Well, day one of the Virtual Green Build EXPO was fun – and a success. From chats within the show, comments across twitter and elsewhere the comments from visitors have been very positive indeed.
And importantly I sensed green build and sustainable construction had been made cool.
The EXPO hosted by Construction21 on the HyperFair platform has attracted just under 200 exhibitors from all corners of Europe and hopes to attract up to 20,000 visits to the show. Steve Borncamp, driving force behind the show commented “it was exciting to see people interact in this new medium from so many countries & construction disciplines”
As soon as the doors opened at 7.30 this morning, visitors were taking snaps of their avatars and booths and sharing on twitter, claiming firsts and the virtual-selfie was born. (There is a photo comp with prizes being coordinated by our friends at Green Vision)
Observing the avatar arrivals to the EXPO, there was a period where they customised appearance, read any notices and instruction notes and then zipped off into the Reception area, or vanished, teleporting to the stands or auditorium.
Visiting the stands was actually easier and more enjoyable than a real show, being able to chat and pick up brochures, watch videos and read posters with ease. I had numerous business card exchanges and agreements to get in touch after the show to discuss possible collaboration on Living Building Challenge, sustainability, green schools and social media, including a future discussion to be had on possible funding. I would have considered it a very good day at any real life show.
Aside from the stands there was a brilliant programme of debates and expert videos running throughout the day. I watched a couple, impressed with the “Time for a sustainable buildings performance directive?” panel debate and learnt from Coert Zachariasse CEO at Delta Developments who combined Cradle to Cradle with BIM and commented that “Buildings are just material banks” Brilliant Stuff! WorldGBCEurope who coordinated the panel debate series observed “We had some great debates as part of the first day. Speakers from industry, policy-makers and NGOs. Now looking forward to day two”
During the day I held a few in-show twitter chats which illustrated the enthusiasm of those attending “This kind of event is definitely the future! Exhibitions are tiring & have not questioned their concept for ages” commented Philippa Rogers at InterfaceUK, adding ” I’ve immediately adopted this virtual concept as I have to admit I’m not a big fan of traditional exhibitions”
And that experience was shared by others as Elrond Burrell explains “Attending the virtual expo was a novel experience. I visited virtual stands, browsed exhibitors brochures & exchanged virtual business cards & chatted with other attendees via the web interface. It’s a bit clunky to navigate but also kind of fun. I quickly resorted to teleporting rather than virtually walking around though! I think it is an interesting step to have a virtual expo but is still aiming to be a virtual representation of a real expo, rather than completely embracing web tech and rethinking what an expo actually is, if it takes place virtually”
And the show has a nice innovative sustainability touch beyond the virtual – Steve Borncamp again “we want our virtual event to have a physical legacy in the form of a building project that will offset the c02 of this event and inspire a much higher level of ambition for our buildings and communities in Europe and for the world” (exhibitors have been able to offset the carbons they would have emitted in travelling to real shows).
Day Two opens at 7:30am UK time with sign up and log in here. And who knows, could a post event virtual tweet up be on the cards?