“In the post-crisis, BePOSITIVE 2021 will be a defining event that materializes the gathering pace of the energy transition!”
BePOSITIVE, the only French exhibition dedicated entirely to energy transition issues and solutions, to bring together all the stakeholders in the building and energy sectors, is scheduled for 2nd–4th of March next year at Eurexpo-Lyon.
This place of encounter and exchange is a real business booster that helps create networks among all the sectors’ professionals—specifiers and influencers, jobbing firms and general building trade contractors, distributors and traders, town and regional councils, and more.
All major European and African deciders will be in attendance, giving the event real international outreach. BePositive, a genuine unifying force for those who are shaping tomorrow’s carbon-free world, provides a springboard for innovators and innovation. At this coming edition, the exhibition will be organized into four major spheres: new energy systems, energy and buildings, the sustainable building, and wood energy.
With eight months to go until the doors open at BePOSITIVE 2021, the event’s manager, Florence Mompo, speaks to us to launch this new edition. She shares her thoughts on the consequences of this unforeseen crisis we are living through and on prospects in the energy transition sectors.
Q & A with exhibition manager Florence Mompo
What is your vision of the situation we are experiencing?
This healthcare crisis, destined to become an economic and social crisis, obviously caught us unawares with its suddenness and the global upheaval in the way we live, consume, and work. The uncertainty factor is a millstone around the neck of economic recovery, and although many immediate consequences are clearly visible—international tension, recession, unemployment, sectors in big trouble—there are nonetheless some positive effects. After a period of hardship, we are witnessing a return to business and consumption stimulated by massive investment plans. We are seeing commitments in the right direction regarding local production, the circular economy, and reuse, or quite simply the place of the individual in our development. The lockdown highlighted the need to privilege people’s health, comfort, and well-being in, for example, the design of homes and office buildings. Thermal performance, air quality, acoustics, and at a more basic level, arrangement and furnishing, are factors that more than ever need considering, like the links between physical and digital. Widespread working from home is a glaring example and likely to prove one of the biggest legacies of this period, while on the human side, people are yearning for exchange and good cheer!
What’s the feedback from stakeholders in the various sectors present at the BePOSITIVE exhibition?
Florence Mompo: It’s quite mixed because different sectors are reporting different experiences. On the new energy systems front, after the first 2 or 3 weeks when everyone was still shell-shocked, businesses quickly reorganized and refocused on development prospects. There’s been much talk of the energy transition as a major lever in economic recovery, but companies need concrete actions and have big hopes for initiatives like the EU’s Green Deal.
The feedback I’ve had from sectors like solar energy tells me that although there’s been no slowdown so far, stakeholders are worried what might happen over the next few months following nearly three months without any business activity. As regards the building sector, it’s common knowledge they are afraid of the crisis taking a heavy toll. Business are going to have to implement measures prior to restarting that will make their pre-Covid rhythm hard to recover. And the postponement of local elections hasn’t helped because of the heavy dependence many companies have on orders from the public sector. But I raise my hat to those directors and entrepreneurs who have dealt well with the situation. They have once again shown their ability to stare reality in the face and adapt with amazing versatility, making the right decisions to protect the health of their employees without sacrificing that of their business.
“Encouraging all sectors to work together”
This situation raises questions about the direction future towns must take. What are the pitfalls to be avoided?
Florence Mompo: What model do we want for tomorrow? I think that’s the real question we have to ask in a united voice. This period is an opportunity for us to imagine things through different eyes, to take real account of people’s aspirations. But the way the recovery is being sketched out, the risk is the same as post-2008, when economy and finance were the only focus, with environmental concerns relegated to a secondary issue and the lessons wasted. We’d like to see the opposite: it’s up to policy makers, trade associations, industrialists, companies, jobbing & craft firms, employees, and all the others to show a real willingness to exit the crisis on an ascending slope.
How does the energy transition fit into this new model?
Florence Mompo: It’s right at the core! It matches today’s aspirations. We notice a progressive, global awakening to issues concerning environmental protection, climate, food, energy waste. This awareness among the population must be fostered with information and education, and now is the time. Economic measures and public aid to businesses must favour transformation to a sustainable, resilient world. All sectors must be encouraged to work together, dialogue, develop innovations, spread the use of technological solutions that conserve resources and spare the environment. Development paths are already identified: sustainable infrastructures with renewably sourced energy and clean transportation, energy renovation of buildings and the war on “heat sieves”, circular economy and short distribution circuits, responsible digital solutions. These will indeed be the major issues targeted at the 2021 edition of BePOSITIVE.
Smart solutions, biosourced materials, and jobs & training as central themes of the next exhibition
So what is the role of an exhibition like BePOSITIVE?
Florence Mompo: Let me first say that trade shows, exhibitions, professional gatherings, congresses and the like will have a major part to play in the economic recovery because they are unique moments that connect companies, organizations, project initiators, specifiers & influencers, visitors from the sectors, etc. And over the next few months these stakeholders will have a compelling need to meet and trade. For the energy transition, BePOSITIVE 2021 will be a defining gathering at a time, next March, when conditions for injecting pace into this movement must materialize. And we, with our knowledge of the markets and their players, will be working hard to make this once more a place where all the energies meet, an event that unites all the stakeholders in the building and energy sectors, favouring their dialogue and convergence, guiding their projects and developments, spurring on their innovations. To echo our tagline, let this be an opportunity for building tomorrow’s carbon-free world together!
What subjects win your favour at this coming edition?
Florence Mompo: Smart solutions, biosourced materials, and jobs & training are going to be our central themes. There’s a real buzz in digital and the IOT, which have come storming into the building world with their sights on energy savings and the development of services. Biosourced materials are another area where performance is on the rise. They are enjoying renewed attractiveness in the construction sector and their production is being industrialized. And then, as I said, the emergence of a new model with different approaches will force know-how to progress and involve new trades. There will be fluidity between certain sectors that are losing speed and others that are in full development. This issue places recruitment and the upgrading of employee skills at the core of company strategies.
“New 2021 feature, even more synergy between the physical and digital event”
Can you reveal any more items on the BePOSITIVE 2021 programme?
Florence Mompo: The main stakeholders in new energy systems, sustainable buildings, energy in buildings, and wood energy will be exhibiting their innovations and solutions for the energy transition. There will be plenty of in-show events & activities and conferences, fire camps, forward studies, all arranged and run by key trade associations. We will also be having live demonstrations, learning sessions, and accounts of experience. But the exciting new feature is that we are making the exhibition more interactive. With the support of content, services, and products, we will synergize the physical event with the digital event. We shall for example propose webinar solutions. And we shall be rolling out remote intermediation facilities, such as networking and business appointments via a mobile app, for all our publics—exhibitors, visitors, and partners alike. It’s a chance for all participants to be even more visible and to create new opportunities.
With 8 months to go to the event, what are the early signs?
Florence Mompo: I can’t give you any figures yet but it’s definitely a positive trend. There’s some really good impetus behind this event, the only one in France entirely dedicated to energy transition issues and solutions. It’s also busy earning a growing reputation on an international scale, especially in Europe and in North and sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the current climate, all lights are green and partners and companies are already expressing their enthusiasm at the thought of meeting back up!
TAKING THINGS FURTHER: BEPOSITIVE 2019 IN FIGURES
• 651 exhibitors and brands
• 25% of exhibitors from abroad
• 30,000 professional visitors
• 80% deciders among the visitors
• 1,033 business appointments
• 80% more conferences and round-the-table talks
The launch press release and draft programme will be available after the holidays.