Post Show Review
The Flood Expo made its highly anticipated return to the ExCeL on the 27 & 28 of September - with the show’s scale and the high profile of visitor and exhibitor representing a real watershed moment in the industry.
Cementing its reputation as Europe’s most influential exhibition & conference for professionals in flood defence, management, prevention and recovery; thousands of eager delegates from leading flood organisations flocked to London to get a glimpse at the products and innovations shaping the flood sector.
With representatives attending from globally-recognised bodies and organisations such as; NASA, The United Nations, The Met Office, The MOD and The Environment Agency, no other event has packed such flooding expertise under one roof.
Making up the audience of 2,721 were some of the most experienced and knowledgeable managing directors, CEOs, flood risk managers, senior drainage engineers and more from the likes of the US, Brazil, India, Russia and South Korea; with 97.3% of the visitors expressing their desire to return in 2018.
Over 370 exhibitors - 88% of whom have rebooked for next year - filled the exhibition hall, with every conceivable product and service in the field on display from an assortment of innovative enterprises.
Program manager for disasters at NASA, Dr. David Green, started off the schedule of 100 expert-led seminars with his talk on sizing up floods from space. Mary Dhonau OBE, known as “the Queen of Floods” also took to the stage on the first day; while Ambiental’s Daniel Cook entertained the crowds with his talk on policy changes and their impact on planning.
Day one also saw the judging for the Flood Innovation Award – the first of three accolades that made up the Flood Expo Series 2017 Awards.
Panels of expert judges were guided around the exhibition hall, getting exclusive insight into some of the sector’s most innovative products, services, and suppliers. Among the Flood Innovation Award judges were senior engineer at WSP, Gareth Smith; research engineer at Severn Rivers Trust, George Whitworth; and Neil Earnshaw, sustainability manager at Network Rail.
Gravitas took home the coveted Flood Innovation prize for their Flex MSE System. While Concrete Canvas and Fluvial Innovations Ltd made up the finalists who narrowly missed out.
Day one also saw the show's exciting live product demonstrations get underway on the banks of the River Thames, just outside the ExCeL. These sessions were an incredible feature at the event, which attracted a large audience of purchasers and buyers over both days.
Amongst the phenomenal lineup of live demonstrations was ADC Drainage’s Silt Pusher Boat; Borger’s Rotary Lobe Pumps; and Vikoma’s Flood Boom.
Day two started with the same eager anticipation as the first day, with headline speakers such as Tiffany Hodgson, programme officer at the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. The Met Office’s Dr. Nick Dunstone also entertained the crowds with his talk on the high risk of unprecedented rainfall in the current climate.
The second day also saw the Flood Resilience Award being contested - with Flood Kit taking home the prestigious and hotly contested award.
As the morning drew on, the attendance of the show grew, with many visitors from the first day returning to take advantage of the packed seminar schedule and continue constructive conversation with exhibitors that had begun the day before.
One of the main areas these conversations took place was the networking area, hosted by The Environment Agency. This feature provided the perfect platform for flood professionals to form long-lasting connections and learn from flood project managers, flood risk consultants, drainage professionals and more.
Late in the afternoon of the second day, the doors of the Flood Expo swung shut to mark the close of the largest and most influential exhibition of its type.
The Flood Expo event director, Ines Goncalves, was delighted by the event’s overwhelming success. She said: “The response from visitors and exhibitors was fantastic!
“People came from across the globe to come here, to do business, to learn from the wealth of knowledge that is here. I can’t remember seeing this number of industry professionals all in one place. This event really sets the standard for the Flood Expo events of the future.
"I personally would like to thank everyone that made this event so memorable. The Flood Expo team and I cannot wait to get started on the 2018 show on the 10th & 11th of October, 2018.”