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UK GCA 2013 Conference Heralded a Great Success


Organisers of the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) annual conference this week (January 27 – 29, 2013) have declared the event a resounding success. Overall more than 300 delegates attended the three-day event and the organisers said they have had excellent feedback from attendees following the conference. 

Peter Burks, Chairman of the Garden Centre Association, speaking at the conference.

Peter Burks, Chairman of the GCA, said: "It was a really informative and inspirational event that has given us all plenty to talk and think about. The highlights for me were Greg Nugent's talk all about preparing for the Olympics and Michael Heppell and Lisa White were also very thought provoking.

"Our conference wasn't just about business of course, it was also a marvellous opportunity to socialise with fellow members and to form lasting relationships. We all thoroughly enjoyed the event and are looking forward to next year." Among those at the conference, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park near Chipping Norton, were Baker & Taylor, William Sinclair, Westland Horticulture, Gardman and Taylors Bulbs. There were also delegates from more than 50 garden centres.

Neil Gow, Director of The Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA), said: "The GCA Conference this week had some of the best content ever. Retailers and suppliers could all take away at least five key actionable points, which would see their profits rise not to mention all the little bits of detail which make a difference too. It was the most useful GCA conference I've been to, and I've been to a few!"

Greg Nugent, former Director of Brand, Marketing & Culture for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, speaking at the Garden Centre Association conference.

Renowned entrepreneur Wayne Hemingway MBE, speaking at the Garden Centre Association conference.

The speakers included Greg Nugent, former Director of Brand, Marketing & Culture for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), renowned entrepreneur Wayne Hemingway MBE, motivational speaker Michael Heppell and leading design consultant and editor Lisa White. Katie Cleary, Shop Manager at The Old Railway Line Garden Centre, said: "The conference this year was brilliant. I found Michael Heppell's speech really inspiring and Wayne Hemingway was great too. He really opened my eyes about how garden centres need to step up in terms of technology." Delegates also had the opportunity to visit supplier stands, attend a champagne reception and a black tie dinner.

Danny Adamson, Managing Director of William Sinclair, said: "Once again the GCA conference was first rate. The three days were very varied and not only was the event very informative, it provided delegates the chance to catch up with key figures from the industry."

The conference provided delegates with pertinent information on key aspects of the garden centre industry to assist members in achieving their business goals. The information shared focused on a wide range of topics, including merchandising, marketing and management. Peter added: "We're now all really looking forward to next year's event. We hope to be able to announce the date soon so members that missed this year's conference can be sure to get it in their diaries early. It has become a not to be missed industry event."

Source: HortiTrends News Room