- Josine Heijmans, Event Director, The Big 5
Josine Heijmans, Event Director, The Big 5, tells us what visitors can expect at the event and how it will give a boost to Dubai´s construction market.
How is this year´s event different from the previous editions?
The 2016 edition of The Big 5 is welcoming attendees with a brand new floor plan, clustered in five product sectors that facilitate business opportunities, while effectively responding to the current needs of all construction industry professionals. The five product sectors in which exhibitors are being grouped this year are: Building interiors and finishes, MEP services, building envelop and special construction, construction tools and building materials, and smart building and design technologies. These main sectors are further being broken down into subsectors, so it is really easy to navigate the exhibition halls and find the right exhibitors and products. One of the key reasons for our visitors to attend The Big 5 is to look for specific products, innovations and new technologies as well to network with new or existing business partners and industry peers.
This year, The Big 5 is also placing greater emphasis on the theme of Sustainability in construction. The event is offering a dedicated agenda on the theme of ´Sustainability is the Future´, with 12 CPD-certified workshops delivered by experts on this hot industry topic. ´Tools for Sustainable Development at District Level´, ´Regional Technical Solutions for LEED´, ´Zero Carbon Buildings: Management of Design and Construction´ are some of the workshops that visitors to The Big 5 2016 are able to attend for free.
Moreover, the eighth edition of The Big 5´s Gaia Awards is honouring companies in the construction sector whose products and services demonstrate a reduction of construction´s impact on the environment.
A panel of industry experts with acclaimed credentials are to select the overall Gaia Awards winner on November 23, 2016, at the DWTC. This year, for the first time ever, shortlisted products are being voted for by the public through a voting page on The Big 5 2016 website. Also, voting stations are available at the GAIA awards stand located on the main concourse during the first and second day of the event.
What are your expectations in terms of footfall this year?
In 2015, The Big 5, along with the co-located Middle East Concrete and PMV Live shows, welcomed over 73,000 visitors from 147 countries. We expect to replicate these record numbers and even exceed them for the 37th edition of Middle East´s largest construction event.
In what way does the Dubai Government support you in organising this event?
We are extremely honored by the Dubai Economic Council´s decision to support The Big 5 Excellence in Construction Summit this year. The Dubai Economic Council is a strategic partner for the Government of Dubai in the economic decision-making, and its mission is to advice the Government of Dubai on forward looking economic strategies and to advocate sound economic policies that promote business environment, productivity, investment climate and to enhance Dubai´s competitiveness in the world economy. We are confident this partnership will positively support Dubai´s Vision, providing strategic insights into a world of opportunities as well as challenges faced by construction professionals in the region and from around the world.
As an organiser, what are the challenges you faced this year in setting up the event?
Our first priority is delivering an event that meets and exceeds the expectations of both, our exhibitors and visitors, by effectively responding to the current needs of the local construction industry. The Big 5´s mission is to help construction players grow their business and overcome the market´s challenges, while paving the way for the development of best practices in the regional built environment. I am confident that The Big 5 2016 will achieve these goals.
As the organiser of the largest, most influential and renowned construction industry event in the Middle East, we worked hard to make sure that the best and most innovative products from local and international manufacturers are showcased, as well as construction professionals who visit us at the Dubai World Trade Centre experience top quality.