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Q&A: What did we think of Digital Construction Week 2023?

As one of the biggest dates in the Contech calendar, DCW is something our team look forward to attending each year, with 2023 being no different! 

Associate Director Joe Coleman, and 360 Account Manager Callum Roper headed off to London's ExCel last week, and I've caught up with them to see what they made of this year's event, as well as picking their brains on some of the latest developments going on in the construction technology space. 

Here's what they had to say...

Overall, how did you find DCW this year?

Joe: Every year DCW continues to beat expectations and this year was no different. For us, DCW is the biggest event in the calendar as it's a huge opportunity to get face to face with so many of our clients in one fell swoop as well as getting in front of businesses and prospects we've not spoken to before. Being able to witness first-hand the technology and what it is doing for customers is incredibly insightful. 

Callum: DCW didn’t disappoint when it came to the sheer quantity and quality of construction technology businesses attending the event. It was great to connect with some familiar faces away from the usual meeting place of Teams or Zoom and discuss how 2023 is shaping up. There was an opportunity to really engage with some of the trends and developments in the space which promise to have an impact for years to come. All in all a great event!

Did you notice any market trends?

Joe: ESG and decarbonisation is getting its time in the spotlight at long last, and businesses and groups like ZERO, QFlow and SustainIQ featured heavily across both the show floor and the talks. This focused on things from how the industry manages and measures carbon, to how we can employ MMC to speed up the construction process. This is something that our other Smart Industry team saw when they attended Hannover Messe earlier in the year too, so clearly something that's on the radar of the entire industry.

Callum: There was a lot of debate around some of the big buzzwords we've seen in the space over the last year or so. Of course, the impact of AI was near the top of a lot of agendas but a debate that was particularly engaging was around the definition of digital twins. A lot of vendors I spoke with felt the meaning and thereby the value of digital twins had been lost due to the generalised use of the term. However, there was a lot of confidence that through both education and the adoption of true digital twins that we will see a shift in how this area is perceived.

And what about any recruitment trends?

Joe: Knowledge is power! There remains a need for people to understand the industry either from having been on site, or having worked hands-on with company products. The ability to provide a service - be that sales or customer success - with a shared pain point, is still trumping broader software knowledge. We're anticipating the market to really pick up as we head into the second half of the year - we actually wrote about this in more detail in our recent Contech report. Take a look at it here!

Callum: The market is highly competitive! Nobody is hiring en masse compared to what we saw last year, and the calibre of candidate has to be high to justify headcount being raised. This means that finding the best candidates that will have a tangible impact on a business is crucial. Even in junior lead gen roles, an element of subject matter expertise or a more consultative approach to engaging prospects is now high on the list of priorities. The quality of candidates is key to a successful hiring strategy, but the challenge comes because this quality needs to be found and doesn’t typically organically emerge.

What do you think the future looks like in the space?

Joe: Bright, and not least due to reducing embodied carbon, but there was a real sense that technology is really being utilised now how it should. There are now so many solutions in the market, not just from the big players, but niche products that solve very specific challenges so there isn't an excuse now to not start adopting technology. 

Callum: At DCW we only scratched the surface of some of the developments in the space. We are now moving away from using smart and automated solutions in the decision making and data analysis in a construction setting to leveraging true AI in these processes. With the shortage of labour across the construction space set to worsen, opportunities to use technology in people intensive activities will continue to be developed and explored.

And finally, what did you enjoy most about the event?

Joe: Having been in the space now for over 8 years, walking the aisles and stopping at stands still gives me the same buzz as my first show. Nothing will beat getting face to face with people, and post-covid, I think we all appreciate that even more. FMC continue to partner with the very best companies in the space, so being able to see those that we have placed into positions representing their new company is hugely rewarding. 

Callum:  Getting to opportunity to engage with some of the start-ups at the show who were still at pilot was particularly enjoyable. Some of the solutions that are set to come to market in the next few years are incredibly exciting and will be leading the way as we innovate in the AEC market. I look forward to watching the progress as these solutions are brought to market!

How did you find the show? We'd be interested in your feedback!

If you’re in the digital construction space and are looking to grow your team this year, or want to discuss trends in the market, get in touch with Joe on or Callum on