UBM, the organisers of The Facilities Show, will be celebrating 15 years of the event when it takes place in June. I am sure that Service Management Expo (SME), now part of that show and co-located with it at ExCeL London, has a significantly longer history. And, I think SME may have started out in London – so a bit of a ‘back to the future’ moment there too. All of which got me wondering about how many years ago actually SME started.
Nobody here is old enough to remember that kind of ancient history, so I approached long time participant in the field service industry Ian Mapp to find out if he knew when it all began. Luckily, he was not offended when I suggested he might be ‘of the right age’ to have been there, and happily shared his reminiscences.
“What’s that you say, young ’un? You’ll have to speak up a bit. And pass me another Wurther’s Original, sonny.”
Okay, maybe he was offended!
“SME? It has always been a mainstay event for the field service industry in the UK – at one time it was an acronym for Service Management Europe rather than Service Management Expo, but it has always been UK-centric in terms of visitor numbers and focus for exhibitors. It has always been the place to find the latest developments in technology, to meet up with knowledgeable colleagues and share stories about this wonderful, stressful, challenging business. For example, everyone is now talking about wearable technology, but my first hands-on experience (actually head-on experience) was at SME.