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  • GCA sets the gold standard with its annual conference

    The GCA has said its annual conference at Luton Hoo Hotel was a record-breaking success.
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    The conference had more than 300 delegates. Feedback from attendees has been positive.
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    Iain Wylie said: ?Thank you to everyone who joined us at our annual conference.
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    “It was an excellent event and a fantastic opportunity for us all to come together as an industry. We shared ideas and best practice, and celebrated all our successes.”

    GCA Conference programme

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    The GCA inspectors opened the conference highlighting retailing excellence from around the UK.
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    Their observations were backed by guest speaker and garden centre consultant John Stanley.
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    He provided insight from across the world for garden centres to become ?game changers?.
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    A global perspective on wider retail trends from Matthew Brown rounded off Monday.
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    His insight managed to strike fear and optimism into the audience in equal measure but he ended on a high. He pointed to a very bright future for garden centres that continue to evolve.
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    Ex-Channel 4 News Economics Editor Paul Mason took delegates through the economic minefield. He gave some insight into the likely effects of Brexit and the current political turmoil.
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    He said garden centres are best positioned to take advantage during the next year. Delegates left confident that there will be opportunities to exploit.
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    The final speaker was Sir Clive Woodward, who explained how he led England to win the Rugby World Cup. He told how those techniques could be used in our business environment to achieve our goals.
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    Delegates used words such as ?motivational? and ?exceptional?. One summed up Sir Clive?s presentation and indeed the whole conference as ?powerful stuff!?

    Raising standards

    Iain added: ?Our members continue to raise the bar and improve standards year after year. It’s important we deliver a conference that continues to provide relevant content.
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    “I was delighted to see so many people attending this year. They left in such a positive frame of mind and with ?to-do? lists from the presentations they had seen.
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    ?Feedback from our delegates has been positive. Many have praised the exceptional line-up of speakers.”
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    Other guest speakers during the conference included BBC broadcaster Tanya Beckett. There was also a Q&A session?with former England cricketer, Kevin Pietersen.
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    GCA Chairman, Mike Lind, said: ?I was proud to be Chairman for such a great conference. The atmosphere throughout the event was fantastic. It has been amazing to receive so many compliments about the line-up and the event as a whole.?

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