Associated Independent Stores - UK buying group

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AIS held their Annual Conference on Monday 8 April at The Belfry Hotel & Resort in the West Midlands.

Places were in high demand for a strong programme to be held at the new venue.

As well as hearing the presentations, the Conference was a great opportunity for members to network, meet friends and to pick up new ideas from exhibitors.

Fundamental to flourishing in retail is being relevant to your customers and to be so is within your control irrespective of whatever turbulence there may be in the market and economy. Remaining Relevant is therefore a highly appropriate, and relevant, theme that the speakers addressed in relation to their background and specialisms.

The Conference was facilitated by Philip Hesketh who, through his understanding of AIS, is the perfect link between us and the speakers. Philip introduced renowned economist Roger Bootle, retail specialist Andrew Jennings, Michelle Jarrold on how one of our most esteemed members has remained relevant, John Evans a leading Retail Interiors designer, the founder of Green & Blacks, Jo Fairley, and The Rt Hon The Baroness Manningham-Buller the former head of MI5.

Lunch and refreshment breaks during the day allowed time for the members to meet our exhibitors and sponsors who were dotted around the foyer and adjacent area.

To conclude the Conference there was an optional workshop on Tuesday morning from Instil Training. They have delivered sessions for AIS before and have built a strong reputation with those members who have engaged them directly to improve people performance and the impression that your frontline team is giving customers.