RWM 2013 in partnership with CIWM confirmed its success with more than 13,000 (unaudited) visitors attending the three-day i2i event last week at the NEC, Birmingham (10 to 12 September 2013). With its strongest conference programme to date, offering more than 150 expert speakers over five theatres and 750 plus exhibitors, the waste management industry’s largest annual event delivered abundant networking and business opportunities.
As the 2013 event closed its doors last week, RWM has confirmed its move into larger halls from 2014 to meet increased demand and to support growth in the future. The event moves into halls 4 and 5 from next year and takes place from 16 to 18 September 2014, along with partner environment shows, The Energy Event, The Renewables Event and The Water Event (taking place 16-17 September in hall 3).
Steve Lee, chief executive of RWM partner and industry body CIWM commented: "Once again, the waste and resource management industry came together at the NEC to do business, gain insight into key trends and issues from a wealth of expert commentators, and network with colleagues and contacts.
"The level of innovation on display and the liveliness of the conference panel debates show how vibrant and forward-looking this sector is and how important a contribution it can make to the resource efficiency and security agenda. With so many exhibitors and visitors from all over Europe and beyond, the show has also firmly established itself as the leading annual European event for waste and resource management," added Lee.
Dan Thurlow, portfolio director for the environment events at i2i Events Group, including RWM in partnership with CIWM, added: "RWM has again been incredibly well received. The calibre of speakers and the in-depth conference programme, which has been a key focus of investment from the i2i Event Group, in addition to the exhibitors and the variety of products and innovations on show was fantastic, our best yet!
"We’ve had a hugely positive response to the event, which was backed up by a huge demand for space next year and a record-breaking re-book on site, which truly demonstrates the strength of commitment to the future growth of RWM.
"Based on the show’s growth, we are changing location within the NEC next year, with RWM moving into a large space that is more appropriate to an event of this size. The event is moving into the NEC’s largest exhibition space, halls 4 and 5 to meet the growing demand for space at RWM," added Thurlow.
Biggest conference programme
The RWM 2013 conference was the biggest yet, with over 150 speakers chosen for their ground-breaking ideas, extensive experience and international reputations.
One of the most inspirational talks on the first day came from Lord Robert Winston, who offered a sideways look at waste: How humans think: how are we motivated to improve the world around us? Covering prehistoric axe heads, opera music, lasers and running rats, Winston’s talk was all about the unpredictable nature of technology and how creators should be aware of the downsides of the things they create whilst embracing the positives.
Other stellar speakers included Tristram Stuart, who spoke about the global food waste scandal and then discussed the issue at his book signing – Waste: Uncovering the global food scandal. Andy Pag shared his experience of travelling around the world fuelled by waste cooking oil, broadcaster and journalist Lucy Siegle explored how to engage consumers and Rosie Boycott spoke on leveraging third sector enterprise.
The WAMITAB Skills Village (new to RWM this year) and the popular Communications Hub were busy throughout the three days. With the aim of helping to plug the waste skills gap, the Skills Village offered bite-sized sessions packed full of careers, development and safety advice. Sessions in the Communications Hub were constantly full and provided support, case studies and advice in good communications practice, including media advice.
A good deal of business was secured at RWM 2013 in partnership with CIWM, including regular exhibitor Johnston Sweepers – their Regional Sales Manager, Chris Mitchell said: "RWM has been a fantastic show this year. We’ve had a lot of customers come to the stand, in fact, we’ve been so busy that there have been queues of people waiting to talk to us. We’ve generated new business, met new customers and taken an order for 15 sweepers from one of our national accounts, which is fantastic! All in all it’s been a fantastic experience. Very busy and exactly what we wanted."
George Giles, Head of Environmental Power and Gas at Siemens added: "RWM has delivered fantastic networking opportunities, as always, this year. It’s the perfect place to meet clients and partners and talk about the market. A lot of business for Siemens has been done in the past three days. It’s been hugely valuable."
A record number of products were also launched at RWM 2013 in partnership with CIWM, including UNTHA UK’s all-new compact S25 machine for lightweight shredding, Faun Zoeller’s new bin-lift (complete with a champagne lunch to celebrate the occasion), Presona’s improved paper baler and BS&B’s bespoke combustible dust fire and explosion prevention system.
Chris Oldfield, Managing Director of UNTHA UK said: "I have been exhibiting at RWM for over ten years and always really enjoy the experience, from a personal point of view, but also as an opportunity to get to the whole of the market. Because our industry is so diverse it can be difficult to target all of our prospective customers, but here, there are so many of them under one roof. You can cram in a whole lot in a short amount of time, so it’s a very efficient way for us to do business."
Announcements, new initiatives and pledges
The serious problem of rough sleepers being injured in waste bins was addressed in the Biffa, CIWM and StreetLink announcement on Wednesday 11 September. The three organisations are coming together to develop research on homelessness, which they hope will put an end to accidents and fatalities that result in rough sleepers taking shelter in bins. Tim Standring, Divisional Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Coach at Biffa, John Skidmore, president of CIWM and Matt Harrison, director at StreetLink were present at the announcement.
Throughout the show, visitors made sustainability pledges on the SWR pledge tree, where people were invited to think about how they could be more sustainable and asked to record a green commitment to do something different or better, at home or at work that would have a positive impact on the environment. Nearly 200 pledges were made, one example was: "We pledge to reduce our energy consumption by 5% in our pubs and distribution centres," from the Spirit Pub Company. Greenpro solutions pledged to "… send all invoicing and other statements electronically rather than hard copy" and Tetronics pledged to "… use more sustainable materials for packing of products."
Elsewhere, at the CIWM and ESA stand, visitors flocked to find out about EQual, the Environment Agency-led EU LIFE+ programme that aims to encourage the use of products made from waste, which was launched at the show. A prototype of its first online support tool was demonstrated throughout the exhibition and was warmly received by visitors.
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) stand was also a key destination for visitors. Inviting delegates to join them to meet directly with international buyers and trade and investment officers from across the globe and to support British businesses seeking to develop their international trade. They ran a number of internationally focused seminars, including opportunities in the growing Brazilian economy – this coincided with the show’s upcoming debut in Brazil, taking place from 1 to 2 October.
RWM in partnership with CIWM returns to the NEC, halls 4 and 5, Birmingham next year from 16 to 18 September. To find out more information and discuss bookings for 2014, visit www.rwmexhibition.com.