The launch of RLI Connect in June, world’s first global retail and leisure property forum

The original idea was to bring together global retailer and leisure decision makers, put them together and let the deals get done – face-to-face without the many informal emails and phone transfers that usually go with the territory

Alongside the annual RLI Awards, which took place on the 6 June at the Natural History Museum in London, RLI Connect took place at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club.

People were flocking to begin networking as soon as the doors opened. The three courses of buffet food and drink seemed to help people do what they came for, to create contacts and hold meetings to make the all-important deals happen.

The day finished with a night of cocktail party in the main RLI Networking Lounge, with the vast majority of people who attended the day making an evening appearance. This time allowed the RLI team to gain a little perspective on how others had found the event. David Sylvester, Senior Vice President of Sands Retail said: “RLI Connect provided a fabulous platform for retailers and property owners to connect in a positive forum and in a way not offered by other events. Our headline sponsorship derived us great value and we look forward to our continuing association with Jayne and her team for years to come.”

Following invaluable feedback, RLI will be adding a fresh new spin in next year’s event. Having already planned several new ideas that will be implemented at the second RLI Connect, such as Speed Matchmaking Sessions; an improved online database making it easier to connect from day one; colour coded badges to help distinguish between retailers, developers and affiliated companies; an additional networking lounge to ensure maximum connectivity.

The majority of response was RLI Connect should be held over two days to fulfil the potential requirements of so many international retailers and developers. So it’s great news to hear that the RLI Connect 2014 will be held on 4-5 June, with an early finish on the 5th to give people time to get ready for the evening of the Global RLI Awards 2014.