BWF Members Day Conference aims to chart a course through uncertain times

8 May 2017

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has picked an apt theme for its Members’ Day Conference 2017: given the changes sweeping industry – from skills to digital technology and product design, to the implications of Brexit – the organisation will be ‘setting out for success in uncertain times’.

The event will take place on 15 June at Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel near Daventry in Northamptonshire. It will feature workshops from BWF technical specialists and guest experts covering topics ranging from optimising design of stairs and windows, identifying, measuring and managing risk, changes in the house building market, how to make work on big contracts run smoothly, the latest on apprenticeships and skills development and how to keep your joinery workforce safe.

As well as looking to the future, attendees can keep an eye on the past with a workshop on heritage and conservation joinery.

Renowned architect, author and academic Dr Tom Woolley will deliver a keynote speech leading guests through the landscape of health, sustainability and the huge opportunities for timber products in construction.

Peter Caplehorn from the CPA will explain how the UK’s construction products manufacturing sector is evolving looking at the impact of BIM and the digital economy and CITB interim chief executive Sarah Beale will give evidence on how a reformed CITB can better support woodworking businesses in the UK.

The day will finish with economic commentator Alastair Stewart offering an outlook for construction in a post-Brexit Britain and how this is likely to impact upon the woodworking sector.

Prior to the event, the BWF AGM will take place on 14 June to be followed by a drinks reception and informal networking dinner.

“My advice is get along to Members’ Day – it is free to attend for Members and the experience is invaluable,” said Sean Parnaby, the BWF’s president. “The event gives us a chance collectively to step back, look at the wider market, debate the pressing issues, changes and opportunities and form a vision for the future.

“The BWF has this year brought together an excellent range of speakers to help stimulate this. Despite inherent uncertainty there are clear opportunities ahead for our sector to exploit changes in the market, advancements in materials, environmental reporting and e-business and to use these to grow our customer base.

“This is a chance to arm the joinery sector about where to be alert and make it ensure even the smallest business can embrace digitalisation. The event and the informal dinner the evening before is also a great opportunity to network with our peers and compare battle scars - there is more that unites us as an industry than divides us and Members’ Day embodies this.”