Bauer Media hosted its 15th Annual Connections conference on August 26 2015 at the Pullman Cairns International in Cairns. The annual conference hosts up to 300 of Bauer’s most dedicated newsagents and, as the Connections program does, aims to leave the delegates with skills to help the stores become best-in-class retailers. The conference is the largest in the industry and provides newsagents with the opportunity to learn, develop, network and enjoy a break from their small businesses.
The speaker line-up included MC James O’Loghlin who also contributed a keynote session on innovation, consumer psychologist Adam Ferrier who discussed ways newsagents can alter their customer’s behaviour and understand their customers more deeply, comedian Marty Wilson who motivated the crowd to take risks, embrace change and not be afraid to make mistakes, and motivational speaker Lisa McInnes–Smith who demonstrated the importance of focusing on making relationships outside of the workplace fit and healthy in order to succeed professionally. Delegates also heard from internal Bauer representatives including Julie Green, national channel manager for newsagents and Eugene Varricchio (pictured), director of operations, sales and marketing who provided key insights into the industries future as well as the future plans for the Bauer business.
After the day’s session, delegates were invited to attend the TV Week-sponsored gala dinner. The highlight of the night was the announcement of the annual Newsagent of the Year award. The winner of this award is determined based on a set of Bauer Media criteria across the year prior aimed to encourage newsagents to grow their business and become better retailers. Chirn Park Newsagency in Queensland was crowned the 2015 Connections Newsagent of the Year, taking home the $5,000 prize. The Lucky Charm Castletown weren’t far behind, taking home the $2,000 Outstanding Performer award, and Ardrossan Newsagency, The Lucky Charm Joondalup and Rosewood Newsagency were also recognised for achieving excellent results consistently throughout the year and embracing the Connection program.
“It is always great to have so many of our Connections newsagents together at this event, some of whom attended for the very first time and others who were recognised for the long-term commitment and dedication to our program attending all 15 Connections Conference’s. I would also like to thank the industry representatives, franchisee representatives, Network Services, our sponsors; TV Week, Australian Women’s Weekly Food and Cookbooks and the Bauer Media publishers and staff who attended this event,” said Varricchio.
He added: “This is a great example of how Bauer Media is supporting the newsagency channel and assisting them in growing their business. Events like these provide not only the opportunity to learn from speaker presentations but also the opportunity to network with peers and learn from each other.”