The Australian fuel retailing industry is a big beast.

During 2017/18, the industry employed an estimated 45,000 people working across 6900 sites that are conservatively valued at around $23B.

In addition, annual revenue during 2017/18 was estimated to be approximately $35B (around half of this being directly remitted back to the Federal Government in the form of fuel excise and GST) with an estimated industry value add of around $2.5B (being around $1.6B in wages and $900M in profit)

So, when the industry decides it is going to reinvent itself, the challenge is both large and multi-faceted.

“Discussions with our members over the past 12 months indicates that fuel retail businesses are now grappling with the substantial nature of the structural and cultural change needed to transform their businesses from fuel with chips chocs and drinks to a modern petrol-convenience retail outlet”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

“As a result, ACAPMA has designed the agenda for the 2018 Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum around the provision of information and assistance with the key facets of this change”, continued Mark

Designed by the fuel industry, for the fuel industry, the APFIF provides an annual opportunity for industry participants and other stakeholders to discuss issues that are both internal and external to the fuel industry – as considered from the perspective of industry, consumers and policy makers.

The 2018 Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum is being held in Auckland New Zealand between 4 and 6 September 2018 and has been developed around the theme of “FUEL RETAILING AND THE CHANGING CONSUMER DYNAMIC”.

Forum participants will be involved in a range of discussions that are designed to help business owners navigate an increasingly complex marketplace.

Phil Ruthven (the founder and Director of IBIS World), will provide a whirlwind assessment of some of the key economic, social and consumer factors that are radically reshaping consumer behaviours in the wider marketplace in general – and the retailing market in particular.

Phil’s extensive knowledge in demographic and psychographic trends is intended to provide delegates with an understanding of how consumer behaviours are likely to evolve in the next 10 years – and the likely nature of the opportunities that this change will create for petrol & convenience retailers.

Casey Hyun (the Principal of Global Index), will discuss the likely timing for the adoption of more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, providing delegates with a good understanding of how the introduction of these vehicles may (or may not) reduce the near-term demand for conventional transport fuels like petrol and diesel.

Brian Walker (CEO of the Retail Doctor) will discuss some of the changing consumer behaviours that are occurring in the retail sector as retail consumers move to smaller and more frequent shops, instead of the traditional large weekly/fortnightly shop.

In addition, delegates will here from Brad Jones (Regional Head Asia Pacific, P97 Networks), amongst others, about some of the exciting developments in digital marketing of petrol and convenience offerings – ranging from mobile marketing to the use of facial recognition in forecourt advertising.

As always, delegates will also receive comprehensive presentations about current policy and regulatory developments that are likely to impact on business in the near term.

Jason Gehrke (Founder and Director of the Franchise Advisory Centre and former Chairman of the World Franchise Council) will discuss some of the pressures on current Franchise and Dealer models in the face of increasing government scrutiny of current commercial arrangements.

Peter Wilson (Principal Economist, NZ Institute of Economic Research) will provide an overview of the scope and findings of the Government’s 2017 Fuel Pricing Inquiry, while Alan Cadd (Managing Director of Informed Sources will discuss various approaches adopted by Governments around the world to promote increased transparency of fuel prices in their national markets.

Debbi Boffa (CEO BP New Zealand), Craig Pomare (CEO MTANZ), Ketan Kale (Coles Express) and Wade Death (Principal of Jack & Co) will share their thoughts on the current shape of the industry and the nature of the challenges ahead for fuel retailers.

“The entire two-day conference dialogue is intended to provide delegates with an appreciation of some of the key trends impacting the petrol convenience industry now, with the aim of ensuring that every delegate walks away from the conference with a piece of information that will help them successfully navigate the year ahead”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

The Program also includes dedicated half day forums on two topical issues for our industry. The first is the Contractors Forum (Day 1) where participants will be briefed on work towards the development of formal qualifications for petroleum contractors and service providers – including an open forum discussion on the priorities for development of specific competencies.

The second is the AutoGas Forum (Day 2). Delegates will receive presentations on the current state of the Autogas market and related vehicle technologies before engaging in an open forum about how Autogas suppliers can better support fuel retailers

In addition to the comprehensive conference program, a separate Trade Hall Exhibition provides the opportunities for fuel retailers to connect with major industry suppliers and service providers from Australia and New Zealand.

But the 2018 APFIF is not just about hard work. The forum also incorporates two elements intended to provide delegates with an opportunity to relax and network with fellow industry participants.

The 2018 Event incorporates the inaugural ACAPMA Classic Golf Day. Supported by United Convenience Buyers and Coca Cola Amatil, this event will be held at the beautiful Maungakiekie Golf Course on Tuesday 4 September.

The annual industry favourite, however, is the APFI Forum Dinner.  This year, this important networking dinner will be held in the surrounds of the stunning aviation display hall of the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) and is being brought to you with the support of New Sunrise Group.

All delegate passes include a seat at the dinner and, for those that get in early, an opportunity to participate in the ACAPMA Classic Golf Day (given that places are limited and closing fast).

With a little over four (4) weeks to go, now is the time to Register for the 2018 Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum.

Details on how to register, together with details about the Forum Agenda and Speakers, can be found at the event website www.apfiforum.com.