Why you have to visit BILT

Why you have to visit BILT conference?

If you are into conferences, you must have heard about BILT. This is THE conference. THE event to be at.

And if you are not often on conferences or by some accident haven’t heard about it I want to present to you what BILT is and why this is probably the best BIM conference in Europe.

What is BILT?

BILT stands for Buildings, Infrastructure, Lifecycle, Technology and this name encompasses exactly what this event is about. The event is run by users for users which makes it the best place to get real advice from people who seriously know their stuff, yet continue to learn themselves.

Organised by DBEI – a non-profit organisation that recently went into collaboration with BuildingSMART International. The organisation itself was started by technology passionates and up until today is run by such people. You can read about DBEI history here.

How does BILT ensure the highest presentation quality?

The quality of the presented materials is one of the core values of the event. There is no place for boring blah, blah, self-empowering bragging or selling from the stage. This event is for sharing knowledge. How do organisers ensure it? There are some key points.

75 to 150 minutes presentation

It is long. The time allotted for one presentation allows for a deep exploration of a presented subject. It is demanding both for the presenter and the audience. (God I remember those boooring lectures at the university!).

Over an hour of talking is way too long to just glide through the subject’s surface – a presenter has to dive deeper showcasing why, how and what he or she has been working on.

On the other hand, it also requires a long attention span from the audience – if you have chosen to attend a session, you have to have a genuine interest in the subject. Otherwise, the venue offers many other possibilities to spend one hour of your life.

Those two aspects meet – there is a competition between the sessions. There are five parallel sessions, so presenters have to make a good first impression to draw the attention of the listeners. If the presenter delivered an absorbing topic that was enjoyably presented, he or she would receive positive feedback and a higher score in the event app. There is a ranking of presentations and the 10 best presenters receive additional recognition by being promoted by DBEI after the event.

Schedule and preparation long before the event

Another measure to improve the quality of the presentations is the delivery schedule. It is both long and tight at the same time!

The submission deadline is more than half a year before the event (this year – November 2023). Thereafter, the jury chooses speakers by blind review of the received submissions to avoid being biased by names or companies the speakers represent. Being chosen is not the end, merely a beginning!

Two months before the presentation speakers have to deliver a session outline with a predicted timeline. This is to ensure that the session is well structured and thought through.

Consequently, three weeks before the event everything has to be ready. Forget about last-minute work and staying up three nights before the event to finish the slide deck! The delivery deadline applies to all materials.

This is the next upvote for the event quality.

Rich hand-outs and tips & tricks

The materials delivered by the speakers are extensive. Every speaker has to prepare two documents in addition to the presentation:

  • Hand-outs – this is a session guidance that comprises what the speaker is going to talk about. The attendees receive a printed copy at the entrance so that they can track the progress of the presentation and make notes.
  • Tips & tricks – three or more tips from the speaker. Some practical take-away from the presentation that can be used in everyday work

Creating these documents is not an easy task, yet gives immense value to the attendees. Many times during different events I wanted to simultaneously keep track of what was being said, make notes and also take pictures of some graphs from the slide. Too many tasks at once made it impossible to organise my notes! By having a handout I could focus on the content and just make short notes on the side.

I have also heard that many attendees keep and review their printed copies for years after the event!

Mentor program for speakers

This year’s novum! A mentor program for fresh speakers at BILT. Each new speaker gets allocated one mentor who can answer all their questions about the event, presentation and whatever they need.

I find it helpful and comforting to have the possibility to exchange my thoughts and ask questions about the event, the audience and the vibe before delivering the presentation.

My favorite sessions at BILT 2024 conference

I have studied the schedule along and across and I have chosen the topics that interest me the most. Here is my list of sessions I’m definitely going to attend. If you want to find your own set, head straight to: https://bilteur2024.dekon.com.tr/schedule/

Data Analytics in the AEC - Stories of the past 4 years.

Konrad Sobon

The data guru and one of the founding fathers of Dynamo forum. I think Konrad was already creating Dynamo packages when I was trying to solve my first integrals at university! I am also a data geek and would love to hear the stories from my name-fellow.

Interoperability Workflows at Autodesk

Lejla Secerbegovic, Krzysztof Jedrzejewski and Luca Marzi

In my day-to-day duties, I often use Autodesk products and work with IFC files. Would love to hear what is new about in integration of open standards within Autodesk’s ecosystem

Next-Level Data Viz: Taking Project Analysis to New Heights with Speckle & PowerBI

Kevin Fielding

As a PowerBI learner, I always look for potential ways of using it. Interesting to learn how Speckle, Revit and PowerBI can work together.

Harnessing AI for Historic Asset Analysis & Real-time Sensory Integration for Maintenance

Valentin Noves

Real-time sensors and AI. These are the subjects that are undoubtedly going to grow in the AEC industry in the near future. Interesting to check how others already take advantage of it for Facility Management purposes.

Optimizing Construction Schedules with Data Analytics

Pablo Derendinger

Everything about Data Analytics catches my attention and this session has gotten my eye as well – this talk explores how Data Analytics can significantly optimize construction schedules.

A journey from 0 to 2.5M sqm in a year

Lucia Munoz

This session is about a building owner’s journey from having no BIM knowledge to managing more than 2.5M sqm in BIM in a year. Sounds promising to see a case study on how an organisation can develop their digitalisation and what they have gained through the implementation of BIM methodology.

Sessions 5 and 6 are killing me! They are at the same time! Both sound extremely interesting. Maybe I can copy myself to attend both…

An Engaging Domestic Asset Information Model in Notion

Thomas Corries

Thomas is another experienced BILT speaker. We had a chance to talk since Thomas also takes part in a mentor program and he is my mentor for my speech.

I have tested Notion a bit and it looked like a very capable tool. I would love to learn how to set it up to draw together data from different sources and how to maintain this platform to be always up to date.

Implementing AI in Revit for Construction Code Verification

Valentin Noves

ChatGPT is everywhere now, but in fact, I haven’t seen it in Revit yet! This session aims to change this! Cannot wait to learn how to integrate Revit model data with AI and how to query the model using natural language. This might be a tipping point in data management for “non-data-oriented people”.

How to succeed in building an 8 km subway with 6 stations directly from BIM.

Magne Ganz

The giant subway project in Oslo – Fornebubanen – is going to be the topic of this presentation. I have already seen some presentations about this construction investment and they are always impressive (check for example this one at Autodesk University). Magne is a knowledgeable person and openly shares his knowledge. I am sure this session is going to be a star!

My contribution to BILT

Last but not least I am also going to toss some pennies to this fountain of knowledge. I am going to showcase the project I am currently involved in – New University Hospital in Stavanger. I will focus on sharing how we had set up the project and what was my role in succeeding in the construction of this huge hospital entirely without drawings. My session is on the last day (May 9th, Thursday at 14:45) and it is called:

$1 Billion Project Built Fully Without Drawings

Konrad Fugas

I invite all of you to come and see me in Riga! I would love to chat and high-five each one of you!


I think you understand now why BILT is such a big thing in our bubble. If you want to deepen and expand your knowledge within the BIM methodology, this is the event to be at!

Sincerely, if you have a budget to visit only one conference this year, make it to BILT! Register as long as there are seats available! You can do it here:


P.S. This article is NOT sponsored. I just genuinely recommend the BILT conference 🙂

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After reading this guide you will learn:

  • How BIM is used on the biggest projects in Norway
  • What were the challenges for the design team and how were they solved
  • What were the challenges on the construction site and what was our approach to them

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