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Published on March 31st, 2015 | by The GC Team


retra Industry Conference 2015: “Together towards tomorrow…”

The 2015 retra Industry Conference, sponsored by Sky, takes place 12th May at the London Lancaster Hotel and is promised to be “one of the biggest and brightest in the event’s 65-year history.”

The one-day event, themed “Together towards tomorrow…” and hosted by journalist and presenter Declan Curry, a former business correspondent for BBC Breakfast, looks at how the industry can co-operate to prosper in a retail environment of change.

retra has pulled together an impressive line-up of speakers for the occasion and is urging supporters to book delegate places, sponsorships and tables now for what promises to be industry’s most valuable business event of 2015. Bookings are open online at the Conference microsite, part of www.retra.co.uk.

retra said delegates can expect first class AV and presentation, interactive electronic audience voting and its much-regarded manufacturer and retailer Q&A panels.

The event will also incorporate retra’s partnering associate member tradeshow and will conclude with a “star-studded” evening Gala Dinner hosted by impersonator and comedian Jon Culshaw. retra will be raising money for this year’s chosen charities Cancer Research UK and McMillan nurses during the evening of dining and entertainment.

And this is how the Conference will shape up:


Internationally renowned business speaker Geoff Burch will lead with the keynote address. His witty and engaging style has delivered powerful business principles and key ideas to many global blue chip and FSTE 100 companies. Burch will challenge the way the industry does business and offer real-world solutions that can be immediately implemented.

…compliance and legislation

With compliance the watch word of financial services industry, understanding relevant legislation is critical to those that sell warranty or finance products. John Stocker, Consumer Credit Permission Manager at the Financial Conduct Authority, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s event. Given the changes to credit legislation in the retail environment, retra management has worked hard to secure this rare opportunity to listen to and interact with a senior figure from the FCA.

…market analysis

GfK’s Nigel Catlow will reveal the highs and lows of the last trading year in the UK electrical goods market along with key trends for the season ahead. This is an invaluable insight for retailers planning the year ahead and the information is not available in such a succinct and UK retail-focused format elsewhere.


Google’s CE channel specialist Richard Hartigan will deliver a keynote address on the power of internet marketing, search engine optimisation and how small retailers can carve out a great business amid larger pure-play internet giants. This targeted address with be packed full of tips and information for electrical retailers.

…online marketing

Online marketing is definitely the most effective method of spreading the word quickly and Vision Odyssey has years of experience of doing just that. Focusing on the power of social media to gain and engage retail customers and keep them coming back time and time again, the presentation will be look at how retailers can set up and maximise networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

…manufacturer and retailer Q&A panels

Following the great success of manufacturer and retail panels at previous retra Conferences, the organisation has again scheduled these important sessions into the event. It will put a number of tough, current and searching questions to the panels for open discussion and opinion, with questions supplied by retra members (*see below).

…the associate tradeshow

The associate member tradeshow will run alongside the main Conference, allowing delegates to interact with manufacturers during breaks and over lunch. This year, the tradeshow times have been extended right up until the opening of the Gala Dinner to allow more time for delegates to attend all the Conference sessions and meet with exhibiting brands.

*Air your questions – win a FREE delegate place

This year’s retailer and manufacturer panels will host questions from retra members. To get the panels buzzing, retra is giving away 50 FREE delegate places, including attendance of the Gala Dinner to members sending in the questions in advance. Simply send your questions to retra@retra.co.uk and your name will be entered into the prize draw for one of the 50 free tickets. The best questions will be put to the relevant panel at Conference and flagged up on screen anonymously to encourage the most awkward and thorny queries.

Conference audience


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