Leeds-based BEN was founded in 2011 by property entrepreneurs Keith and Amanda Griffiths. Since then it has grown from a two person operation to a thriving SME employing over 30 staff that is projected to turn over more than £2m in 2021.
BEN’s record profit was achieved despite the challenges of COVID, with the organisation having to entirely change its business model across three weeks of March 2020 – going from a physical events provider to the UK leader in online real estate and infrastructure conferencing and events.
Keith Griffiths, chief executive of Built Environment Networking, said: “2020 was one of the hardest of my professional life. To have the business model my team and I had spent nine years painstakingly building – physical conferencing – made impossible almost overnight because of COVID, was a devastating blow.
“However, given the resourcefulness of every staff member at Built Environment Networking, we were able to turn the crisis of COVID into an opportunity to pioneer an entirely new market – online conferencing.
“In three weeks we built an entirely new business model, investing in world-leading online conferencing technology, and taking Built Environment Networking from a business which delivered around 90 physical conferences a year to one which hosted nearly 300 online conferences in 2020, all whilst recording our biggest ever profit.
“For an events business to turn its biggest ever profit in 2020 is an achievement I’m incredibly proud of, and one which I believe is testament to the quality of Built Environment Networking’s market-leading offer.”
Building on the business’s success in 2020, this year BEN has launched the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF).
UKREiiF is a new property and infrastructure movement that will culminate in a three-day event in Leeds on May 17-19 2022, which is expected to be attended by over 3,000 people and has already attracted significant public and private sector support.