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Members celebrate gift industry

Annual meeting features networking, workplace wellbeing and how to go green


CELEBRATING all that’s great about the gift and home industry was the aim of the 2019 Giftware Association annual members’ day.

And the event at the Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club on Tuesday, June 18, featured networking, changes in the industry across social media, key High Street statistics and the importance of workplace wellbeing as well as hearing from ethical business Vent For Change.
The day started with a welcome from GA chairman and Blue Eyed Sun MD Jeremy Corner and CEO Sarah Ward, followed by the formal business of voting Louise Welsby, of Buy From creative agency, and Julie Driscoll, of Spring and Autumn Fair organisers ITE Group, as new national committee members.
This was followed by retail commentator Michael Weedon, from Exp2, speaking on the current state of the High Street and projecting an image of hope, rather than the more common news stories of doom and gloom.
After a networking lunch where attendees could meet the GA’s service providers and other members, the day continued with David Glenwright from JC Social Media on new trends for social platforms and how to promote your business to the right audience.
Next was a panel on wellbeing and wellness in the workplace, expertly chaired by the GA’s deputy chairman Henri Davis and featuring Hollie Whittles, from Fraggleworks, business psychologist Jess Baker, and Helen Leathers, a transformational women’s coach.
The discussion focused on how businesses can look after their staff’s mental health and the best ways to set up wellbeing schemes for the home and workplace.
Headline speaker Evan Lewis, from Vent For Change, concluded the day with his story of being an environmentally-conscious and green business, using recycled plastic to make pencils while donating 10 per cent of profits to global education projects. He also revealed his top tips on how members could make their own businesses greener, a policy which is gaining traction in the giftware world.
Sarah said: “The day was a great success and it was great to see so many new businesses really take something away from the day and listen intently to all the speakers.
“The speakers were great and offered real insights into their subjects, we are looking forward to putting on more multi-faceted events in the future with a selection of different speakers.”

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