By James Wells

SYDNEY: Narta managing director Kay Spencer has released details of the $3.3 billion retail buying group’s conference which starts next week at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Canadian ski resort Whistler.

The conference, which commences on Saturday and concludes on Tuesday 24 February, will bring together the major retailers from within the group including JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, Winning Appliances, Radio Rentals, RT Edwards and Clive Peeters, as well as the CEOs, managing directors and national sales managers from the industry’s top suppliers. Spencer told that considering the economic environment the number of suppliers and retailers attending the conference has been strong.

“I am pleased to announce that we will have over 160 delegates attending this year’s conference which is in line with a normal Narta conference,” Spencer said.

“In these difficult times, and the fact that so many have given up time in the office in order to attend, Narta is conscious of its obligation to ensure that this conference is beneficial to everyone’s business.

“We have searched long and hard for speakers that can add value to senior executives in terms of knowledge as well as company and personal development.”

Among the speakers at this year’s event, will be Dan Burrus, who will speaking on leadership and how to decommoditise your business in tough times; branding expert Marc Gobe, who also attended President Obama’s inauguration; futurist Mike Walsh, who is a specialist in generation X and Y; Paco Underhill, who will discuss the science of why consumers buy and when.

Returning to the conference will be Harry S Dent to discuss the global economic environment and its influence on the Australian market, while Dr Ross Walker will also return and provide additional techniques to deliver work/life balance for busy executives.

Peter Baines will provide an update from the Hands Across the Water – an Australian charity which has been raising money in conjunction with the Narta group and its suppliers to build orphanages in Thailand.