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Although Kiera’s arrival into Fulham Broadway Wednesday night with a heavy suitcase, a 2mX2m stand, and every Chelsea supporter in the country got the trip off to a challenging start, we had a great time representing the PiLON Team at Echelon’s Annual Conference at Stamford Bridge.

Since returning to face-to-face events again, has anybody else experienced the moment of panic when you first meet somebody, not knowing whether to shake their hand, wave your elbow at them, or take a 1m step backwards? In recognition of this awkward social situation, PiLON provided social distancing wristbands to indicate the level of social interaction the wearer is comfortable with. The Echelon team issued these to every delegate on arrival at the registration desk and it was encouraging to see the overwhelming popularity of the green bands in the room!

Building more sustainable practice took center stage during all presentations throughout the day. From the future of heating to electrical vehicles and trying to understand what it truly means to have a ‘sustainable’ supply chain, it was impossible to leave the day without feeling a sense of urgency to tackle our climate crisis and make more sustainably-minded decisions.

As was evident from the interactive poll that Echelon ran throughout the day, the priority for delegates and the reason for the buzz in the room was consistent: Networking. Real, face-to-face conversations with 3D people that exist below shoulder height!

In addition to some very productive discussions with new and existing clients, Martin and Kiera had a great day meeting colleagues throughout the industry, sharing best practice and news from our respective organizations.

Kiera’s highlight: It seems a cop-out to say networking as that goes without saying. I particularly enjoyed Travis PerkinsMegan Adlen posing the problematic question of what makes a ‘sustainable’ supply chain – What is more sustainable, a 100% recyclable product manufactured and flown in from abroad, or a single use material made and distributed locally?

Martin’s highlight: My Highlight was Jenny Osborne from TPAS. She spoke eloquently about the ‘role’ of the tenant between the social housing provider and the myriad of contractors. It was reaffirming for me.

The Charity Dinner was a huge success. Not only was the food delicious, but safe to say Echelon exceeded their £10,000 target, raising a whopping £26,000 for Herts Young Homeless. We are proud to have donated to their auction and very happy to have had two raffle wins at our table! Thanks are due to Stamford Bridge for their hospitality, Echelon for organising such a great event, the PiLON Team for their company, professionalism, and generosity at the Charity Dinner, and to all other delegates and speakers that made it such an informative, productive, and enjoyable day.