Now in its tenth year, the BAMA Forum and Awards dinner took place last week at the stunning Oulton Hall Hotel in Leeds.
In a record year for aerosol manufacturers, BAMA chief executive Patrick Heskins had a lot to be positive about.
Addressing the forum, he said: “Last year the UK filled 1.56 billion aerosols. You continue to amaze me. The number of products that come out of UK factories is quite astonishing.”
Inevitably the thorny issue of Brexit was a talking point, of which Patrick said: “Nobody actually knows what’s going to go on so we have to look at the worst case – hard Brexit. But we will be upping the information that we get to you. We also need to look at what’s imported into the UK. It could have as much impact on people that are importing as well as exporting.”
Thankfully one of the speakers at the event was there to talk specifically about the ‘b’ word. Rina Sond, Commercial Partner at Longmores Solicitors provided attendees with an informative overview of the legal implications Brexit could have on UK businesses, plus tips on how to best prepare for it.
A range of other topical issues were also covered by speakers at the forum, amongst whom was David Harrison, Client Director at Franklands Insurance and Risk Management, who outlined what can be covered by cyber insurance for manufacturing companies.
One of the highlights of this year’s forum was a presentation by Mary Frash, Head of Marketing for Ball Aerosol Packaging. In late 2017 she was among an industry group tasked with improving consumer perception of aerosol products in America. The result was Mist: Understood, a campaign designed to shift people’s perceptions of aerosols particularly amongst millennials. Mary said: “In the USA we have adoption issues with aerosols. Many consumers prefer stick deodorants and there’s confusion over CFCs and recyclability. “If consumers don’t think aerosols are recyclable then we have a problem.”
The marketers undertook consumer-centric research which incorporated social media listening. It revealed that the campaign’s conscious connector was male whose interests included things like garage projects.
The campaign began in August and kicked off with a project which saw artist Mike Graves create a spray-painted community mural at a Denver restaurant alongside members of the public. The mural was designed to address consumers’ environmental concerns about aerosols.
Mary added: “The content of the mural resonates with our target audience and it was a hugely successful day. It raises up the entire industry if aerosols have a better perception from consumers.”
It was as always, an incredible two days. Thanks to all who attended, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.