No posts yesterday as I was managing the BIW user conference at the (fantastic) Oval conference centre in London. Previously, we used to run a series workshops for small groups (15-20 or so) at the BIW offices; this year, we decided to do one big event to promote greater interaction between users and with BIW staff.
A hundred people attended, hearing BIW CEO Colin Smith describe forthcoming developments to the BIW Information Channel product set, case study presentations from Bovis Lend-Lease, HBOS, Mace and Gleeds, and an inspirational keynote address from Mike Lee, CEO of VERO Communications – talking about how he helped London win the 2012 Olympics bid.
This gave lots of food for thought about creating a compelling narrative surrounding a bid, responding to messages given out by competitors, and looking for the vision that would appeal most to the key decision-makers (the audience included several people from companies involved in bids to manage and construct the Olympics venues and related infrastructure, so perhaps they will put that learning into their own bids). Mike’s presentation included three video clips, neatly demonstrating the power that professional video images and sound can add to PowerPoint.
The conference seemed to go well (I only had one moment of panic – a plasma screen conked out temporarily in the middle of one of the workshops – and I did end up operating the AV sound-desk at one point), and there were lots of positive comments from our delegates.
Continuing the sporting theme, during the day we did a prize draw (prizes included cricket bats signed by Freddy Flintoff and by members of the Surrey county side) to raise money for the CHASE Ben Hollioake Fund, a Surrey-based hospice charity providing care for life-limited young people. Given BIW’s location in Woking, Surrey, I hope we can do more to raise money for this worthy cause. If any delegates read this blog (I met at least one regular reader), I’d like to thank them for their donations.
I am already beginning to formulate plans to make next year’s event bigger and even better (maybe use video ourselves?), and we may well use the Oval again.
In the meantime, I will be back at the Oval next Wednesday – as already mentioned, I will be representing BIW, one of five NCCTP member companies sponsoring the IT Construction Forum Annual Conference 2006.