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BIM For Good, Bad and Ugly?

You might have signed up for a conference recently and noticed that they are asking questions that felt a little invasive. Why ask where I’m travelling from and how I’m travelling? ‘Big Brother’ gone mad? There is good reason for it and we’ll get to that…

We’ve been working with Space Group to deliver a three-day event, kicking off with an education day for 200 local students, a celebratory awards evening sandwiched between two days of conference for 400 international delegates. Safe to say events provide so many positive outputs, collaboration, knowledge sharing and inspiration, but large-scale conferences have, and continue to cause a negative impact on the environment.

BIM Show Live, has been no different, but we’re committed to turning the ugly truth, and bad practice into good for all. It started with the theme set out back in 2019, the conference wanted to focus on ‘BIM for Good’, and the goodness should show through every inch of the event.

First stop our suppliers, we’ve worked with a handful of trusty suppliers who all make the magic that is BIM Show Live. Our sustainably sourced lanyards provided by a UK company have agreed to carbon offset their transport from China following our ‘ask to suppliers’ to offer a sustainable solution for the demands of our order. We’re using a sustainable badge solution we sourced for the 2019 conference, (here at BHE HQ sustainability has been a concern for quite some time). Meetings with PR and social teams are conducted remotely over Zoom. The award trophies have transformed from high shine metal to sustainable wood – they’ll still have that heavy aspirational look and feel! Perhaps the most controversial element to mess with is catering. We’ve chosen to cater the full event as vegetarian or vegan food and use locally sourced ingredients only. A bold move perhaps, but we’re confident in our caterer’s quality, and we’re sure the audience won’t miss the meat with the tasty treats on offer. Consideration has been made at every step, even the vegan sausage rolls (spoiler alert), are in recyclable packaging.

In the biggest shake up, we’re printing less, delegates will not be handed a printed programme. Delegates will peruse the schedule of the day on the event app, can message other delegates and set up alerts for sessions they don’t want to miss (i.e. all of them). Speakers have been sourced being mindful of travel requirements, and we’re lucky to have such talent coming from the region speaking; our day one keynote Nic Palmarini is located walking distance from the venue.  The delegate communications will encourage our delegates to bring their re-usable cups and bottles for their caffeine and hydration hits.

So why are we asking delegates how they are travelling to the event? We want to benchmark the carbon footprint of BIM Show Live 2020 as the first year in a new sustainability drive, so we’re not ignorant to the fact that our delegates travel from across the globe and we have to include this in our plans. BIM Show Live 2.0, aka BIM Show Live 2021 will be leaner, greener, and more as we work towards a better future. We’re ditching the bad and the ugly and we’re going good, one step at a time, as much as we can. Join us.