Chairman’s Reflections: RTC Europe 2016

The last ‘RTC’ conference is now nearly 2 weeks past and I have been thinking a good deal about what made the event so successful and where it is headed. First though, let me point you to a great wrap-up post from last week posted by Jose Fandos: Recapping RTC Europe 2016 We are sad to see Jose leaving us, but are grateful for his contributions and enthusiasm, and wish him all the best as he focuses on Kinship, his growing content management product.

As Jose said, we have long felt that we needed to challenge our own comfort level in terms of who and what we are. We have always said that Revit is not BIM, but rather is simply the primary BIM tool within our arsenal, and that to be effective we must keep abreast of developments across the whole ecosystem of tools and processes that allow us to be effective in practice. RTC as an event has practiced this mantra by being inclusive with regard to other vendors, products, processes, even other industries from which we can learn. However, RTC has also suffered to some extent when trying to reach out to other vendors and industry participants due to its name, which naturally has led people to assume it is only appropriate for Revit users, and does not give others due attention or appreciation. While it has been a long time since this might have been true, perception can be all.

So what do you do to combat this? The RTC Events Management Executive Committee struggled with this question for a couple of years. We looked at whether we should rename the event, or the organisation, or if we should create new events per product, or combine some existing events, or many, many other permutations. We got caught up in a vicious circle of interwoven possibilities. In the end what got us moving forward again was going back to first principles: What is our mission? This is defined as: ‘To be a trusted builder of communities dedicated to the Built Environment‘. So the organisation had no need to change, and we could take that off the table. This then just led us to how we could rename the existing event to better reflect what it is today, and what we want it to be in the future.

And what is that?

We all talk about the problems with silos, about the way in which the ‘information’ in our processes has such a short shelf-life, about the quality issues with what we produce. Also, we recognise and talk about the way in which our industry has failed to improve in productivity over the last century, when almost all others have done so.

BILT wants to be a forum to address these issues, by maintaining all of the things that have made it effective to date, but also by reaching out to the other stakeholders in our industry and bringing them into the conversation.; by fostering understanding between all of the stakeholders; by ensuring that we are all continually exposed to new ideas and new technologies that can lead us to new and better ways of working.

And, always, by ensuring that the fun remains a part of what we do. The social aspects of our events, and the networking aspects that they foster also remain core to what we are and we would never change that!

Finally, we are excited to have introduced new aspects to the RTC week across this year. In North America we ran four events across 6 days: RTC, BCS (Building Content Summit), DTS (Design Technology Summit), and Data Day. In Europe we held the inaugural European BCS event. These events reflect other aspects of our industry and cross-pollinate the conversations and connections that already grow out of RTC. We have been enormously pleased to see the reception to these events and to watch them grow. At the same time, this European event saw our first collaborative process with a local industry group, ISEPBIM. ISEPBIM is the BIM group built and run by the civil engineering school in Porto. They have been very active in promoting the value of BIM to the local community and indeed right across Portugal. Together with ISEP we were involved in several events and activities prior to RTC itself, culminating in the ‘Fast Track’, a three day training event for beginner BIM users hosted on the ISEP campus immediately prior to the commencement of RTC. These events were a tremendous success, and we are looking to continue to work with ISEP to foster BIM in Portugal in the future. Equally, we are excited to be working with BIMAarhus in the lead-up to the first European BILT event in 2017. As a part of that event we are planning to have open houses at many of the top engineering and architectural firms in Aarhus for you to visit, and also to offer tours of a couple of the recent projects in town that are truly world class examples of their genre, including Dokk 1, the new public library, which is absolutely stunning.

As always with these things, I ended up writing much more than I intended, so thank you for stickling with me to this point, and let’s leave it here! I’ll come back to some of the other points in a seperate blog.

I look forward to seeing many of you across the 2017 events, and wish you all the very best going into the end of the year.

Wesley Benn
Chairman, RTC Europe

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