A blog by Zoedale Sales Employee Katie Hoey who attended and spoke at the BVAA Conference

On the 17th & 18th May I attended my first BVAA spring conference held at the beautiful Celtic Manor Spa and Golf resort. The conference hosted by the BVAA is a networking conference and exhibition attended by some of the BVAA members and other valve and actuator enthusiasts.

After a long drive I was able to make use of the excellent 5 star spa facilities before dinner! Later on, some of the members of the BVAA Board, presenters and sponsors met for drinks and a buffet style dinner. This was a great experience for me to be introduced to some of members in a relaxed environment.

The following morning the day's proceedings began with networking over tea, coffee and pastries. David Millar, BVAA Chariman and MD of Heap & Partners opened the conference, followed by a presentation on the BVAA Future Leaders group by BVAA CEO Rob Bartlett & our MD Tim Guest.
This explored the topic of engaging the next generation of young executives in our industry, one of my colleagues Ali Watson is part of the programme and it was great to find out more about what she has been involved in.

I found all of the speakers to be very interesting and a broad range of topics were covered to cater for the variety of industry members attending.One of my favourite speaker’s was Carl Streatfield from SAP UK who spoke about ‘the internet of things’ which I found to be a very interesting concept. I learnt a lot about the opportunities for innovation and growth with technology and the internet. Other topics included how to sell to Iran, SILs and what they mean for your business, a history of steel Castings and also a new Project tracking service for BVAA members from Protel.

We were provided with a buffet style lunch which was a great opportunity to continue networking and speak to some of the exhibitors.
As one of the guest speakers I was nervous but soon relaxed and got into the swing of it. The aim of my presentation was to show how businesses can benefit from using Twitter and was pitched at a basic level and included some real life examples of how Twitter had benefited Zoedale. I was given some very positive feedback and inspired some people to take Twitter back to their businesses and start Tweeting!

Katie Hoey

The conference concluded at 3.30pm and we had a few hours to refresh and get ready for the evening dinner. Back in the Augusta suite everyone met for drinks before sitting down to eat. This was another great opportunity to get to know more of the members and some of the Future Leaders delegates in a fun and relaxed environment.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the spring conference and would highly recommend attending next year. The Celtic Manor Resort is a beautiful setting and a great opportunity to meet some of our customers, suppliers and industry peers. The BVAA team were great hosts and ran a very well organised and welcoming event, not to mention the delicious desserts provided throughout the event.