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GCA conference a "resounding success"

Published: 1 February 2013
More than 300 delegates attended the three-day Garden Centre Association annual conference, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, this week.
GCA conference a 'resounding success'
Highlights included the fun and frolics of the traditional GCA Olympics, talks from horticultural experts and the chance to catch up and meet top suppliers as well as retailers from more than 50 garden centres.

"It was a really informative and inspirational event," said GCA chairman Peter Burks, "The highlights for me were Greg Nugent's talk 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 were representatives from Baker & Taylor, William Sinclair, Wesltand Horticulture, Gardman and Taylors Bulbs.

GIMA director Neil Gow 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!"

The speakers included Greg Nugent, former director of brand, marketing and culture for the Olympic and Paralympic games, renowned entrepreneur Wayne Hemingway MBE, motivational speaker Michael Heppell and leading design consultant and editor Lisa White.

"The conference this year was brilliant," said The Old Railway Line Garden Centre shop manager Katie Cleary, adding: "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.

William Sinclaire md Danny Adamson 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 dates for next year's event are expected to be announced soon.

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