At an optimistic general meeting of the BII, the organisation - said by chairman Anthony Pender to be in a “bit of a bad way” four years ago - announced growing revenues, membership figures and intentions to broaden its engagement with members across all regions.
Pender compared the organisation he joined four years ago to a patient in intensive care, but stated that a recovery had taken place in the years since.
In an update on a year of change for the BII, presented to members attending the event at London’s Thirsty Bear pub, chief executive Mike Clist outlined a positive year despite “tough” industry conditions.
Clist stated that membership of the BII had risen by 3% over the past year, with the organisation boasting just over 9,250 members, now including most regional brewers – this coming alongside an increase in membership cost by £10 to £150. Revenues from membership were announced to have risen by 7%.
Pointing out that the increase in direct debit memberships to 57% meant the organisation could spend “less time collecting money”, the chief executive said a priority for the next year would be strengthening engagement with the BII’s broader membership, getting as many members involved with a wider range of events. This year's Summer Event and National Innovation in Training Awards had sold out, he said.
Clist added the BII was making progress in engaging more members, stating he had personally taken 752 calls from members seeking help and guidance since July last year, while personnel and licensing helplines were receiving more than 50 calls a week. There was still work to be done on this front however, he said.
Introducing relevant experience
As part of the meeting , BII members in attendance voted in favour of adopting revised articles of association. These included the appointment of six industry advisors covering areas such as finance, commerce and human resources in order to add a wide range of relevant experience to the BII Council and to relieve some time pressure on regional chairs, who were said to be doing up to three jobs at once in some instances.
Chairman Anthony Pender concluded that the BII’s national program was in a good place and that now was the time to focus on the regions. He remarked that when he joined the organisation four years ago he had found it in a “bit of a bad way”. However, latest news was that the organisation was through “crisis management and triage” and was now on to “physiotherapy” – with the agreed adoption of revised articles of association at the meeting described as the “right changes”.