This year, the UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS) was delivered as a live, online interactive event on Wednesday 9 September 2020. The decision was made to run UKIS 2020 as a virtual event as a consequence of COVID-19, taking into consideration the health and wellbeing of all participants and attendees of the event.
Despite the challenging times faced by the industry in recent months, this year’s UKIS event proved as popular as ever.
David Smith, Keynote Arena Chair, said: “We find ourselves in unprecedented times, and I’m speaking from a virtual platform. While the format is very different this year, I am sure our participants from across the UK public procurement and UK infrastructure supply chain will find it as informative and useful as ever.”
Speakers also used the opportunity to speak about the pandemic and how it has impacted on projects, with many focusing on how it has brought new opportunities to the construction and infrastructure sectors. Topics covered included supply chain opportunities for HS2 and how to save money with smart infrastructure maintenance.
Denise Wetton, Commercial and Business Development Director, North West and Central Region at Network Rail, spoke at the Transport and Logistics Zone about ‘Supply Chain Opportunities with Network Rail’. This gave attendees an insight into how they can engage effectively and access supply chain opportunities with the UK’s biggest rail network.
Ms Wetton said: “Significant projects will be delivered over the next control period (CP6), which include HS2, East West Rail, Northern Powerhouse and getting prepared for the Commonwealth Games.”
Alongside Denise Wetton, other speakers at the Transport and Logistics Zone were Mark Cuzner, Alliance Director, East West Rail; David Hughes, Strategy & Programmes Director, Transport for the North; Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager, HS2; and Allan Wilen, Economic Director, Glenigan.
Nick Wilkinson, Commercial Director at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), took to the virtual Live Stage with his speech entitled, “Supplying to Defence Infrastructure Organisation”. Here he spoke about how to suppliers can get involved in working with DIO.
Mr Wilkinson said: “I want to give you an insight on working with DIO and how you can work with my commercial team. We are dedicated to making a real difference to the estate and the way we work in defence.”
Other speakers at the virtual Keynote Arena included Nick Smallwood, Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority; Otso Lahtinen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Geobear; Ambrose McGuire BEng CEng FICE FInstRE, Program Director, HS2; Allan Wilen, Economics Director, Glenigan; Hannah Vickers, CEO, Association of Consultancy and Engineering (ACE); and Isabel Coman, Managing Director, In-House Services and Estates, House of Commons.
Using innovative technology, the new immersive experience connected the infrastructure and supply chain community, with participants able to browse valuable content and use chat tools to network with exhibitors. Delegates could also pick and choose their preferred presentations and training sessions.
UKIS Engage 2020 allowed participants to join the event from any location they wish via desktop, mobile or other device, ensuring delegates had the chance to engage with the event on the move. This ensured our participants and delegates did not miss a thing, and if they did, they can log in and re-watch or catch up on anything they missed on the day via the platform, with speeches and workshops staying online for 30 days.
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