Both events are being organised by McLean Communications Ltd, whose event director Nick Needs (pictured above) is hoping for a good turnout from UK retailers. "This is a one-off opportunity for retailers to come along to London to mix with people from all around the world who are involved as they are in building retail forecourt businesses. They might, for instance, find themselves sitting next to a guy from Nigeria, or someone from Saudi Arabia. As Brits we're always inquisitive to know how someone else is doing it. Ideas are the life-blood of our industry."
Needs said that after 15 years of running ERPEC in European cities, it was time to raise the bar and come to London. "It gave us a great opportunity to also stage a conference. London is an international destination, with easy access, synonymous with high-quality design, and the place where many important things happen. All this fed into our thoughts, hence we launched the conference. The combined events will run over three days, kicking off with a welcome buffet on the banks of the River Thames, overlooked by Tower Bridge. We have around 500 delegates attending from 30 countries."
IDAC is being run in conjunction with petrol station designer Minale Tattersfield and major project management organisation Artelia. The conference will examine and explain some of the different strategies applicable for a range of operators from multi-nationals right through to local independents, in developed and developing markets.
On the second day of the conference, sharing a podium for the first time ever, will be the CEOs from leading dispenser manufacturers Wayne, Gilbarco and Tokheim, who will each present a paper on a key aspect of fuel station retail technology, followed by an open Q&A session. "This is a real coup for the UK," stresses Needs. "They will be talking about the future of technology it is these people that determine the future."
The afternoon session will feature three workshops, as the ERPEC programme gets under way. There will also be an international showcase exhibition taking place throughout. There will be plenty of networking opportunities and leisure activies, including a Medieval Banquet at St Katharine's Dock; and buffet dinner and boat trip along the River Thames.
Says Needs: "For UK retailers it's a unique opportunity to come and meet the crème de la crème of the world marketplace, listen to what's going on globally, and get some understanding of what the future may hold."
iDAC International Conference and ERPEC 15 Tower Hotel London May 11-13, 2015
Sunday May 10
8pm-10pm Welcome buffet reception
Monday May 11
10am-1pm:Session 1 Effective strategy, design and branding to deliver retail fuel sector success
2pm-5pm: Session 2 Cost-effective retail sites and sustainable architecture, to satisfy CSR regulatory needs and achieve a better return on investment
5pm-6pm: Networking in Showcase area
8pm-11pm:Medieval banquet at St Katherine's Dock
Tuesday May 12
8.30am-12pm:Session 3 Retail Petroleum in the Cloud.Opportunities in Disruptive Computing
1pm-5pm: Workshops: a) Advancing the c-store and food-to-go concept; b) Value management and value engineering solutions; c) IT, new technology, payment solutions including smart phones. What's the next big thing?
1.30pm-5pm: ERPEC meeting programme
5pm-7.30pm: Team challenge Tower of London treasure hunt
8.30pm-10pm:Buffet dinner and boat trip on the river Thames
Wednesday May 13
9am-1pm: ERPEC meeting programme
2pm-4pm: ERPEC meeting programme
4pm-5.30pm: Optional excursion to Madame Tussaud's
For more information on the events and activities, including cost and registration, please visit www.idac.org.uk and www.erpec.com