Find out about Graduate Open Call and key greeting industry issues at September event
Serious and social – the GCA AGM and conference will cover both sides for members of the greeting card community with a stellar line-up of keynote speakers now confirmed as well as networking plans revealed.
This year’s GCA main event will take place at Nottingham Trent University on Thursday, 29 September, with an agenda that’s set to tick all the boxes for interest and relevance for greeting card publishers large and small, card retailers and trade suppliers.
Among those delivering great pearls of wisdom will be The Art File’s Ged Mace, The Sherwood Group’s Richard Bacon, Jon May of Mooch Gifts & Home, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace, and industry stalwart and creative maestro Geoff Sanderson – all based in or around Nottingham – as well as Ni Wang and Alex Bandini from research company Kantar.
“What a great line-up of speakers we have for this year’s AGM and conference. As well as sharing their own business experiences they will also be touching on the key issues affecting the industry, such as sustainability, diversity, supply chain challenges, the impact of increases in cost of living and changes in consumer behaviour,” said Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.
Ged Mace, co-founder and md of Nottingham-based, multi-award-winning publisher The Art File, will chart its milestones as the business celebrates 25 years, and pass on his knowledge as well as sharing his thoughts on the industry’s current hot topics.
“As a graduate of Nottingham Trent University, I not only took some of my exams in the building where the conference and AGM will be held, but it was also where I collected my all-important grant!” Ged said.
Family business the Sherwood Press has supplied the greeting card industry for over 40 years and md Richard Bacon will be sharing his experience as well as looking at current industry challenges and opportunities, including supply chain and sustainability developments.
Award-winning retailer Jon May, co-founder of Mooch Gifts & Home in Stourport and Bewdley, will be sharing his insights on being an independent retailer in 2022, and how a trip to Cornwall led him into the greetings and gift industry.
Experienced creative leader Geoff Sanderson will be revealing more about the Graduate Open Call initiative, which will establish links with universities, initially working with three selected art colleges to bring new talent into the industry by highlighting greeting cards as a career option.
And he will also speak about how student links are a key foundation in any creative business as he shares his experience of using graduates and work placements as a way of building creative teams, succession planning and developing innovative product ranges.
Last, but not least, is Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and chancellor of Nottingham Trent, who will be sharing his expert take on export opportunities from his extensive business experience, latterly as chairman of British fashion house Burberry.
That’s the serious stuff – on the social front, anyone in the area the evening before is invited to join Paul Taylor, md of multiple retailer Cardzone, as he hosts a meet-up drink in the city centre from 5.30pm on September 28.
Then The Art File’s James Mace will be leading those who want to continue socialising to a second venue where there will also be the opportunity to buy food.
To enjoy the fun opportunity to network ahead of the conference, James is co-ordinating matters so please email him on email@example.com if you want to attend so he can share full details nearer the time.
Click here to book your tickets for the 2022 annual GCA AGM and conference at Nottingham Trent University on Thursday, 29 September.
Top: The bespoke AGM and conference livery created by The Art File which taps into some of the city’s landmarks