BMF confirms virtual members conference for 2020

27 July 2020

With social distancing measures still in place, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has confirmed that this year’s Members Conference & Awards cannot be held as planned at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in September.

Instead, the 2020 BMF AGM & Business Conference will go ahead as a half-day virtual event on September 17, 2020. It is sponsored by Marshalls/Stonemarket.

Unfortunately, this year’s annual golf tournament, social events and awards dinner have been cancelled, but the BMF plans to hold a full two-day members’ event at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in September 2021.

This year’s virtual conference format can accommodate up to 300 delegates. There will be no charge for the event but delegates must reserve their place in advance.

While some amendments have been made to the agenda, the programme is 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 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, Ms Adlen 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.

“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,” said John Newcomb, BMF chief executive officer.

“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. It may be a new format, but it will still deliver huge value. 

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