“It was wonderful to see so much positive activity,” according to Building Recruitment Ltd managing director Kevin Everett, who was one of the many exhibitors at the show.
“Having the Registered Master Builders Federation conference at the same time really gave the event a great atmosphere. The standard of exhibits and the number of industry decision-makers that came through over the three days was also fantastic,” Mr Everett says.
“The networking opportunities were excellent, and it was pleasing to hear the very positive feedback about where the market is heading.
“Many people mentioned the professional standard of the exhibits, and the positivity expressed about our industry was a main topic of discussion. While we got good leads at buildnz designex, it was the long-term benefits that we’re looking to. Many felt they would be hiring more staff over the next 6 to 12 months.
“We’ve already decided to be at the next buildnz designex. I signed up on the last day as I know the industry is going to be busier in two years’ time, and I wanted to make sure I got my place early. Waiting until the last minute was what I did two years ago and it’s important to have the flexibility to choose where your stand should be.”
Mr Everett says those in the trade who didn’t attend this year’s buildnz designex missed out.
“If you are in the industry you need to be here to see what is new. Even if it’s just the networking and getting a feel for the market, there is no better place.
“Continuing professional development is something many in the industry need to get their head around, and an event like this is invaluable. The seminars were great too, and I attended a few.
“The Department of Building and Housing and Stanley Group are two examples of what this industry needs to know. Vital information about changes to codes from the DBH, and the incredible innovations in construction from Stanley Group were, to say the least, both must see. Very interesting stuff. My advice is that people should make a point of attending in two years’ time.
“For industry suppliers thinking of exhibiting I say go for it. There’s no better place to get your brand out there to so many people in just a few days. If you have new products then why are you not here?”
buildnz designex organiser and new owner, XPO Exhibitions, is also over the moon with how the event has been received.
“We have worked tirelessly over 18 months with leading industry groups and associations to breathe life into this trade-only event, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the industry,” XPO director Brent Spillane says. “More than 5000 unique visitors over three days — that’s an increase of more than 38% on prior show numbers.”
Major industry brands have invested heavily to make a real presence at the show. Ford and Radio Hauraki, in conjunction with XPO, presented a brand new Ford XLT Utility to one lucky visitor, making a pleasant surprise for Steve Fairly of Albany who won the $46,990 Ford Ranger XLT 2WD Double Cab ute.
“buildNZ designex has moulded itself from being not just an exhibition showcasing leading New Zealand and international products. It has positioned itself as the only national platform where the whole industry (build, construction, design, architect, specifiers and interiors industries) can get together under one roof for the purpose of professional development,” Mr Spillane says.
“The Registered Master Builders Federation seminar stadium hosted seating capacity for over 300, and was packed out for much of the three days of seminars.
“Leading speakers from around the country discussed state-of-the-nation issues. RMBF chief executive Warrick Quinn and Certified Builders chief executive Derek Baxter were on stage laying out the mountain of leaky building fixes required, the growing shortage of housing, and the Christchurch rebuild — and talking about facing those challenges with increasing regulatory requirements and labour shortages.
“Holding the annual RMBF conference alongside buildnz has been a big hit with the industry. The thread of leading builder education mixed in with an opportunity to see and touch genuine product innovation is a huge drawcard for their members,” Mr Spillane says.