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Highways UK

The brief

Circa 3500 delegates attend this major industry event, across 2 days every November, in two of the main halls of the NEC in Birmingham. Asets were asked to design and build the main conference stage for plenary sessions, 6 smaller stages for breakout rooms and support the delivery of audio visual capabilities to 30+ exhibitors.

About the organisation

Highways UK brings together the people responsible for planning, developing, managing, maintaining, and future-proofing the nation’s roads networks. Their annual event attracts key influencers and decision makers and enjoys continuing strong involvement of key sector clients, especially Highways England, Sub National Transport Bodies and many Local Authorities.


  • 3500 delegates
  • 2 days event at NEC, Birmingham.
  • Complete design and build the main conference stage
  • Smaller stages for breakout rooms
  • Support the delivery of audio visual capabilities to 30+ exhibitors.

The Design Concept

The UK road network represents the ‘arteries’ through which the business, commuter and tourism ‘blood’ of the country flows. Constantly evolving in response to the demands placed upon it, the industry has to both reflect and balance the needs of the widest possible community of stakeholders. We worked with our Partner to create imagery that reflected, as a backdrop, the concept of connectivity, both of the roads network itself and the partners and interest groups who together shape the forward strategy that best deliver for a modern Britain.


Planning commences 6 months prior to the event, to ensure all the pieces of the jigsaw can be identified and incorporated within the project process. Several weeks beforehand the stage and set components are manufactured from scratch at the Asets Blackpool HQ and hundreds of individual pieces of equipment are prepared for despatch to the event location. The actual build process commences only 2 days before scheduled show dates, and to ensure we can complete construction in the time available, involves 24 multi-disciplinary technicians working in harmony for around 400 man hours. Only when every light has been tested, microphone checked and speaker presentation confirmed as A-OK, do we leave the conference site, confident that we are ready for the first delegate the following day. But our involvement doesn’t end there. 18 Technicians remain to actively support the event throughout its duration and to ensure every presentation is seen in the best possible light – in every sense of that phrase.

“I have worked with the ASETS team since 2016 and have complete trust in them to successfully deliver my conferences.

The people are first class, there is a real team ethic and approach, led from the front by James and Ash. What makes them stand out for me from other similar companies I had worked with is they genuinely care about me and what I need from my partners (and they feel and act like a partner, not a supplier).

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them”

Andrew Dowding, CEO, Meeting of Minds
Highways UK

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