The Railway Industry Association (RIA) – the voice of the UK rail supply community – has won an award for best Trade Association Conference of the Year. The gong was received by RIA at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards ceremony on 10 July, for its Innovation Conference, which took place over two days in March in Leicestershire.
RIA was up against a number of other trade associations in the building, property and warehousing industries.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “This award is a great reward for the hard work put in by the fantastic RIA team and is also well-deserved recognition for the rail industry and supply sector more widely. It really is terrific and humbling for peers in other sectors to mark rail and innovation out in this way.
“RIA is constantly seeking to make its events the very best they can be for both our members and wider rail industry players. And the Innovation Conference has over the years inspired and informed, showcasing innovation and opportunities, and offering a space to network and meet. The judges said they were particularly impressed that the conference was a “clearly valuable event which reinforces membership, furthering engagement with clients and others and ensuring repeat business… a great programme.”
“Thanks to RIA Technical Director David Clarke who led the event, and the team for all their hard work. And thanks of course, to our members, speakers and collaborating organisations. We’re looking forward to putting on an even better RIA Innovation Conference in 2019!”
The RIA Innovation Conference began as a one-day seminar in 2009 for around 50 delegates and has since evolved into a two-day conference with over 200 delegates attending in 2018. The Innovation Conference this year saw key industry leaders participate such as Digital Railway Managing Director David Waboso and Network Rail Chief Engineer Jon Shaw as well as speakers from other industries like wind and power, to see what lessons could be learnt for rail.
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways.It has more than 200 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too.
RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.