At their heart, exhibitions are about having the right people in one place. With the right people come the right products, the right knowledge, and the right opportunities. To date, the architecture exhibition format in Australia has brought these key ingredients into a room together, but failed to facilitate their interaction.

In 2018, FRONT will change all of this. As a new kind of boutique specifier event targeting the hospitality and design sectors, the first-ever program will give attendees unprecedented access to key learning and networking opportunities. From the layout of the room to the unique appointment-booking app that is being built to accompany it, the hyper-personalised event experience will be like high-power speed dating for specifiers and suppliers.

The holistic format will touch every link in the design chain – developers, specifiers and end-users – and bring them together in conversation, maximising the potential for new opportunities. Each exhibitor will be set up in a pre-gridded presentation pod to eliminate variables, and the layout of the space will be such that attendees must walk past every pod in the room.

There’s no use having all of this knowledge in one room if attendees and exhibitors can’t guarantee they’ll get facetime with the people who mean the most to them. One of the key differentiators of FRONT will be pre-booked meetings and appointments, to be accommodated by designated break-out areas within the space (which is yet to be announced). To eliminate variables, targeted, one-on-one networking will be guaranteed and facilitated through a custom-built technology platform.

According to the event founder, Indesign CEO Raj Nandan, FRONT will not aim to be the country’s biggest event. Rather, its targeted, high-profile and invite-only guest list will be curated to capture the richest knowledge.

“For two decades, Indesign has orchestrated international events,” says Nandan. “In 2018, we draw from this experience to bring a new format [that is] purpose-designed for our changing architectural landscape. Our industry has matured, and effectiveness in today’s environment means that it is more important than ever to be in front of the people that really matter.

“FRONT stimulates meaningful conversations between designers and their key audiences by placing the focus on innovation and thought leadership. We believe the best way to do this is focus on the products, people and knowledge.”

A date for the inaugural FRONT event has been loosely set for August 2018. The location has yet to be confirmed, but Architecture & Design will continue to bring exclusive updates as they come.