CBA Events was the event management company supporting The Building Engineering Service Association (BESA) with its first-ever national conference, exhibition and awards ceremony, held in October.
BESA has run a series of successful regional programmes since its rebrand in 2012, but was yet to roll this out onto a national scale. CBA Events’ task was to manage all pre-event, onsite and post-event management, meaning every aspect of the day was to be designed and implemented by the events team.
Given the short lead-time of four months, the priority was to agree a date and secure a venue close to BESA’s headquarters in central London. The venue had to comfortably accommodate a main conference for up to 300 delegates, an exhibition for between 20-30 stands, breakout rooms and a private event space for the evening awards ceremony.
Additional challenging factors included the event needing to happen before the end of 2017, avoiding school holidays, after the end of the regional series, on a mid-week date and avoid other industry specific events already established in the calendar.
CBA identified available venues and hosted site visits with BESA to see them and assess their suitability. Satisfied that the Park Plaza Riverbank would be able to provide everything needed, contracts were drawn up. CBA's on-site team managed the AV and exhibitors as well as making sure all the client’s requirements for the venue were met.
Key note speakers at the conference included Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, Mark Farmer, author of the Farmer Review and several talks from BESA members (among others) with many of the syndicate rooms full with delegates.
The BESA National Awards and Gala Dinner were hosted after the conference and exhibition, where there was a drinks reception on arrival, formal three course dinner, with an after dinner speech by author and comedian Dominic Frisby, following straight into the awards, and dancing/entertainment.
The short lead time meant that marketing budgets had already been designated elsewhere so securing exhibitors and sponsors was a challenge. Despite this, 21 exhibition spaces were sold and four prime sponsors were secured.
"The BESA event was a real success and we received great feedback from our client, the sponsors, exhibitors and delegates," said production and events director Tim Green said. "While an inaugural event brings specific challenges, we hope that the momentum will continue to pick up and this event will become established in the UK construction industry’s events calendar."
What: Building Engineering Service Association’s national conference
When: October 2017
Where: Park Plaza Riverbank, London
Agency: CBA Events