London’s Business Design Centre once more saw an influx of professionals across the property sector and beyond as the UKAA Build to Rent (BTR) Expo returned! It has been 2 long years since this event could be held physically again and the energy present on the day reinforced the joy of such live events taking place once more. This free to attend Expo is a crucial pillar of the BTR sector, not only is it the biggest dedicated BTR event ever held in the UK, but its growth and upward trajectory year on year only mirrors the rise of the BTR sector as a whole.
LOFT were excited and grateful to be chosen as Official Media Sponsors for such a thrilling event, as we swapped out our measuring tapes and sample books for cameras and microphones for the day. We were in the fortunate position of getting access to all areas across the jam-packed event and getting to speak directly to a wide range of exhibitors, speakers, major stakeholders and attendees. This expo was to be CEO Dave Butler’s last action with the UKAA as he was retiring after the event, so keep your eyes peeled for an exclusive interview on his time with the UKAA, the importance of the BTR Expo and the future of the BTR sector.
So, what are some of the highlights of this bustling BTR event?
Reverse Trade Show & Exciting Exhibitors
Before doors officially opened, the Reverse Trade Show kicked the day off with a bang. This high-energy section of the day offered an opportunity for expo exhibitors to meet with the major purchasers and operators on a 1:1 basis in a ‘speed date’ meeting format.
A fun and energetic way to kick off the day and an intelligent use of time to become familiar with as many faces as possible to arrange a further in-depth conversation later in the day. As there was such a wide range of products and services being presented on the day, the Reverse Trade Show gave ample opportunity to get a flavour of the talent and passion on show across the day.
There were 47 independent and engaging exhibits to cover across the Expo, each one as enticing as the last. There was a huge mix of products, services and solutions on show, both for high-profile investors and operators and attendees like landlords, residents and people interested in the BTR space. The variation of exhibitors on show really gave an insight into the interest and potential within the BTR sector.
LOFT are no strangers to exhibiting People First furniture at these events, but it is always great to connect with varying businesses across different sectors to experience what they are doing to contribute to a positive residential experience within BTR.
Inspiring Talks from Passionate Professionals
There was a selection of 13 riveting discussions and debates to choose from throughout the day, each one as engaging and insightful as the last. As the BTR is constantly evolving and adapting to the renters’ needs and wants, there are countless economical, technological and developmental topics that will impact the sector.
Talks such as “Which services and products do BTR residents value the most?”, “The UK Rental Market: What’s Changed and Where Are We Heading?” & “Professionalising Standards in the BTR Sector” to name a few were available to drop in and out of across 3 separate stages throughout the day. All talks were led by huge names across the BTR and further property sector, Rightmove, Yardi, Allsop, Focus Experiential Ltd. – the list goes on.
But possibly the most popular talk of the day was the launch of the UKAA Best Practice Guide, delivered by Dave Butler of UKAA and Lesley Roberts. The Best Practice Guide is soon to become a beacon of truth and experience within the BTR sector that developers, designers, architects, building operators and anyone else in the sector can refer back to.
It speaks of the best practices across the sector to ensure the best quality of work is being delivered and ensures developments are up to the standard they should be. LOFT are delighted to have contributed to the Best Practice Guide on the best practice for interior design – we cannot wait to share it with you once it is live!
A Fond Farewell
The excitement of the event was tinged with a touch of sadness as the expo came to a close, as UKAA’s Dave Butler’s time as CEO was also coming to a close. As all attendees raised a glass from the drinks reception to appreciate Dave’s contribution to the BTR sector, it is apparent the work he has done with the UKAA over the years has been invaluable to expanding to the sector to where it is today.
Dave had this to say on his farewell:
“In thinking about what’s been special about my time at the UKAA. I keep coming back to the warmth of the welcome shown to me and the openness of members to new ideas and sharing knowledge. I really hope that I have been able to replicate this warmth and openness within the UKAA and foster them as key values in our behaviour. I am certain that benchmarks will emerge and the UKAA will be central to them, even if this takes longer than any of us believe that it should.”
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