The rather lovely rural setting of the The Cheslyn grange Hotel in leafy Warwickshire was the host of this years excellent CILT conference. I have been to several of these events over the years, but this really was excellent with a spell binding collection of intriguing and thought provoking presentations.

The scene was set by the highly capable CEO Kevin Richardson who opened the conference batting, the theme for this years conference was  Innovation and Technology, and the range of speaker  was extremely diverse. Experts from Industry, government, the military and Civil Service, all contributed to what was a conference that offered delegates real choice. Simultaneous presentations went on that focused on Technology and Collaboration as the sub headings.

The first speaker Caspar Barry, was a man described as a motivational speaker, to be honest I have heard a few so called motivational speakers in my time. Many frankly should have been reported to the trades description police, as no motivation was experienced what so ever, indeed on rare occasions they were as dull as dishwater. This guy however was true to his word and he captivated the audience.Once a young actor who appeared with Ant and Dec, back in the day in Byker Grove, he went on to build his own film making empire which he eventually flogged to Sir Bob Geldof. He then decided to change direction completely and decided to become a professional poker player.

The title of his presentation was “ Embrace Uncertainty To Achieve Success”, and he used the decision making process with his tactics in playing poker. Really fascinating stuff to be fair by a guy who has been there and done it. It set the tone nicely with a healthy dose of thinking outside of the box.

The quality of other presentations was equally good with an intriguing look into the future from the Chief Technology officer from Microsoft who gave an overview of where AI and robotic technology can take industry in the future. The truth is that science fiction is alive and kicking already.

Of equal interest was a review of where Blockchain might fit in the jigsaw going forward where it was clear that this whole world was about to launch itself into the world of logistics and freight. The title “Fad or Future” described accurately the mixed view that presently exists around this emerging crypto currency. Interestingly a number of senior hauliers quoted that the they had already started factoring in blockchain into their future strategies.

So quite clearly something for everyone at this great conference. What was also really good was the extensive use of the delegate app, this allowed people to engage directly with other delegates and speakers , book places at the workshops, access the presentations and other key take always.and participate in live polls and Q and A sessions. So, all in all an excellent event with a superb networking dinner at the end of the event where the contacts and friendships flourished. A special mention in dispatches for Alison Glandfield the reliable, competent, and charming event organiser, she and her busy team did a brilliant job. My final message is simple, member of CILT, then become a member. The benefits are immense and it can only do your career the worwithld of good.

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