With delegates having recently returned from the spectacular surroundings of Lake Maggiore, PBM looks back at this year’s NMBS conference.
Judging by the comments and engagement levels on social media (see #NMBSconf18 on Twitter, for example…), NMBS can reflect on a highly successful ‘All-Industry’ conference. Over 500 delegates from all areas of the merchant sector, representing both merchants and suppliers, attended the three day event which ran from 14th to the 17th June in the small Italian town of Baveno at the Grand Hotel Dino on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
Centred around the theme ‘Industry Matters’, the conference hosted by the largest buying society for independent merchants offered those attending a packed and commercially-focused itinerary designed to encourage collaboration, knowledge sharing and networking.
Early in proceedings, delegates were given an update on NMBS’ current performance and future plans. Delivered by senior members of the NMBS team, including Managing Director Chris Hayward, Finance Director Julie Langford and Commercial Director Andy Hextall, this segment of the conference outlined how NMBS plans to ‘automate and innovate’ to build on its already considerable success.
The assembled delegates were informed how the buying society is aiming to complement its core activities with an increased focus on maximising digital technology and best practice data management in order to achieve a turnover of £3bn within five years.
Over the course of the next two days of the NMBS conference, a universally engaging line-up of respected speakers took to the stage to deliver presentations that covered a variety of topics pertinent to the opportunities and challenges faced by merchants and the wider merchanting sector today.
In addition, smaller, break-out sessions led by many of the speakers allowed for greater discussion of the issues raised, whilst the final day of conference began with the traditional ‘Meet the Merchant’ networking session. Always a popular and vitally important part of merchant sector conferences, the ten-minute, ‘speed dating’ slots build on existing business relationships and facilitate new and emerging partnerships between merchants and suppliers.
Commenting, NMBS Commercial Director Andy Hextall said: “We’re delighted that this year’s event was so well attended and that the feedback received from delegates has been nothing short of exceptional. Many of them have praised the conference as being our best to date and also commented favourably on the calibre of the speakers and on the relevancy of their content. I would like to thank everyone who made the trip to Baveno and trust that they found the three days to be useful and commercially beneficial.”
A longer version of this article, in addition to other comment on the 2018 NMBS All Industry Conference, will feature in the July/August edition of PBM.