GCA’s Digital AGM And Conference On November 4, To Be The Most Inclusive Ever

Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, it has been confirmed that this year’s GCA AGM and Conference will be hosted digitally on Wednesday 4 November.  The online morning/early afternoon event will include a series of inspiring elements, sharing views, confronting issues, revealing developments while also providing the opportunity to network with the industry’s leading suppliers.

“The greeting card industry is a tight knit community that enjoys and thrives on interaction. While we may all be currently separated physically, by using a top digital platform, we will importantly be able to bring everyone together for our annual AGM and Conference,” stated Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.

GCA 2020 logo v.2A jampacked agenda will see the unveiling of the findings from the soon to be published UK Greeting Card Market Report which tracks how the industry fared over 2019 compared to the previous year.

There will be plenty of retailing insights. While one panel discussion involving retailers from right across the spectrum, will see views exchanged as to the current state of trade, their hunches for Christmas as well as opportunities and threats for the industry, another will be totally focused on how online has and is playing a greater role in the sector.

Above: The GCA’s Amanda Fergusson (right) with reigning president Rachel Hare, founder of Belly Button Designs.
Above: The GCA’s Amanda Fergusson (right) with reigning president Rachel Hare, founder of Belly Button Designs.

Another significant discussion will be on the subject of diversity and inclusivity in the greeting card industry, with publishers and retailers exchanging views on progress thus far while highlighting some of the barriers and suggesting ways of achieving greater inclusivity in the card community.

The GCA trade supplier members too will play a starring role in the conference, many at the ready to share the developments on the environmental front.

“This year, more than any ever, we as an industry need to stand together. Please put a marker on your calendar for November 4 for the GCA AGM and Conference. I will be emailing all members the finer details on how to book over the coming weeks,” said Amanda.

Paying tribute to the wholehearted support for the recent Thinking of You Week, the GCA card sending initiative (which ran September 21-27), Amanda highlighted how “the activity and support further underlined the huge importance the sending of greeting cards brings to our lives.”

Above: Independent retailer, Michael Apter, owner of the Paper Tiger shops in Edinburgh promoting Thinking of You Week.
Above: Independent retailer, Michael Apter, owner of the Paper Tiger shops in Edinburgh promoting Thinking of You Week.

With a question mark still hanging over social group meet-ups in the run up to the festive period, echoing the views of others, Amanda added how “The sending of Christmas cards will provide invaluable social communication like never before.”

Above: Card publisher Cherry Orchard ran a Thinking of You display competitionwith Expressions of Broadstairs proclaimed the winner. Receiving £250 of M&S vouchers as their prize.
Above: Card publisher Cherry Orchard ran a Thinking of You display competitionwith Expressions of Broadstairs proclaimed the winner. Receiving £250 of M&S vouchers as their prize.

With many retailers having brought forward their Christmas card displays with good results, it looks like early Christmas card buying is underway. Helping to kickstart and encourage early Christmas card sending, the livery has now been released for this year’s Festive Friday. This year, the GCA-instigated day for people to start writing their Christmas cards falls on Friday 27 November. Woodmansterne Publications has designed a suite of posters and social media banners for this year’s Festive Friday that are free for anyone to download from the GCA website (www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk/news/festive-friday-2020)

Above: A downloadable Festive Friday email banner.
Above: A downloadable Festive Friday email banner.

“Let’s get that Christmas card spirit going!” urges Amanda.

Top: A scene from the stage at last year’s GCA AGM and Conference. (Left-right) Geoff Sanderson (consultant), outgoing president Ceri Stirland (UKG), incoming president Rachel Hare (Belly Button) and Amanda Fergusson (GCA).

 

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