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Speedy Expo 15 “Back to the Future?”

Expo PictureThe speedy expo attempts to bring suppliers, specifiers and end users together under “one roof”.  For exhibitors it is an opportunity to show case their latest product range and hold open demonstrations whilst getting solid feedback from industry participants.

Held over the 20th and 21st October the theme was very muchIMG 8431 “back to the future” whereby Doc Emnet Brown and Marty McFly travel from 5th October 1985 to 21st October 2015, so what changes have we seen over those 30 years?

In construction terms “BIM” is the new black, building information modeling which saw an engaging audience in the Back to the Future Theatre.”  The move of main contractors to actually have their own capability. Specialist companies are now part of the IMG8435growing armoury of the Tier 1 contractor.  Two recessions and we are in our second boom but not anywhere near the heady days of 2007!  Technology and innovation are the driving forces of construction.  A massive influx of migrant workers, the demand of creation of apprentice schemes to fill the void and a minimum living wage all sounds very familiar.IMG 8425

So key moments in 1985, 30 years of getting better or does our industry still suffer the rigours of “boom and bust.”

The first mobile phone call was made in Britain in 1985, how desirable was the phone with its own personal brick for a battery.  Now we moan if it’s not “smart” got a 20 mega pixel camera and it’s constantly in our hand answering emails or posting on Facebook.  3 trillion texts are sent every day!

41VvHmruG1LJennifer Rush was number 1 for 5 weeks, sold 1.4 million copies of vinyl for her “Power of Love” single.  This year saw Justin Bieber discovered through the internet reach number 1 with his offering of “What do you mean”.  This reached 337,000 downloads and managed this in a single week.

The 30 years of technology has seen us become highly connected. Information is available 24/7 data flies through the air and we all have created our own personal spaces.  Long gone is the art of conversation.

In 1985 Comic Relief was launched, Live Aid was king, the famine in Ethiopia rife and British Antarctic scientists discovered the hole in the ozone layer, and 30 years on…..we still give to charity, the famine still exists in Ethiopia, we throw away 30% of the food we produce, climate change is still on the agenda, but in all those 30 years has construction fundamentally changed.

No, it’s a people business, it’s who you know, its relationships, its do ability, its reputation.

So what of the next 30 years, well let’s hope construction is still a people business, for all the technology, innovation, etc.  Construction continues to expand and contract and meet the demands of the day.

In 30 years I most likely won’t be here but through good partnerships, Makers should be!

Simon Lamb, MD

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