With seven months to go before opening on 21 May 2000, Interbuild, Britain's biggest building and construction exhibition, is set to break records with the biggest show for a decade. Now including additional attractions such as Civils 2000, Pipelines, Total Lighting and Building Services, the show is already far bigger than the last Interbuild, held in 1997.
Extra marketing efforts are being made by the joint-venture partnership now running the show: the Montgomery Group, founder of the event more than 100 years ago, and Emap Business Communications, whose titles include Construction News, The Architects'Journal, New Civil Engineer and H&V News and many more.
In addition to the stands themselves, Interbuild will be the focus for seminars and discussions taking place across a broad range of the industry. Discussions have already taken place about the possibility of Movement For Innovation (M4I) holding a major conference during the show, while the new Architects in Housing organisation is planning its first annual conference there. Both events would bring significant additional visitors to the show, and provide the focus for the entire industry which an exhibition like this has traditionally done.
Another new feature will be the Interbuild Awards, which will be made in respect of innovations and applications related to Interbuild exhibitors, and which will see prizes presented at a gala dinner on the Monday night of the show. The awards are being organised on the basis of each sector of the show, and each group of awards will have the sponsorship and backing of the appropriate magazine in the sector.
A greater focus on making sure the right visitors meet the right exhibitors will see the concept of 'guided tours' introduced for the first time, so that specifiers and designers can say in advance who they would like to see - so in turn the organisers can approach exhibitors to ensure they have the right people available at the right time.
This approach will underline the show, strengthening the relationship of architects, engineers and other building professionals with the manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services - a supply chain which the government, through the Egan Report, is keen to encourage.
But as usual, the show is not just for professionals, but for the entire industry, including contractors both large and small.