Britain’s space industry has almost doubled in value over the past decade.
With private sector interest in space innovation at an all-time high, Bray Leino Events was selected again to organise the 2017 UK Space Conference.
The key objectives were to be inclusive and forward looking, bringing together people from within and outside the space community to exchange ideas and to discuss how new knowledge and space-based capability can drive social economic progress into the 2030s and beyond.
In addition to this the event was to be cost-neutral, paid for exclusively through sponsorship and ticket sales.
Working with 26 stakeholders from across industry, government and academia we organised the UK Space Conference 2017 and Discover Space outreach event across 3 days, under the overarching theme ‘enable, inspire, connect.’ New for 2017, we introduced interactive, open sessions which encouraged maximum audience participation. ‘Pitch to the Primes’ was a dragon’s den style session where small businesses pitched in an open forum to eight major space companies.
Other highlights included Space 101 - a series of informal workshops held prior to the main conference which were aimed at those new to the space sector, and the ‘Discover Space’ outreach programme which was attended by over 2,000 members of the public.
To ensure broad discussion, speakers were recruited from across many different relevant industries, including astronaut Tim Peake, who delivered an engaging plenary – ‘inspiring the future through exploration.’ He also delivered a series of ‘Tim Talks’ as part of the outreach, and presented the Sir Arthur Clarke awards during a gala dinner.
The UK Space Conference attracted representatives from national broadcast, print press, and reached 17 million people via Twitter. Feedback from the 1,200 delegates was overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of delegates rating their experience as good or excellent. The Discover Space Outreach activity inspired over 2,000 members of the public and 109 exhibitors showcased their organisation to the space community.
Through careful planning and management of resources our team over-achieved on the cost-neutral objective, delivering a 30% increase in sponsorship revenue from the 2015 event and an overall profit, which will be used to fund the next event in 2019. It was described by industry commentators as ‘a vital rallying platform for the UK space industry’. This was the biggest UK Space conference to date.
- UK SC 2017