It’s amazing how time passes, and how it seems to accelerate as you get older… It has now been 4 weeks since the end of the very first BILT event, and the second event that we have run in the Asian region. It both feels like it was only a few days ago and, at the same time like it was 6 months ago. Strange…
Add to that the fact that the committee is already actively working to craft the event for next year, and everything seems to have accelerated. Oh, to be young and carefree again! Skipping through the daisies, swinging on the tire swing, doing homework, household chores, having a mandated bedtime. Hmmm, maybe not…..
Over these past weeks, I try to take the opportunity to think about how the event went at several levels – from an administrative point of view, from a program and process point of view, but most importantly, from a delegate experience point of view.
Our first event, in late 2015, was held at the Equarius Hotel on Sentosa Island. It attracted approximately 190 people, wonderful for a first regional event, and attracted very good feedback. It also got our founding local committee members, Phil Lazarus and Adam Sheather ‘blooded’ in the process. Fortunately, they both continued to want to be involved after the event! Adam moved back to Australia and has joined the BILT ANZ committee, but Phil is still there and was joined by Richard Kuppusamy and Nigel Ford in the ramp up stage, and then later Rexter Retana also joined in. I want to make special mention of Rexter here, as he made a real impact and helped a huge amount as we prepped into the event itself, but here is one of the things I screwed up. I had in my notes to add Rexter to my slides for the wrap-up session, but I failed to do so.
So, to Rexter: “Mate, I am sorry: your energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge have been a giant benefit to BILT Asia, and I am hugely excited to have you now fully embedded in the team and working towards our next events. Welcome!!!”
The event this year, with a 16-month gap to the previous event, attracted just over 300 people, an extraordinary 50% increase in attendance. This is a testament to the work the committee put into outreach to people not only across Singapore but throughout the region, as well as the quality and value of the event that they built for attendees.
Also, moving this year’s event to the Marina Bay Sands complex meant a bit more of a walk for people (!), but also a true world leading conference experience. From the back of house where we enjoyed the professionalism and attention to detail of the Convention staff, to the layout of the spaces – that allowed us to have both the density to give the event energy, and the space to satisfy all of the class and exhibition needs we had – to the food, and of course, for those of you who made it up top, to that incredible pool, everything gelled to create just a wonderfully smooth and enjoyable experience.
Of course, all of this wouldn’t count for anything if we didn’t have the content to give the event value. Oh boy, did we have the content! What an amazing group of speakers – made up of gurus from all corners of the world. If there was a BIM book you’ve read, or a video course you’ve followed, or a blog you subscribe to, there was a very good chance that the author was at the conference and ready to share. Thank you again to the committee who built such a great program and the speakers who have contributed their incredible knowledge.
And remember, the sharing of that knowledge isn’t something to be held close to your chest. We want to build a community that goes far beyond the boundaries of a three-day conference. Share the knowledge you have gained (inside your firm and outside), stay connected to the people you have met, attend some of the DBEI Nights that are being put on. Who knows, in the end, it may be you that is up on that stage sharing your knowledge to other attendees.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?