Nabma was delighted to welcome some 320 delegates to the Kensington Holiday Inn in London, as the NABMA and WUWM memberships joined forces to share their respective conferences and good practice. The conference programmes were packed with sessions around strategy, policy and operational matters linking wholesale and retail interests. The fantastic range of quality speakers all shared their ideas, experiences and information with regards to their market or services. As well as the days being packed with events, Nabma put on evening entertainment, which were thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

The first night saw delegates enjoy a cruise on the Thames, taking in the London skyline, the following evening was an excursion to Brixton Market and the final night was at the House of Lords, generously hosted by Lord Lee of Trafford recognising his association with the Wellington Market Company. Also visits to New Covent Garden and New Spitalfields Wholesale Markets alongside retail visits to Borough, Old Spitalfields and Portobello Markets went down really well with the delegates who attended. As well as the formal elements of the conferences, delegates had a number of opportunities to network and share their market experiences from around the globe.

New friends and contacts were formed; the Market Place Exhibition established potential new clients and experiences and good practice were shared in and outside the conference sessions. The new Nabma President, Cllr Mick Barker of Derby City Council, was unveiled at the Annual General Meeting, taking over from Cllr Kevan Wainwright of Halton Borough Council. The new President was put straight to work by presenting a series of awards Nabma make in recognition of achievements in the market sector in 2014. He then welcomed Manuel Estrada, Wuwm Chairman & International Department Chief, of Mercasa, Spain to conference. Blanchere Illumination sponsor the Market Officer, Market Team and Market Innovation of the Year Awards and also, Manchester Markets sponsored the Krys Zasada Nabma award 2014 in recognition of outstanding service to the Market Industry. This award is given annually to the person Nabma believes has done much to promote the markets industry.

In 2014 the award has been dedicated in memory to a good friend of Nabma and the markets industry as a whole, Krys Zasada, who sadly passed away at the start of the year.

The awards were as follows:
The Nabma/Blanchere Award for the Market Officer of the Year went to: Jackie Casey of Bolton Market
jackie cassey nabma award
The Nabma/Blanchere Award for the Market Team of the Year went to: Tameside Tameside nabma Market Award
The Nabma/Blanchere Award for the Market Innovation of the Year went to: Coventry City Council
Coventry market award

The Krys Zasada Nabma Award for outstanding service to the market industry, sponsored by Manchester Markets, went to: Hillary Paxman DCLG
Hillary Paxman nabma award

Malcolm Veigas was also awarded for his service to the markets industry.
malcolm veigas nabma award

The NABMA Conference also celebrated with successful candidates who received their Diploma Certificates in Market Administration that is promoted in association with the Institute of Place Management and with generous sponsorship from Market Place Europe Ltd.
allan hartwell nabma award

This year saw a record number of candidates achieving the qualification and this augurs well for the future of the markets industry and in raising its professional standards. Photographs supplied by David Preston, Nabma