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GCA members reminded to book places for first face-to-face conference since 2020

THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) is reminding its members to book their places at its first face-to-face conference since 2020, which takes place at the end of this month. (January 22-25, 2023).

The event, which will include talks, industry updates and opportunities to network, takes place at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Lancashire from January 22 until 25.

GCA Chairman, Tammy Woodhouse, says: “This conference is particularly significant, as we’ve not been able to meet all in one place properly, since our event in 2020, just before the first Covid lockdown.

“We’re reminding our members to make sure they have their places booked for our annual conference soon if they are still hoping to attend. Members can visit our website via www.gca.org.uk to reserve their place.

“It will be held at the 700-year-old Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa. Members can expect a line-up of top-quality speakers including Linbert Spencer OBE, Casper Craven, Dave Goulson, Guy Singh-Watson, Roger Martin-Fagg and Felicity Aston MBE, and plenty of opportunities to catch up with friends, colleagues and associates from the industry in person at last.”

The conference kicks off on Sunday, January 22 with the Greenfingers Challenge Cup at Barton Grange Garden Centre’s The Flower Bowl Entertainment Venue.

The evening will be full of fundraising activities and friendly competition to raise money for the charity, Greenfingers. Transport is available from the hotel directly to the Flower Bowl and back, to book, please visit www.gca.org.uk.  

Tammy adds: “Monday’s (January 23) part of the conference will focus on the operational side of our industry and will include talks from a range of inspiring and engaging business speakers to help motivate us for the year ahead.

“In the evening it will be our eagerly anticipated fancy-dress Associates Dinner, which is themed as ‘The Great GCA Garden Party’.

“During the day on Tuesday (January 24) there will opportunities to listen to some inspirational speakers and a chance to help attendees define their strategy for 2023 and beyond.

“There will also be our Associate’s Exhibition providing the chance to meet suppliers in an informal setting before concluding in the evening with our annual black-tie gala dinner and our famed awards ceremony.”

The GCA represents more than 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

The GCA’s annual conference will be held at the Mercure Blackburn Hotel & Spa in Blackburn, Lancashire from January 22 – 25, 2023.

For further information or to book a place, please visit www.gca.org.uk.

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