Bathroom Conference 2009

A packed house, a packed programme and eight thought-provoking performances from the speakers made this year’s BMA Bathroom Conference the best yet.

“We were thrilled with the day” says Steve Lee, President of the BMA. “Delegates were inspired and encouraged by the depth and the range of the subjects covered in the presentations and I am pleased to say that the BMA excelled once again, mounting the industry event of the year.”

Conference theme this year was “Looking forward | Forward looking” – a catchy title for the serious matters in hand. Keynote speaker of the day was Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi. His high-energy and very lively talk inspired delegates to think outside the box to develop bathroom brands which will become loved, exciting and glamorous. He also suggested that manufacturers should begin to embrace the internet and new technology for communicating to customers with emotive messages.

Amongst other presenters Kathryn Rathouse, social researcher, spoke about her work with focus groups and talked about her seven top tips in marketing water-efficient bathroom products. “Water efficiency is currently a low priority amongst consumers since using less water seems like going back to the bad old days. So there is a challenge to make water efficiency the way forward, not the way backward.”

Mathew Wright of the Energy Saving Trust wants to create greater partnership between his organisation, the BMA (with its “trusted water efficiency label”) and Waterwise. He spoke about the link between energy and water saving and the need to get a behavioural change in the population. “We have to get the general populous to commit to water efficiency." He said that his mission in life was to get 60 million in the UK to act on climate change.

The bathroom conference and accompanying exhibition is the main industry event in the business calendar. This year it allowed delegates to mix, build industry relationships, and learn everything that’s new in the bathroom business. Delegates from all sectors of the industry attended and all, bar none, described it as an outstanding success.

“It will be difficult to better it next year,” commented Lee, “but we have already started work on the arrangements and I’ve got a feeling that it will be another sell out. Watch this space!”

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