Same old, same old

If same old, same old, is the sort of thing you’re looking for then this year’s Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference is definitely not for you.

If you’re looking for endless idle chat, going over the well-trodden and rather tiresome introverted confab about how good it all was in the glory days of 30 years ago then you are advised NOT to attend.

If, however, you care about the future of your business, and you want fresh ideas and innovative thinking from new blood and successful entrepreneurs, who are not usually associated with bathrooms and kitchens, then the conference is your ‘must-go-to-that.’

SUPREMELY CONFIDENT

The organisers of this year’s industry event, the BMA, are up-beat and supremely confident that delegates attending the day-long conference on 7 October 2014 will take away inspired, inventive and creative thinking by the barrow load.

This years’ conference will be taking an in-depth look at how the bathroom and kitchen industry will market itself in the coming decade. Marketing The Future is the theme and the organisers have put together an inspirational programme to suit manufacturers, distributors, merchants and retailers.

Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association said:

“Bookings are up on last year, already, and we are breaking new ground. We have expanded the conference to include our friends from the kitchen industry and we are thrilled to welcome Mereway Kitchens and Cosentino as main sponsors of the event. Do make sure you get a seat!”

Branding, sustainability, product design, the ageing population, hybrid marketing, the over-communicated world, social media and alternative marketing tools are firmly fixed to the day’s agenda and eight speakers will engage delegates in new approaches to marketing.

THE LINE UP

Dick Strawbridge, the one with the largest moustache on the telly, will open the day with his mixture of light hearted anecdotes and serious messages on being green, how difficult that really is, and that our industry still needs to make a profit to be sustainable.

Fiona Hawkins, MD of PlinkFizz and finalist in The Sentinel Young Business Person of the Year, will show how successful marketing now demands a convergence of technologists and strategists, and that a new type of hybrid marketing is emerging. Fiona will show what the ‘internet of things’ has delivered to business, and that keeping up to date with marketing trends has never been more critical.

Nick Stanhope is CEO of the non-profit behaviour change company, We Are What We Do. He has been creating ways to help people make positive shifts in their everyday behaviour and Nick will share 5 simple ideas which can be applied to product design and marketing.

Heather Athie, Key Account Director of MyNewsDesk, (the world’s leading all-in-one brand newsroom and multimedia PR platform) will discuss how the top 100 global brands are using online newsrooms to tell their stories. “It’s all about content” declares Heather. The market is pushing business to do things better and consumers are in the driving seat, demanding more. The challenge is to align business to the issues that really matter to the audience.

Clif McLellan, Vice President, NSF International’s Global Water Division is flying in from the States to motivate us into using Certification and Quality Marks as marketing tools. Certification and quality marks can be viewed as a necessary evil for manufacturers that do not take advantage of their value when marketing their products. With increasing globalisation of the supply chain, integrity and trust are important issues. Educating purchasers and consumers of the testing and validation that is required to meet critical standards can be used to improve confidence and improve sales. Surveys have shown that 75% of consumers would purchase a product with a certification mark over one without.

Mat Hunter is Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, and champions the use of design to improve lives. He will discuss ‘Marketing to Our Future Selves’ and will ask the question “Why is it that glossy magazines have beautiful, aspirational kitchens and bathrooms at the front, and then small-adds for white plastic grab rails at the back?” He will show that within the next 20 years the number of UK citizens over 85 will double and they will demand better.  Mat says:

“The simple truth is that many of the product solutions exist, but we have struggled to find the right language for selling them.”

He will reflect on this issue and share examples from other industries that are starting to make headway in addressing the thorny issue of aspiration as we age.

BJ Cunningham is Visiting Professor at Brighton University and serves on the council of Business Superbrands. BJ will show that authentic and powerful branding demands the Truth. The future is about market depth and involvement, not market width and awareness. BJ is known for his provocative discussion and will emphasise that companies are like people. Each one of us is made up of three separate perspectives – how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us and how we want to be perceived.

David Schneider, writer, actor, and Twitter obsessive is the boss at That Lot and will conclude the conference day sharing his insights to help businesses maximise their online influence. David has conducted Twitter master classes for organisations like the BBC and the Guardian and will show how to tweet with real impact using reactive listening and live-tweeting effectively.

The host and facilitator for the day is Juliet Mann the broadcast journalist who has worked in newsrooms across the globe for CNN, Sky News, Reuters, CNBC, and BBC.

INSPIRING AND ENERGISING

Orgill concludes:

“Needless to say that we are all very excited about this year’s conference. As ever, we are breaking new ground, pushing boundaries and looking to the future. We know that it’s going to be the best yet. Don’t be a same old, same old. Join us for a truly inspiring, refreshing and energising day.”

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