BMF Members’ Annual Conference preview

BMF Members’ Annual Conference preview

The merchant sector returns to St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent, home of the FA’s national football centre and the training base for England’s many successful football teams, for this year’s BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards.

Buoyed by the success of this summer’s All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik, anticipation is high for this month’s BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards. Returning to the popular venue of St George’s Park, the event pairs a packed business programme with deserved recognition for some of the industry brightest young talents and the companies committed to their training and development.

A supplier exhibition and an active social programme — featuring a golf tournament at the newly-opened JCB Golf and Country Club along with the chance to tour the facilities of the St George’s Park and participate in a five-a-side tournament — reinforce the ample networking opportunities for delegates to discuss pressing business concerns during the two-day event.

Taking its theme this year as ‘Together we are Stronger’, the main Conference sessions will be hosted by David Domoney, the well-known TV broadcaster and garden designer. Delegates will hear a full review of the BMF’s recent activities along with an outline of its future plans, whilst speakers are set to include a senior government spokesperson to outline current construction industry policies — the previously announced Minister for Housing, Kit Malthouse, was moved to the Home Office in new PM Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

A series of breakout sessions will allow delegates to drill down into the detail of a wide range of industry subjects, including employment law, transport and logistics, health & safety and margin maximisation. Attendees will be able to choose from a selection of focused seminars to attend, with the sessions having been designed to offer a flavour of BMF ‘Plus Services’ and training provision on offer.

The audience will than have the opportunity to hear the incredible story of Keynote Speaker, Squadron Leader John Peters. The ex-RAF Pilot and Gulf War POW came to international attention in January 1991 when he was captured and tortured after his RAF Tornado was shot down over Iraq during the first Gulf War, becoming a potent symbol of Saddam Hussein’s ruthless aggression.

In the evening, the focus of a Black Tie Gala Dinner will be on recognising and rewarding the industry’s emerging talent with Awards presented to merchant and supplier ‘Young Achievers’. On announcing the shortlist, BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Those nominated came from a diverse range of job roles and had taken various routes into the industry from traditional apprenticeships to fast track graduates. It is clear that there are a great many talented young people working in our industry and the judging panel had a tough job drawing up the shortlists.”

Eight businesses — Crystal, Encon Insulation, Ibstock, JCB, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf, Marsh Industries and Velux — will battle it out for the coveted BMF Supplier Engagement Award, which recognises companies that have “actively sought to gain the greatest value” from their membership during the last 12 months, for example, successfully integrating their involvement with the BMF within their sales and marketing strategies or supporting key events.

A final award, proudly sponsored by PBM, is for the title of BMF Training Company of the Year. Selected for their commitment in supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training, entrants have been whittled down into five regional nominations:

BPS Builders Merchants — NW England, West Midlands & North Wales
Dumfries Timber Co — Scotland & Northern Ireland
Chandler Material Supplies — London and Southern England

Howarth Timber & Building Supplies — NE England, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside
LBS — SW England and South Wales


The BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards will be held at St George’s Park National Football Centre, Burton upon Trent on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September 2019. For more information, click here.

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