Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The first ever newsagent’s choir sets up discussion about teamwork and strategy

Mark Fletcher
September 21st, 2018 · 2 Comments

The newsXpress national conference on the Gold Coast this week opened with Pub Choir leading a 90 minute workshop that created a choir of newsagents and suppliers.

The 200 voices, who had never sung together before, singing Better Be Home Soon by Crowded House created a beautiful sound. The experience spoke to confronting challenges, breaking down barriers, working together and looking over the horizon at what could be.

The choir workshop was the surprise opening to the conference. newsXpress members had no idea ti was coming. The feedback since has been wonderful and inspiring for what it is leading to.

Over two days at the conference there was exploration of new traffic supplier opportunities, including suppliers who have not previously supplied newsagencies who spoke in depth about their traditional shoppers and how to find and serve them.

In one case, conference attendees learnt about a completely new product category that offers excellent margin and which has a strong following in Australia. Discovering how to engage with this with context of existing newsXpress product categories exposed another way to leverage opportunities for the business.

Everything presented and discussed at the conference was optional, as is the case with newsXpress.

On Tuesday, in a deliberately more intimate setting, seventy newsXpress members sat in an open circle and talked business in a personal way that was emotional and transformational. Many who participated have provided feedback about the profound impact of this three-hour session. Here is one message:

The introduction of #Pub Choir  set the scene for a conference that was going to be different…….and that it was.

Most enjoyable, entertaining and educational.

This morning’s round table discussion certainly was the most powerful and understanding I’ve been to. It was a ‘reality episode’ that really drove the point home that, as retailers, we cannot take our eye off ‘the ball’ for one second.

Here is a comment from another participant.

I have been a newsagent for close to thirty years and been to hundreds of meetings and sat on committees and been to many conferences. I have not in all that time experienced anything close to the inspiration, care, closeness and optimism as I have witnessed here. I mean this sincerely, the experience has changed my life.

I appreciate there are some here who will either through comments or privately mock this post or put it down. It’s okay. Think whatever you like. I have not written this to get your agreement. Those who were there know first-and what it was like and what it will mean for their businesses.

For me, it was a wonderful three days: inspiring, insightful and memorable. But overall, it was practical from a business next steps perspective.

In creating this newsXpress conference, I sought to put something together that was appropriate for our times, that focussed on next steps. I think too often planning conferences look too far ahead. In our channel today, the horizon is much closer.

On the choir experience, those who participated cheered loudly at the end of singing Better Be Home Soon as a performance. Then, at the end of the conference, we showed the video of the performance, and the cheered again. It’s a joyous memory.


Category: newsagency marketing · Newsagency marketing group · newsagency of the future · Newsagent representation

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Bloom // Sep 21, 2018 at 6:43 AM

    Inspirational. Please post the video.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Sep 21, 2018 at 6:47 AM

    Steve I don’t have permission to post the video on a public, searchable, platform. All who participated have been provided a copy. Others in the broader newsXpress ecosystem have been provided a copy too.


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