80th Conference Success

5th March 2013

The Sheet Plant Association ran its first formal Trade Show alongside its Spring conference in February. The tale of the tape confirms that it was hugely successful:

  • A record 143 delegates attended the conference, which was 55% up on the previous record of 92 delegates (set in the Autumn conference last year).
  • These delegates represented 61 box plants and 28 suppliers.

The Trade Show itself saw 24 suppliers enjoying eight hours of dedicated selling time over two days...which resulted in well over a million pounds of new business won (for reasons of commercial discretion we are unable to be more specific) as well as many enquiries to follow up.  A follow up meeting of the supplier members agreed unanimously that they would hold a Trade Show in 2014 as well.

 Underlying this record conference attendance is swelling membership, which now represents

95 box plants with combined sales of circa £448,000,000 and approximately 2,850 employees.

 The conference itself was embedded within the Trade Show and had a varied and highly relevant agenda:

  • The conference was opened by Vice-Chairman Ken Shackleton.
  • A macro-economic by KPMG’s Tom Hooper was followed by a corrugated market update by Raj Bhardwaj (who is also a member of the SPA’s Executive Committee).
  • An update on the CPI’s Promotional Committee was given by Andy Barnetson.
  • An overview of various CRM tools available to SPA members was given by: Abaca; CDM; Consult It All; KM Software and a CRM consultant who spoke of best practice and generic software in this field.
  • Ken Shackleton gave details of the SPA’s FSC certification and support arrangements for interested members.
  • Abaca’s Graham Dickinson presented the latest version of the SPA Dashboard.
  • SPA Chairman Tim Gray gave a demonstration and overview of the SPA’s new website.
  • Andy Ely of TUV presented an update on Health & Safety.

The afternoon on the second day saw a Production Managers’ Seminar delivered by Consult It All’s Alan Millar. Delegates were given lean manufacturing training based on a session kindly shared by our American industry colleagues at the AICC conference in Atlanta last Autumn.

 The next conference will be held on the 24th and 25th of June at the Holiday Inn, Stratford Upon Avon. Please book your place via the SPA website - by clicking on 81st Conference and registering for the event.