Building a plan

Covering two huge exhibition halls and including more than 1500 exhibitors, the size of Ecobuild (5 to 7 March) means that it can be easy to miss out on key features. Taking the time to do some research and pre-planning will help you to maximise any visit.
From travelling to the venue to potentially rescheduling work, visiting any trade show is a real commitment of time and effort on the part of an installer. When the exhibition is Ecobuild, that commitment becomes even greater as there’s so much to see and do in a day.
Many installers admitted, when surveyed by the team behind Ecobuild, that their biggest regret about the exhibition was that they did very little planning prior to the event and hadn’t made efficient use of their time – and this meant that they missed out on some of the things that they planned to do.
Ecobuild provides a real opportunity to get to grips with the industry – from expert-led seminars to hands-on demonstrations – and taking the time before heading to the event ensures that your day can be properly planned. The Ecobuild website – www.ecobuild.co.uk – features not only a downloadable floorplan and exhibitor list but also day-by-day timetables for the seminars, conferences and Practical Installer demonstrations. Having established what areas you are most interested in learning about, a bit of time spent online will reap rewards.
Another huge advantage of attending shows is the personal interaction with the exhibitors themselves. At Ecobuild, leading businesses man their stands with expert staff to ensure that they can answer any enquiries or questions that might get raised.
Taking the time to talk face-to-face with industry experts could offer real benefits in terms of product awareness and installation advice. Finding out beforehand which of the brands you like to work with are exhibiting will save time at the event and also allow you to prepare properly any suitable discussion topics.
With so much media interest and so many attendees, the exhibition represents the perfect time for manufacturers to showcase new products – allowing the pro-active installer to get an early look at the latest developments that could really have a big impact going forward.
Simon Osborne, Head of Product Management at Baxi Group, recognises that interacting with installers to maximise the opportunity presented by Ecobuild is essential to drive new business as well as strengthen existing relationships.
“It is the groundswell of installer interest in a technology or service that generates sales so Ecobuild is the perfect platform from which to launch our new products.
Baxi uses Ecobuild to strike up a two-way dialogue with them, which can only be done properly, face-to-face.
“Ecobuild takes place in March as the heating season comes to a close each year, making it the prime time to get up to speed on the latest products and training ahead of the busy autumn period.”
Where to go and what to see
As well as the various exhibitors and seminar programmes, Ecobuild prides itself on the quality and diversity of its attractions, all of which offer visitors unique insight and advice on specific key topics such as Green Deal or Renewable Heat Incentive. By creating these focused areas, it is far easier for installers to gather as much information as they need with minimal effort.
Practical Installer
Practical Installer, in association with Plumb Center, will return once for Ecobuild 2013. Always one of Ecobuild’s most popular attractions, it provides installers with the opportunity to watch live demonstrations on how to install and integrate microgeneration technologies. Following feedback from visitors in previous years, Practical Installer will focus more on the products themselves and less on the theoretical aspects. The event programme will also offer specific sections devoted to the Green Deal and the measures included.
Solar Hub
The Solar Hub section – sponsored by Rexel – offers practical guidance and insight on the future of energy. As solar plays an increasingly important part in the generation of the UK’s electricity, the Hub provides the perfect opportunity to get sneak previews of the products that will significantly shape this sector in the years ahead.
Renewable Heat Focus
The Renewable Heat Focus returns to Ecobuild 2013 with the sole aim of helping interested installers take full advantage of the domestic RHI scheme, which is due to be launched in Summer 2013. By giving installers the lowdown on what is needed to get ready for this potentially game-changing initiative Renewable Heat Focus is an essential section for those installers looking to gain a foothold in the microgeneration sector.
Green Deal Terrace
In order to simplify the processes involved in joining the Government’s Green Deal scheme and meet a demand from previous visitors, Ecobuild 2013 will unveil a new attraction – the Green Deal Terrace.
For the Green Deal to meet its objective of changing the way we think about and use energy, it is essential that installers – who will be at the forefront of driving its adoption by the UK public – are fully aware of what it is, how it will work and, importantly, what they need to do to be involved – whether as an accredited installer or assessor.
Including a programme of seminars and a comprehensive advice clinic, Green Deal Terrace will the perfect starting point for anyone looking to work under the Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy.