The European Drinking Water Cooler Association (EDWCA) held its Business Day conference and exhibition at the Forest of Arden Hotel in Birmingham attended by water cooler industry experts from across the country.

Speakers at the conference included Steve Gibson of Dataweb Business Services, Matthew Lee of Water Market View, Alex Epstein of Big Change Apps and Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea. The morning’s events were followed by an afternoon trade exhibition and networking event with exhibitors showcasing a broad range from the industry’s supply chain.

With only nine per cent of plastics used in the UK actually being recycled locally and up to 16 million plastic bottles a day not being recycled, Natalie Fee urged delegates to take action by getting involved in recycling plastics.

She drew attention to the Refill campaign, urging water firms to embrace and take part in National Refill Day next year which promotes the use of reusable water bottles to cut plastic pollution.

Alex Epstein of Big Change Apps called on water firms to consider launching a relatively risk-free app in order to keep up with what he called “the Amazon Prime Effect” for immediate gratification.

“There is an exciting future for this industry, people are drinking more water and opting for healthy options, but we all want everything now. We are used to getting things immediately in every industry, including this one, and this also affects business-t- business transactions.”

Steve Gibson of Dataweb Business Services updated delegates on GDPR offering a pragmatic approach for companies to follow to give them the confidence that they are doing what they need to do to comply.

Advocating organisation training and awareness, Steve said: “The best thing you can do is train your staff. It’s your biggest risk mitigation tool.”

Matthew Lee of Market View offered a water dispensing industry overview covering research and analysis on the state of the industry.

The afternoon trade show of around 20 exhibitors was well supported with several exhibitors reporting good business leads and potential new customers from their conversations.

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