Waterstones, Cardzone, Sainsbury’s, Postmark, Card Factory To Speak Out At The GCA’s Conference

The stellar line-up of speakers and topics to be covered at the GCA’s Conference and AGM is getting stronger by the day with leading multiple retail names, including Cardzone, Sainsbury’s, Waterstones, Card Factory as well as notable indies pledging their support for the event, which is taking place virtually on November 4.

Click here to book your place.

“With less than two weeks to go until our annual Conference and AGM, it is getting very exciting as final touches are being put to the various presentations and panel discussions,” says Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.

Above: The virtual platform of Hopin is being used to host the GCA Conference and AGM this year.
Above: The virtual platform of Hopin is being used to host the GCA Conference and AGM this year.

Hazel Walker, senior buyer of Waterstones; Paul Taylor, md of Cardzone; Carly Pearson, senior buyer of Sainsbury’s; Mark Janson-Smith, md of Postmark; Sally Matson of Red Card, Petworth and Jon May of Mooch, Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn will all be sharing their take on the general greeting card retail scene; their feelings about Christmas trade as well as the role of greeting cards generally in what promises to be a rich panel discussion that is to be chaired by PG’s editor Jakki Brown.

Above: Red Card’s Sally Matson will be sharing her perspective as a strong bricks and mortar indie.
Above: Red Card’s Sally Matson will be sharing her perspective as a strong bricks and mortar indie.

Meanwhile, retail buyers from Paperchase, Card Factory, Lark London, Cards for Good Causes, No.14 (Ampthill) and Bottom Drawer (Portadown) are among those to also be participating elsewhere on the agenda, joining publishers on the Diversity panel discussion (which is being chaired by Mark Callaby, md of Ohh Deer and GCA council member) and on the online panel discussion (which is being chaired by Chris Bryan, general manager of Second Nature and GCA council member).

Above: Indie Jon May, co-owner of Mooch in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn caught on camera with his trusty friend Winston, while he was judging The Henries recently.
Above: Indie Jon May, co-owner of Mooch in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn caught on camera with his trusty friend Winston, while he was judging The Henries recently.

Added to this, Retail expert, Michael Weedon, md of Exp2, chair of Federation of Small Business’ Retail and High Street Policy Unit and head of the High Street Advisory Board for Save The High Street campaign will front the two retail panel discussions, giving an overview of the health and wealth of the changing retail landscape.

The online morning/early afternoon event (which will take place from 10.30am-2.30pm on Wednesday 4 November) will comprise a jam packed agenda of inspiring and informative elements touching many aspects of the greeting card industry, making it highly relevant to publishers, retailers and trade suppliers.

With an aim to make it “great greeting card telly”, a phrase coined by GCA council member, Jeremy Cornermd of Blue Eyed Sun, the ‘programme’ will encompass the official unveiling of the UK Greeting Card Market Report (commissioned by the GCA) by Darren Cave, commercial director of UKG and GCA council member; a mission statement from reigning GCA president Rachel Haremd of Belly Button Designs as well as the trio of lively panel discussions.

Above: (left-right) Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson, Cardzone’s Paul Taylor, Waterstone’s Hazel Walker and Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith are just four of the many retailers who will be sharing their views.
Above: (left-right) Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson, Cardzone’s Paul Taylor, Waterstone’s Hazel Walker and Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith are just four of the many retailers who will be sharing their views.

“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 Conference and AGM this year,” stated Amanda. “Make sure you book your ticket!”

The cost of attending the Conference is £15 (including VAT) per person with bookings made via the secure booking site, accessed by clicking here.

“Huge thanks to the support of our sponsors, which currently include Abbot PrintFedrigoniGF SmithLB WarehousingLoxleys and PJ Print, we have been able to keep the delegate cost to a minimum,” said Amanda. “Anyone who isn’t yet a member, we’d love to have you on board. This is a great reason to join.”

Any GCA member just wishing to attend the AGM element (which is 15 minutes) can do so free of charge by contacting Amanda on hello@gca.cards.

Top: Among the retailers participating in the imminent GCA Conference and AGM are (left-right) Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson, Cardzone’s Paul Taylor, Waterstone’s Hazel Walker and Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith.

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