Exhibition News June 2018 - Page 38

FEATURE A fresh start It’s been a rocky few years for sustainable construction event Ecobuild, but are new independent owners Futurebuild Events beginning to change its fortunes? W 38 hen Futurebuild Events staged a management buyout of Ecobuild from UBM in late 2016, it’s fair to say the sustainable construction show was in decline. There were several reasons for this, Futurebuild MD Martin Hurn tells EN. “It’s an interesting one,” he says. “The majority of the decline came when the government pulled the incentives. If you look back to the 2011 show, 30-40 per cent of it was renewable energy – solar, heat pumps, biomass boilers etc. – but they were heavily subsidised by the government so the install market was huge. “You as a homeowner could fit them on your home for almost nothing. There was a huge amount of international investment coming over. But then the government completely cut the subsidies, and so that market then fell apart.” Hurn, along with many of the current Futurebuild team, worked on Ecobuild when the show was with UBM, and felt there was a potential renaissance in the show’s future. The 2017 show was technically run by Futurebuild, but under a service agreement with UBM, so the March 2018 event was the first time the new organiser could spread its wings and enact some fundamental changes. “We did the standard things, like set up steering groups, but we also took the decision to work with fewer partners, but in a more meaningful way,” says Hurn. “I think leaving UBM gave us that independence back; we didn’t have in-house magazines. A lot of the media brands and the associations were more willing to work with us and to work with us a lot more closely. “I think that came across in the content programme as well. The conference programme used to be run by the Building magazine editorial team, and I think that frustrated some people in the industry. What we said is that we want to do the complete June 2018 | exhibitionnews.co.uk opposite. We handed over sessions of our conference to the key industry groups, and really did quite a lot of surveys and feedback through steering groups to understand what people wanted.” The changes made an impact. The 2018 show saw a five per cent increase in visitors and the strongest exhibitor rebook in five years. The level of seniority among visitors also increased, with more senior figures perhaps curious to see first hand how the show was changing under new management. One might have thought, however, that even with a newly i \[[X[H]H[B]ZYHYX[\XY[^X]ܜœ\]Z\\ YX\Y\ 'H\Y][[] 8'HYZ]’\8'H][HX[H[XXYHX]x&YۙHX[\[[ H[\B\HوݙH܈][\ۙ\HPB[^H[H][YܙK[HZYx&Y\ۈ\Y\\KXH\\X\H[][HYYY[ 'H[][YY[XHوH\Y[[YHوX\]] [H[YH[XHY[][HX[ ]Z\B[ݘ][ۜˈHܚY][HZB[ݘ]HR8$[HوHRœ\\8$[ܙX]YH][[ۋ'H[HX[HY[H[\\X H[[[H^X]ܜ[^H8&][[[HX&H[[][][ۜ˸'BX؝Z[ N ۝[Y\\\˜\XXHH]\H&\ˈ[XHو[[ܛ\[X]HB][8&\ۙ\[H\Z\YHYBY\Y[\Hٙ\[ۘ[ˈ]\[][\[\]H]\ۜX[ۈYH[\\و۝[ H]\XZ[][X[HXYYB[[X]ۛHX؝Z[[˂']8&\\HH\Z[XH][Y[[[YH[8'H[Xܘ]\\8'^H\BX[H[\ܝ[RۜX[ۈ[[]Y\[Hو[X]H[KB[^\[YXHHYXXܛ\Y\˜[[^H\H[][R˜ۜX[ۋ'BZHX[HYH][H[Z[\[ۙ\[H\[ۜ]X؝Z[\H BXܙY]Y [ZHX[HYHۜX[ۂۙ\[K^\\[\[ۜ\HYB][ 'H\ۘ[H[Hۙ\[H]H]ۈ\]\[[وHZY Y܂ۙ\[\[\[\K8'HH[S'Hۙ\[HY[ܙH[ [B][]ݙ\YH^\ˈH]ۈ]X۝[H[HY[Z[\\[\H[[ۙ\[K'B[H N]YHYۚYX[[\HX؝Z[ܛX][\H]\\