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A retail expert, a former professional poker player and an inspirational speaker have been confirmed for this autumn’s Travel Network Group conference in Croatia.

The event on October 3-5 in Split carries the theme ‘Obsession’.

Self-styled retail champion Clare Rayner, who has worked for McDonald’s, M&S, Dixons, Argos and management consultancy Accenture will share her key success criteria for retailing today.

Casper Berry will look at topics such as risk-taking, communicating, decision-making and innovating, drawing on his career as a poker player in Las Vegas and head of a media company.

Jim Lawless, an authority on personal development, leadership and change will also address the conference.

The expected 300 delegates will also receive a strategic, economic and market update from the group’s senior management.

Travel Network Group managing director Gary Lewis said: “The conference theme – ‘Obsession’ – has been chosen not only because it underpins our values of being entrepreneurial, target-driven and passionate, but also because it best describes our ruthlessness over the last year in pursuing our growth strategy and how we have continually challenged ourselves, our members and our business partners in how they deal with us.

“Our previous conferences have focused a great deal on the future – the trends, forecasts and predictions of what the travel industry will look like in the future and how we need to adapt and prepare ourselves for the changes.

“Whilst the industry will continue to evolve, I believe so much of that change has taken place and it’s now time to live in the here and now and take advantage of the new technologies, customer behaviours and changed trading environment that we are living and breathing every day. The conference programme reflects this.”

A Business Partner Forum hosted over the two-day event will give delegates the opportunity to meet more than 46 preferred business partners and three external professionals will lead workshops covering data management, social media and retailing.

Social events will include a reception by the Croatian National Tourist Board at the basement halls of Diocletian’s Palace which features on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

The conference will culminate at an open-air dinner and awards ceremony.

“Delegates are sure to get a great deal from this year’s ‘Obsession’ conference,” said Lewis.

“The plenary and business sessions will be both informative and motivational and, whilst the main stage activities will give delegates big-picture strategic insights to chosen topics, the workshops will drill down into the detail ensuring members return to their offices invigorated and able to apply their new learnings into their respective businesses.

“Our conferences have grained real momentum over the last few years and this years is set to be our best ever.”