Conference Fever 2015

Conference fever hit the EOA at the end of 2015 as once again the EOA Annual Conference,  the largest gathering of UK employee owned businesses, attracted over 550 delegates from an array of organisations and industries who all descended upon the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham for two days of immersion into employee ownership.

Sponsored in 2015 by Capital for Colleagues, the conference continues to be the most important annual event for the employee owned sector, bringing together business owners, public sector representatives and entrepreneurs aspiring to become employee owned to benefit from the exclusive opportunity to learn from, and share anecdotes and insights with leading employee owners and industry experts.

Compered by the BBC’s Martine Croxall, the Conference commenced with the black tie Gala Dinner, where the new UK Employee Ownership Awards, sponsored by Baxendale, were presented to celebrate the very best examples of employee ownership the sector has to offer.

And we applaud the well deserving winners of the UK Employee Ownership Awards:

  • Employee Owned Business of the Year – Gripple
  • Rising Star of the Year – Remploy
  • Employee Owner of the Year – Dr David Hodgkinson, Quintessa
  • Innovation of the Year – Green Light Healthcare Ltd
  • Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award – Patrick Burns, Prospects

Conference delegates were inspired by keynote speakers Walter Scott, Joint Managing Director of Wilkin & Sons Ltd, and Trevor Phillips OBE, Partnership Council President of the John Lewis Partnership. Providing insight on his experiences with Tiptree and its family owned history, Walter explained the rationale behind Wilkin & Sons transition to an employee-owned business. And Trevor shared anecdotes and spoke passionately about why the time is ripe for employee ownership to enter the mainstream.

The conference was completed by  a programme of breakout sessions covering topics as diverse as leadership, employee engagement, and how employee ownership can foster innovation and creativity, with  insights coming from leading industry experts and thought leaders.


“The EOA conference is rightly seen as THE event in the employee ownership calendar. It provides a fantastic opportunity to meet and hear from a diverse range of organisations who have created organisations where their employees really do ‘think, feel and act like owners’.”

Andrew Harrison – Co-ownership Solutions LLP


This annual gathering has again hit the spot with delegates as the post event survey reveals:

  • 99% rated the venue, location and facilities excellent or good
  • 99% rated the exhibition excellent or good
  • 98% rated the Gala Dinner excellent or good
  • 83% felt all of their conference objectives had been met
  • 96% felt the conference offers excellent or reasonable value for money

EOA Conference 2015 was a huge success and the planning for the 2016 Conference has already started.

Any members interested in exhibiting, sponsoring or speaking in 2016 should get in touch with Lizzy Gilbert

We look forward to seeing you in 2016!