Over 400 industry professionals from across the globe came together to discuss ongoing trends and developments within the gift card industry, at the largest, international conference of its kind based in the UK.
The UK Gift Card and Voucher Association (UKGCVA) conference, which took place at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London, welcomed a record number of professionals from industry-leading brands, retailers, tech and payment companies and industry associations.
To accommodate for the growing interest in the event, it took place over two full days for the first time.
Attendees gained exclusive access to the much-anticipated State of the Nation 2019 whitepaper, sponsored by FirstData, which revealed the latest consumer and business insights into the gift card and voucher industry.
Delegates discovered how gift cards continue to be a popular gifting method, with 87% of shoppers purchasing these products at least once a year.
Guests also heard from over 40 compelling speakers including Rt. Hon. Diane Abbott MP and keynote speakers Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network, and James Wallman, bestselling author and futurist.
Talbott Roche – one of the most influential women in payments – provided a global perspective on the gift card industry today, while James Wallman shared the seven essential rules for working, living and giving today, based on decades of research.
A new feature at this year’s event, the Gift Card Lab, delivered back-to-back interactive sessions, covering subjects such as launching and developing gift card programmes, the growing popularity of cashless high streets, corporate social responsibility, social engagement and payment innovations.
The event celebrated the continuing success of the gift card industry, with a particular focus on the growth of B2B and B2C channels.
Gail Cohen, director general of UKGCVA, said: “The gift card industry still continues to grow and has never been more relevant to buyers and shoppers, as we move towards a cashless society.
“The conference, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, provides members of the industry, UK and internationally, a chance to explore, discuss and debate the elements that make up this thriving industry. This is an annual platform to demonstrate where the industry is going and provides an opportunity for brands to launch and share new innovations and products, as well as network.
“This was our most ambitious event to date, welcoming delegates from across the globe, to our new two-day format. And we anticipate next year’s event to be even bigger and better than before as the industry continues to grow and flourish.”
Sarah Poynter – vice president, Account Services, the lead sponsor of the event, said: “We are proud and privileged to support the UK’s largest gift card conference. The labs, seminars and panel sessions provided wonderful opportunities for learning and the event raised the bar in promoting new innovations in the gift card industry.”