National Buying Group brought its network of independent merchants and Suppliers together in Liverpool for its annual Conference on 20-21 November 2023, with the theme of ‘Strengthen Our Sales’.
The two-day event, which also marked the leading buying group’s 20th anniversary, provided an opportunity for its Partners and Suppliers to network with like-minded peers from the building products sector as they look to bolster sales strategies ahead of what many expect to be a challenging market in 2024.
The Conference’s Supplier Summit on day one at ACC Liverpool gave over 500 delegates the opportunity to hear more about NBG’s vision, as well as the emphasis it is placing on improved collaboration between Partners and Suppliers to strengthen sales.
Led by NBG Managing Director, Nick Oates, a live survey of Partners and Suppliers at the Supplier Summit found evidence that a disconnect remains between the two parties when it comes to expectations around Supplier service levels and support, and Partner openness to that support. While this disconnect has shrunk over the last 12 months, delegates were urged to carry this momentum forward by working together to drive sales.
The Supplier Summit also featured an exclusive keynote from trendspotting futurologist and author, Magnus Lindkvist, which explored some of the principles forward-thinking businesses can apply to outperform their competitors in an ever-changing landscape.
Day two of the Conference saw over 160 Suppliers showcase their exclusive deals, new products and core ranges at Exhibition Centre Liverpool; providing an invaluable opportunity for NBG Partners and Suppliers to engage in person with a view to developing effective sales strategies for the year ahead.
In keeping with tradition, the Conference culminated with a spectacular gala dinner and awards ceremony at Liverpool’s Grade I listed neoclassical landmark venue, St George’s Hall. Guests at the black-tie event were treated to a tasting menu comprising seven courses of construction-themed dining and memorable anecdotes from NBG’s 20-year history.
The evening culminated with the presentation of awards across 15 categories in recognition of Partner and Supplier successes over the last 12 months.
A Partners vs Suppliers charity football match, blind auction and generosity from guests over the course of the Conference saw an impressive £30,000 raised for The Rainy Day Trust.
NBG Managing Director Nick Oates said: “This year’s Conference was truly spectacular and couldn’t have been a more fitting way to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The unwavering commitment of our Partners and Suppliers is what makes NBG such a powerful organisation and it was fantastic to see all of our delegates come together to share ideas, learn about new products and celebrate the successes of the Group over the last 12 months.
“The theme of this year’s Conference, Strengthen Our Sales, was devised with the aim of providing a platform for collaboration ahead of what we all expect will be a very challenging year. What we’ve learned over the last 12 months, however, is that the strength of the independent merchant really comes to the fore at challenging times.
Nick added: “Many of the discussions over the course of the two days were centred around how we can see this as an opportunity and we’re eager to carry this momentum forward by forging even stronger collaboration between Partners and Suppliers over the months and years to come.”
For more information on National Buying Group, including how to join, visit www.nationalbuyinggroup.com.