The Employee Ownership Association’s Annual Conference is the most important national event for the UK employee ownership sector. Delegates from established and aspiring employee owned organisations will network at this unique event and experience the exclusive opportunity to learn from and share anecdotes and insights with over 500 employee owners and industry experts.

Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel Birmingham NEC

Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th November 2015



It's a truly unique experience in the world to see a community so willing to share their experiences to help others. - Emma Russell
Martine Croxall

We are delighted that this year’s compere for the EOA Conference and Gala Dinner is BBC News and BBC World News Presenter Martine Croxall.

As the UK’s largest gathering of co-owned businesses, the EOA Conference provides an unrivalled opportunity for employee owners to learn, network and share experiences. The conference is also a must for any family business or private business owner considering employee ownership at the stage of start-up, growth or succession.
It will also provide the essential knowledge necessary for those keen to learn more about the transition of spinning-out services from the public sector to an employee led structure. And with over 500 delegates from across every sector of the economy, the conference is relevant to delegates from academia, media, government or other forms of business keen to learn more about the benefits of developing an ownership culture.
This focused event will provide a unique opportunity to find out more about employee ownership and network with those who have already made the transition, those currently making the journey, or those considering the move. The conference was over subscribed in 2014 and therefore to secure your place for 2015 we suggest that you book early.


EOA Annual Conference
EOA Annual Conference
Gala Dinner Awards Evening
Gala Dinner Awards Evening, part of the EOA Annual Conference
EO and EOA Benefits
EO and EOA Benefits
13.30-15.00 EOA Networks
15.00-15.30 Pre EOA AGM drinks
15.30-16.30 EOA AGM
18.00 Drinks Reception Sponsored by Seqol
19.00 Conference Gala Dinner incorporating the NEW UK Employee Ownership Arwards Sponsored by Baxendale
08.00 Registration
09.00 Welcome & Keynote
09.30 Seminar 1
10.30 Refreshments
11.00 Seminar 2
12.00 Keynote Speaker
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Seminar 3
14.30 Refreshments
15.00 Keynote Speaker
16.00 Conference Close


To benefit from the Early Bird booking rate of £20 per person off the rates below, book BEFORE 31st July 2015.
EOA members
1-4 delegates £369 + vat
5-9 delegates £319 + vat
10 + delegates £270 + vat
Non EOA members
Non members £469 + vat
Non members (Public Service) £419 + vat


The conference programme provides a choice of sessions for those that are new to employee ownership and those owners and employees of established employee owned businesses. Delegates are offered three separate sessions to participate in during the day from topics including:  
  • The basics of employee ownership
    • EO1        What is employee ownership, what benefits does it deliver, which businesses does it suit, at what stage of business can it be used and what are the different models? CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: STRIDE TREGLOWN (SEMINAR)
    • EO2        How to successfully implement employee ownership; the steps to take, the pitfalls to avoid, how to access finance, the tax considerations, pensions, project managing the transition and how to manage communications with employees. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: PB DESIGN AND QUINTESSA (SEMINAR)
    • EO3        Laying the foundations of a culture of ownership; how to establish the right governance, engagement and reward mechanisms for those new to EO. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: REMPLOY  (SEMINAR)
  • Productivity, performance and growth
    • PPG1        How to lead your public service spin out to the next level; diversification, commercialisation and enhanced engagement. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: SOCIAL ADVENTURES (SEMINAR)
    • PPG2        How can employee ownership help to deliver enhanced innovation and creativity? What techniques and approaches work best? CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: GRIPPLE AND CARE PLUS GROUP(SEMINAR)
    • PPG3        How to deliver a competitive advantage through an employee ownership status and brand? How to ensure your EO status is meaningful for customers, suppliers and stakeholders. (WORKSHOP)
    • PPG4        How to grow and diversify employee owned businesses; raising the energy and the funds for reinvestment, acquisition, mergers and more. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: CAPITAL FOR COLLEAGUES AND SHAKESPEARE MARTINEAU (SEMINAR)
  • Culture, communications and engagement
    • CCE1        How to ensure that employee ownership means more than simply trust or share ownership? Developing the strategy to build and sustain an ownership culture within your organisation. (WORKSHOP)
    • CCE2        How to develop and maintain a sense of ownership in employee owned public service spin outs and in businesses when financial reward to staff is not relevant? (WORKSHOP)
    • CCE3        Developing your engagement toolkit. What are the best tools and techniques for effective engagement? Including how to manage cynics, measure success and achieve buy in. (WORKSHOP)
    • CCE4        Engagement Clinic – seek and share support for your challenges and queries about engagement with other EO businesses – with experts on hand to contribute. (WORKSHOP)
  • Leadership, management and governance
    • LMG1        How does leadership, management and governance differ in employee owned organisations? What are the specific challenges and opportunities? CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: JOHN LEWIS PARTNERSHIP (SEMINAR)
    • LMG2        Developing the next generation of leaders. What are the challenges of recruitment, retention and development of employee owners with leadership potential? CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: TURLEY (SEMINAR)
    • LMG3        How do we keep our governance fresh and relevant we grow and develop? (WORKSHOP)
    • LMG4        What are the challenges, roles and responsibilities for employees with formal representation roles such as elected representatives, Trustees or council members? (WORKSHOP)
    • LMG5        How to manage the challenge of effective succession; how to encourage others to step up and the owners to let go. (WORKSHOP)
  • Fringe Sessions with industry presentations
    • F1        Engagement - a review of the latest thinking on the power of engagement in the UK economy from Engage of Success. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: ENGAGE FOR SUCCESS (SEMINAR)
    • F2        Family Business – insights into the challenges of managing succession in family businesses – and how employee ownership can support from Family Business Place. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: FAMILY BUSINESS PLACE (SEMINAR) CONTRIBUTORS:  POSTLETHWAITE
    • F3        Talent Management – hear how to attract and develop your talent and how this approach has ensured top-15 'Best Company to Work For' status for leading employee owned La Fosse Associates. CASE STUDIES PRESENTED: SIMON LA FOSSE, LA FOSSE ASSOCIATES. (SEMINAR)
    • F4        Forecast 2020 – a view of the key evidence to support the growth of employee ownership to 2020 including insight into the recent success of the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model and the findings of the MoralDNA study into Employee Owned Businesses. (SEMINAR) CONTRIBUTORS: WHITE ROSE CENTRE; EAGA TRUST AND RM2
    • F5        The Employee Ownership Technical Clinic – ask experts in tax, legal, Trusts, shares and funding for advice/support and share in others’ queries. (WORKSHOP)  CONTRIBUTORS: FIELDFISHER; COOWNERSHIP SOLUTIONS; BAXENDALE AND CAPITAL FOR COLLEAGUES
09.30 - 10.30 LMG3 (W) CCE1 (W) PPG1 (S) EO1 (S) F3 (S) PPG2 (S) CCE3 (W) LMG4 (W) EO2 (S)
11.00 - 12.00 F4 (W) LMG2 (S) CCE2 (W) PPG3 (W) EO2 (S) F1 (S) PPG4 (S) CCE1 (W) LMG4 (W)
13.30 - 14.30 LMG5 (W) F5 (S) LMG1 (S) CCE3 (W) PPG3 (W) EO3 (S) F2 (S) PPG2 (S) CCE4 (W)


The full delegate package includes:
  • 4* on-site, bed & breakfast accommodation
  • 1-day Conference Pass including lunch and refreshments
  • 4-course Gala Dinner with wine
  • Pre-dinner drinks reception
  • Complimentary on-site parking
  • Complimentary transport to train station


Walter Scott

Joint Managing Director, Wilkin & Sons Ltd
Walter will describe the employee ownership journey of Wilkin & Sons. Since 1885, in the Essex village of Tiptree, the business has manufactured, sold and distributed worldwide, high quality foods, under the Tiptree brand, especially jams, marmalades, and related ambient products.

Trevor Phillips OBE

Partnership Council President, The John Lewis Partnership
Trevor is the first external appointment as Partnership Council President since 1928. He will share his thoughts on how employee ownership has been central to making the John Lewis Partnership one of Britain’s most admired and inspirational businesses and offer his reflections on his key role developing and strengthening the voice of the employees as owners within the company.

Deb Oxley

Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association
Deb Oxley will reflect with delegates on progress made during what has been a phenomenal year for employee ownership. She will outline the ambitions of the EOA for the continued growth of employee ownership in the UK economy for the future.


NEW for 2015, each of the five EOA Networks will be hosting a gathering at the Conference on the afternoon of Monday 23rd November. If you have not yet attended your local Network, this is the perfect chance to meet other employee owners in your area. Non EOA members are also welcome!


The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is located at the NEC, Birmingham. The conference, dinner and accommodation are housed within this venue and those attending will benefit from the great central location, easy access and 4 star facilities (including Spa, health club and indoor swimming pool).


The EOA AGM will be held on Monday 23 November and commence with pre meeting drinks at 15.00 followed by the AGM at 15.30 Further details will be forwarded to relevant qualifying EOA members nearer the date.


Sponsored by

A pre-dinner Drinks Reception will be hosted prior to the Gala Dinner on the evening of Monday 23 November.


Sponsored by

Presentation of the NEW UK Employee Ownership Awards will take place on the evening of Monday 23 November at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel during the EOA Conference Gala Dinner.

Dress code: Black Tie Optional (Black Tie preferred but not mandatory, formal business attire is also welcome).

These new Awards are managed by the EOA and sponsored by Baxendale.

Non-delegates wishing to attend the Awards ceremony only, can attend the Gala Dinner only (price on request).


For details or to book your place at EOA Annual Conference 2015 call Leila Evenden on 01823 362800 or email leila.evenden@prospects.co.uk. Join us and book your place today.
EXHIBIT An exclusive opportunity for EOA members to get their organisation in front of key decision makers within employee owned and transitioning organisations. The Exhibition will be an integral part of the Conference and a limited number of businesses will be able to take up this opportunity which includes one full delegate place. Cost £850 + vat
PRODUCT SHOWCASE EOA members who manufacture or produce a product will be offered the great opportunity to display their products and promotional literature on a pre designed display area. This area will not be manned and will act as a display space only.
SPONSOR A fantastic range of sponsorship opportunities are available throughout the event including bespoke packages to fulfil your objectives. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities on 01823 362800 and ask for Leila Evenden.
UK EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AWARDS The new UK Employee Ownership Awards provide every employee owned business with an opportunity to celebrate their success and to attract recognition for their acheivements. For details of how to apply for these new industry awards, visit: UK Employee Ownership Awards