Vision 2016 – An interview with Matt Underhill, Event Director

Vision 2016 – An interview with Matt Underhill, Event Director

Matt Underhill, the Event Director for Vision 2016, is sharing his impressions of the two day showcase and the success of the inaugural event from last year. Here is what he had to say to some of the questions.

What is Vision London? What is this even aiming to achieve and what are its main goals?

Vision London is an event that is being held on the 7th and 8th June at London Olympia. A number of architects, specifiers and their clients come to visit this event. The scope of clients is rather versatile covering people from the health industry, retail chains, education, builders, developers and even the local authorities. The event was fist launched last year and it became a great hit. This year we are hoping for the same success. The event consists of several smaller events including an exhibition of suppliers, a seminar that lasts two days and some networking events. You need to register in advance to be able to attend for free.

The main purpose of the event is to gather all architects, designers and builders in one place. Here they can discuss the latest developments in their industry and share ideas. Although it might seem like one, the event is not a typical building show. In fact this is probably the only event in the UK that is focusing on the architects and specifiers. Through this activity we are trying to bring them closer and give them opportunity to find creative methods and innovative products and ultimately to make better constructions. Vision serves as a bridge between the architects, specifiers, and clients with the potential suppliers. Since these suppliers are producing and distributing products and services to the market the event enables them to showcase their offer to the architects, specifiers, and their clients. In addition, the seminar enables them to gain more knowledge, develop different skill sets and exchange their ideas on the newest industry trends. The success of the last year’s seminar is a clear sign that the industry was longing for this type of event and their dreams finally came true.

Looking back at the last year’s event what are your impressions?

The first even went better than expected as it was a real success. We were able to attract our target group and get the attention we wanted from the industry. The feedback was also very positive and that is what we were hoping for when we first started thinking about this. The preparations took months but it was all worth it as the outcome was amazing. Seeing people interact and exchanging ideas is our biggest reward. The event was visited by a large number of people but the important part was that all exhibitors who participated, ranging from startups to international organizations, were happy with the quality of the visitors that came.  We were able to satisfy the niche audience and that is all that matters.

For this event to go as planned we had support from many high profile sponsors, including Saint Gobain and Stora Enso as well as many relevant figures from the design, architecture and construction industry. We are very pleased that a great number of visitors confirmed their presence for our next event and we are looking forward to another successful gathering.

Another aspect that our visitors were happy about was the two day seminar, or the educational part of this event. The seminar was very specific and it was designed especially for the target audience tackling only those topics that are of interest to the visitors. In future we are planning to develop this part even more, enhance it with more content and again make it available for our visitors at no cost. From our point of view, the event couldn’t have gone better.

How are you planning to outreach the initial success of Vision London?

For this year we are planning to organize a bigger exhibition. The event will be enhanced with a number of new exhibitors such as Wienerberger, Recticel, Soprema UK and Jacksons Fencing. In addition, we will have many international visitors coming from Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands that will bring some companies to our event. We have also partnered with the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products so we are hoping everything works out well.

Since the educational part on our first event attracted the attention of so many visitors, this year our focus will be on that. Last year we were working above the capacities for that part so we are currently planning to increase the available spaces to respond to the higher demand. We expect to have more than 160 speakers so we believe that the audience will be happy with our offer.

Saint Gobain will be sponsoring the Building Health and Wellness seminar again this year, and we are welcoming Marshalls that will be sponsoring the Innovation in Architecture and Design seminar. Now we have added new seminar streams and we are looking for more ways to enhance our program.

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