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Review of the Spring Conference and Gala 2015

15th January 2015

This year's Spring Conference and Gala Awards Dinner took place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January 2015 at the beautifully refurbished Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Usborne flag was flying high as excited Organisers began to arrive ahead of the glamorous Gala Awards night. It was amazing to see so many first-timers at their champagne drinks reception, hosted by Marketing Director, Mark Franklin and Peter and Wendy Usborne.

As the clock struck seven, the doors to the Grand Ballroom opened to huge rounds of applause from all the Organisers who had been to the Gala and Conference before. Amongst a sea of flashing tiaras and bunny ears, the level of support for one another could be felt instantly.

We heard countless success stories from the stage, with everybody sharing their 'top tips, inspiring us all as we embark on our next Usborne story.

Take a look at our list of Achievement Award winners and finalists from the night...

The excitement continued to build at the conference on Saturday. For those of you who couldn't make it, here are the top announcements from the event:

2016 Travel Incentive: Breathtaking Beijing

There was a real buzz in the room as Organisers tried to guess where Usborne Books at Home would be jetting off to in 2016! We are thrilled to announce that qualifiers will get to experience the trip of a lifetime in Beijing in April next year. Could this be your year to join us?

Summer Spectacular and Launch of the Autumn Season 2015

There's no need to wait another year for the next big Usborne event! Cheers erupted during the announcement of the Summer Spectacular. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet brand new Organisers (many of whom will not even have been recruited yet!) and show you what's in store for our biggest and most lucrative season of the year. You won't want to miss this!

"This will be a chance for us to catch up and see how your businesses have moved forward in 2015. Revisit the goals that you've made notes of and keep your momentum up. We're making some very big announcements in June and many of them are already in hand. Most excitingly of all, we'll be sharing with you the amazing new books that Usborne has in store for us in the summer, the autumn and beyond." - Mark Franklin, Marketing Director

A new season of Team Usborne

We unveiled the criteria and benefits of the upcoming May-August 2015 season of Team Usborne, with the most amazing news of a brand new website widget that will allow potential recruits to search for an Organiser near them. Set to revolutionise recruitment, this fantastic tool will be available to all Team Usborne Achievers from May. 

"If you are a member (or above) of Team Usborne and you have the Online Marketing Package, you will benefit from this new technology. A potential recruit will simply visit our website, type in their postcode and the Team Usborne Achievers nearest to them will appear on screen. The potential recruit will them make contact directly. Members of Team Usborne will be able to spend their time converting more local leads, earlier on in their journey. It's another reason to strive for Team Usborne. It's another tool to help you grow your business." - Anna Powell, Marketing Coordinator

Senior Events Coordinator, Becky, also unveiled a summer Team Usborne event for our Elite achievers. Step Forward at Staverton will be held at the Staverton Park Hotel in Northamptonshire on Thursday 25th June and will be open to all Elite achievers of the May-August 2015 season. The event will include Personalised Leadership Development Planning sessions, an exclusive evening of culinary delights and an overnight stay in executive rooms. It's sure to be a busy two days as more Organisers join us for the Summer Spectacular on Friday 26th June!

"We also aim to ensure that the Elite event gives you time out to think about where your business is and what you want next. You will learn usable, practical skills that you can take home to improve your business. Most importantly, we strive to ensure you leave with the confidence of knowing that as a Leader, you are doing really well and now have even more skills, knowledge and tools in your toolkit to make your business better than ever." - Sue Bennetts, Leadership and Development Manager

Another benefit that we wanted to highlight was the opportunity to purchase the monthly brand new titles pack at a special Team Usborne price. This is now available for all levels too!

Monthly new titles will still be available at a special Team Usborne price, but there will now be no forms to complete. Each month we will notify you all when the new monthly titles become available and then you will be able to go ahead and purchase your own pack yourselves online, either on their own or as part of a larger order. This will give you the flexibility to purchase them when you want during that month. For those of you that have just got into Team Usborne for the January-April season, you will be the first to use this system.

The great news is that these packs will also be available for ALL Organisers to purchase online, albeit not at the exclusive Team Usborne price.

"What an opportunity to purchase all the new titles for that month in one click of a button!" - Becky Budd, Senior Events Coordinator

Brand New Books

Some of our fantastic Organisers shared a wide selection of new books for 2015 and the presentation meant lots of 'oohs' and 'aahs' echoed around the room! Some of the stand out titles included Children's Cupcake Kit, My Reading Library, Fingerprint Activities and some amazing, upcoming fiction titles. Yes, a third installment of Compton Valance is on the way!

New Tools

We also presented a new document that's all about the Online Marketing Package, which you can find in the Tools and Downloads section of the website under Essential Documents and then User Guides.

"The Online Marketing Package will give you further tools to expand your business, encouraging repeat customers, accepting online sales and giving you an easier way to recruit via an online sign-up form." - Anna Powell, Marketing Coordinator

If you want to know more about what the Marketing Package can do for you and your business, speak to your Mentor.

We have also just launched the fantastic 20 Point Challenge. We know that your Usborne time is precious, so let us help you spend it wisely. Try to gain 20 points every "Usborne Day" or 100+ points a week. Points are allocated to everything from recruiting someone at your next event to following up prize draw slips.

You can download the 20 Point Challenge document in the parties, schools and events section in Tools and Downloads. Don't delay!


'Starter Kits - how do you use yours?' was the title of this year's conference break out sessions. The idea was that delegates would be using a Starter Kit within the five workshops to illustrate that you can run a successful business armed with just that. The five key discussion points were:

 1. New Titles - sharing what delegates liked about the books, what the key selling points were, cross-selling and upselling links and any 'out of the box' ideas.

2. Schools and World Book Day - sharing what everyone knew about World Book Day, what different types of events you could hold for World Book Day, ideas for making your Starter Kit go further in schools.

3. How to get paid - delegates discussed how they could get paid every month, where to focus efforts during the different seasons, how they used their prize draw slips.

4. How to build a team - delegates wrote down why they joined Usborne in one sentence and shared with the group, there were also whole group discussions on team building and what clues to listen out for, how the Starter Kit can help as a recruiting tool.

5. How to maximise your Usborne time - delegates wrote down goal(s) for each season of the year and they discussed how the 20 Point Challenge works and how it can help them to move towards their goal(s).

So there you have it!

Usborne Books at Home have lots of exciting plans for 2015 and beyond! It's time to start planning your story. Take these wise words from our Marketing Director, Mark Franklin's closing conference speech with you:

"Every time we recruit a new Organiser, we're opening a new bookshop, a pop-up, mobile bookshop. Bringing books into homes, into schools, into communities. Putting the right books into the right hands. These bookshops come with their own personal shopper and an unsurpassed level of passion and knowledge [...] I genuinely believe we are only just getting started. Thank you for your incredible work and here's to a successful 2015."

Tags:conference and galameetings and events