Committee Confessions – Chapter 2 – The Petting Zoo Massacre

Forgive me friends; for I have sinned.

In front of me lies a pile of discarded bodies (abstract bodies; no need to call the police). I felt very strongly for some of those abstracts and yet I failed to secure them a prestigious spot on the wall that makes up our very first #BILTEUR2017 programme. For what it’s worth, I know my committee-in-crime feels the same way.

With more than 200 submissions; and only room for around 70+, this was not just going to be killing off our babies; it was going to be a bloody massacre; and so begins this week’s Committee Confessions.

Like all confessions, let me take you back to the Thursday last week when my first BILT workshop began. While Wednesday was sunny, with nothing but blue skies over the city of Aarhus, today was different; it was cold, the wind tried to pull off the beard of this BIMvikings face; and the sky was dark and grey; little did I know that this was a foreshadowing of things to come. Instead excitement filled my mind as I was about to host Silvia, Martin, Wes and Harriet in my hometown of Aarhus (one of the coolest places ever BILT on the planet).

The process of putting together a conference programme was described very well last week by the North American committee (if you have not read it; jump over to and then come back here). Needless to say every submission gets cross examined; structured into topic categories; speaker merits are scrutinized and we argue for and against every submission – and this is where the trouble starts.

You see, once you really dig into a topic; you get excited; you think ‘this class will be perfect – the abstract is well-written, thought has been put into it’, and it is impossible not to get affected by the passion of the speaker. So tallying up the yay’s and nay’s no longer cuts it (unless we triple our number of delegates and make BILT a 8-day conference). It becomes an equally passionate debate between committee members on ‘What makes BILT different from RTC?’. When the first rounds only killed 10-15% of the submissions, we knew we were in this for the long haul. Each one of us had submissions that we fought long and hard for; but in the end we had to let go; and I am sorry that we could not make room for all the talent that is out there; and I am humbled and amazed by the level of innovation and foresight that was submitted to us. The majority of the submissions that did not make the cut; was on their own outstanding submissions; but were either similar to other sublime entries or fell short when we had to curate a picture that expressed our perception of ‘BILT’ – and that is a conference that looks to the future, tomorrows practices, collaboration across the project lifecycle as well as good pinch of geeky classes and labs. It is truly going to be more than a Revit Technology Conference; and I hope you are excited to embark on this transition with us and the 35 European and 23 International speakers which will be a exquisite mix of familiar veterans and boundary challenging newcomers.

So forgive me, you are just too damned talented – and we have only so much space to allocate. I know our speaker manager, Martin, will be busy preparing feedback over the next couple of weeks; and I’ll be looking very much forward to next year’s submissions.

With that off of my chest, our four-day workshop is not just about putting together the programme for BILT. We are also making changes to the Building Content Summit (BCS) that will take place in the days before BILT. In fact, I can already hint now that it is going to be more than a single day; and that there will be strong synergies between the North American and the European BCS. One of the things I’m very excited to tell more on in the coming weeks is going to be our BIM bootcamp dedicated to manufacturers – and rest assured there will be plenty of exciting things for seasoned BIM veterans at BCS as well. In Europe, BCS will take place at an adjacent venue, called Godsbanen, a very cool venue with a strong industrial vibe – and I look forward to sharing more on that in the weeks to come.

We also had the chance to meet up with the good folks of #BIMaarhus –Aarhus’ strong local BIM community, who is going to be arranging some very interesting meetups in the days leading up to BILT; so plan on arriving into Aarhus early for some behind-the-scenes events into the practices of our leading AEC-firms.

I’ll return next week with a new chapter. Don’t be afraid to reach out on twitter @LeFich with questions and comments.


Till next time,



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