GCA conference lines up recession-busting speakers

The programme for the 2009 Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference - to be held on 25-28 January at Cirencester, Gloucestershire - will tackle the recession.

GCA chairman Martin Davies said of the Poised to Ride the Recession theme: "I am reminded of the time I started in this business; it was in the early 1990s at the time of another major economic downturn. Then, I feared for my survival but was pleasantly relieved to have entered an industry that not only bucked the trend but came out of it in fine fettle. This time, I hope, will be no different. All we need is a decent run of weather next spring and summer."

- Speakers include farm shop food expert Rob Ward on how the future for food consumption is perceived.

- Nigel Barlow will present the Crack It approach to staying positive in the downturn.

- Ellis Watson, formerly marketing director of the Sun and News of the World, and now managing director of Menzies Distribution, will show how the culture of an organisation can deliver change.

- Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black's, will show the determination needed and the risks involved in building a business and exploiting a niche market.

- Ian Boardman's presentation will highlight the best from the GCA audits in 2008.

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