Trade show to shine a light on industry issues

THE RCI (Roofing, Cladding & Insulation) Show is back for 2019. The dedicated trade event for the roofing, cladding and insulation industry will turn its focus to a range of important issues including health and wellbeing, diversity and, of course, Brexit.

The two-day show, now in its fourth year, is set to comprise three elements for 2019 – a keynote conference programme, practical RIBA-approved CPD seminars and an exhibition of suppliers.

Scores of exhibitors are lined up this year including EcoTherm, the Institute of Roofing, Isover Saint-Gobain, Kiwa Building Products, the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA), Marley, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), Klober, Dallmer, Bilco UK and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

“This year we have introduced a conference stream,” Nicki Jackson, event director told Project Scotland. “The event has always had seminar theatres running RIBA-approved CPD sessions but now we’ve introduced a full leadership conference stream alongside that where we’ve got a wide variety of industry figureheads and experts delivering case studies (and) best practice.”

Claire Curtis-Thomas, CEO of construction products and systems certification body, the British Board of Agrément, will chair a panel debate on inclusion and diversity challenges in the construction industry. Mark French, group head of safety, health and environment at Willmott Dixon will deliver a seminar on encouraging mental fitness in the workplace.

Marc van der Voot, managing director of Industrial Textiles & Plastics (ITP) will be discussing the future of fire safety in construction, in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, while Philip Crosbie, principal associate at Eversheds Sutherlands, will deliver a session on the legal fallout and implications of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

Other sessions will focus on drivers for the industry’s future such as how to exploit drones and infrared technology to evaluate cladding, the future of green roofing and emerging blue roof technology.

The show’s final panel discussion will focus on Brexit – the day before the UK is due to officially exit the European Union. “It is the day before D-Day,” Nicki added. “A number of manufacturers, especially UK-based manufacturers, are worried about how it will affect their business. 

“There will be not just industry experts, but business experts as well, on that panel who will be able to take questions from the people in the audience.”

Nicki said that she believes industry trade events like the RCI Show continue to be an important part of doing business, even in an age where information is instantly available on the internet. “We run a number of shows in a number of different markets and I think the one thing that separates our events from our competitors is the quality of the show. I think sometimes when you go to shows they can look a bit unloved. We like to think that we build a really good show and put on a really good show… and we support our exhibitors to help them do that as well.

“I still think shows are very important, even in the Internet age where almost every bit of information you could possibly want is available (online). Trade shows are still really important to people. People buy from people, especially in this industry. Certainly, the end customer buys from people they trust and the B2B side of it is just the same. People buy from people and trade shows give them the opportunity to meet people they might not otherwise get the opportunity to meet.”