BAPCO 2020: a visitor’s guide
Critical Communications Portfolio editor Philip Mason gives an overview of the Ricoh Arena for those attending BAPCO 2020 in March.
As those who have visited BAPCO in previous years will know, the Ricoh is a world-class destination as well as a pioneer in the realm of linking business, entertainment and sport. It is the home Premiership rugby team Wasps as well as Coventry City Football Club, for whom it was built to replace their previous ground Highfield Road in 2005.
As well as many sporting occasions – and high-profile business events such as BAPCO – the Ricoh has also hosted numerous huge stars of the music world. These include The Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Bruce Springsteen.
Arriving at the Ricoh
There are a variety of ways to get to the Ricoh Arena, which is situated about 15 minutes to the north of Coventry by road.
With that in mind, those planning to arrive by car should head for Junction 3 of the M6, which the site is just metres from. There are 2,000 free on-site car parking bays for maximum convenience.
Rail users meanwhile will need to head to Coventry Arena station, which is likewise handily situated right next to the Ricoh, and also linked to Coventry station in the city centre. In the experience of the BAPCO 2020 team, there are always plenty of black cabs outside the latter for those wishing to make the last leg of the journey by road.
For visitors planning to arrive by air, the nearest airport is Birmingham International (BHX), which is approximately 20 minutes from the venue by road.
Once at the arena, visitors should make their way to the North entrance, through which they’ll be able to register at the bank of desks directly in front of them in the Atrium. Having signed-in, they will then have the option of turning directly right into the main exhibition hall or left for some well-earned refreshment at the adjacent coffee shop.
Conference and exhibition
BAPCO 2020 boasts the usual plethora of world class critical communications technology companies, exhibiting across the Ricoh’s massive expanse of floor space. Special features on the exhibition floor will include the Drone Zone (see below), and Networking Lounge which will undoubtedly be well-used by those wishing to catch-up with colleagues, and make new business connections.
Also returning for 2020 will be BAPCO TV, which will broadcast across the course of both days, bringing visitors interviews on key topics from both the exhibition floor and the conference itself.
This year’s conference is split into three strands, all of which will be situated across the exhibition floor rather than in separate rooms, again in order to maximise visitor convenience. Twin themes of the presentations are how to maximise current technology being used in a public safety context, while at the same time anticipating operational benefits of the likes of 5G, artificial intelligence and so on.
All visitors will have access to free WiFi. For more on the conference programme, click here.
Demonstrations within the Drone Zone will highlight numerous potential cases for use of the technology by public safety organisations, focussing in particular on best practice. These could include potentially increasing situational awareness during large scale incidents or observing suspected criminal operation locations from the air. Drones are now also becoming integral to the hunt for missing or injured persons.
The UAVs will be taking off in a purpose-built flight area, feeding back live imagery and telematics to the pilot on the ground.
The BAPCO Annual Dinner
The BAPCO Annual Dinner is intended as a must-attend event for all those working within UK public safety critical communications, providing an important opportunity for the sector to come together in a laid-back yet elegant environment.
As ever, attendees will be able to enjoy good food and drink, as well as memorable entertainment as they relax after the finish of the conference and exhibition’s first day. There will also be the chance to network with key thought- and industry-leaders within the sector, first via the drinks reception and then in the bar once proceedings have ended.
Purchase tickets here.
As might be imagined, there are numerous options when it comes to places to stay in a city the size of Coventry, as well as the wider West Midlands region. Please click here for more information.
The Ricoh Arena itself also boasts its own hotel in the shape of the Double Tree.
BAPCO 2020 - which this year is free to attend - takes place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, 10-11 March 2020.
Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0)20 3874 9216