IAAF announces Ratner as new keynote speaker at conference

Gerald Ratner will be the keynote speaker at the IAAF annual conference

The IAAF is to welcome British household name and well-known businessman Gerald Ratner as keynote speaker to its annual conference in December, sponsored by Impression Communications.

Ratner is a name most associated with one of the business world’s biggest falls from grace, following his unfortunate turn of phrase describing products sold by his company, H. Samuel, during a speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991. He will be sharing his experiences with the audience, including what happened in the immediate aftermath, the fallout and the comeback, as written about in his book, ‘The Rise And Fall And Rise Again.’

The automotive aftermarket marketplace in 2019 and beyond will be the underlying theme of IAAF’s agenda, as the federation aims to produce another lively debate for its conference guests.

The Conference will be held on 6 December for the second consecutive year at DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes, with an array of influential key speakers from across the industry taking centre stage to discuss important issues involving ‘tomorrow’s’ aftermarket and future technology.

The day’s discussions will examine technologies including data access, connected and autonomous vehicles, as well as other advanced concepts such as 5G connectivity, car-sharing and e-hailing. Insight on other market trends in today’s world will also be thrown into the mix, including the issue of counterfeit and fraudulent products, as well as the evolving role of shows and exhibitions.

Head of IAAF membership development, Mike Smallbone will be facilitating the proceedings, as he will welcome a host of speakers invited to engage the audience of around 150 attendees, most of whom will include parts suppliers, distributors, garages, as well as representatives from the industry and aftermarket trade press.

Quentin Le Hetet from GIPA, Automechanika Birmingham, Dr Julia Saini from Frost & Sullivan and FIGEIFA will also feature as part of the strong line-up, alongside the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), before the Conference draws to a close with President of the IAAF, Lawrence Bleasdale.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “This year’s Conference is set to encapsulate the break-neck pace of technological change that has accelerated rapidly over the last few years, and will serve as a reminder to our guests that the future we’ve been urged to prepare for is now here, so we must be ready for it.

“As always, we cannot wait to welcome our guests and hear them share their industry expertise and insight. We’re delighted that Gerald Ratner will be our new keynote speaker to replace Dan Dalton, whom we are sorry can’t join us this year. No doubt hearing how Gerald ultimately triumphed in the face of challenge, which draws parallels with the aftermarket’s own story, will go down a storm at the conference.”

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