Trade association’s evolution continues

Earlier this year, following our EGM, and in partnership with our chairman, Donald Campbell of Inverarity Morton, the SLTA put forward proposals to radically change the way our organisation is structured.

Our ‘Time for Change’ agenda was set in motion to specifically attack our weaknesses.

Paul Waterson (Large)
Paul Waterson: SLTA is making “significant progress” with its restructure.

We have made significant progress in driving forward the SLTA plan, the overall aim of which is to drive engagement and support growth within the industry.

The plan aims to do this by:

• Increased engagement with existing members to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the government to connect with Scotland’s on-trade.

• Delivery of an initiative to engage with the 30,000 personal licence holders within Scotland as their official representative body.

• Set up a new tier of membership to attract bartenders, mixologists and beer and wine sommeliers.

• Support the industry through the provision of training, events and effective communication.

With help from G1 Group we have established a new brand identity to reflect our fresh approach and renewed focus on industry engagement.

We have had discussions with Andy Gemmell of The Drink Cabinet, Graham Suttle of Kained Holdings and Scott Gemmell of the LA Group on forming our new membership category.

We have enhanced our digital presence through ownership of our @sltassociation, @scottlandspubs and @plhscot Twitter and Facebook pages.

We’ve produced templates for our new digital monthly information service, which will go to all members.

We have secured 29, in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, for the official SLTA Launch Lunch on November 11, 2015, to celebrate with the Scottish on-trade and set our roadmap for the future.

In anticipation of the launch we are currently revamping the SLTA website to reflect the above key priorities of the SLTA.

The site will be a key mechanism in driving our new complimentary PLH membership base. As part of our strengthened communications strategy we will liaise directly with the industry on a consistent and regular basis through informative and relevant content.

A significant database will allow not only greater industry participation and legislative influence but also the opportunity to commercialise our digital activity in order to secure a sustainable future for the association. To date we have a database of nearly 2500 to build upon, however we require your support to grow this further.

We will shortly be in contact with all existing members to communicate the enhanced benefits of SLTA paid membership and to extend the PLH membership to frontline employees across Scotland.

We have also been to a number of companies within the trade to tell them about our changes.

Inverarity Morton, Tennent’s, Matthew Clark, Diageo, Molson Coors and Whyte and Mackay have all pledged support, as have most of the independent multiple operators in the country, too numerous to mention here, and we thank them all for supporting our trade.

We believe a reinvigorated SLTA can deliver many benefits for the trade.

These include:

• Effective representation of individual personal licence holders, pubs, bars and national/regional associations.

• Improved capabilities, through an ongoing training and event programme, to improve the overall visitor experience.

• Increase in visitor spend, satisfaction and footfall in Scotland’s on-trade.

• Changing industry perceptions towards Scotland’s on-trade – through promoting an authentic experience building upon the success of the ‘The Original Social Network’ and ‘Scotland’s Pubs and Bars – a Story to Tell’ initiatives.

• Influencing and strengthening industry leadership and encouraging facilitation and collaboration.

We hope that we can count on your support moving forward; after all this is your association, and never before in our 134-year history has there been a greater need for a strong, vibrant, efficient SLTA.

Paul Waterson is the chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.