Communication has been at the forefront of British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) activity over the past 12 months, as the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to be felt across the globe.

Ensuring timely information was channelled out to members, campaigning on a national scale and improving digital platforms have all played a key role in 2021.

Looking back on what has been a year of triumph, challenge and change, we can say with pride that our industry has played a significant role in the national pandemic effort and is in a strong position as we enter 2022.

Ellen Daniels BCGA 2

Driving digital

Online innovation was a continuing priority in 2021, as the association, wider industry and society as a whole, adapted to ongoing pandemic restrictions in the first part of the year.

To coincide with the end of the Brexit Transition Period, the BCGA hosted a webinar with four different Government Departments, giving members a chance to engage with the organisations, including BEIS, DfT, Defra and HMRC.

One aspect of the digital drive for BCGA was the development and delivery of our virtual conference held over two days in April, and including the inaugural BCGA Industry Recognition Awards. The conference also saw the launch of a refreshed brand, with an updated logo for the sssociation. The awards celebrated members’ contributions to their industries and communities, and were judged by a panel of independent experts.

Government Minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Lord Callanan gave a keynote speech at the conference, thanking the industry for its work in providing medical gases during the Covid-19 pandemic and setting out the importance of the sector in seeking innovative solutions on the road to carbon Net Zero. The event was a great success and the BCGA Member Awards will return for the 2022 conference, which will be held in Manchester.

The importance of digital provision was highlighted again in June, when we were able to offer members a free webinar with marketing expert Tania Morrill, who gave attendees a masterclass in digital marketing as well as offering insight into the world of marketing and creative communications.

To further reflect the digital drive, the BCGA also unveiled a brand new website in November, showcasing the trade body’s publications, latest news and information on topics such as the role gases can play in creating alternative vehicle fuels.

nitrous oxide

Campaigns and comms

The importance of clear and effective communications was a priority highlighted by the BCGA early in 2021 as we continued our campaign for a ban on retail sales of nitrous oxide. Through effective lobbying, we prompted a parliamentary discussion in parliament in late 2020, which evolved into dialogue with the Home Office early in 2021.

Our communications strategy also pushed the ‘key concerns over misuse of nitrous oxide’ message out to organisations supporting young people – and the general public – while reassuring the compressed gases sector that the ban would not affect legitimate uses in healthcare, catering and industry. The campaign was shortlisted for a MEMCOM Award and has been entered into the UK Association Awards 2021.

As part of the drive to enhance communications, BCGA also launched a member newsletter, offering the latest industry insight, news and updates.

A welcome return

We were delighted to welcome Tim Hulbert back as BCGA President, after incumbent Lucía Sainz de Mier, stepped down due to work commitments abroad.

Originally appointed in May 2018, Tim is MD at Busch, and leads the BCGA’s Board of Directors, working alongside myself and Technical Manager, Jake Lake. Going into 2022, the BCGA has a strong leadership team – many of whom are in high profile roles and are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and expertise to support members.

STEM

The BCGA has also been heavily involved in STEM, partnering with several organisations promoting STEM subjects to schools, colleges and universities. The topic will also be discussed at the BCGA Conference 2022, on a panel including winners of the BCGA’s Rising Star Awards from 2021.

To find out more about the BCGA and get involved, email: admin@bcga.co.uk.