Modelling World – Edgbaston 2021
With little to no restrictions in place, things still haven’t quite felt 100% normal until yesterday when all of that changed. Basemap managed to get a real taste of freedom when we visited our first ever event, Modelling World since January 2020.
Before arriving, I was unsure of what to expect but by the end of it all, I’d have to say I was pleasantly surprised. At first it felt unusual talking to people face to face since it’s been a while I’ve been made to interact with anyone that wasn’t a fur friend. However, it didn’t take long before the events of the last 18 months almost disappeared from my mind. Not only that, I was amazed by the turnout, (more than 250 people!), which goes to show just how many of us are ready to get back to normal.
There was also a great opportunity to get to know people before the main event at the Networking Dinner. I suppose they always are when alcohol is involved which certainly wasn’t a conversation stopper! With conversations flowing even more the following day at our exhibit, we had the chance to showcase what we do at Basemap but also to officially show off TRACC’s latest features in V2.0 in action to some of our users.
There were many great speakers at the event with some calling in remotely all the way from Australia and Canada! Though the talks that stood out to me the most were those about how things have changed for the world of transport modelers. It was great listening to large transport bodies such as Mott Macdonald, TfN, and TfWM, to name a few, share their experiences of modelling uncertainty as a result of COVID and how this drove some to re-evaluate the way things are being assessed and implemented.
What was all the more refreshing were some of the hard truths spoken by a few but more specifically by that of Stephen Cragg from Transport Scotland, who felt that not only could transport systems be better at handling data but also better at appraisals. It seemed like COVID has been a learning curve for many and that it was a turning point to modelling travel scenarios better, supporting more informed decision making, and just generally help with how we approach future scenarios in the face of uncertain times.
We’re already buzzing for our next outing to APTA’s TRANSform Conference in Florida in a few weeks’ time. Hopefully we will be seeing some familiar faces.
Overall it was an experience that I’ll never forget. Until next time.