.
BESA is gathering an impressive line-up of high-profile speakers including the return of World Health Organisation advocate Rosamund Adoo Kissi-Debrah. Last year her inspirational session on the links between air quality and child health was heavily oversubscribed; and she is returning to update the industry on legal and political developments – and to exhort it to step up its efforts to turn buildings into ‘safe havens’ from air pollution.
There will be series of plenary presentations covering topics from the impact of government rebuilding plans to new building safety legislation as well as the Future of Cities, training and skills linked to the need for improved diversity in the building engineering workforce.
These will be complemented by a series of technical sessions drilling down into the detail of developments in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, indoor air quality, fire safety and smoke control, digital systems, off-site manufacture, ductwork and pipework – including updates on industry standards and best practice guidance.
There will also be tailored business seminars to help firms capitalise on the economic recovery and ‘BESA Clinics’ providing support and advice for members from the Association’s technical, legal, commercial, employment and health & safety teams.
“The availability of so much information online has made it harder to attract people to physical conferences in recent years,” said BESA president Neil Brackenridge. “However, BESA members and our industry partners have always seen the value of being ‘in the room’ to catch that important discussion and secure that nugget of information you wouldn’t have known about without actually being there.
“This year we have the chance to trial a ‘hybrid’ version using a highly sophisticated virtual platform that will replicate many aspects of a real life conference online,” added Brackenridge. “It promises to be an amazing experience and a vital couple of days for the immediate and long-term future of our industry.”
The two-day event will be free to attend, but BESA is asking attendees to make a contribution to its recently established IT poverty fund. This seeks to address the problem many young people have in accessing laptops and tablets so they can learn the skills and competencies needed to join the building engineering industry.
BESA has found that the Covid-19 lock-down and the need to learn from home exposed the scale and complexity of this issue. Therefore, all conference donations will go towards a project to collect, refurbish and distribute IT equipment to young people in the industry who are in need.
Register now to secure your place at: www.theBESA.com/conference