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Giftware Association news The Next Generation

Isabel Martinson Chief Executive

Exciting plans are in place for The GA’s Members’ Day on June 10 when ‘The Next Generation’ will be the main theme of the event.

People who help shape the future of the giftware industry will feature strongly at the next GA Members’ Day (June 10) to be entitled, ‘The Next Generation’. Among those joining the panel

debate will be Steve McGuire, global sales director and senior vice-president at LSA International and Sara Allbright, John Lewis buyer for home and gift collections/candleshop. “We are reaching out to the young

entrepreneurs who help run the numerous, successful gift supply and gift retail businesses in the UK,” said GA chief executive, Isabel Martinson. “Many of the products winning Gift

of the Year awards are designed and created by the upcoming stars of home and gift. The Members’ Day is the perfect opportunity to bring these young leaders together to debate the future of our great industry and discuss what can be achieved collectively to maintain the health of this vibrant sector of the economy. “It will also enable new companies

to learn from those members with great experience. They, in turn, may also be able to glean some useful information.”

Those watching the live feed will be

encouraged to join in the debate via Twitter and email. “We want this to be the start of an ongoing conversation within the industry. “Those who can’t get away from

their businesses on the day will be able to access the debate and keynote speeches afterwards via a videolink.” Speakers will include Daniel Sinclair

Taylor, partnerships manager at Funding Circle, the marketplace in peer to peer business finance. He will also be available in the afternoon for one-to-one sessions with members looking for more detailed information on how SMEs can use the scheme – which has government backing – to raise funds to move their companies forward. Richard Hill of digital marketing

consultancy, SEO Traffic Lab, will tell retailer and supplier members how to increase online sales on their websites and the way social media can help them achieve higher search engine rankings. After a networking lunch, one-to-

one surgeries, discussion groups and workshops will span the law relating to sales agents, with lawyers from Steeles Law; insurance and financial services

(TH March); analysing information from your EPOS systems (Data Strategy Consulting); lead generation and conversion technology (Reach Local) and social media with Tamsin Fox- Davies. New GA member and national committee member, Gary Schaffer of United Oddsocks will also run a session on selling skills.

Meet the Buyer

There were more plaudits for The GA following its recent Meet the Buyer events with the John Lewis Partnership and Achica. Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs met John Lewis buyers and said it was an opportunity not to be missed. Paul Connett of My Gifts Trade said of his meeting with Achica: “It was one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of formalising my company and brands and building concrete foundations in such an intimate area.”

GA recruits new members

The GA has recruited 39 new members – a mix of suppliers and retailers – in the first quarter of 2015 – a 44 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Find The GA online

12 Giftware Review & Home Interiors May / June 2015

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