The Electric Event is ready to connect

The Electric Event is ready to connect

The genuine buzz around the Electric Event at the ICC in Birmingham, 20th-22nd June, seems to suggest that this really is going to be quite different from other dusty gatherings of industry professionals.

In organising it, the ECA has torn up the rule book, going back to basics to design an event that will provide what ordinary delegates are actually looking for.

For a start, there is an unusually strong emphasis on the practicalities of business and the acquiring of practical skills (particularly on the Friday), which recognises the requirement for today’s busy delegates to come away from this kind of gathering with new knowledge and new ideas that will help them to run their businesses better.

While the Event obviously has its fair share of speeches – the first day, for instance, opens with the inauguration of the new ECA president for 2013-14 and continues with the ECA Electrical Industry Conference – the subjects being addressed – forthcoming government regulations, future trends, new opportunities – are of genuine concern to anyone involved in the industry.

And this session is followed by a Q&A event that promises to be a stimulating affair with plenty of robust discussion and very probably the odd disagreement or two! In other words, here again, practical advice and guidance will take precedence over vague theory and waffle. In the circumstances, the opportunity for winding down and networking at the dinner in the evening is likely to be warmly welcomed.

However, it is the second day of the Electric Event – Friday 21st June – that provides the real meat in the sandwich. This day hosts two major events, the Technology Live Workshops and the Meet the Suppliers Exhibition, which will enable delegates to talk face to face to the people who matter, while trying out for themselves the many new products to be launched at the show.

By providing this forum for dialogue, the Exhibition aims to promote a better understanding between manufacturers and suppliers and their customers. Unsurprisingly, most of the former are keeping exact details of their new products under wraps until the exhibition opens, but the general feeling is that the continuing economic crisis has not dampened their enthusiasm for finding new and better ways of doing things.

Running simultaneously with the Exhibition will be the Technology Live Workshops covering subjects that will be of interest for every electrical contractor. These are very much hands-on affairs aimed at providing practical solutions for everyday problems. The areas covered are lighting, home automation, digital communication and AV, fire and security systems, electrical power distribution and control, energy solutions and ECA business services including standards and legislative updates. Workshop leaders will be acknowledged experts in their fields.

In all, delegates will have a choice of 30 separate workshops, five different ones for each of the six different areas, with the morning sessions repeated in the afternoon to allow delegates maximum flexibility and multiple opportunities to attend a particular session. Once again, this demonstrates just how closely every aspect of the event has been structured to meet the needs of the delegates attending.

The final day contains further keynote speeches and presentations, with TV presenter, writer and adventurer, Ben Fogle, as the final speaker. Well known for his inspiring motivational addresses, it will be interesting to hear how Ben’s knowledge and experiences can be translated into lessons that are pertinent to entrepreneurs and businesses in the modern world!

In the evening, comedian Marcus Brigstocke winds up the proceedings by hosting that long established tradition of ECA Conferences, the ECA Gala Dinner. This event will include, for the first time, the ECA Annual Awards recognising excellence, innovation and best practice in the electrical and electronic business services engineering sector.

The conclusion is that the Electric Event is a new and exciting industry event that deserves to be taken seriously. Even if you find yourself unable to take three days out of your busy schedule to attend the whole thing, a contractor would be well advised to make time at least for the Meet the Suppliers Exhibition and the Technology Live Workshops taking place on Friday.

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