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EDA’s inaugural conference, Power It Up, shares a vision of the future

Working together to seize opportunities and offset challenges was the theme of the Electrical Distributors’ Association’s (EDA) inaugural large-scale one-day conference – under the banner of Power It Up – held on Wed 16 November in Edgbaston. Power It Up brought together senior business leaders from the electrotechnical supply chain – manufacturers, wholesalers, and contractors – for presentations, panel discussions and networking.

The Power It Up conference attracted over 170 delegates from across the supply chain and related trade associations including the ECA, BEAMA and the British Cables Association (BCA). EDA President, Chris Ashworth and EDA CEO, Margaret Fitzsimons, opened the conference, and the keynote address was given by B2B business strategist Ian Heller, who flew into the UK from his base in Colorado, USA specifically to address the conference on the topic of ‘Changing supply channel – the shift to online: threats and opportunities’. A program of high caliber speakers included Professor Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association who gave delegates the forecasts for construction sector for the months ahead. Each keynote presentation was followed by facilitated panel discussions with senior figures from the wider construction industry who brought additional insight and new perspectives to their expert subjects.

Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA CEO, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the response to Power It Up. It has provided the ideal opportunity to boost collaboration between the businesses along the three-step electrotechnical supply chain – manufacturers, wholesalers and contractors – and their trade associations, to discuss at a strategic level how we can work together to take full advantage of the move to electrification. The demand for tickets was huge, so much so that we had a waiting list in operation.”

The conference was made possible by the support of sponsorship from EDA wholesaler and manufacturer businesses. The sponsors, in alphabetical order:

  1. Aico Ltd

  2. ANEW (buying group)

  3. Atkore

  4. AWEBB (buying group)

  5. BELL Lighting

  6. CEF

  7. Cembre

  8. Edmundson Electrical Ltd

  9. Fegime UK (buying group)

  10. Hispec Electrical Products Ltd

  11. JCC

  12. Lewden

  13. Marshall-Tufflex

  14. Prysmian Group

  15. Rexel UK

  16. Schneider Electric Ltd

  17. Shoal Group

  18. Vent-Axia

Morning coffee was sponsored by The IBA Buying Group.

The day conference was followed by an evening networking drinks reception and dinner, where the entertainment was provided by award-winning comedian and writer Dominic Holland.

Throughout the day, the new EDA Events App was used to enable delegates to pose questions and comment on the presentations as well as vote, rate presentations, enter competitions and, most importantly, to make connections with other delegates.

A raffle in the evening raised £2,620 for the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC). The cheque was presented to Jeremey Saunders, President and Chair of the EIC, by Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO at the EDA and Chris Ashworth, MD at CEF and EDA President.

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