Yvonne Orgill is the director of the European Water Label and CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, the trade body that represents 80% of the UK bathroom industry.
B&K Industry Business Conference: An opportunity just too good to miss
Posted 6th October
I sometimes have to pinch myself. I can’t quite believe it, but I feel fantastically privileged here at the BMA. And I have to pinch myself because I head up an amazingly talented team which, every year, puts together what is probably the most important event in the industry calendar.
I’m talking about the Bathroom and Kitchen Industry Business Conference. It is one of those annual opportunities which is just too good to miss.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “She would say that, wouldn’t she!” But I genuinely believe that this year’s event could be the most important – and liveliest – yet. In the 11 years that we have been organising it, I think that this year’s conference goes further than ever before in discussing the very future of our industry in the UK.
Those in the know – the CEOs, MDs, marketeers, sales people, designers, engineers, architects, distributors, merchants and retailers; in fact all the movers and shakers in the bathroom and kitchen industry, including the media – have some huge changes heading towards them. And whether they like it or not, they have to respond. Or fail.
And the changes are coming quickly. Brexit, social and cultural change, an ageing population and modular building, are just a few of them. Our industry leaders need to get themselves fully up to speed with these latest political and societal challenges if they are to best position their companies to respond. But how do they do it?
This year’s conference programme has been specifically crafted to tackle the challenges head on. We’ve engaged our biggest ever line up of experts to speak and discuss subjects within the theme 'Creating Opportunity out of Change'.
We’ll discuss how industry will react and embrace the challenges which political and cultural changes have brought about. How do we respond to leaving the EU? How will we create bathrooms and kitchens to cater for the diverse cultural needs of a changing population? How will the rapidly expanding modular building industry influence bathroom and kitchen design? How on earth will we cope with all this uncertainty?
And a really exciting addition this year will be our 'panel discussion'. We have asked four industry high-flyers to explore a topic that is becoming a major issue in the trade – compliant products. We’ve all heard about the recent London tower block fire tragedy and the growing row about the alleged use of non-compliant cladding. Now the debate about the sale and use of non-compliant bathroom and kitchen products is bubbling up. And quite rightly too! Product which is not fit for purpose and which doesn’t meet the regulations can – and sometimes does – cause serious injury. How can we tackle this developing problem?
The conference, on the 17th October 2017 at the fabulous Belfry Hotel and Resort in Sutton Coldfield, has seen some changes this year. The conference day, speeches and discussions, the delegate packages, the exhibition and the accompanying media awards have all been refreshed and reinvigorated.
The conference brings together 250 key people from all sectors of the bathroom and kitchen industry. It offers a unique opportunity for senior decision makers to interact, discuss and influence the industry’s development. There really is something for everyone.
Now, go on, pinch yourself. You wouldn’t be the one that misses out and leaves your company in the dark, would you? You will need to move pretty quickly to secure your seat at the conference. We’re aiming for a sell-out.