Our Top 10 Tips for getting the most out of this year’s Conference

We’ve been around a bit…..we’ve seen our fair share of Conferences. So, we thought we’d help you to get the very most from your trip to Nottingham this year by sharing our Top 10 Conference Tips:

  1. Get there early and stay ‘til the end.

There’s so much to see and do that it’s foolish to leave early. If you can, make sure you get there as soon as you can and don’t leave before the last session – you never know what you might miss if you do!


  1. Network

Some of the best things to come out of the conference might not be from a formal session or workshop. We are a sector which loves to share – meeting and chatting with fellow charity retailers will give you some great new contacts and ideas to take back to your shops.

  1. Go to all the sessions you can

If you’re lucky and there’s more than one of you from your organisation going to conference, make sure you all go to different sessions so you can cover as much information as possible – then make sure you build in time when you get home to share everything you’ve learned with each other. If you’re there on your own, go to a wide range of subjects to give yourself the broadest view.


  1. Visit the Exhibition

We know we’re a bit biased, but honestly – some of the suppliers to our sector are the bee’s knees. They are there to help you do the best you can with your chain, so make time to visit all the stands and see what they can do for you. And whilst we’re on the subject…..


  1. Enjoy the freebies!

Most of the suppliers will have great little giveaways on their stands – from chocolates to bags, highlighter pens to mini dustbins, they have it all!  We’re doing our bit and bringing our I Y Charity Shops badges with us, so make sure you visit us at Stand 50 to get yours.

  1. Vote in the WOW! Awards

There really is some first rate talent in our sector and the WOW! Awards are a chance to see the best of it in action.  It’s great to be recognised for your good work, so voting supports your sector colleagues – and it gives you lots of great ideas to take back and try in your own shops too.


  1. Stay hydrated and eat your lunch

It’s a full on experience at Conference, and often really hot too – so keeping refreshed will keep you at peak condition to make sure you make the most of it – especially on Day 2 after a late night partying at the Awards dinner.


  1. Bring your business cards – then don’t forget you’ve got them

To save time, make sure you have your business cards with you and then share them with the new people you meet, whether that be sector colleagues or suppliers. Make sure you get theirs too – then take some time when you’re back in the office to add them to your contacts.

  1. . Remember the notes are available afterwards

Don’t feel you have to scribble everything down during all the sessions – more often than not, the lovely team at the CRA will make them available on their website after the event. This means you can concentrate on what’s going on, instead of worrying about what you might have missed


  1. Have fun!
    It’s a brilliant event and the one time in our year we can all get together and have a really good catch up. Enjoy the sessions, the networking, the Exhibition – and of course the Awards dinner. We’ll see you on the dance floor…… 
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