GEO Business 2016 stormed its way into the hearts and minds of the geospatial industry

GEO Business is shaping up to be one of the most important shows in the geospatial calendar, with over 2200 visitors from 50 countries in attendance at the event in May. Registrations flooded in for what was the busiest show yet!

GEO Business has won the support of an international audience and has cemented its position as the industry’s premier event building on the remarkable success of the previous two years.

Event Director Caroline Hobden explained how GEO Business has stormed its way into the industry event calendar in such a short period of time, attracting so much attention and headlines along the way: This event is very much being driven by industry.  We are out there listening and being guided by the trade associations, societies, exhibitors and visitors and are working tirelessly to develop an event where there is a real sense of ownership within the community. The support we’ve had, and continue to have, has been phenomenal and it’s this level of involvement that has made the 2016 show such a success.  Expectations are now even higher for 2017 and we are looking forward to delivering on our promise once again!”

Cutting Edge Conference –  The show kicked off with a keynote address from Applied Futurist Tom Cheesewright whose presentation was entitled, ‘Smart cities, BIM, drones, Al, 3D printing, off-site construction. What can the industry expect from the future and how can it prepare to face it?’  A thought provoking start to the session that was followed by a panel debate featuring Ed Parsons from Google, Professor Gianvito Lanzolla from Cass Business School and Gary Gale from What 3 Words who all deliberated on the topic, ‘Emerging technology and applications – how to maximise the societal benefits of what we do’ to a captivated audience.   

It was easy to see why so many people descended on London for GEO Business when you look at the sheer quality of the programme which stayed true to the high standards set on day one when the second keynote address was presented on day two by Amanda Clack, President Elect at RICS.  Amanda delivered her take on ‘Infrastructure Delivery – the State of the Industry’ and discussed how the industry can move towards better project performance, highlighting how the integration of geospatial information and the use of data will become increasingly essential for infrastructure delivery. Amanda was then joined on stage by Alex Bywaters of Highways England, Peter Vale of Thames Tideway and Jon Kerbey from High Speed2 who all debated ‘How the geospatial sector will embrace the opportunity presented by the UK’s commitment to invest in large infrastructure projects’ to rapturous reviews.

International Exhibition – Moving away from the packed conference to the buzz of the exhibition floor, visitors were engulfed by the high energy that enveloped the hall throughout the show.  Everywhere you looked you could see smiling faces,  hand shaking and deals being done – proving that this annual meeting place is where you need to be to do business and learn from the most prolific and innovating equipment manufacturers and service providers on the international stage.

Commercial Workshops  – Visitors also welcomed the opportunity to attend the free workshop programme offering 85 sessions that centred on hands on product testing, proving a real benefit to visitors with some sessions so packed there was standing room only.  The most popular sessions included topics such as Bringing reality into BIM and BIM into reality (Leica Geosystems),Leveraging open data (Landmark Information Group), New technologies for automated modelling and construction validation (Clearedge 3D) and How to create top quality interactive and zoomable web maps (XYZ Maps).

Associated Meetings – The brand new industry led associated meeting programme was a veritable feast of hot topics.  The Survey4BIM group announced a Call for Action, arguing that in the near future, BIM will drive not just the digital transformation of the built environment, but also the geospatial industry itself.  They strongly believe that its successful implementation is dependent on collaboration across all participants and the survey profession needs to be at the forefront of geo-enabling BIM.  Day two included a hugely anticipated debate, hosted by The Survey Association entitled, ‘How is the industry tackling stolen equipment?’  Featuring a panel of representatives from the police, the insurance industry and equipment manufacturers, there was a real meeting of minds focussing on what can be done about this very real issue affecting the survey industry at the moment.

Networking Opportunities – Once again the lively social programme did not disappoint, kicking off on Monday evening with the welcome drinks at a local watering hole, then on day one, the organisers launched a brand new and extremely popular networking event – the GEO Ale Trail and later on that evening, the infamous gala dinner took place at the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch, providing vivacious entertainment and succulent cuisine, a perfect way to end a busy day at the show. 

Visitor numbers soared by an incredible 10%  GEO Business is just so accessible, not just the transport links, but the exhibition and workshops are FREE to attend an the conference delegate fee starts from £15 per day!


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