Fresh from the delegates golf day, members attended a full day of talks centred around the theme of a stronger outlook for the future.
The first talk came from the Sunday Times economics editor David Smith, who offered a “measured optimism”, with good news from the service sector, which is still continuing to grow, he said.
More wholehearted optimism came from the Horizons team, who told a story of market growth with the quick service and restaurant markets leading the charge. Members were encouraged to stay ahead of trends, with continued strength in the American inspired burger, burrito and diner market still thriving, suppliers need to understand what equipment is in demand.
A vibrant talk from futurologist Mark Stevenson helped provide context to the CESA vision of the future. Stevenson described the current digital revolution as “bigger than the industrial and the agricultural revolution put together”.
Business will face challenges, he said, including the ongoing threat of climate change.
“You must be prepared to dream a better future. What is it you do that makes the world a better place?”
Next, came Steve Brown, who returned focus to the sector and current growth opportunities. He encouraged members to think about ways they could innovate in the sector.
“The service is ripe for innovation,” he said, “yet there is remarkably little.”
Mike Hohnen, a service management specialist, promoted the value of good service to all sectors, before an expert panel took to the floor to discuss the development of business information modelling (BIM), giving individual perspective and providing insight into why manufacturers should be persuaded to actively engage with BIM.
The day’s events were closed by Gyles Brandreth, former MP and television and radio personality.