From 3D printing to drones, virtual reality to robotics — the construction industry is poised to be a major market for today’s most cutting-edge tech. Whether you’re interested in futuristic innovations or more established construction technologies, the best places to experience them are conferences, conventions, and expos.
There are a ton of construction conferences on the calendar for 2018. Some of them focus exclusively on construction technology, and others feature technology in addition to a host of other topics. These events are designed to help AEC professionals network, try out new products, and exhibit their own products and services.
We put together a list of some of the best construction conferences you can attend this year. This list was compiled in early 2018, so be sure to check back on the event websites for the most up-to-date information.
ENR FutureTech | June 4-6, 2018 | San Francisco, CA
Cost: $595 Early Bird, $645 Standard
Who’s It For?: AEC Business and IT Leaders
The Engineering News-Record is an AEC news publication that has been called “the bible of the construction industry.” Their annual conference focuses on the intersection between construction and technology, with market segments like robotics, BIM, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence represented heavily among its attendees, exhibitors, and speakers.
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This event is much smaller than some of the other shows on the list, but it is concentrated exclusively on construction technology, so attendees looking for the latest innovations should be able to make many interesting connections. In addition, the smaller size of the conference is reflected in a much smaller price tag than some of 2018’s other construction trade events.
IRMI Construction Risk Conference | November 4-7, 2018 | Houston, TX
Who’s It For?: Project Owners, General Contractors, Subcontractors, Developers, Insurers, Insurance Agents, Brokers
The International Risk Management Institute provides education and resources for the insurance industry. Their Construction Risk Conference explores the places where insurance and construction intersect. Technology is a major focus, as it plays an expanding role in construction risk management. The 2017 schedule included talks like “Construction Technology in Action” and “The Evolution of Safety Management through Apps and Data.”
Construction professionals interested in mitigating risk on their projects should come away from this conference with a lot of valuable information.
Groundbreak | November 13-15, 2018 | Austin, TX
Cost: $995 Early Bird, $1,295 Standard
Who’s It For?: Project Managers, Executives, Accounting Professionals, Field Teams, IT Staff
If you make it to Texas for the IRMI Construction Risk Conference, you might as well stick around an extra week to attend Groundbreak.
Groundbreak is an annual convention put on by Procore, one of the largest construction management software providers. Groundbreak boasts 3,000+ attendees, 80+ talks and seminars, and celebrity keynotes (past speakers have included Mike Rowe and Steve Wozniak).
The trade show portion of the convention lets attendees try out some of the most high-tech construction technology products on the market. Procore calls it “the most interactive trade show floor in construction!”
One of the most unique features of this convention is the “Innovation Lab.” In this space, Procore makes over 100 of its engineers and developers available to discuss and workshop new ideas. In addition, Procore users can beta test and give feedback on updates to the platform.
Greenbuild | November 14-16, 2018 | Chicago, IL
Cost: $1050 Early Bird, $1,300 Standard
Who’s It For?: Architects, Contractors, Building Owners, Code Officials, Developers, Engineers
If you’ll be East of the Mississippi in mid-November, you might consider attending the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, which will run during the same dates as the Groundbreak conference. The Greenbuild conference is presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (the non-profit responsible for granting LEED certifications) and focuses on environmentally friendly and sustainable construction concepts.
The 2017 Greenbuild Expo highlighted exhibitors offering building health and wellness solutions, intelligent building design and manufacturing, smart lighting, and more. They even presented a pavilion in the expo hall that had a net zero energy footprint.
ABX | November 28-29, 2018 | Boston, MA
Who’s it for?: Architects, Engineers, Builders, Other AEC Professionals
ABX is an annual conference presented by the Boston Society of Architects. This event focuses on innovation in architecture, construction, and planning. They typically attract over 7,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors, showcasing everything from landscaping equipment to masonry products.
The speakers and activities at ABX run the gamut of architecture and design-related topics, but there are exciting opportunities related to construction technology as well. The 2017 show included events like the “Design Technology Throwdown,” where teams competed to come up with a technology solution to a given design problem. Virtual and augmented reality also played a role in the 2017 conference, with 10 companies showcasing virtual construction and design-related content.
When it comes to improving your skills or your business, events like these are a great choice. If you choose to attend one or more of these conferences, you’re sure to come away with some fascinating new information about the latest in construction technology.
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