KBSA Conference a ‘success’ with a record number of attendees

The KBSA’s Kitchen and Bathroom Conference had a record number of attendees after a two-year absence due to Covid.

The conference was held at the Belfry on September 27 to 28 under the theme of “Engaging Minds – Empowering Success” and had a variety of speakers from the housing industry, the metaverse, and performance psychology. On the evening of Wednesday was the KBSA Awards.

KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert said: “After two years of lockdown enforced absence, it was great to be back and experience the benefits of coming together. The last five years have been incredible for the KBSA, with a 60% increase in retail membership and a fivefold increase in members’ funds, together with a move into our own office premises at the beginning of the year.

“This year’s conference provided the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate these achievements, and welcome non-members to experience the strength that comes from being part of a collective voice.”

Dr Martin Littlewood, a performance psychologist who has worked with many Premier League football teams, spoke about workplace phycology and leadership. Next, Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders, gave an in-depth look at the housing market. Finally, the facilitator of positive change, Andy McLachlan, gave his talk called “Great People for Amazing profit” about the leading staff as a way to increase profit.

The Keynote speaker was Kate Ancketill, who talked in-depth about the metaverse and the new ways retailers can engage with their clients through the internet. The day’s events were finished with a big debate panel discussion of retailers where they discussed the supply chain, sustainability, opening hours, and many more topics about operating a business post-Covid.

Hibbert said: “Feedback from those that attended the conference has been highly positive, and we hope to build on its success in future years, making the Kitchen and Bathroom conference a must attend event in the KBB calendar.

“Our theme of “Engaging Minds – Empowering Success”, was explored well by the speakers ensuring that attendees were able to take away some knowledge and actions that will benefit their businesses.”

During the conference, it was announced that Malcolm Scott had been promoted from corporate chair to retail & corporate membership director. His role will help ensure the continued growth of the KBSA.

The 2022 KBSA Designer Awards were held on Wedndesy night and were hosted by comedic actress Sally Phillips.

The winners of the awards were:

Kitchen Concept Award, sponsored by Blum UK – Felicity O’Hare, Kitchens by JS Geddes

Young Designer of the Year sponsored by Quooker – Dominic Massarella, KC Design House

Bathroom Designer of the Year, sponsored by Airflow Developments – Andrew Hewson, Dobsons

Kitchen Designer of the Year – Kitchens up to £25k, sponsored by Siemens – Diane Berry, Diane Berry Kitchens

Kitchen Designer of the Year for Kitchens from £25k to £50k sponsored by Blanco – Elizabeth Pantling-Jones, Lima Kitchens

Kitchen Designer of the Year for Kitchens over £50k sponsored by Neff – Keith Myers & Amanda Smith, the Myers Touch

Supplier of the Year (voted by KBSA members) – Quooker

Customer Service Awards (voted by customer) – Regal Kitchens

The highly commended designers received a certificate and a bottle of champagne, and were announced as follows: Dominic Massarella from KC Design House, Nicola Whyte from KI Bathroom Interiors, and Lucy Cunliffe from Diane Berry Kitchens.

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