The money donated by 450 generous delegates will be split between the BMF’s charity partners, the British Heart Foundation and the Turkey/Syria Earthquake appeal.

An amazing £26,235 was raised for charity during the Gala Dinner that concluded the Builders' Merchants All Industry Conference in Istanbul last weekend. 

The money will be split between the BMF’s charity partners, the British Heart Foundation and the Turkey/Syria Earthquake appeal.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “I am unbelievably proud of the generosity of our conference delegates. Huge thanks to everyone who helped us achieve this fantastic sum for charity.

“The entire conference was one of the best – if not the best – I have ever been involved with. My thanks to all our brilliant speakers, and to our superb host Mark Durden-Smith, who orchestrated proceedings in his own inimitable way.”

The Gala Dinner at the Ciragan Palace, an imperial Ottoman palace on the shores of the Bosphorus dating from the 19th Century, was the climax of a Conference that earned plaudits from merchant, supplier and service delegates, both for the content and the organisation as well as the location and the entertainment. 

Reflecting on the event, Ian Haldane, Chairman of the Haldane Group, said: “Congratulations to the BMF team on a brilliant conference – fantastic location, 5-star hotel, interesting and motivational speakers and evening entertainment to equal anywhere in the world.”

David Berry, Managing Director at C&W Berry and Chairman of the Fortis Buying Group, concurred: “I congratulate all at the BMF for a very successful industry conference that was superbly organised and very well executed. I am aware of the detailed work required to deliver such an event and appreciate the immense effort made. Great customer service has that extra little bit of personal commitment and care thrown in, which is exactly what I experienced.”

Glenn Paddison, Commercial Director, H&B Buying Group and past Chair of BMF Young Merchant Group, said: “Congratulations on hosting an incredible conference in Istanbul. To stay in such a fantastic hotel, dine in a palace and be entertained by some wonderful speakers I feel really blessed. This event sets our industry apart and true to the theme I’ve returned home having created some fantastic new connections.”

Steve Duke, Commercial Director at Knauf Insulation also praised the event organisers. “Thank you so much for an absolutely phenomenal conference. I know how much effort goes on behind the scenes to organise these events so that everything runs smoothly and it really is greatly appreciated.”

Lewis Walsh, of Cederal-Etex (Exteriors) UK, said: “The venue, forums and entertainment were absolutely fantastic and we found the trip very beneficial from both a business and personal point of view. Thank you for all your hard work in organising a very memorable conference.”

Rebecca Hughes, Marketing Director, Talasey, attending her first BMF All Industry Conference, said: “Thank you for a truly first-class event in a stunning location. I loved making connections and memories with wonderful industry colleagues and customers, while representing Talasey Group.”

Finally, James Mitchell, Managing Director of Kerridge Commercial Systems and BMF Board Advisor, said: “Thank you for all your support and brilliant organisation to make the event such a memorable experience for us all. We had a great time and we love being part of the BMF family.”

Conference host, Mark Durden-Smith, summed up his experience of the event saying: “The BMF’s Mission Istanbul 2023 was an absolute epic, a genuinely magnificent gathering with great speakers both from within and from outside the industry. I loved hanging out with the great and the good of the builders' merchant community, who made me feel so welcome. Thanks for having me along.”

The sell-out BMF All Industry Conference was attended by 450 people.

The BMF thanks its headline sponsor Knauf, and key sponsors, ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marsh, Marshalls, Rockwool, SIG, Unilin and Velux.

* A four page review of the All Industry Conference will feature in the July/August issue of BMN, due to be published on 1 August