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Retail panel and keynote confirmed for Pitch Smarter event

The retail panellists and the keynote speaker for the upcoming Brands & Retail UK Pitch Smarter conference have been revealed today (5 January).

The event is due to take place on 20 January at the British Library in London, with a number of companies presenting to licensees throughout the day (9am to 6pm).

The day will close with a retail panel at 4.30pm featuring Karen Hewitt, co-founder of, Asda’s Ruth Golightly and David Lucas from Studio Retail, moderated by event organiser, Ryan Beaird.

Stephen Phipson CBE, ceo of, the UK manufacturers organisation, will be the keynote speaker and will close the event.

“I am delighted to have the support from such a great group of prominent licensing retail buyers,” commented Ryan. “They will all bring a huge wealth of experience for the audience Q&A – and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on the retail industry for licensed products.

“I am also very grateful that Stephen will be the conference keynote speaker and will close the event. is the leading voice for UK manufacturers and I am sure the licensees attending will be interested to hear his speech.”

Ryan also reiterated a number of safety measures which will be in place due to the continuing pandemic.

“To confirm, the event is 100% taking place and I know Covid has brought about a lot of uncertainty in how we do business in the licensing industry. We will adhere to the current government rules and, for peace of mind for the attendees, I have reduced the audience from 250 to 150 allowing people to spread out in the theatre if they wish – but as a result I now have a very limited amount of seats left.

“Brands Retail UK politely request all those coming to take a Covid test before the conference and, in line with government guidance, masks will need to be worn inside the theatre during screenings.”

The event party at The Ivy Club will also be going ahead (6pm to 9pm), with the venue requesting that attendees provide proof of a negative test on entry, with masks needing to be worn when entering.

Ryan continued: “I have put aside some tickets for consultants, service providers and agents who wish to do some networking in the evening and invite them to come along to watch the panel and keynote from 4:30pm. Tickets cost £75 each for the party.

“I want to thank all the brands taking part and also the event sponsor, Fabacus for the continued support.”

The event is free for licensees and retail buyers with limited spaces remaining. Contact Ryan by clicking here for further details.

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