CEDA has collated delegate feedback and statistics from its recent annual conference, held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire.
The figures show that delegate numbers leapt 20% on 2014.
The Business Day’s theme of ‘Making the Difference’ was popular with attendees, as CEDA director general Adam Mason explained: “82% of those who completed feedback forms felt the Business Day speakers including our ‘View from the Hill’ industry panel led by Peter Martin of Peach Reports, and keynote speakers like the BBC’s LJ Rich were good or excellent.
"In the same vein 78% said the interactive seminar programme covering ‘Addressing the Skills Gap’ through to marketing trends was good or excellent.
“The CEDA team, alongside McCullough Moore Associates, worked hard to get the details right with the venue, food and networking opportunities being praised by delegates. The latter scored good or excellent from 97% of delegates who fed back to us. The icing on the cake was the fact that we attracted more senior representatives from other associations than ever before with delegates from LACA, TUCO, HCA, IoH, NACC, NSCC, ALMR, FCSI, APSE and NCA present.”
According to Mark Drazen, MD of Caterware the conference is “a place where you have to be. You meet suppliers, you meet your competitors”. C&C’s MD Peter Kitchin added: “It’s the industry conference; it’s where everyone comes; it’s where everyone networks. One of our guys tried to get a hotel room and the hotel was full: that says everything. It’s a great place to be.”
While John Whitehouse, director at the First Choice Group commented: “Everybody in the industry should come to this conference.”
Steve Hemsil, Manitowoc’s national sales manager distribution – UK and Ireland believes: “The CEDA Conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet up with people, to network and to find out what’s going on in the industry.”
Rational UK’s MD Lee Norton said: “The seminars are excellent; the topics are good because it wasn’t just about catering equipment in general, which we all talk about every day. It was really about market trends and situations.”
Regarding the CEDA awards, Mark Kendall, director of Inox Equip commented: “I think the awards are a great cross-section of our industry, right from the large projects to small projects and it’s showing new talent, which is what our industry really needs.”