BWCA Conference 2019, Thursday 28th March 2019, Nottingham

April 22, 2019

Insight to Change: learn, unlearn, relearn

A record number of delegates and visitors attended the British Water Cooler Association’s annual conference and trade show, themed ‘Insight to Change – learn, unlearn, & relearn’.  Held on 28 March 2019 in Nottingham, the event was a sell-out event with 130 conference delegates and 38 exhibitor stands.

BWCA Conference
The keynote speaker at the conference was The Rt. Hon. the Lord Deben (John Selwyn Gummer) , former Secretary of State for the Environment  and Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, a role he has held since 2012.
Before introducing Lord Deben, the hosts Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, GM of BWCA and Jon Wicks, the Association’s chairman, welcomed delegates and thanked the sponsors: Pureflo, Waterlogic, Crystal Mountain, 4 Aces, H2O Direct, Database Workshop, BWT UK, Blupura, Cosmetal and Bericap UK.
The conference opened with a presentation of figures for the sector by Richard Hall of Zenith Global (see separate report).

Keynote Speaker Lord Deben said: “We’ve always underestimated and underrated water.” He told Members BWCA Members that they need to shout louder about the environmental benefits of water coolers. “You provide water in a way that is particularly valuable in today’s world. We are going to have to change the way we carry goods in terms of our packaging. You have a plastic bottle but it is reused again and again and again. Plastic can be valuable if it is reused and reused. The watercooler is essential for providing water sustainably.  At the heart of any environmental change is making it easier to be good and more difficult to be bad.”

Another highlight of the conference was a presentation by the employment lawyer and qualified workplace and employment mediator Rebecca Ireland from legal practice gunnercooke LLP, also a show exhibitor. She spoke about employment law and the effects of the current political situation describing the immigration law changes in light of Brexit; how companies could tackle skills shortages and how to move towards agile workforces; and how to embrace multi-generational workforces, as we all work longer.

Brendan Hanlon from Just a Drop, BWCA’s adopted charity, praised BWCA Members for raising over £56,000 over the previous three years, enabling 4 boreholes to be built and helping over 1,000 people in Zambia.

Later in the day, 118 guests attended the BWCA Gala Dinner and over £9,500 was raised at the charity auction meaning that a 5th borehole will be built in 2019.

BWCA Trade Show
The Trade Show, the single biggest ‘one-stop-shop’ for the cooler sector in the UK, was a resounding success with 38 exhibitor stands and an array of companies launching new goods, services and show offers. Visitors also enjoyed seminars from Crystal IS and R. Bardi.