GEO Business 2017 – Be there or be Lost - 01/05/2017

This year’s event takes place on 23rd and 24th May at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Richard Groom casts his eye over the menu and finds that we’re spoilt for choice.

As ever, the exhibition will be at the centre of this show, which is free to attend. Around two hundred equipment and software suppliers, survey companies and educational establishments from Britain and around the world will be on show. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with those you already know as well as checking out what else is on offer in our rapidly evolving business.

An Engaging Conference

You can easily spend a whole day browsing the exhibition, but that would mean missing out on what promises to be an engaging conference. The first day is entitled “Digital Innovation for Geomatics and Geospatial”. There will be keynote presentations and a panel debate on what is meant by a spatially-enabled economy and from Nigel Clifford CEO of Ordnance Survey. There will be talks on satellite data and national mapping and then there will be disruption, or rather talk of disruptive technology. The afternoon session will look at standards for BIM and city modelling and then moves on to gaming and the security challenges of digital engineering, by a “UK Government Security Engineer” – no security breaches there then!

The second conference day addresses the role of ‘geospatial’ in underpinning infrastructure projects and asset management and kicks off with a talk on infrastructure investment in post-Brexit UK, followed by a panel discussion and then talks on Geo Intelligence, the Internet of Things in digital built Britain and use of mapping overlays to identify policy synergies and conflicts. There’s a charge of £30 per day to attend the conference with concessions of £15 for students and the public sector if you pay on line in advance. Entry on the day will be £40 and £20 respectively.

Question Time

The afternoon is taken up with a session that will be open to all GEO Business visitors. It will be modelled on the BBC’s Question Time around the theme: What is the future of the geospatial industry? The panel will be Mike Hopkins, representing the TSA, Ed Manley, Lecturer in Smart Cities at UCL, Miranda Sharp from OS and Ed Parsons from Google. Get those thinking caps on for some tough questions!

Workshops, Geo Careers and Meetings

There are eighty workshop sessions in the programme. While the conference stays fairly high level the workshop sessions will go into the technical detail with a wide range of topics and technologies covered. As with last year, it will be difficult to choose between competing sessions.

This year also sees the launch of Geo Careers on 24th May in conjunction with Class of Your Own, which aims to encourage students to consider a career in ‘geospatial’. There will be a programme of talks followed by a group activity to scan the exhibition hall and digitally model it. The modelling part will be competitive, with the winners invited to an action-packed day behind the scenes at one of the UK’s current infrastructure projects.

If all this is not enough, GEO Business is also hosting a range of associated meetings including BIM from Survey4BIM and BIM4Heritage, qualifications and training, and the skills shortage.

Network, Network, Network

Last but certainly not least, GEO Business is the networking opportunity of the year. It starts with complimentary welcome drinks between 6pm and 7:30pm on 22nd May, there will again be an Ale Trail between 4pm and 6pm on 23rd May, which combines a tour around the exhibition with a chance to sample the UK’s finest brews. The Gala Dinner will be on the same evening at the Pullman London St Pancras. Visit:

This article was published in Geomatics World May/June 2017

Last updated: 26/05/2019