Last week saw the return of Choice Marketing’s annual conference and trade show after a year long absence due to Covid. Held at the Hinkley Island hotel in Leicestershire, the two day event brought together Choice members from over 40 independent garden centres across the country for what was described as “the perfect mix of supplier presentations, networking opportunities, and entertainment” combined with a trade show with over 90 trade exhibitors from the garden, leisure and gift sectors.
The conference provided Choice with the opportunity to announce a record breaking sales performance for the group, resulting in a rebate payment likely in excess of £2 million pounds, for the 2020/21 season, every penny of which will go back to the 44 members of the group. The Chairman of Choice Marketing, Terry Maywood, commented that “This is a fantastic achievement that amply demonstrates what can be achieved when independent centres work closely together and is testament to the great trading relationships that Choice Marketing have forged with numerous suppliers across our great industry”.
The event concluded with a champagne reception followed by a dinner, attended by Choice members and suppliers. During the evening, Choice presented its supplier of the year awards, voted for by its members, in three product categories. The winner of the best sundry supplier went to Smart Garden with highly commended awards for both Woodlodge and Westland.
The plant award went to Allensmore and the gift award went to Kaemingk with a highly commended award going to Widdop.
As in previous years, Greenfingers attended the event and were incredibly well supported. Suppliers generously donated prizes for both a raffle that was held during the afternoon and an auction of some top prizes during the evening dinner. The incredible sum of over £4,000 was raised for Greenfingers which was gratefully received by Colin Wetherley-Mein, who represented Greenfingers.
CEO of Choice Marketing, Michelle de Lavis-Trafford, said “The overall response to this year’s event has been absolutely fantastic. I think everyone has really appreciated being able to get back to some sense of normality after the challenges the Covid pandemic has presented and have enjoyed meeting colleagues and suppliers face to face to catch up and do business.
"I would like to personally thank our sponsors for the conference along with the many trade suppliers and members of Choice for supporting the event and making it so successful and enjoyable”
Choice Marketing are currently recruiting new members. If any independent garden centre operators would like more information on Choice Marketing and how they can apply to join, please contact Anthony Gould – Membership Manager on 07786 030181 email@example.com or Michelle de Lavis-Trafford - CEO on 07961 136528 firstname.lastname@example.org