Every year at this time the franchise network at DALROD UK enjoy a day together celebrating their Annual Franchise Conference. The 2023 conference took place on Friday 29th September, at the popular (and very large) Leicester Tigers Rugby ground in Leicester. This event seems to roll around faster and faster as the years go by, and this year the franchise network had a hands on experience to enjoy!

The DALROD network of franchisees travelled from far and wide to come together, this is the only opportunity when the entire network, including the Head Office team can be in one place for the whole day. As businesses continue to utilise online tools such as Teams for hosting meetings we are reminded that while they prove effective for teams spread across large distances, they don’t compare to the type of interactions and benefits we experience from physical gatherings.

One of the greatest challenges for this type of event, is keeping the content fresh and keeping the audience engaged. For the first time the format of the day was broken up into two sessions. The morning was inside the venue and ran the group of business owners through corporate updates, and departmental updates from within. They had the chance to hear from a number of Head Office personnel which is the first time this has been done.

Then there was van and equipment display plus a showcase and visit from Martyn Kelly at CJ Kelly International. A great opportunity for everyone to mix and see a range of new tools and technology!

The afternoon session was an ‘up on your feet’ extravaganza as external providers Off Limits brought in a series of team building activities (on the back of a few large trailers!). Divide and conquer was the name of the game! Everyone was split into two large groups and then again into smaller sub groups for the duration. Soap box derby racing vs the crystal quest!

Which team would you have wanted to be on?

Working together, it’s all about communication!

The tasks were all structured around the art of communication and collaboration, something that comically and temporarily broke down in several of the teams as frustrations reached a peak! Overall there was far more laughter than frustration as everyone worked together and had a great time getting involved with the activities.

“We wanted this year’s conference to be slightly different, so we went for a combination of presentations, networking, and some interactive group activities” said Catriona Berry, Franchise Manager of DALROD UK. “No one wants to be sat around all day being “talked at” so we came up with great alternatives.

Our franchise network and staff alike are all extremely good sports and threw themselves into the outdoor team building activities with everything they had. The underlying message being all about communication & collaboration and how vital they are when it comes to developing business. We are confident that this message came across throughout the days activities.” 

The culmination of the tasks ended with time inside the fan-filled inflatable dome to catch as many tickets as possible to win points, or competing in a series of races for the newly created cars, crowning two team champions. A huge well done to everyone who took part and made it a roaring success.

“We understand how important it is to maximise the time available throughout the day. Many of our franchisees travel a long way and leave their businesses in the capable hands of their teams for the day, so all that effort has to be rewarded with an enjoyable and productive day,” said Kimberley Lane, Director Designate. “On this occasion we believe we had the ideal blend of corporate vs fun for everyone to enjoy and the afternoon session brought everyone together as planned.”

End the night with a celebration!

What annual event is complete without a Gala Dinner and an awards ceremony? It has now become a firm tradition to end the day this way. Well, in between witnessing some highly impressive and entertaining magic from Magician Harry Moulding that is!

The awards began with recognitions throughout the network to franchisees who had performed exceptionally in different categories. There were recognitions for innovative thinking (DALROD Cambridge), collaboration within the network (DALROD Oxford), an outstanding first year (DALROD Leeds), and perseverance in winning work (DALROD Manchester).

An extra level of fun and competitiveness were thrown in this year with two wildcard awards, one for the neatest van (DALROD Leeds) and the ultimate drainage recognition, the golden toilet award for the worst unblock of the year (DALROD North East)!

The two most prestigious awards were handed out to two very deserving franchises for 2023. Our High Achiever award was presented to DALROD Northampton and to round off the evening the Franchise of the year was awarded to DALROD Cambridge, our longest serving franchise and unmatched example of a DALROD business.

“Congratulations to all our award winners this year,” commented Dave Lane, Managing Director. “Our network continue to impress us with the hard work and dedication they apply to every aspect of business ownership and they are each a fantastic representative of both our brand and our values.”

The business is thrilled to see what 2024 brings, as we remain committed to working with innovative techniques and forming close relationships with our suppliers to offer the best possible drainage solutions to every single one of our customers. It remains about so much more than just unblocking toilets, and that is an exciting prospect.