One of the most important days of the year for us is the Heart of the Community Conference, taking place this year on November 19.

We are delighted to already have a record attendance booked and thanks in advance to all of you from the convenience sector making the trip to Methodist Hall in Westminster in a few weeks’ time.

If you’ve not decided whether to come or not yet, here are three reasons why you should take the trip to London.

First, you will meet fellow retailers who can help you to grow your business. The networking value of events is sometimes seen as a by-product, but I think it’s the biggest reason to attend Heart of the Community or any ACS event.

If you’re facing challenges in your business, I would bet that someone else in the room has experienced exactly the same issues and has tried to solve them. If you want to tell us about a problem you are facing before the event, we can make sure you get to speak to someone who can help you when you come to the event.

Second, the more retailers who attend the event, the bigger the impression we make on politicians. We’ve got two really big hitters speaking at the event – business minister Michael Fallon and opposition business spokesman Chuka Umunna – and when they see a big audience of retailers who care enough to come to Westminster, it sends the message that our sector isn’t to be messed with.

Third, you will get new insights and ideas from the quality speakers taking part in the conference. As well as Fallon and Umunna, you will hear from think tank Demos and panel of experts on new ideas for tackling alcohol-related problems in your community.

Heart of the Community is your chance to show Government the strength and depth of the convenience sector.

I hope to see you all on November 19.