NABMA Annual AGM & Conference 2023

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NABMA Annual AGM & Conference 2023

09 October 2023 (9:30 AM) - 10 October 2023 (1:00 PM)

#MarketsFirst 2023 – Your Invitation

NABMA are delighted to return to Harrogate, a most popular venue for our AGM and Conference 2023

The Conference is focused on our #MarketsFirst National Campaign. The campaign was promoted as a result of the NABMA Survey, published in October 2022, that highlighted that the market industry faces major challenges in the years ahead. It was the most important research undertaken on our industry since 2018. We are pleased the campaign is supported by NMTF.

These challenges arise from many factors including the pandemic, the economic crisis and the general difficulties faced by town and city centres and the performance of their high streets.

Importantly, if markets are to remain as a real asset within the levelling up agenda, then there many critical conversations to be had, and much work to be done by the two national market organisations working with government, operators, and traders alike.

There are many challenges to face, but also opportunities to set a new vision for markets. Within the industry we understand the considerable community contribution that markets offer as part of many national and local policy agendas. The industry recognises the many roles that they perform, including acting as a footfall generator to assist the regeneration of town and city centres and, most importantly, as a valuable outlet for entrepreneurship and start-up businesses.  The agenda, after the pandemic is now much greater with markets having a role to play in addressing climate change and levelling up. Our challenge with #MarketsFirst is create the discussions, drive change, secure recognition and, a future for UK markets.

Within our membership there is much to share and discuss in terms of good practice, opportunities and challenges. Our conference programme will address many of these issues and therefore Harrogate will be the place to be on 9/10 October.

Can you afford not to be part of the discussion at Harrogate as market professionals come together to learn, network, share experiences and look at a new vision for the markets industry?

Mick Barker

NABMA President


Our Conference Theme – #MarketsFirst

The Markets Industry is recognised by government as a top factor to help deliver vibrant high streets.

Markets are a focus for start-up business, retail, tourism, hospitality, and social inclusion. They are an important community asset.

However, coming out of the pandemic, the NABMA Survey 2022 provided some worrying messages for the industry. NABMA launched in April 2023 a National Campaign to address the Survey headlines that revealed.

–           Stall occupancy is down from 77% to 72%

–           The number of traders is now less that 30,000

–           Only 8% of traders are under 40 years of age

–           84% of markets are operated or controlled by local authorities

–           Only 40% of markets have an annual financial surplus

–           Only 13% can record footfall


#MarketsFirst has five key priorities, each with an aim and action plan. The Campaign will run for twelve months and is about providing regular updates, sharing of best practice, forums for discussion and publication of resources to assist markets and market trading. Our priorities are.

PRIORITY 1. Attracting and retaining traders

PRIORITY 2. Addressing the economic challenges of Markets

PRIORITY 3. Demonstrating the wider value of Markets

PRIORITY 4. Making the approach to Markets management more professional.

PRIORITY 5. Improving relationship with traders


Each of the conference sessions will relate to the priorities and topical issues in the industry.

A Welcome from our Conference Sponsor – Vitabri

NABMA is delighted to announce and welcome Vitabri, as our conference sponsor for a second year. Vitabri is renowned for its high-quality products, designed and produced in France.

Vitabri Chief Executive Emmanuel Musner confirmed “ We again look forward to welcoming NABMA delegates to Harrogate and spending time together”.

“Vitabri is an established brand in the worldwide market industry and we are excited about working in partnership with NABMA and its membership in the months ahead. As a company we share the same values as NABMA and look forward to bringing our premium outdoor equipment, modern solutions and expertise to the UK market industry. Please contact us if you feel we can help you with questions around our products, consultancy or bespoke designs”.


Harrogate is a NABMA favourite venue. It is a Victorian spa town and rural district that contains the medieval city of Ripon, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and four charming but very different market towns; Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Masham and Pateley Bridge.

Built in 1889 our conference hotel has become a part of the DoubleTree by Hilton collection. The hotel is surrounded by acres of beautifully landscaped gardens that overlook the town. With 14 function rooms, a fully equipped Spa and Health Club, and parking the hotel is the perfect destination for both business and pleasure. A Victorian landmark, the four-star hotel has 184 bedrooms and sits in the heart of the spa town of Harrogate.

Ripon Road

Harrogate, HG1 2HU, United Kingdom



Headline sessions at the Conference will be based around

  • Retaining and Attracting Traders
  • Youth Markets and Creating Sustainable Businesses
  • Case Studies of Investment, Redevelopment and Regeneration
  • Managing Markets and the Challenges and Options
  • National Markets Survey and #MarketsFirst – Updates
  • Business Rates and VAT – Updates
  • Launch of the NABMA Performance Network
  • The influence of markets in local communities
  • Celebrating the markets and the people that are making a difference.
  • Great British Market Awards – a look at case studies from some of the headline entries.


As always, the NABMA Conference will provide excellent opportunities to network with market professionals.  Throughout the Conference the Market Place Exhibition will be open to chat with our sponsors and suppliers.

The grand gala dinner on the Monday evening will feature the Market Industry Awards.

This is always a very special evening in the market industry year. Make sure you book your conference place to celebrate with us.


This will take place during the Gala Dinner. Celebrate with colleagues as we announce the various award winners nominated from the industry. The ceremony will also reveal the recipient of NABMA’s highest recognition, the Krys Zasada Award for outstanding service to the markets industry.


NABMA is able to offer a combined delegate and accommodation (Monday evening only) fee of £350 plus VAT.

VAT is applicable to all quoted charges. The package includes one nights’ accommodation, delegate fees, and the NABMA Gala Dinner on the Monday evening incorporating industry Market Awards and Diploma of Market Administration presentations.

We have a very limited number of rooms for the Sunday evening at £150 plus VAT for bed and breakfast. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Bookings are now closed for this event.

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9 October 2023 @ 9:30 am
10 October 2023 @ 1:00 pm
Event Category:


DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa
Ripon Road
Harrogate, Yorkshire HG1 2HU United Kingdom
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