60 sec interview: David Pierpoint, Construction Event Organiser
The B.E.S.T Show (Built Environment Solutions & Technologies), formerly Interbuild, is the new major UK construction exhibition to take place in Birmingham. Only 13 weeks to go.
60 seconds interview with the man behind the event:
1. Who are you?
I am David Pierpoint, Event Director of the BEST series of exhibitions taking place at the NEC, 17th - 20th October 2010.
My background is in sales and marketing, mostly in the media sector and largely around exhibitions and conferences. I grew up in the Midlands, and went to university in Birmingham. Sadly I now live in exile in London.
2. What is the story of your company?
I work for Emap, which is a large business to business media company. Most people know our magazines like Construction News and The Architects Journal. These are great tools that help us drive quality audiences to our events.
3. How many events do you organise during the year?
Emap runs literally hundreds of events, ranging from single day conferences and awards events to large exhibitions. We are the UKs largest exhibition organiser.
I run seven of the twenty exhibitions Emap owns. Mine are exclusively in the construction and building services sector. They are Interbuild Onsite, The Built Environment Solutions and Technologies Show, The Infrastructure Show, Heating and Ventilating, RAC and Installer Live.
4. Which of your construction related events is the most popular and Why?
BEST attracts over 20,000 visitors from all areas of the built environment. Why? Because it has the broadest range of exhibitors, top quality and free conference content and, of course, because we spend hundreds of thousands of pounds marketing it.
5. The construction event market at the moment: a bear or a bull?
It is very, very tough at the minute and I don't see much ground for optimism in the short term. The government's cancellation of the BSF programme reflects a lack of support for an industry that contributes 10 percent of GDP. There is better news of late in the residential and commercial markets and through retrofit programmes.
6. What is the trend in terms of popular themes/topics?
Retrofit and low carbon construction are the key themes, reflected in two major parts of this year's show. We have a Retrofit Hub, supported by DECC and delivered in partnership with Wolseley Group.
We are also working with Willmott Dixon and Glenn Howells Architects to deliver a low carbon vision of Birmingham for 2026.
7. The worst mistake you've ever made when organising an event?
I once ran an event in the Lake District, got on the wrong side of the Parish Council and spent six months at loggerheads with the matriarchal leader. She won.
8. The best event you've ever attended?
Radiohead at Old Trafford in 2008. No contest.
9. The best construction event you recommend to attend?
I get sacked if I don't say BEST.
10. What are the dates, locations and ticket prices of your future construction events?
BEST runs from the 17th to 20th October at the NEC. It is free to attend, and the seminars are free too.