As we approach the final quarter of the year, the work we’ve been focusing on at the BFM recently is coming to fruition – and it’s now at a stage where we’re able to share news of the exciting developments and future plans.
It’s almost a year since I joined the BFM, and during that time, together with the board and the team, we’ve taken stock of the requirements of the association’s role in our industry and looked at how we can make it even more relevant for the future. We’ve drawn on feedback and insight from members as part of a root-and-branch review. From there, we’ve started to formulate a bold new strategy, to take the BFM forward and ensure it remains at the heart of the British furniture industry for the long term.
This process has included setting out our mission for the future. BFM is the voice of our industry, providing effective representation and a range of appropriate services that embrace the needs of (and add value for) our members, and, within that framework, we are building up a range of activities to take our work further forward.
A key element of the new approach is enhanced communications. Evidence of that will become more apparent to you in the coming months as we start to work with a specialist PR company to develop and implement a comms strategy that connects and engages with the trade.
We are also going to talk more actively with consumers, so we can explain the great work of our members and, ultimately, encourage people to choose their products.
That includes sharing our technical expertise and highlighting the great steps our members are taking in terms of sustainability, quality, safety and design. British manufacturing is seen as a badge of quality, and consumers respect and value membership of credible, long-term trade organisations. Together, that makes a great story to tell.
Our website is also being transformed, enabling members to access more information than ever. It will also provide a hub to highlight the value and significance of furniture made in Britain, and showcase the talent across the industry.
Enhanced communications will also enable us to further represent all our members at every level. Government and other authorities are consulting with the BFM regarding changes in regulation and policy, and we will continue to strongly represent the industry.
The annual events schedule will also be enhanced (and even extended). That process will start with the BFM Fabric Show London, which takes place on the 25-26th February, 2020. Many of you will note the slight change of name for the event. This has been adopted as part of our plan to add further shows in the future and to ensure the BFM name remains within all the titles. A new brand design for the BFM Fabric Show London is also set to be revealed shortly, which creates a fresh identity and dimension to the event.
Part of the new strategic approach also includes identifying more opportunities to connect with our members, network, and share ideas. This will start in 2020, when we will kick off a new seminar programme at the BFM Fabric Show London, and the latest developments from the BFM will be shared with delegates at the event. We hope to see you there.
As an association, we are stronger together. We hope as many of you as possible will take advantage of, and support, the new initiatives joining the successful, established core of our services. In the challenging times we face ahead, it has never been more important to come together as a community.
Nick Garratt is the MD of the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), a trade association which has represented the interests of the nation’s furniture industry for more than 65 years and offers members a range of benefits including show discounts, access to special rates through affinity services and help with regulatory costs, plus specialist advice and access to a wide range of information and statistics.