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BCO Conference 2022

Thursday June 23rd 2022

From a running tour of the city to tours of some of Manchester’s most iconic office spaces, it’s safe to say the BCO Conference 2022 truly had it all! Alongside many great collaborators across the industry, the MDA business development team indulged in three jam packed and stimulating days focussed on all things office. The conference boasted 800 industry professionals who swarmed to Manchester, to get the conversation going on the future of the sector, to learn from one another and to take advantage of nationwide networking!

The conference saw some truly fascinating discussions on the future of the sector, from the point of view of both the developer and the customer. The seminars brought to light how, as we move forward, the industry will work in parallel with the consumer, to achieve the desired goals of the end user, local authorities, and of course environmental idealism. Mark Kowal, the BCO president himself, said before the conference began, that this is a “moment to readdress the role of offices in our lives”: In line with this, the BCO panel discussions over the following days highlighted that we are all one (somewhat large!) team as we work towards making our office buildings innovative, and above all, regenerative.

Manchester hosted an array of fabulous networking events, starting with the welcome drinks in the stunning Manchester Cathedral. A very welcome event for us at MDA having just completed a 7km run around the city in the glorious sunshine, to admire all the new and ongoing office sites in Manchester. Each evening offered a fantastic range of networking events for both general conference and the BCO NextGen, organised in all areas of the city and offering relaxed networking with likeminded professionals. 

One of the mutual highlights we experienced as a team was the office tours; between us we got to experience the BCO award winning BBC North offices, The Northern Quarter, Enterprise City, Castlefield and Factory. Quite the range! The tours gave all their guests food for thought on what makes an office appealing to the employee, sustainable and age resistant. These offices displayed what it is to challenge the hybrid working model, and what key features keep the office a busy, productive space. We have unquestionably come away with fresh insight into the office model and how to approach it to keep it ahead of its time.

It really is easy to see why people come from all corners of the UK to the BCO conference, the event is insightful, inspirational, and honestly just so much fun! It was a very busy few days with a range of education, exercise, and a lot of networking. A truly memorable event that had everything you could ask for, and a really encouraging week for MDA as a business as we push further into the office sector. A huge thank you to the BCO organisers for an extraordinary couple of days, bring on next year’s conference in Dublin!

Rachel Holmes