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RWM 2014 creates an industry buzz

Last Thursday, saw the RWM in partnership with CIWM 2014 close its doors following the strongest ever edition of the resource management event at the NEC, Birmingham.

The event, which took place from 16-18 September, featured over 600 exhibitors and hosted just over 13,000 visitors* across the the three days.

Taking place in the new (largest in Europe) halls of 4 and 5 in the NEC, the event featured its first Circular Economy Connect Zone and Theatre, new ambassador investment programme and strongest speaker programme to date including two government ministers, Dan Rogerson MP and Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP and Sir Stuart Rose. The RWM ambassador group also announced the winner of its £15,000 fund (WasteAid) and presented its report on the Circular Economy to Dan Rogerson.

Confirming the show’s success, 66 per cent of exhibitors re-booked for 2015 before the show closed – an increase of 30 per cent on last year and an event record.

Russell Bacon, portfolio director for the environment events at i2i Events Group, including RWM in partnership with CIWM, said:

“2014 has been a hugely successful year for RWM, not only in terms of feedback from visitors and exhibitors, but also in terms of our investment in the industry. This year, the new RWM Ambassador group announced its first annual award and we’re also sponsoring a post-graduate qualification for a waste professional at the University of Northampton.

“The move to halls 4 and 5 also enabled us to grow the machinery, handling and logistics aspects of the show – the sheer size of the machines displayed inside was breath-taking. Key exhibitors such as Blue Group were able to move indoors, and reported their best show ever, as did Vehicle Weighing Solutions.”

This year, marked the introduction of the Circular Economy Connect Theatre, offering support and advice for businesses looking to engage with the circular economy. The speakers were chosen for their groundbreaking ideas, extensive experience and international reputations.

One of the most inspirational talks in the new Circular Economy Connect Theatre came from Sir Stuart Rose, former chairman of Marks and Spencer who explained how Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, inspired the retail giant’s sustainability programme ‘Plan A’. In his talk, Sir Rose urged businesses to implement similar strategies using strong leadership.

The Circular Economy Connect Theatre ran alongside the Local Authority and Energy from Waste Theatres, which also enjoyed large audiences.

Reflecting on the conferences, Stuart Hayward-Higham, technical development director at SITA UK and one of the RWM Ambassadors said:

“Having participated in a whirlwind of speeches, panels, networking and fascinating discussions at RWM 2014, it is only now that the event is finished for another year that I have had time to reflect on the week. We have an industry bursting at the seams with ideas and solutions – grappling with the complexity and magnitude of the circular economy – but there are still clearly some policy vacuums and commercial challenges to overcome. However, RWM always reminds me why I am in this business – because we have the opportunity to make a real difference.”

Several big business deals were secured at RWM in partnership with CIWM 2014. Blue Group’s Scotland marketing manager, Allan Kane said:

“We see this event as an ideal platform to launch our exceptional products and showcase the build quality of our equipment. We’ve finalised over £1.5 million worth of deals so it’s job done for us, really!

Many new products were also launched at RWM, including the MYBin app, from AMCS and the next generation of rearloaders from Geesink Norba. Visitors could see a new eddy current from Blue Group, a new teletruck from JCB and Vehicle Weighing Solutions’ new axle-by-axle weighing system. UNTHA UK also launched a new XR waste shredder for RDF and alternative fuel production.

Chris Oldfield, managing director of UNTHA UK, said:

“The quality of the enquiries has been just what we were looking for. The show has given our innovative technology the platform to stand out from the crowd. Now we look forward to the months ahead – following up our leads and supporting new and existing clients with their exciting waste and recycling projects. There has been a real, newfound buzz at RWM this year. It’s been great. We’ve already booked for 2015!”

WasteAid was confirmed as the recipient of the £15,000 RWM fund, selected by the RWM Ambassadors. The donation was made by the RWM event organisers (i2i Events) to help encourage new initiatives in resource management and help support the sector. Another £15,000 fund will be made in 2015.

RWM in partnership with CIWM returns to the NEC, halls 4 and 5 in Birmingham next year from 15 to 17 September. Again, it will be co-located with The Energy Event, The Renewables Event and The Water Event.

* Unaudited figure. Audited numbers are expected in October 2014.

About Sarah OBeirne

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