Head to Autumn Fair this September & Learn How to Conquer the High Street

It’s that time of year once again when Autumn Fair is on the horizon and this year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Over 24,000 visitors are expected to travel to Birmingham’s NEC and see new products, special offers, and bestselling product ranges from over 1,100 exhibitors.

Another highlight of the show is the free educational content provided by show organisers.

Autumn Fair has created a full schedule of Keynote speeches and seminars, covering everything a retailer needs to know to be successful in business.

In today’s post, I wanted to share a closer look at one section of the schedule, the ‘Master the High Street’ seminars, which I’m delighted to be taking part in.

 

Register for Your Autumn Fair Ticket Today

Don’t miss out on any of the FREE seminars offered at this year’s show.

Click here to register

 

My Session at Master the High Street

At Autumn Fair I will be running a session called “How Blogging Can Boost Your Gift Shop Sales”.

I’ve spoken at Autumn Fair’s sister-show, Spring Fair, about 4 or 5 times now but this will be my first talk at Autumn Fair.

I’m delighted to be once again talking on the subject of blogging for business.

Blogging can be a great way to turn website visitors into buyers but my recent research showed that the majority of businesses in our industry are not using it as a marketing channel.

In my Autumn Fair seminar, I’ll be sharing more data on blogging and showing how it can be effectively used by retailers (not to mention designers and makers too) to promote their business, showcase their brand and sell more products.

 

5 Recommended Highlights of the Programme

Alongside my own talk, the Master the High Street programme is jam-packed with informative sessions from a variety of highly qualified industry experts.

You can find a full list of the schedule below but I wanted to run through a few highlights that I would recommend as must-see talks for retailers visiting the show.

 

1. Eco & Socially Conscious Trends – Jeremy Corner

It’s a little difficult to pin Jeremy Corner down. Not only is he a good friend of this blog, but he’s also Owner of Blue Eyed Sun, Ivy Ellen and UK & Ireland Distributor of BambooCup; not to mention the newly elected Chairman of the Giftware Association!

It’s this variety of experience however that I think makes Jeremy a must-see speaker at Autumn Fair. He has a wealth of knowledge and he’s not afraid to share it. Whether it’s via the Blue Eyed Sun blog for retailers, talks at shows or his collaboration with Sage, Jeremy shares his knowledge and experience to help fellow small business owners.

At Autumn Fair Jeremy is going to be focusing on a trend-themed discussion that I think is vital for all retailers, the rise of eco and socially conscious trends. In the last few years, these trends have been growing in importance; they’re no longer niche movements and can’t be overlooked as a passing fad. All retailers need to understand why more consumers are looking for ethical options and this talk is going to be a great way to understand the subject.

2. Balancing Your Offline and Online Duties – Chris Fox

Another friend of the blog, Chris Fox, is the Marketing Manager at Wishes of Cudworth and also runs ‘Gift Shop Hub’, an online resource for retailers.

Chris is going to be talking about a very important subject, how to balance running a traditional “brick and mortar” shop with online tasks such as digital marketing and running an online eCommerce website.

In the card & gift industry time is a precious commodity, every designer, maker and retailer I’ve ever known always has a job list longer than War & Peace and there is simply never enough time to get everything done. This is especially true for our retailers. Running a shop is a full-time business and running an online eCommerce website is a full-time business, so any tips Chris can offer on how to manage the two together are going to be worth their weight in gold.

 

3. Google Digitial Garage – Priya Chauhan

Over the last few years, I’ve done a lot of 1-2-1 sessions with retailers and business owners that want to get started with digital marketing and eCommerce. The majority of them were feeling overwhelmed, they knew that the online world offered a lot of possibilities but they didn’t really know where to start. It’s a common feeling, but one that needs to be dealt with if you want to make the most of eCommerce and digital marketing.

Google’s Digital Garage is a great resource for retailers getting started with online marketing. In her ‘Master the High Street’ session, Priya Chauhan, a Trainer & Partnership Consultant from Google’s Digital Garage will be giving an overview of digital marketing, the different digital marketing channels and talk visitors through creating a digital marketing plan.

This basic knowledge is perfect for beginners and gives a great foundation for retailers to start using online marketing and selling strategies to boost their business.

 

4. Pinterest 101 – Jackie Klimes

My next recommended talk at ‘Master the High Street’ is Pinterest 101 with Jackie Klimes, a Partner Manager at Pinterest. Despite not using it nearly enough myself I’m a big fan of Pinterest as a social media channel for the greetings and giftware industries.

Pinterest often gets overlooked in favour of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, (which are the top 3 social media channels for our industry) but it holds a lot of potential for our industry. Unlike Facebook and Twitter content on Pinterest has a much longer lifespan. Posts on Pinterest can continue to send traffic to a website long after they are first shared.

As a visual-based platform, it is also ideal for our design-led industry. If any retailers are looking to increase their reach online and develop a new traffic source for their website, this talk is a must-see event.

 

5. An Introduction to Copywriting – Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence

My final pick of the must-see talks (other than mine!) at Autumn Fair’s ‘Master the High Street’ forum is Writing for Purpose and Building Your Voice by Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence of Honey Bee Copywriting.

As the recipient of thousands of product submissions every year I have found that most businesses struggle with creating written copy for their products.

I’ve even spoken to many business owners who have been put off starting a blog because they don’t know what to say or how to say it.

Copywriting, however, is an essential skill in online marketing and eCommerce, which is why this makes my must-see talks list. There are lots of tips, tricks, and formulas that professional copywriters use that can be applied by retailers to make writing for their business easier. In her talk, Melissa will be sharing some of this useful knowledge to show how companies can create writing that is authentic and compelling.

 

Register for Your Autumn Fair Ticket Today

Don’t miss out on any of the FREE seminars offered at this year’s show.

Click here to register

 

The Complete ‘Master the High Street’ Schedule for Autumn Fair 2018

 

2nd September

11:15 – 12:00

Examining the Rise in Eco and Socially Conscious Trends.

  • Understanding what promotes people to make ethical choices
  • Charting the increase in sales of ethical products
  • Meeting the need for information about ethical products and services
  • Reflecting the trend in your store, authentically

Jeremy Corner, Director – Blue Eyed Sun

 

12:10 – 12:50

Digital Masterclass: Building Brand Loyalty and Standing Out from the Crowd.

With over 20 years’ experience as a client, Stuart Alldis has established a clear branding & digital development strategy that cuts through the jargon and helps all types of businesses stand out from their competition. Learn how to engage with customers through your brand, how to utilise digital marketing to increase your reach and awareness and how to approach website and mobile app development to avoid the pitfalls.

Stuart Alldis, Founder – Creative Digital Agency

 

13:10 – 13:50

Creating and Updating your Shop Website – Stay Up to Date With Your Website Design

  • What is a “must” and what is a “nice to have” on the site?
  • How to brief the website designers
  • How to get from a delivered website to a launched website
  • Integrating online retail platforms into your website
  • Running your own website alongside online marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon

Mike Landers, Marketing – Select Seven Ltd

 

14:00 – 14:20

Integrating Delivery with Online eCommerce Platforms to Save Time, Effort and Stress

  • Meeting the challenges of managing packaging and delivery as well as running the shop
  • Integrating a system with your eCommerce platform
  • What does it cost? And can you afford it?

Rick Nunn, Creative Manager and Tony Milhail, Head of Sales and Operations – Despatchbay.com

 

14:35 – 15:15

Running the Shop and Managing Online Websites and Social Media?

  • Harnessing the power of the internet – choosing the right website platform, managing social media
  • How to find the time when you are running the shop, should you be posting every day, can you automate posts?
  • The importance of photography for online – how to keep customers coming back
  • Benefits of working with your local community and how this can benefit your shop

Chris Fox, Marketing Manager & Editor & Writer at Gift Shop Hub – Wishes of Cudworth

 

3rd September

10:30 – 11:10

Case Study Eliza Rose: Driving Footfall Through Social Success

  • Getting started on Instagram and Facebook – setting up your accounts
  • Creating a cohesive feel to your feed, considering your style and flatlays
  • Tips for creating an account which people want to engage with

Simone Hadley, Founder – Eliza Rose

 

11:25 – 12:10

Digital Masterclass: Building Brand Loyalty and Standing Out from the Crowd

With over 20 years’ experience as a client, Stuart Alldis has established a clear branding & digital development strategy that cuts through the jargon and helps all types of businesses stand out from their competition. Learn how to engage with customers through your brand, how to utilise digital marketing to increase your reach and awareness and how to approach website and mobile app development to avoid the pitfalls.

Stuart Alldis, Founder – Creative Digital Agency

 

12:20 – 13:00

How Blogging Can Boost Your Gift Shop Sales

  • Why blog?
  • How you can build an audience, drive traffic to your site & keep the search engines happy with your blog
  • How to create compelling content for your blog
  • Saving Time: how to build blogging into a social media strategy
  • Getting a return on your investment: how to measure your blog’s impact with google analytics

Charlotte Biggs, Founder – Card and Gift Network

 

13:30 – 14:10

Exploiting the Potential of the Personalised Gift Market

  • Which products can successfully be personalised and customised?
  • An overview of digital production technologies for personalisation
  • The importance of creating engaging and profitable products through graphic design
  • Managing turnaround and delivery times for personalised products

 

14:25 – 14:45

Pinterest 101: Setting Up and Using a Pinterest Account to Attract People to Your Store

  • Completing all information about each Pin and Board fully, including the description
  • Learning how to place images and the importance of thinking vertically!
  • Enabling customers to click on products to buy directly
  • Linking online and in-store experiences with pins

Jackie Klimes, Partner Manager – Pinterest & Retail Brands

 

15:00 – 15:40

Driving Profitability as an Independent Retailer?

  • Managing cash flow and paperwork
  • Coping with rising business rates and overheads
  • Focusing on building the top line with new markets or products
  • Evaluating your stock management and accounting systems, are they fit for purpose?
  • Watching the bottom line: top tips for controlling costs in your business

Bobby Lane, Partner, and Award-Winning Accountant – Blick Rothenberg

 

4th September

10:30 – 11:10

Google Digital Garage: Introduction to Digital Marketing

It’s never been easier, cheaper or more beneficial for your business to get online. In this session google’s Digital Garage will give you the knowledge and skills so that by the end of the session you will:

  • Understand the top line theory and create a strategy for your business
  • Understand different digital marketing channels
  • Create a digital marketing plan

Priya Chauhan, Trainer & Partnership Consultant – Digital Garage from Google

 

11:25 – 12:05

Digital Masterclass: Building Brand Loyalty and Standing Out from the Crowd

With over 20 years’ experience as a client, Stuart Alldis has established a clear branding & digital development strategy that cuts through the jargon and helps all types of businesses stand out from their competition. Learn how to engage with customers through your brand, how to utilise digital marketing to increase your reach and awareness and how to approach website and mobile app development to avoid the pitfalls.

Stuart Alldis, Founder – Creative Digital Agency

 

12:20 – 13:00

Visual Merchandising: Designing the Right Store for Your Products

  • Learn the basic principles of display and the techniques required to create professional looking in-store displays
  • Knowing what mood you want to create and developing a design strategy
  • Visual merchandising techniques, prop design, mannequins window themes and understanding focal points within a store
  • Store interiors: fixtures & fittings, looking at colour and texture

Debbie Flowerday – Visual Merchandiser Consultant

 

13:30 – 14:10

Writing for Purpose and Building Your Voice

  • Creating compelling copy that is relevant for your audience and matches their tone of voice
  • Writing for social media hints and tips
  • Building authentic relationships with your audience, engaging in conversation

Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence, Founder/Copywriter – Honey Bee Copywriting

 

14:25 – 15:05

Helping the High Street Thrive

  • Outlining the Trouva proposition for independent retailers
  • Addressing the challenge of running a physical store and having an online presence
  • How does Trouva increase footfall instore?
  • What is Trouva looking for in an independent retailer?

Orla Mcdonald, Head of Business Development – Trouva and their independent retailers

 

15:15 – 15:55

Introduction to Social Media for Independent Retailers

  • Why you need to be on social media?
  • How can you use Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to reach and connect with your customers
  • Top social media tips that you can implement immediately

Laura Brown, Founder and Managing Director and Peter Andrews, Managing Director – Introtweet

 

5th September

10:30 – 11:10

Social Media for Bricks and Mortar Retailers

  •  Determining which social media you should be on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, twitter, Snapchat
  • Setting up your social accounts and determining how and when to post
  • Building a community with conversations
  • The importance of visuals and photographs in your posts

Amy Hobson, Social Media & Digital Marketing Expert/Trainer – SocialB

 

11:25 – 12:05

Digital Masterclass: Building Brand Loyalty and Standing Out from the Crowd

With over 20 years’ experience as a client, Stuart Alldis has established a clear branding & digital development strategy that cuts through the jargon and helps all types of businesses stand out from their competition. Learn how to engage with customers through your brand, how to utilise digital marketing to increase your reach and awareness and how to approach website and mobile app development to avoid the pitfalls.

Stuart Alldis, Founder – Creative Digital Agency

 

12:20 – 13:00

GDPR for Small Retail Business. What do You Need to Know?

  • Figuring out what data you hold and how the legal requirements are changing
  • Do you need to have a designated data protection officer in your business?
  • What processes do you need to have in place to manage individual’s rights?
  • What processes do you need to have in place for the data that you store?
  • Developing a plan for what to do in the event of a data breach

 

13:15 – 13:55

7 Tips to Help Independent Retailers Make Better Buying Decisions

  • Understanding what the trading figures are telling you -Putting it into context
  • Monday mornings: taking the time to review and develop an action plan
  • Analysing the winners and losers by product category, supplier and brand
  • Create a buying plan based on your sales history

Tony Scott, Retail Consultant – Retail Spa

 

Registering for Autumn Fair

Autumn Fair 2018 runs from the 2nd – 5th September. To find out more about the show and these talks please visit the show’s official website.

You can register for your free ticket by clicking here.