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Keep November 13 free to attend the unmissable Publican Conference 2003.The art of making a successful deal in today's highly competitive market is...

Keep November 13 free to attend the unmissable Publican Conference 2003.

The art of making a successful deal in today's highly competitive market is one of the hot topics under debate at this year's Publican Conference.

A panel of industry leaders including Giles Thorley, chief executive of Punch Taverns, and entrepreneur David Bruce, who founded the Firkin brand, will be putting their personal slant on our evolving industry, sharing experiences on recent changes - both good and bad.

Targeted at readers of The Publican's City & Business section, the conference is staged in association with the British Institute of Innkeeping and is sponsored by Britvic Soft Drinks.

The date for your diary is November 13 and once again it is being held at London's premier conference venue - the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the heart of Westminster.

As always, this year's conference presents a superb line-up of speakers who will address topical issues and offer solutions, advice and opportunities to help build pub businesses.

This year we will be hosting two panel sessions. These will bring together an A-list of industry personalities who will be prompting debate on issues affecting the pub industry.

We will also have a special feature on the long-awaited licensing reforms and what they spell for business, as well as highlighting the opportunities available during 2004 through a series of presentations from those in the know.

The conference is renowned for attracting the major industry players and the event provides an intimate networking opportunity with the most senior personnel in the trade.

The provisional agenda includes the following speakers and panellists. Further speakers will be announced by September.

This is a People Business

In this special feature, experts look at a series of business-boosting opportunities surrounding the heart of our industry - the people.

These short, sharp presentations will conclude with a panel discussion from leading industry personalities on where they think the opportunities lie and what the future holds in store for this ever-evolving trade.

The income - your customers

  • Chameleon - a dirty word?

Six years ago everyone aspired to the chameleon concept. Has it become a dirty word as operators realise they are unable to cater round-the-clock effectively? And why has the pub failed to do for Britain what the brasserie has done for France?

Men are from Mars...

Pubs have gone all out to become "female-friendly" and there's no doubting the great progress made over the last 10 years. However, evidence shows that pubs are still failing to understand women's buying power and decision-making qualities.

The asset - your licensees

  • Tenant vs landlord

The relationship between landlord and tenant continues to be far from harmonious. Despite headway by the larger pub companies, licensees will argue that the partnership fails to sway in their favour. Why should tenanted pubs be considered as a favourable option and can pub companies do more to improve morale?

Be wise and incentivise

Recent research has shown that the pub trade is still not considered a serious profession among young people and licensees cite poor pay as a major drawback to pub work. Here we look at how incentive schemes have proved to work in generating sales and boosting staff motivation.

Panel debate

  • That's all very well, but...

Finishing an afternoon of discussion on opportunities surrounding pub people, a panel of industry experts shed some light on how the industry is likely to shape up in 2004. Kicking off with research collated by Greene King, Neil Gillis, managing director of Greene King Pub Company, will give his personal slant on the threats and opportunities of 2004. Also airing their thoughts will be:

Karen Jones - chief executive, Spirit GroupPaul Wells - managing director, Charles Wells John Sands - chief executive, Pubmaster Ian Edward - managing director, Edward Associates

The Industry Today

Profiting from the truth:BJ Cunningham - marketing consultant and founder of the Enlightened Tobacco Company

Authentic and powerful branding demands the truth, claims BJ. The future is about market depth and involvement, not market width and awareness.

BJ Cunningham established the Enlightened Tobacco Company, marketing a brand of cigarettes called "DEATH" as "the honest smoke". This act of heresy, though enormously successful with consumers, didn't go down at all well with the tobacco industry. It eventually landed him in the European Court of Justice fighting against not only every member state of Europe but also the might of the established tobacco industry.

BJ uses this experience to illustrate his straightforward brand thinking, answering two key questions: What's your point and why should I care?

The economy - gloom or boom?Dennis Turner, chief economist, HSBC

The industry continues to be wary of an uncertain economic future. Talk of a recession has been circulating for two years and was fuelled earlier this year by the war in Iraq.

Is it sink or swim for companies and what will keep you afloat during 2004?

Dennis Turner, chief economist with HSBC, will be telling you how it is. He will share his extensive knowledge of the economy and point delegates towards what they should and shouldn't be looking out for over the coming year.

Industry overview 2003Geof Collyer - managing director, Leisure Research, Deutsche Bank

Collapsing companies and a series of profits warnings has had a noticeable effect on share prices and confidence in our industry.

Companies admit they've had a hard time, citing the continuing effects of a downturn in tourism, the minimum wage and national insurance hikes, along with the cost of fresh red tape around employment law and disability. One of the industry's leading analysts will bring delegates up to date on the financial state of the industry, highlighting the possible highs and lows, movers and shakers and winners and losers for 2004.

Challenges Ahead

  • The secret of the successful deal

Peter Hansen - principal, PC Hansen & CoDavid Bruce - chief executive, Capital Pub CompanyGiles Thorley - chief executive, Punch Taverns Colin Wellstead - director, Christie & Co

Where is the money coming from and where are the deals? A cross-section of industry experts speak about the value of investing long term.

Licensing reforms - the myths dispelled

Susie Kemp - chairman, Local Government Association Public Protection ExecutiveDr Kim Howells - licensing minister, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

By November, long-overdue licensing reforms should have received Royal Assent and will be well on the way to becoming law by summer 2004. However, the nitty-gritty of how the new rules will be administered will still be causing confusion to companies.

In this special feature, Susie Kemp, chairman of the Local Government Association, and licensing minister Dr Kim Howells will bring delegates up to speed on the latest developments and will take delegates' questions on the implementation of these complex laws.

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