Skip to main content

New GEO Business show heralds "dawn of a new era"

By Peter Fitzgibbon - 9th June 2014 - 12:20

Hailed a big success, the inaugural GEO Business 2014 event attracted well over 100 exhibitors and hosted 96 commercial workshops across two days in central London

Changeable weather did nothing to dampen spirits as this year’s inaugural GEO Business conference and exhibition opened its doors to visitors at London’s Business Design Centre at the end of May.

Organised by Diversified Communications UK in collaboration with the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Survey Association (TSA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)., one was immediately impressed by the professional staging and management of what promises to become Britain’s leading geospatial expo.

The international showcase that the geospatial industry had been waiting for, the inaugural GEO Business show has been hailed a big success. Queues of enthusiastic visitors marked the opening of the two day show, which launched at the Business Design Centre in London on 28-29 May. By the time doors closed, it had welcomed over 1,600 attendees from 39 countries and garnered a wealth of glowing testimonials.

Combining a bustling central trade exhibition featuring 118 exhibitors showcasing the latest geospatial technology and services, with a packed conference programme of cutting-edge keynotes and presentations plus 96 commercial workshops, GEO Business delivered on its promise to provide an essential focal event – the first of its kind in the UK – for the entire geospatial industry. Busy, excellent, informative, important, and enjoyable – are just some of the words attendees have used to describe the show.

Unifying vision

The show’s unifying vision was to promote closer collaboration across the geospatial community and to provide a platform that effectively showcases both the professionalism of this industry and the role that it will play in the future economic growth of our country. To cite the words of one exhibitor, Derry Long, business development manager at MBS Survey Software, the new show marked “the dawn of a new era for the geospatial community.”

“From the moment the doors opened, there was a real buzz on the show floor and it was evident that we had gained the support from the community in the launch of this show,” says Versha Carter, group exhibition director of GEO Business, who is delighted with the feedback from across the show floor. “It was fantastic to see the entire geospatial industry united together doing business. There was a genuine sense of the industry coming together to connect and share their experiences and methods – to see how they could learn from each other and improve the way they work. We now have a really solid foundation from which to grow and develop the show, and are already looking forward to GEO Business 2015!”

Tracey Stone, Senior Infrastructure Product Sales Specialist Lead EMEA at Autodesk comments “I was very impressed with the GEO Business 2014 event and would go so far to say it was one of the best events I have been to for a while. It was extremely well organised, the content of the conference and workshop programme was very good and the energy and buzz around the exhibition hall was very impressive”

Industry experts draw in the crowds

From discovering new carvings at the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, to creating 3D simulations of the world around us, to measuring the water height of the Congo, geographic information and geospatial products and services have never had so many practical applications. Contributing billions of dollars to the global economy, geospatial is now one of the fastest emerging technology sectors. The amount of change – the raft of new trends and innovations available – is phenomenal. The challenge – indeed one of the prevailing themes running through many of the show’s 49 conference sessions – is how not to over complicate the way the geo industry shares its data.

Notable highlights for 2014 included keynotes from Peter Hansford, chief construction adviser, HM Government, UK; Neil Ackroyd, acting director general and chief executive, Ordnance Survey UK; David Philp, head of BIM implementation, Cabinet Office/Mace Group UK; Anne Kemp, director BIM strategy and development, Atkins Ltd (Chair AGI, Chair ICE BIM Action Group, Vice-Chair BIM4Infrastructure) and Dr Catherine Souch, head of research and higher education, Royal Geographical Society, UK.

Other popular speakers included; Giulio Pagan from Autodesk UK talking about Heathrow Airport and the challenges and solutions for a mini-city; Gavin Duffy from RealSim demonstrating how the ‘game-ification of GIS’ can speed up business decision making without the need for specialist knowledge; Jaak Laineste from Nutiteq, Estonia presenting GIS with Google Glasses and other wearables; and Jesper Falk from COWI Denmark exploring the ways output from small unmanned aircraft (or UAVs) can assist infrastructure projects.

“It was a great show. I was spoilt for choice, with the exhibition, conference and workshops sessions, it was difficult to fit everything into one day!” comments visitor Jeremy Murfitt, director at Everything is Somewhere Ltd.

“I attended GEO Business on both days and found the experience extremely informative and very interesting,” agrees visitor Terry McSweeney, senior land surveyor at Laing O'Rourke Infrastructure.

Informative was certainly an apt description of the show’s comprehensive, 96-strong, commercial workshop programme (hosted across seven seminar rooms). A practical draw for many visitors to the show, the sessions offered a unique opportunity to see some of the latest services and technology in action.

Hot topics included LSS software (McCarthy Taylor Systems), BIM workflows (Topcon), 3D BIM for existing buildings (Stanburys), Delivering geographic data intelligently (Ordnance Survey), Multiple sensor unmanned fixed wing surveying solutions (Quest UAV & Quest-PODS), and Geospatial data collection and the latest innovations in UAV (Trimble).

It certainly wasn’t all work and no play for GEO Business attendees. The networking started early for exhibitors and visitors with a welcome drinks party on the eve of the show. Whilst the highly anticipated gala dinner hosted by Topcon, UK (which sold out of all tickets in January) was particularly well received and included entertainment from the world-renowned Siren electric string quartet.

Summing up his GEO Business experience, John Fraser, Director at Leica Geosytems, UK concludes “The UK needs a show like GEO business, Leica Geosystems thoroughly enjoyed being present and assisting in creating the professional and positive vibe which such a show deserves. Let's make it bigger, better and even more of an enjoyable experience next year”

GEO Business will return to The Business Design Centre in London on 27-28 May 2015. For further information, please visit

Photos: Diversified Communications UK and GEOconnexion UK

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay updated on the latest technology, innovation product arrivals and exciting offers to your inbox.