Exhibition News June 2018 - Page 39

“People really embraced the fact that we’d gone back independent” 39 of Futurebuild Events, that was nothing compared to the changes coming to the show in 2019 and beyond… A bright future “We’re bringing back the Futurebuild brand,” reveals Hurn. “Futurebuild ran alongside Ecobuild for many years. When IBE launched the show in 2005 it was one of four events: Futurebuild, Ecobuild, Regenex and Cityscape. And then, as sustainability became increasingly popular, the other brands dropped off and phased out. “What we want to do is retain the Ecobuild brand at the centre of the event but it will be a curated exhibition. That will sit within Futurebuild, which will be the overarching event brand. It enables us to focus on things like future materials and innovation, but also we can start to champion the wider construction issues that maybe aren’t sustainability related: procurement, Brexit, legislation etc. “As an example, Grenfell is so high-profi le, and it has highlighted a lot of the fl aws in UK construction; not only product testing but also legislation and how we govern and the quality of building. We had to cover that, but it didn’t probably fi t in an Ecobuild sustainability conference. “We know there’s a massive skills gap onsite in terms of builders and plumbers, but also we play in the specifi er sort of market – architects, engineers, contractors – and there’s also a massive skills gap and diversity issues. Now we can start to focus on all of that.” When Ecobuild was bought by UBM in 2011 – for a reported £51m – the organising giant had big plans for the show, including the potential launch of Ecobuild China and other geoclones. Why the show was ultimately unable to fulfi l that potential is perhaps still unclear, but what is clear is that Hurn and his team at Futurebuild events have given Ecobuild a new lease of life and, EN hopes, a bright, successful future. EN exhibitionnews.co.uk | June 2018