Gifts Today magazine

Tom Kerridge at Harrogate show

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge and Google among inspirational speakers at retail forum at upcoming Home & Gift Buyers' Festival

An inspirational range of speakers has been cooked up for the Great Northern Retail Forum, with celebrity chef Tom Kerridge taking top billing at the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival event.

Show organisers Clarion Events have prepared three days of talks and tips on how even the smallest changes can transform a business with representatives from John Lewis and Google Retail Industry Manager David Green and John Lewis’ Katherine Owen Fowler joining Tom on the keynote speakers’ list.

With four key product sectors – Giftware, Interiors & Accessories, Jewellery & Fashion, Greetings & Stationery – the buyers’ festival runs from Sunday to Wednesday, July 17-21, at the Harrogate International Centre, with the Forum upstairs over the first three days.

Tom (pictured) will be in conversation with Matt Hopkins, MD of The Great British Exchange, telling the story of their new UK-made range of cookware from 1.30pm on Monday, while David opens the Forum at noon on Sunday with his Win The Moments That Matter talk, and Tuesday at 1.30pm sees Katherine, DM Fashion & VM John Lewis Partnership York, talk on Merchandising That Inspires.

As well as the star speakers, Giftware Association CEO Sarah Ward will be in a Q&A session on Getting The Best Out Of Your Suppliers, and independent retail advisor Henri Davis, who is also a Greetings Today columnist and the next GA chairman, talks on using trend info to grow your business – the full list of seminars is below.

Home & Gift Buyer’s Festival, Great Northern Retail Forum

Sunday 17 July
12:00 Win The Moments That Matter
David Green, Retail Industry Manager, Google

12:50 Intelligent Objects: Future Design Trends That Will Influence Our Lifestyle, Spaces And Products We Own
Laura Perryman, Colour and Materials Designer & Insights and Trends Forecaster

13:40 Delivering Outstanding Customer Service And The Way To A Customer's Heart
Jenny Spivey, Retail & Small Business Consultant
Andrew Cousins, Founder, Tile Fire Ltd - Prince's Trust Case Study & Winner Houzz Customer Services Award

16:30 Everything You Need To Know About Social Media...And A Little More!
Warren Knight, Social Media Strategist and Author of Think #Digital First

Monday 18 July
11:00 Case Study With Portmeirion Group
Phil Atherton, Group Sales & Marketing Director, Portmeirion Group

11:50 Winning Ways With Gifts For Independent Retailers – Knowing Your Gift Buying Customers And Earning Their Continuing Loyalty
Lesley Watson & Dougal Philip, Co-Founders, New Hopetoun Gardens
Winner of ‘The Best Garden Centre Retailer of Gifts Award’ - The Greats 2016

12:40 5 Secrets To Social Media Success
Warren Knight, Social Media Strategist and Author of Think #Digital First

13:30 The Story Of The Tom Kerridge Range
Matt Hopkins talks to Tom Kerridge – telling their story of the new British made range of cookware products
Matt Hopkins, Managing Director, The Great British Exchange
Tom Kerridge, professional chef, host of BBC's Bake Off Creme De La Creme & Owner of the two Michelin Star pub The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

14:30 How To Use The Economic, Business And Product Trend Information To Grow Your Independent Business
Henri Davis, Independent Retail Advisor

Tuesday 20 July

11:00 Blogging To The Top Of Google For Retailers
Jonny Ross FBDO, Jonny Ross Consultancy, Leeds

11:50 Newly Launched Creatives Leading The Way – Top Tips And Lessons Learnt From The Prince's Trust
Katie Craven, Homewares Illustrator & Designer (In Collaboration With The Prince's Trust & George At Asda)
Fiona Fawcett, Founder, Plewsy
Sarah Rhodes, Interiors Designer, Upcycling And Upholstering

12:40 Common Mistakes Retailers Make On Their Website And How To Avoid Them
Yeshen Venema, Photographer, Film-Maker & Web Developer, Yesh & Tash One Day Websites

13:30 John Lewis: Merchandising That Inspires
Katherine Owen Fowler, DM Fashion & VM, John Lewis Partnership York

14:20 Q&A: Getting The Best Out Of Your Suppliers – 5 Questions You Should Never Be Afraid To Ask
Sarah Ward, Chief Executive, Giftware Association
Gary Redman-Schaffer, MD, United Oddsocks

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