On March 24th, members of the equestrian trade gathered at the Hilton East Midlands for the BETA Conference and BETA Business Awards. This was the first BETA Conference in two years due to covid.

Full programme>>>

Speakers’ bios >>>

The event featured talks from speakers covering different aspects of business that are incredibly important in the world we live in now.

Gillian McAteer from The Citation Group was first to give her talk, which focused in on HR and issues connected to covid. Gillian shared examples of covid related cases that were raised at tribunal and explained what the examples showed and the lessons we could all learn from them. Not only did this help to illustrate the key points around vulnerable areas for companies, but also the key areas that employers needed to be aware of to protect the workforce.

The Citation Group: https://thecitationgroup.com/ 

Next, delegates were treated to a talk titled: ‘How to employ the right people and keep them’, given by Emma Dyer from Equine Careers. Emma shared practical tips for how to attract the right people to your brand in addition to how to write an amazing job advertisement to help get the right people to apply. Moving on, Emma also covered the area of retention and shared the seven steps to staff retention including first impressions, company culture, performance environment, training managers, encouraging communication and clarity, utilising people’s skills and, when things don’t work out, the value of the exit interview.

Equine Careers: https://www.equine-careers.co.uk/ 

Tim Smith from TSM Marketing was next to speak and covered the importance of a combined approach when it comes to marketing – utilising on page marketing with social media and digital. He shared different techniques and ideas around traditional and more modern marketing styles, and also fielded a lot of questions from the audience that covered influencer marketing and so much more.

TSM: https://timsmithmarketing.co.uk/ 

Richard Cole from Future Money Ltd then spoke around factors shaping the economy past, present and future, and provided everyone in the room with a great overview and the important why behind it. He explained what the increases in fuel and energy costs mean for business, how supply chain difficulties have led to an increase in prices, and now inflation has added another layer. But Richard’s talk was far from doom and gloom. He explained that a lot of the issues that are currently being experienced are still linked to covid, and also the signs for recovery we have seen with the UK economy being in a strong position, above pre-pandemic

Future Money: https://www.futuremoney.co.uk/ 

The future of retail was the subject of the next talk, delivered by Craig Smith of C & A Retail Consultants. Craig shared how the power has shifted when it comes to what retailers stock and how this is now with the customer. He talked about the agility of retailers (as shown by how many pivoted so well during the lockdowns), and insight around the struggles that bricks and mortar businesses face. Craig talked about how rotas are created in line with employees and their schedules rather than when the customer needs the service, and how this could be something to look at. The ‘experience economy’ was also discussed and how Craig, in his time with Pets At Home, had worked to give people more reasons to visit the store… and did this through taking away 30% of products. He discussed mindset shifts, in store events, immersive experiences using tech, how stores can make people feel, and also asking people what could have been better.

And last, but by no means least, we heard from Mike Seaman of Raccoon Events. Mike shared his company’s sustainability journey and the steps that Raccoon is putting in place to help make events more sustainable as it targets net zero. He explained that it hasn’t been an easy journey and whilst hiring sustainability experts has a cost implication, some of the savings that have been made as part of the drive to be more sustainable have saved the company money. He talked about targeting net zero, how Raccoon is incentivising suppliers to also become more sustainable, and the difference between visible and invisible impact and how this makes people feel and think of a show as being more sustainable. Mike urged the room to just start. There’s a lot that can be done to cut down on waste and become more eco-friendly and although it’s easy to get overwhelmed, how the key was simply getting started.

Raccoon: https://raccoonevents.com/

You can watch the recording  of the conference and awards for £25  + vat pp.

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