Metro’s Annual Forum

For the third year running AVE provided RMS metro with the equipment and skills to achieve an amazing conference and award show in the New Forest.

As usual the day was packed with guest speakers and company updates for customers, along with a lively night from comedian Ian Moore, awards presentation and a live band to finish off with.

Here is what RMS metro had to say about the day:

“Cara Macdonald, Retail Operations Co-Ordinating Manager at DFS has been working in Retail for the last 15 years and loves utilising her experience to produce retail-based solutions that can support any of the wider team she works alongside. Having supported the launch of several national business initiatives over the last few years Cara is now working with DFS, the number one sofa specialist in Europe, to implement Metro into their business. DFS has more than 120 stores across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain and employs over 3,600 people. Cara explained why the business needed to change from using email, Workplace, WhatsApp and conference calls to communicate tasks and information more effectively to its estate of more 120 stores across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain. With multiple versions of the truth, a lack of visibility and engagement, DFS have been busy deploying ‘DFS Connect’, with all retail stores live on Metro by 17th June.

Our second guest presenter of the day was Steve Shepherd, Head of Operations & Customer Service at The Entertainer, who took us on a bit of a journey explaining how over 35 years, The Entertainer is today a significant player in the world of toys, both nationwide and overseas. Steve has responsibility for Retail Operations, Customer Service & UK Partnership Relationships at The Entertainer. Having joined in 1995 he has worked his way through many roles to gain significant knowledge of retail, ensuring his knowledge has come from on the floor experience. Following the recent acquisition of Early Learning Centre from Mothercare he now heads up the support function that will drive the brand in the UK, along with an established toy offering within 85 Matalan stores. In December 2018 The Entertainer saved 55 Spanish toy stores trading under the POLY facia from going into administration, saving 350 jobs. On top of this, the business has opened ‘stores within stores’ with both Matalan and ELC resulting in 174 The Entertainer stores, 32 International stores, 85 Matalan stores, 55 Poly stores, 74 Mothercare stores and 509 ELC International stores – that is quite some growth in a short space of time. It was great to hear how The Entertainer has been utilising Metro across all of these brands to drive communications and compliance

Julia Platia, Head of Client Services at Feed It Back, who look after some of the UK’s top hospitality brands such as Pitcher & Piano, Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Pho and Las Iguanas. A former owner/operator of a cocktail bar and restaurant, Julia is passionate about helping food and drink businesses to listen to their guests’ feedback and take action to improve. Julia and her team ensure that General Managers, Operations Managers and Head office staff get the most from the platform. Feed It Back tracks the word on the street about operators, through immediate feedback on experiences and online review platforms, such as Facebook and TripAdvisor. It aggregates all feedback into one easy to use platform that allows operators to efficiently deal with feedback they otherwise wouldn’t have heard, reward employees for excellent service and turn negative experiences into positives

It was then time for another Customer presentation as Aron Simpson-Webb and Stacie Malek-Wood from The Watches of Switzerland Group informed guests how they have used Metro to engage different audiences. With a combined twelve years of experience in their current communications roles at The Watches of Switzerland Group, Stacie and Aron have expansive and unique experiences on how to communicate and engage effectively within the luxury retail sector. Having adopted Unified Comms in 2016, they have steered the Group’s communications and engagement levels to new heights. From the early inception of a simple news and compliance platform, ONE (the name given to the platform for its all-encompassing vision) has developed significantly into the beating heart of company communications, achieving enviable rates of engagement and consistently developing the platform.. Explaining how ‘The ONEderful World of ONE’ had delivered 97% engagement across their estate of 140+ luxury retail stores and 2,500+ employees, their latest challenge has been to drive up engagement at Head Office from only 36% – It was incredible to hear how Aron, Stacie and the team set about addressing the issue firstly by recognising their retail and support teams were different, and as such need to be engaged in a different way. Following re-launch and re-design of ONE for their Support teams in just one month they drove engagement to over 76% and it is still rising.

Our next speaker needs little introduction, having been a Forum favourite for some years – Phillip Adcock, Managing Director of SBXL is a leading authority in shopper behaviour. With more than 30 years of human behavioural research, he has developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people tick, both psychologically and physiologically and has developed his skills by combining the teaching of experts on numerous aspects of neuroscience, psychology and emotion within his professional role of helping leading brands and retailers better understand how to communicate with their shoppers. This year Phillip explained how ‘Unlocking Retail Potential is all in the mind’ – explaining how the challenging times retail is experiencing is not just confined to the high street, but to brick and mortar retail overall.

With a final thanks to all our guest presenters, a full day of thought-provoking presentations came to an end, and an evening of fun, celebrations and live music began. With more than 90% of guests staying, a truly fantastic evening was had with a delicious dinner followed by stand-up comedy and the awards with Ian Moore and live music from London session band Original i.d”

AVE Services provided the following for this event:

  • 4m x 2.5m LED panel 2.9mm pixel pitch wall
  • 16 Panels of 2m x 1m carpeted stage, with skirt and step
  • 4m white leather set
  • 4 Speaker PA system
  • Subwoofers
  • Wireless handheld microphones
  • Wireless Lapel microphones
  • LED Uplighters
  • Lectern and Lectern microphone
  • Comfort monitor
  • Moving lights
  • Spot lights
  • Disco Lighting
  • Lighting desk
  • Sound desk
  • Vision mixer
  • Truss
  • Outdoor Festoon lighting
  • Technician support and assistance throughout the whole event