Opinion Former Article

BMF Means Business

A leaner, meaner BMF with clear objectives, set the theme for the BMF’s AGM on Saturday.

Held at the Harefield Community Association, Uxbridge, Middlesex, the meeting heard from outgoing chairman Anna Zee that while individual membership numbers had fallen slightly, affiliated club membership remained buoyant and that the BMF’s portfolio of shows, a key source of income for the BMF, although now more professionally presented, had no doubt been hit by the current economic situation.

Speaking on BMF finances, Finance Director Howard Anderson said that while office overheads had been considerably reduced during the year, the work load was still there and he asked for more volunteers to help spread the load. The good news was however that Archant Dialogue, the producers of the BMF’s magazine Motorcycle Rider, had not only cut costs dramatically and increased advertising revenue he said, but were also upgrading the BMF’s website.

This financial theme was continued when it came to the BMF’s shows’ portfolio. For 2012 and beyond, a new contract had been entered into with The Mulberry Group, the organisers of BMF shows for the past two years, whereby they would now take on full responsibility for the shows both functionally and financially.

Martin Chick, Mulberry Group MD, said that while overall he had been happy with the content of the shows, he was not happy with their financial performance. He said that the move of the Tailend show to Lincoln had been a worthwhile experiment but was not a financial success and therefore, having taken into account public and trader views and discussed it with the BMF’s Management Team, Tailend, with improved contract terms, will be moved back to Peterborough for 2012. “We clearly got the moving of the Tailend show wrong, but we did it for the right reasons” said Martin. “As we’ve said all along, we’ll listen to traders, BMF members and attendees. They’ve all said Lincoln isn’t right for them, hence the move back to Peterborough."

Martin also said that his team were in negotiations with a new sponsor for the shows, which would help defray expenses and increase profitability.

The show dates for 2012 were announced as:

BMF Show, Peterborough, 18-20 May
BMF Bikefest Kelso, 6-8 July
BMF Tailend, Peterborough, 14-16 September

Amy Nicholson from Archant Dialogue then spoke about Marketing and Communications, specifically about the growth and development of Motorcycle Rider magazine. Advertising revenues had risen she said and there was a new confidence from advertisers, one of whom had already booked for the forthcoming four issues. She noted that with the development of the BMF’s website there would be a further increase in revenues, but as the development had to be self-funding, this would not be overnight.

The BMF’s Government Relations Executive, Chris Hodder, then spoke about lobbying and government relations. He said that the motorcycle training review was still ongoing and he outlined the Euro demonstration planned for Brussels in November against anti-motorcycling proposals. He stressed the need to concentrate on real and not imagined threats and went on to talk about European type approval regulations, in particular dispelling some myths about roadside checks, on-board diagnostics and compulsory ABS.

When it came to BMF elections, Peter Laidlaw was re-elected as Director of Member Services while two new volunteer directors, Tom Duncan and Roger Ellis were co-opted on to the Management Team.

After five years at the helm, outgoing chairman Anna Zee said that for personal reasons she would be standing down but hoped to continue to participate in the Federation’s activities wherever she could and wished everyone well for the future. A vote of thanks was given for the tireless work Anna had performed over the past five, very difficult years.
 

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