Conference organisers need to plan well ahead
so even before the upcoming Summer conference takes place I'm planning the logistics for the 2023 Winter and Summer conferences...

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20th June 22 -  The Editor - 2023 Brands Retail UK Conference Dates announced

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My planning is well ahead of schedule for the next Brands & Retail UK Summer conference, which takes place at The British Library in two weeks time - I admit I am in a better place than I was for the first Winter B&RUK conference in February. 

The first B&RUK winter conference should have taken place on the 20th January but the Brands and I knew it wouldn't be wise with the record cases of covid and work from home restrictions in place at that time, so postponing it to the end of February was a wise move.

It is never nice to have outside forces screw up your plans and speaking to my good friend Helena Mansell-Stopher of Products of Change last week talking about the impact of train strikes and her deciding on postponing her SILC event I can really sympathise. 

So to help her and her wonderful cause of sustainability I am inviting Helena last minute to come and take a seat on our Retail Buyers panel on Day One. 

So you will see her at Brands Retail, which I would like to add is a very green event as well. I am re-using the lanyards from the last event and using the same pull-up banners, also I am shying away from lots of printed postcards and brochures.

B&RUK brochures and delegate lists are online and to access the visitor just needs to use the QR code printed on their visitors badges. 

Back to the Rail Strike - I sent an email to John Millington the Press officer of the RMT (Rail Maritime and Transport Union) last week - asking him if he could advise if there would be the next round of strike action taking place during my Summer conference.

I didn't get a reply (he must be busy) but read on the Telegraph website that it will likely be later in July for the next round of misery. So we should be good in two weeks - unless Librarians go on strike but I don't think they have a union. 

The Winter 2023 Conference - January (3rd Week)

I have now confirmed with The British Library Events team that we will hold the Winter 2023 Winter conference again with them.

They have been fantastic hosts and I know everyone loves the venue.

The dates confirmed for Winter 23 are the 18th and 19th January 23 - which is a week before London Toy Fair.

I am now expanding the Winter conference to two days which was always my intention.

It will be a bigger two day event with:

(Brands, Heritage, FMCG, Sports, Art & Lifestyle) presentations on Day One and Day Two (Character, Film and Gaming) brands.

There will also be a 'Meet the Buyers' networking party on one of the days (TBC) and I am talking to local restaurants about holding a dinner as well on the other day. 

I am offering the January 23 presentation slots to my 'Founding' Brands who have taken part in this years' events for first refusal (thank you for the support in the first year). I respect support and it is only right they get to have first choice before anyone else.

After the 1st August I will be opening up slots to all industry licensors and deposits will be required to secure them.

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...and so we come onto Summer 2023.

I've already leaked details to some of you in the industry that I intend on moving the Summer conferences around the UK with seaside resorts being the preferred destinations. The feedback on that has been fantastic, all positive.

Also from a UK trade point of view I want to encourage international visitors to Brands Retail conferences.

On that subject I'm delighted Planeta will be coming over from Spain in a couple of weeks for Day Two of Summer 22 conference - I hope they have a great conference and tell all their friends in Spain. We had Erve coming over from Belgium for the first conference and again this time so I am pleased to see it is on more international executives radars. 

Summer 2023 conference we should be holding it in Brighton on the 28th and 29th June 2023.

Put those dates in your diary and put a reminder to bring your 'Bikinis' and 'Mankinis'.

Also we won't be clashing with my good friend Greg Childs (MBE) Childrens' Media Conference in Sheffield which will take place the week after B&RUK next year - 'apologies for the bad planning this year Greg - it was an oversight on my part'... we clashed dates this year... never ideal.

I'm still speaking with Brighton venues and thinking about where the nightclub parties will be but will keep you all posted as soon as it is green-lit.

Donkey Ride's on the beach, Ice Cream, Candy Floss, Fish and Chips...
what's not to like... I can't be blamed for the rain although looking at the picture below it is always sunny in Brighton.

Ryan Beaird
B&RUK Editor

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PITCH SMARTER - BRANDS & RETAIL CONFERENCE 22
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