A Buzz of an Event where Geo Rocked! - 08/07/2014


The task ahead is to build on the success of GEO Business, says Chris Preston, chair of the Geomatics Professional Group Board. But meanwhile there’s cricket at Headingley to be enjoyed!

The late spring and early summer in the UK brings fresh growth and that seems to have been the case in the survey industry with many organisations reporting that they are very busy.

It was also fantastic to see so many taking time off from “the day job” to join us at GEO Business in late May. What transpired was for me one of the most encouraging events I have seen in the industry for as long as I can remember. There was a real “buzz” about the event, from the opening welcoming drinks to the well attended final conference session. When I asked exhibitors and delegates for a few words to describe their thoughts about the event almost all were generally positive. They ranged from a “Stride forward for the industry”, “Informative, bustling, dynamic and professional, long overdue,” “Engaging and reinvigorating,” “Vastly exceeding expectation” and my favourite “GeoRocks!”

There did seem to be something for everyone and it was pleasing to see the many exhibitor workshops, in the main well attended, as well as the main conference sessions. My only regret was that I was unable to get to see all the items I wished as some clashed or the opportunity to catch up with industry colleagues meant that I simply missed them. So the task now is to build on the success of this for next year’s Geobusiness that will be held during the same week of 2015 at the same venue.

The conference papers raised many questions and produced many ideas and sound bites some of which are reported elsewhere in GW by Richard Groom. For me I liked Neil Ackroyd’s point about the “Democratisation of data,” David Phillip’s ideas on the “Three geospatial tribes of CAD, GIS and BIM”. Which one of them are you in? Again with regard to BIM – CAPEX+OPEX= TOTEX. In other words stop thinking of these costs as separate and just class them as one thing. Then there was the idea of Social BIM from Matthew McCarter (TfL) and Casey Rutland (Arup), sharing the knowledge of BIM through social media such as Twitter #UKBIMCREW and LinkedIn. Do you use these media?

One of the great things that GEO Business showed was what can be achieved when all in the industry work together with a common purpose. Collaboration seems now to be coming to the fore very much more in our businesses, whether it is collaboration in BIM or creating so-called alliances of organisations, working together on a single project. This is not something new as most of us have seen the impact of how working as a team across organisational boundaries can be so much more than the sum of the parts, providing a positive working environment without the adversarial attitudes that in the past have wrecked so many relationships. However, such business relationships require mature organisations that are prepared to trust one another. Have we got to this point yet in our industry?

Help for Smaller Businesses

How many of you are aware of the RICS small business hub on the RICS website? There are a number of fact sheets produced for your assistance. Please let me know what you think of these. Those that seem useful include: Starting up a new business, Developing a business plan, Business development, Practice finance, People management and a number related to PII.

This article was published in Geomatics World July/August 2014

Last updated: 30/03/2020