The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has announced that the location of its 2020 annual conference is to be Bristol (January 26 until 29, 2020). The GCA’s annual event will be held at the Mercure Bristol, Grand Hotel from January 26 until 29.
Mike Burks, who is the GCA chairman elect for 2020/21 and is helping organise the conference alongside the organisation’s chief executive Iain Wylie, said: “We chose Bristol for a number of reasons. We have varied the location of the conference in recent years to be in the different regions we cover, from Scotland in 2017, Stratford in 2018, Luton in 2019 and now the Westcountry for 2020.
“Bristol is a vibrant city with good communication links and the city centre venue contrasts nicely with Luton Hoo last year.”
The Mercure Bristol, Grand Hotel is a newly renovated Grade II listed building from 1856 and is home to the largest ballroom in the city centre. The hotel was inspired by UpFest, the largest urban street art and graffiti festival in Europe, with local artists influencing the décor. The hotel now features more than 500 pieces of commissioned street art.
Online booking for the conference will open in September, 2019.
Mr Burks added: “Society is facing many challenges including climate change, sustainability, community, health and wellbeing and all of these have direct links to the garden centre industry, so we’re hoping to be looking at some of these issues at the conference in 2020.
“We will be announcing more details shortly, but for now, be sure to keep the dates free in your diary.
Briefly, the schedule for the conference will be as follows:
Sunday – Greenfingers Challenge Cup
Monday – inspection and competition round ups plus keynote speakers – based around operational issues. A themed evening dinner, networking event for garden centres and associate members.
Tuesday – a day of strategy with keynote speakers on subjects such as the economy, challenges facing business and direction of future market trends with an emphasis on maintaining and enhancing profitability. In the afternoon there will be the supplier exhibition. In the evening we will host our Annual Gala Dinner and awards presentation.”