I joined the IAAPS team in June 2019 to help with the planning and delivery of events to promote the research taking place within IAAPS. My first experience of the role was to attend the IAAPS Foundation Plaque event at the Bristol and Bath Science Park. This event was hosted by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian White and was attended by the Minister of State for Universities, Research and Innovation Chris Skidmore who unveiled the Foundation Plaque to mark the formal start of construction works on IAAPS. There was also a huge number of major automotive industry partners, regional and national funding bodies and councils, as well as local SMEs and innovators in attendance. The event gave me a brilliant insight into the key stakeholder groups that will be essential to the future success of IAAPS and the key role that event delivery will play in securing future collaborative opportunities with our existing and new partner networks.
My background in event management has taught me that the following are key to successful event delivery;
- Knowing the purpose of why you are attending or hosting an event and what outcomes you expect
- Knowing your audience
- Creating memorable events that create important connections
I was therefore really excited to apply these learnings to the organisation and delivery of IAAPS' representation at one of the major UK low carbon vehicle events, Cenex-LCV. With over 4,300 attendees and 250 exhibitors, the show was a great opportunity to showcase as an exhibitor, and also to network with attendees and other exhibitors. The LCV show is the UK's premier low carbon vehicle event incorporating four key features:
- A technology exhibition
- An extensive seminar programme
- Facilitated networking with the low carbon community
- Ride & drive of the latest research & development and commercially available vehicles
Our objectives for the show were to achieve the following:
- Take a prominent stand for IAAPS to showcase the pace of development now underway on the project
- Showcase our academic expertise via speaking opportunities, panel debate discussions and networking to highlight the range of technical talent available within the IAAPS team
- Reconnect with partners that have a track record of working with the team at Bath
- Identify new collaboration opportunities in future automotive R&I development areas, such as electrification, automation, alternative fuel development
Through detailed organisation and co-ordination of the team attending LCV, we achieved our objectives through delivering the following initiatives at LCV:
The IAAPS team brought along the show stopping BMW i8 which was used to provide test drives for visitors to the stand. Visitors also had a chance to meet both of the inspirational Bath Formula Student racing teams, showcasing the talent that the University of Bath has to offer. You can read more about Team Bath Racing Electric here and Team Bath Racing here.
Our stand was a great success and included a virtual tour of the new building, as well as a chance to hear from the research and operations team about IAAPS - it was even featured in Cenex’s official opening day tweet! As well as the stand, our academics, Chris Brace and Sam Akehurst were part of the APC digital panel, representing our university APC spoke and discussing questions about the challenges and opportunities that digital tools and technology bring to propulsion system development.
The LCV show is an event that IAAPS will be attending on an annual basis. The decision makers of UK industry attend the event with all major stakeholders, key manufacturers, supply chain representatives and government officials, so it is crucial that the IAAPS team attend and that our presence continues to make an impact.
Organising IAAPS’ presence at this globally recognised event has been one of my biggest challenges to date. For me personally, events that bring together like minded people looking to solve the challenges of working towards a lower carbon world, are both fascinating and important. It’s a great opportunity for everyone there to learn more about the ever changing technologies and research at the forefront of this movement towards low and zero emissions vehicles. Whether it’s the formal seminars or the informal face to face discussions around the stands, these events are not only good for networking but can also be a melting pot for ideas. This is what I enjoy about working with IAAPS – being able to help create opportunities that connect academics and industry to make a tangible and meaningful difference to the world we live in.
Having taken a short pause to reflect, gather lessons learned from the team for future events and for our presence at LCV next year, I’m now on to planning our next series of IAAPS events which will include the Bristol Technology Showcase in November, the Future Powertrain Conference in February 2020, and other internationally renowned exhibitions. We’ll be keeping you updated on our event schedule on the IAAPS web pages, so do check our pages to see where we’ll next be exhibiting and/or speaking. If you're interested in finding out how you can get involved with IAAPS, we'd love to hear from you. Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will get in touch.