By Lindsay Gale12 June 2008
With more than 200 attendees (including sponsors and partners) and more than 25 companies sponsoring the event in its new format, the European Demolition Association’s summer conference, held in the Radisson SAS Rome hotel in Italy, was the most successful EDA event in a number of years.
The EDA stuck to the format that it first used, with success, at the last event in 2007 in Vienna, with a small ‘table-top’ exhibition running alongside the conference itself, which was made up of a mix of technical site reports and short sponsors presentations over the course of Friday 30th May and the morning of Saturday 1st June.
Indeed, it could be argued that the conference was the victim of its own success, since with more than 25 sponsors’ presentations to be included in the programme, the result was a very compact and intense schedule which was always liable to slip time wise, requiring careful management on the part of the organisers.
One item that raised a few eyebrows among the manufacturers present, however, was concerned with the use of high reach demolition excavators. The UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors had made its Guidance Notes available to the EDA for possible adoption/recommendation at a European level. Rather than simply recommend that members refer to this document when using such equipment, the EDA implemented a questionnaire based on the document that it asked conference attendees to complete, from which it intends to develop an EDA approach.
One can understand the new EDA presidency’s desire to be seen to be active, but given the work, and input from various agencies, involved in the development of the NFDC document, one cannot help but feel that perhaps a better approach would be for the EDA in the short term to recommend the use of the NFDC document as it stands as a general guide, while working with the various national member associations and relevant national and European governmental bodies to produce, over time, a more considered EDA document.
Despite the record attendance, another disappointment was the complete lack of representation from UK contractors and also from the Swedish demolition industry, especially as the latter’s national association is the most recent to join the EDA organisation.
Despite the above, there is no question that the Rome event proved a successful and valuable use of time for all concerned. Hopefully the next event, to be held in Istanbul later this year, will prove even more successful and attract an even larger audience, including delegates from those countries that were poorly represented in the Italian capital.