In the second keynote speech of the conference, Martin Fenlon – Business Resilience Coordinator at the Houses of Parliament, told us of the challenges he faced in ensuring resilience across a highly independent and disparate organisation. Of course it’s a very British organisation, so in the event of a crisis, as long as someone is making tea then all is well. It was particularly appropriate for Martin to be speaking on the 5th November as this day marks the anniversary of when Guy Fawkes attempted, and failed, to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Over the two days, many speakers educated us and enlightened us about different aspects of business continuity. Whether it was new research such as the BCI’s Supply Chain Resilience or Emergency Communications reports; insight into some practical application of business continuity, for example how to deal with the Ebola crisis; or whether it was developing a greater understanding of the theoretical aspects of business continuity such as how to write a BIA; there was something for everyone.
Day one of the conference ended with the Gala Dinner and Global Awards ceremony at the Science Museum. Well done to all our winners in the nine categories of the Global Awards, those whose contribution to the industry was recognised above all else, and congratulations to everyone who was honoured on the night. A full list of winners can be found here.
One of the main talking points of the conference was the debate about whether business continuity can only ever be subservient to risk management as the top thought leaders from both sides of the industry battled it out. In the end it was a home win for business continuity and the motion was voted against but there were certainly plenty of interesting discussions on the matter. The general consensus however, was that those working in business continuity, risk management or other related fields need to collaborate more in order to improve organisational resiliency.
Organisational resilience has become a common theme in many of our discussions lately and we were fortunate to have Richard Taylor from BSI announce the new Standard on this very topic which is being published on the 27th November. This was followed by Dr Rob MacFarlane from the Cabinet Office who talked about resilience in practical terms, looking beyond just individual organisations but wider communities.
As in previous years, the BCI held a BC clinic, hosted by experienced practitioners, for people to ask their BC related questions and get advice that they can take back to their own organisation and implement.
To finish off the conference in style, Crisis Guardian hosted a game show whereby those working in the industry were given the chance to answer questions with the top three being invited on stage for the grand final. Demonstrating the international flavour of the conference, this was fought between an American, an Australian and an Italian. Ultimately the winner was Chris Miller whose baggage allowance for her trip back down under was put in jeopardy by her shiny new trophy.
Thank you to everyone who came along and made the conference the great success that it was. Exhibitors, presenters and delegates all contributed to this and we look forward to welcoming you back to the London Olympia next year on the 4th and 5th November.