BAR Conference 2016 a sell-out success

Aug 12 | 2016

This year’s BAR Conference held at the Pullman London Hotel 19-21 May managed to maintain the successful tradition of an all-round high quality annual event.

Tickets sold out well before the Conference started and BAR Members, International Associates and Affiliates arrived in the city ready for a weekend of stimulation, networking, learning with other industry professionals, and of course socialising. Keynote speakers included entrepreneur Melanie Bryan OBE DL who emphasised that companies’ ethical behaviour has a positive effect on the bottom line, and five-times Olympian swimmer Mark Foster who gave a highly motivating talk to delegates. 

Industry-focused topics covered during the business sessions included a presentation on the BAR’s development strategy, its new training offer for BAR members, vehicle security, pensions auto enrolment, employer mediation and trading standards advice. There were also specialist workshops on commercial moving and overseas moving as well tips for dealing with inspections and audits.  

Those attending came away with some great ideas for business development by taking up the opportunity to network with old contacts and friends and getting to know the event sponsors and exhibitors. Golf, a Thames lunch cruise and a bus tour provided key times to network and enjoy the sights of London.  

The BAR Conference is traditionally very much a social event and this year was no exception. From the welcome evening with drinks and jazz entertainment, to the party night at Madame Tussauds and the gala dinner and awards ceremony on the final evening, delegates could not help but enjoy themselves.  Over the two days, the BAR community also raised a fantastic £5,500 for the Removers Benevolent Association 

London 2016 certainly exceeded all expectations – next year the BAR Conference will be held in the dynamic Welsh capitol of Cardiff.  The city is renowned for its history and culture, spectacular architecture, and top restaurants and shops. Cardiff also has excellent transport links – both in terms of getting there and moving around the city. The Association looks forward to welcoming delegates both old and new, to what promises to be another great event.   

The BAR 2016 Award Winners  

Domestic Mover of the Year   

Kilmarnock Removals (International) chalked up another accolade taking the BAR Domestic Mover of the Year award.  

Kilmarnock Removals Managing Director Matt Campbell said, “To win Domestic Mover of the Year 2016 outright is a dream come true.” Kilmarnock Removals was also a finalist in the Overseas Mover of the Year competition. The company was founded in 1976 and is a long-standing BAR member as well as being a member of the Commercial Moving Group and the Overseas Group.   

Matt Campbell acknowledged that the company’s success is due to strong teamwork. “The award is testament to the dedication and hard work of a very loyal workforce and it is their skill and expertise that is being rewarded.  Overall, they make my life very easy.” He also paid tribute to fellow Director Audrey Smillie for her unstinting efforts to both maintain and push forward the company’s high standards of quality across the board.  

Commercial Mover of the Year                 

Belfast’s Delivery Services & Storage Ltd won the prestigious title of BAR Commercial Mover of the Year.  

Peter Best from Delivery Services & Storage said, “We are delighted to have won the Commercial Mover of the Year for 2016. It’s testament to the hard work put in by all our staff over the past 12 months. To have won this award twice in five years helps to set us apart in what can be quite a competitive industry. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the BAR staff in Watford and the member companies for all their help and support throughout the year, and of course the BAR organising committee who put on a wonderful conference this year in London.” 

Delivery Services was founded in 1974 by Seamus Slevin as a piano and art moving specialist. The company developed its services through the 1990s to become one of Northern Ireland's leading commercial relocation specialist with particular emphasis in the financial and education sectors. In 2001 the company changed ownership and has enjoyed huge growth in the commercial sector with project managers focusing on intelligent move management. This approach helped the company win some of Ireland's largest relocation contracts, including the Bank of Ireland’s Belfast headquarters and CiTi Gropup’s flagship Gateway Building set in the heart of the Titanic Quarter.  

This is the second time Delivery Services & Storage Ltd has won the CMOTY award having been a finalist in the competition three times within the last five years. 

White & Company Overseas Mover of the Year 2016 

White & Company, a finalist last year, beat off a strong field this year to win the BAR Overseas Mover of the Year award. CEO Ian Palmer said, “I am delighted to have received this award on behalf of White & Company and pleased that our on-going commitment within the removals industry has been recognised.” 

White & Co has been operating since 1871 and has grown steadily in recent years so that today it has 16 branches across Great Britain and the Channel Islands, as well as offices in Germany and Spain. Employing more than 500 staff, the company has 17 storage locations with storage capacity of around 130,000 cubic metres, and a fleet of more than 240 vehicles. Clearly delighted with the award, Ian Palmer continued, “These are exciting times for the company as we are growing our modern fleet of vehicles, increasing the number of branches across the UK, and most importantly investing heavily in staff training with an extensive training program.”   

Report and photos courtesy of BAR.

Click here to see the next Editor's Pick