East of England Farm and Retail Conference 2013
Spent a HUGELY enjoyable, and completely whirlwind couple of days at the East of England Farm and Retail Conference on Monday and Tuesday of this week – organised by Tastes of Anglia with the help of Judy Randon. Two days crammed full of learning and have come back with my head spinning with ideas…..what an amazing chance to catch up with friends, be inspired, learn from others, and think about new ideas for Breckland Orchard.
We met bright and breezy at the British Racing School in Newmarket, ready to head off on a study trip of 4 Farm Shops in the Region – Calcott Hall, Lathcoats, Rectory Farm Shop and LaHogue. A 15 mile tailback on the M11, didn’t damped the spirits and we headed off to Brentwood for our first stop of the day [eagerly spotting some TOWIE landmarks en route]. We visited the four farmshops through the day, and were given a warm welcome [with warm coffee/tea too!] in each one. Everyone had gone to so much effort to make sure we felt at home, and the stores were looking magnificent for sure. We got to learn from some of the best farm shops in the region who threw open their doors and welcomed us.
In the evening we had a gourmet meal that was served at LaHogue – fabulous food and a fabulous atmosphere. We then had a guest speaker – Andy Fisher, who is a tree reader amongst other things! Fascinating for sure, and surprisingly accurate. Who knew a doodle of a tree could reveal so much! A late night and we rolled back to the British Racing School on our by now very familiar coach!TUESDAY
Back at the British Racing School for a day packed with speakers/seminars! The main focus was on Marketing, so we learned from Sam Waterfall of Obvious Marketing [full of good marketing insights] , Lynsey Sweales from Social B [amazingly knowledgable] , Ian Russell of Wroxham Barns [very funny] and Susie Emmett of Green Shoots [the most dynamic woman I know]……and that was just the morning. A super lunch [though I was still full from the night before] and then onto the afternoon learning – about leadership, social media, SEO, margins and profitability and Twitter for Business.
I work in an amazing sector, with some amazing companies in an amazing part of the world, and that spirit and enthusiasm was live and kicking these past few days. Superb conference and can’t wait to put all that learning into action. Thank you so much to everyone who organised the two days…..it was fantastic!