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The use of digital tools: the new normal in construction

A study carried out by BIMobject with surveys of more than 2,500 professionals in the Architectural, Planning and Design (AECO) sector reveals how digitalisation has accelerated in the sector due to the COVID-19 crisis. New digital tools are now a foundation with 61% saying this will be part of their basic work post-pandemic with  the concept of construction fair changed for good.

Since the advent of the pandemic, the world has seen a breakthrough in the adoption of digitisation like never before. From one day to the next, companies all over the world have been forced to implement teleworking, videoconferencing or e-commerce in order to maintain their activities. 

In this sense, the construction sector, one of the most traditional in terms of digitalisation and the adoption of new tools, has been no exception. According to a study carried out by the BIM content platform for the construction sector, BIMobject, in which the responses of more than 2,500 professionals from the AECO sector were collected, more than half stated that their work had become "much more digital" since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Not only that, but 61% expect to use even more digital tools after the COVID-19 crisis. This advance in the use of digital tools by professionals in the sector such as architects and engineers corresponds to the figures recorded by Autodesk, collected in the study published by BIMobject. According to the company's own data, the number of subscribers in Europe has increased by 350% worldwide since the start of the pandemic.

The post-COVID construction fairs

One of the biggest blows the sector has experienced this year has been the cancellation of multiple construction fairs throughout the world. From Coverings in New Orleans to Salone del Mobile in Milan, BAU in Munich or BIMexpo in Madrid. The impossibility of holding large scale events, due to the strict measures implemented by the various health authorities, has cut short the plans of thousands of construction material manufacturers who were planning to present and promote their new products at these fairs.

The big question is - will the fairs return to normal? Recent news about the development of new vaccines seems to shed light on a scenario that was looking rather bleak. Many fairs, such as the next BAU in 2021, are already converting their exhibitions into hybrid events in order to accommodate all attendees, either in person or virtually, while respecting the corresponding security measures. 

However, according to the survey carried out by BIMobject, only 7% of professionals in the AECO sector would be willing to attend an industry event today. According to the data collected, 45% of those surveyed attended these events mainly to attend conferences and receive training. Only 25% of industry professionals attended these events to discover new products, something they now do mainly through online search engines. 

Digitisation is making its way into the construction industry, not only because of COVID, but also because of the need to create more efficient and sustainable processes. With this data on the table, it is now up to the companies in the sector to decide how to redirect their marketing strategies towards a more digital and interactive environment.  

LINK to download the full report: https://bit.ly/3l2M31V

Ana Patricia Martínez Menéndez • Dec 3, 2020

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