A lively and varied programme was delivered to an audience of around 108 including delegates from both supplier and operator companies, partners and conference guests.

The two keynote speakers, polar explorer Pen Hadow and Olympic legend Roger Black described the personal motivation that had been the driving force behind their achievements.

The textile rental industry’s need to be profitable was a recurring theme. Realistic pricing is key and to ensure this, businesses must take into account all the costs of their operation. Conference chairman David Stevens explained the role the re-launch of TSA’s cost index could play in achieving better pricing policies.

Profitability is also dependent on making the most of opportunities that arise and Richard Newton urged the textile rental industry to realise that the 2012 Oympics presents an unrivalled chance to improve profits, and to start preparing now.

A well-trained staff is essential to profitability, and the Government-backed Train to Gain initiative has brought the launch of the Laundry NVQ. Bridgwater College has developed a model prospectus for this important qualification and Johnson Apparelmaster has already signed up for the programme. Theresa Holden from the college and David Kinson of Johnsons Apparelmaster explained how the programme would work.

A speaker from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office described the department’s work with industry and highlighted the importance of the safe and secure handling of laundry chemicals. The department will be working with the TSA to develop guidelines.

These subjects were just some of the conference highlights and a full report will appear in the April issue.