Garden retail – the great escape – is the theme for this year’s HTA Garden Futures Conference and Dinner, which takes place on Wednesday 4 October at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire. This one day conference and dinner is aimed at all those from across the garden industry from business owners to directors and managers.

The theme of this year’s one-day strategic event reflects the role of both gardens and garden centres as an escape and focuses on the benefits, positive role and unique opportunities that this provides for the industry.

This year’s event will be hosted by award winning broadcaster Steph McGovern from Breakfast News. Steph has been working in financial journalism for over 13 years and has been part of the BBC Breakfast family for the last five. Steph travels all over the UK to cover economic and business news for the BBC and since joining Breakfast has broadcast live from over 500 businesses. On top of this Steph regularly stands-in as a main presenter on Breakfast and this year launched two new shows, a primetime BBC One programme called ‘Shop Well For Less’ and a children’s TV show 'Pocket Money Pitch' for CBBC. This autumn Steph will also be joining the presenting team on BBC One’s ‘Watchdog’. 

Also, joining the programme is Rachel Lund from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Rachel heads up the BRC’s Insight and Analytics team, and is responsible for all of the BRC’s data gathering and market analysis activities including the Retail Sales and Footfall Monitors.

Josh McBain from the Foresight Factory will present on The Ageless Society demonstrating how the changing demographic provides huge opportunity for the garden industry with a big focus on experiences rather than material objects.

In a session sponsored by Fiskars, botanist, science writer and broadcaster James Wong will be speaking about the role of merchandising and the way in which garden centres can utilise cross-category merchandising to help illustrate the benefit of plants.  This picks up findings from his most recent TV programme ‘The Secrets of your Food” where James looked at how plants and plant science underpin the food that we eat.

Following on from the Retail Lab @ Glee there will be a Retail Lab @ Garden Futures panel session providing the opportunity to find out more about how retailers can make the most of this feature which showcases innovative ways of illustrating lifestyle themes.

Look out for further details about speakers over the coming months.

Make sure you don’t miss out! Book your place now at www.hta.org.uk/gardenfutures

For further information about sponsorship opportunities at the conference and dinner please contact Tim Bell, HTA Commercial Manager Tel: 07808 775 177 Email: tim.bell@hta.org.uk or Phil Swainston, HTA Commercial Sales Executive Tel: 07783 625 037. Email: phil.swainston@hta.org.uk

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