The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus continues to affect the industry calendar, with the BMF announcing that its Members’ Annual Conference & Awards in September will now be a ‘virtual’ event whilst NMBS has confirmed the cancellation of its Dinner Dance in October.
It has been announced by the BMF that, due to social distancing rules still being in place, its Members’ Annual Conference & Awards has been postponed until next year and will take place at the initially-planned venue – the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor – on Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 September 2021.
However, the BMF will be holding the event as a ‘Vitual Conference’ on Thursday 17 September 2020 on a free of charge basis and with the capacity to accommodate up to 300 delegates (places must be reserved in advance). The Conference will include the BMF AGM and also the launch of the BMF All Industry Conference 2021.
While some amendments have been made to the agenda, the programme is said to be packed with informative content around the Conference theme of Sustaining Excellence – a topic that takes on even more importance as the industry seeks to reset and recover in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the key elements of the day is an hour-long session on Building a Sustainable Britain, featuring the Rt. Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, as the headline speaker. Lord Deben has consistently championed an identity between environmental concerns and business sense. He was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had (1993-97) and now Chairs the Committee on Climate Change as well as running Sancroft a corporate responsibility consultancy working with blue-chip companies around the world.
Lord Deben will be joined by Megan Adlen, Head of Sustainability for Travis Perkins. As well as setting sustainability strategy and targets, Megan leads the company’s responsible sourcing and anti-slavery agendas and manages the Group Environment team. Travis Perkins will publish its own net zero targets before the end of 2020 and is committed to engaging with others in driving change to optimise carbon reduction across the construction industry value chain.
Other elements of the day include the BMF’s Annual General Meeting, industry and keynote speakers and a choice of training and membership services taster sessions. The BMF will also use the occasion to announce their exciting plans for the All Industry Conference 2021, which is set to bring the building materials industry together in person once more.
BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Covid-19 restrictions made it impossible for us to go ahead with a hotel-based Conference at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor as planned, but we will now hold our 2021 Members’ event there.
“We were determined that our 2020 Members Conference and AGM should continue and I would encourage as many members as possible to attend. We will be using bespoke Conference technology to facilitate our biggest event of the year online, with 300 places available. It may be a new format, but it will still deliver huge value.
“Delegates will also be the first to hear about the ‘live’ All Industry Conference we are currently planning for 2021.”
NMBS, meanwhile, has confirmed its decision to cancel this year’s Dinner Dance which was due to take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Saturday 24th October. In a message to members and guests, Chris Hayward, NMBS Managing Director, described the cancellation of what is possible the sector’s best attended event as “the only viable option” but also revealed plans for the 2021 Dinner Dance to be held on 30th October next year.
For more information on the 2020 ‘virtual’ BMF Members’ Annual Conference and to register for the free of charge event, click here for a link to the BMF website.