Getting down to business at 2016 BETA conference

“The Bottom Line” was the theme of this year’s British Equestrian Trade Association Conference, held for the first time at the Woodland Grange Hotel, near Coventry, on Monday 7 November. Delegates from across the UK gathered to network with colleagues and listen to expert advice and handy tips from a panel of top-flight business professionals.

Vale Brothers' managing director, Peter Wilkes, was first to take the podium, speaking about his self-imposed challenge to jump a 70cm fence after only 10 riding lessons. His ambitious quest was inspired by a presentation on rider participation at last year's conference. The self-confessed adrenaline junky said that the achievement had left him looking for another equestrian adventure.

Ray Armes, founder of creative agency Touch of Mojo, explored the concept of building a brand and urged delegates to use theirs as a lighthouse to reveal their views about the world, rather than focusing solely on the products they offer.

Solicitor Nellie Jackson, of Birketts, talked about protecting a brand in terms of intellectual property rights and provided a set of practical tips to help avoid problems in this complex area.

Political commentator John Arnold, of Tweetminster, put Brexit and Article 50 under the conference spotlight in a frank discussion on the political climate as the UK faces separation from the European Union.

Danielle Olding, a leadership consultant and coach at From the Neck Up, provided advice to managers on the importance of keeping their staff motivated to ensure a thriving, successful business.

Accountant Matthew Osbourne, of Armstrong Watson, put profit and cash flow under the spotlight and dished out some helpful tips on improving them, while SEIB’s Caroline Garrow raised the worrying issue of cyber crime and highlighted that last year alone saw 75 per cent of small businesses affected by this growing problem.

“‘The Bottom Line' theme has certainly proved extremely popular among delegates,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. ”Our speakers provided some extremely informative – and entertaining – presentations that were spot on and we've been really pleased with the feedback to date.”