CIH 2017 – A look back at a successful conference


It’s that time of the year again when we take a look back at one of the most exciting events in our annual calendar – the CIH Housing Conference and Exhibition. Last week we saw around 10,000 delegates through the doors of Manchester Central where Consortium Procurement hosted the Village for a seventh consecutive year.

This year’s event marked the launch of the refreshed Consortium Procurement brand and new website. We presented our new look to delegates on our stand and we showcased our new website. The Consortium Procurement team received very positive feedback from our member organisations, supply partners and other stakeholders visiting the stand.

Tracy Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive at the Northern Housing Consortium (the organisation Consortium Procurement belongs to) said:

Tracy Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive “Northern Housing Consortium’s procurement offering has really gone from strength to strength; so much so that we now have members across England, Scotland and Wales.

When we first launched the Consortium Procurement brand ten years ago, it was in recognition of the appeal of our services went far beyond the North, and that any housing providers looking for an effective, compliant and value for money route to procurement could benefit from our frameworks. We now see that appeal extending beyond housing, and are increasingly working with other areas of the public sector including health, education, and even the Highways Agency!

Our new website and refreshed branding will support us to work not only across new geographies, but also across a range of different sectors.”

Rob Young, Torus

Joseph Gardiner, Head of Commercial at Consortium Procurement said:

“Once again, our Village at the CIH Conference and Exhibition was well attended and gave us the chance to network, learn and meet key figures throughout the industry. The launch of our refreshed Consortium Procurement brand and new website got a fantastic response. It allowed us to engage positively and establish what we strive to achieve at Consortium Procurement. Our strength is our commitment to give best in class advice while saving members time and money through our frameworks. We are not confined to the housing market, we are already operating in other sectors and have firm plans in place to grow and support even more organisations on a UK wide level. Our new website and refreshed brand is key to achieving these ambitions.”

Once more we showcased our enhanced portfolio of frameworks and services at the largest housing and local authority gathering in Europe. There was a great mix of members and supply partners gravitating around the Village which provided fantastic opportunities for them to network and facilitate new partnerships.

Elaine Abrol, Marsh

Our Head of Procurement Louise Chase hosted the Northern Procurement Reference Panel meeting on the first exhibition day. The meeting provided a great opportunity for procurement professionals from our membership to meet, share best practice, discuss current and emerging procurement issues, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Louise said:

Louise Chase“We had a fantastic attendance at our Northern Procurement Reference Panel at CIH, the conversation was both topical and engaging, covering items like data analysis and risk and resilience in procurement. Both of which could not be more important in the current political climate.

There are some positives though, we reflected throughout the conference on the excellent work the procurement teams which Consortium Procurement have supported our members with in 2016/17. It’s highly rewarding for us to be able to say that we have saved our members a grand total of £10,442,742 through open, fair and transparent procurement exercises.

The procurement team created 631 contracts and 45 new members joined us in 2016,”

On the afternoon of the first exhibition day, we hosted our drinks reception – our traditional way of ending a successful first day. Our Chief Executive Jo Boaden welcomed guests, thanking sponsors, all exhibitors, visitors and delegates for supporting the Village and for their partnership with us. The reception provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to meet, network, and discuss current and emerging topics in housing and procurement and to raise a toast together.

We offered delegates insights and advice on coping with the many challenges faced by the sector. We discussed our comprehensive portfolio of frameworks and provided information on how our fully compliant framework agreements and bespoke procurement service can support public sector organisations with their procurement priorities.

Angeline Rochford Briggs, YHN

Tracy Harrison added: “Consortium Procurement’s Village within CIH Manchester is always a key event in our calendar, as it allows is to engage with existing and potential members, and to showcase some the supply partners that we work with across our portfolio of frameworks. These are challenging times for housing providers, so it’s great to be able to present solutions that can genuinely add value and help drive efficiencies. This year, CIH also provided the ideal opportunity for us to unveil our new website and refreshed branding, and we’ve been delighted by the feedback that we’ve received.”

Charlotte Carpenter, Karbon Homes

Once again, we experienced three extremely productive and vibrant days at the CIH Conference and Exhibition. We took home a lot of fresh knowledge, ideas for potential projects and new contacts. Finally, we said goodbye to what has been a fantastic exhibition for us and look forward to what comes next.

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