More interactive format wows SGP’s Autumn Conference
Held on Thursday 21 November, SGP’s inaugural Autumn Conference was hailed as a success by organisers and attendees alike. The more interactive format of smaller groups worked well in a day full of content, mixing business and sector overviews with technical workshops.
Explains Ian Yallop: “We were thrilled by the positive feedback from our Spring Conference, so we decided that we would organise a second event. We took on board comments and designed a more interactive and hands-on day, but kept the networking opportunities – very important with our different offices.”
The morning began with a look at plans for the future and a round-up of the wider economy. The “one slide, one minute” segment, when each sector head presented one slide and spoke for one minute, was an ideal way of putting across a lot of information clearly and was considered one of the highlights of the day.
The afternoon saw the main group mix and split up into a series of more technical workshops, from Excel and PowerPoint templates to the power of Enscape’s real-time rendering.
As Ben Rodwell says: “The workshops were great – we saw what the systems can do but also how we can use them on a day-to-day basis. The masterplanning session had excellent examples of how past challenges were answered and gave me – as a new recruit – a view on how we overcome obstacles at SGP.”
Nick Austin chaired one of the best received sessions of the day, focusing on SGP’s reinvigorated CSR commitments and how important social value has become, not just in SGP, but for the wider construction sector.
Nick says: “With our recent Planet Mark certification as well as our existing ISO 14001 work, our CSR and sustainability ambitions are taking centre stage. And that is not only for us. At a recent Built Environment Networking’s Framework Conference, I was excited at how many attendees – important contractors and suppliers – were actively taking on board sustainability and social values.”
Concludes Ian: “We are delighted with the feedback received and will take forward comments, such as making the workshops longer, into next year’s events. Holding a conference for staff from all our offices is a big commitment for us, but the benefits and feedback make it all worthwhile.
As well as the very important networking element, the opportunity to gather everyone together helps reinforce our culture and values, as well as inspires staff with our vision of SGPs future is incredibly valuable. And the buzz we felt as the day progressed makes me think we succeeded in getting that feeling across.”