SLA 20th Anniversary in person event, 18th Oct, London

Thanks to all 70 of you who attended our first in-person SLA event for many years. We had 90 people booking to attend and were thrilled to see so many of you able to join us.

Event details

Taking place on Tuesday 18th October 2022, the event will start at 6pm as usual and will be hosted at Colliers International, 50 George Street, London, Greater London, W1U 7GA.

Colliers UK and EMEA head office is located approximately 10-15 minutes walk from Baker Street, Bond Street and Marble Arch tube stations.

What’s the agenda?

We’ll be celebrating the Location Planning industry, how far we’ve all come in the last 20 years, what’s changed and what might be ahead in the future with awards, refreshments and cake!

  • 6.00pm Registration
  • 6.30 – 6.35pmIntroduction – Jonathan Reynolds, Chairman, The SLA and Deputy Dean & Associate Professor in Retail Marketing, Said Business School
  • 6.35 – 6.40pmIntroduction to Colliers
  • 6.40 – 7.10pm – 20 years in Location Planning – looking back at the past 20 years – Andy Thompson, Co-founder Red Tiger Coaching
  • 7.10 – 7.40pmWhat will location planning look like in 20 years’ time? – Blair Freebairn, CEO, Geotytix
  • 7.40 – 8.00pm – SLA Student Awards 2022 – Winners’ presentation
  • 8.00pm – Jon Walker Award – Lifetime Achievement Award presentation
  • Cutting the cake!
  • Networking and drinks

Speaker Biographies

Andy Thompson, Chairman & UK Franchisor, Anytime Fitness UK and Co-founder of Red Tiger Coaching

Andy Thompson founded the Society for Location analysis 20 years ago when he was Chairman of Geo Business Solutions. He sold this business to MapInfo (now Pitney Bowes) and went on to establish The Wendover Group and worked as Head of Location Planning at Sainsbury’s for two years. He has over 25 year experience in location analysis and store planning.

Blair Freebairn, CEO, GEOLYTIX

Blair Freebairn

Blair Freebairn founded his own location and data consultancy ten years ago and has grown the business to over 40 staff in that time. Geolytix are location-planning experts build tools and data that help our customers understand and optimise location when creating both physical and online distribution networks. His career began as Head of Market Intelligence at Rank Leisure, from where he joined GeoBusiness Solutions. Moving on to MapInfo and Pitney Bowes he held various roles in data analysis, location planning and research. Geolytix are also sponsors of the Society for Location Analysis.

Jonathan Reynolds, Chairman

Jonathan Reynolds, (Chairman)
Deputy Dean & Associate Professor in Retail Marketing at Oxford University’s Said Business School and Academic Director, Oxford Institute of Retail Management.
Saïd Business School

Jonathan Reynolds is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading academics in retail management and location planning. He took over as Chairman in 2014 from Peter Sleight who retired from the position. Jonathan’s hard work, connections and tireless dedication to the group keeps it fresh, current and forward thinking. He’s been our chairman now for over eight years and continues to drive the SLA to bigger and better contributions to the community.

Download speaker presentations

This was a little different to our usual events, with speakers Andy and Blair looking backwards and forwards, at location planning changes and future predictions.

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SLA Student Award winners announced

We were delighted to welcome 4 of our 6 student award winners to this event. Sadly, Kexin was unable to attend and the Loubna, who won the Masters category joined us via Zoom!

Huge congratulations to:

Masters Award winners 2022

  1. Loubna Sasso – University College London
  2. Urmi Shah – Greenwich University
  3. Kexin Peng – University of Manchester

Undergraduate Award Winners 2022

  1. Matthew Browne – University of Leeds
  2. Alexandria Archer – University of Leeds
  3. Gemma Parfitt – University of Leeds

Please visit the SLA Awards 2022 section to find out more about each winner and for pictures of our winning students

Lifetime Achievement Award

Huge congratulations to our Jon Walker Award 2022 winner, Sarah Hitchcock, Chief Operating Officer of Geolytix.

Sarah will be presented with the official Jon Walker Award shield soon, but in the meantime, we made her a giant cupcake!

Sarah has been a member of the SLA since her time at Boots as a Customer Market and Insights Analyst, her many years at Sainsbury’s most recently Head of Investment Planning and now as Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer at Geolytix, working alongside Blair Freebairn to create a thriving and growing consultancy business that now sponsors the SLA.

Her acceptance speech was, “Oh surely I’m not old enough.”
We say not Sarah. Head to the Jon Walker Award – Lifetime Achievement Award page for more information!

Andy Thompson, Sarah Hitchcock, Jonathan Reynolds and Blair Freebairn

Thanks for making it a blast!

A huge thank you to our hosts, Colliers, both our speakers Andy and Blair, all our students and every one of you for attending. It was a fantastic introduction back into real networking and proof that we really need this and enjoy it! See you all at our next event soon!

The feedback has been amazing, we’ve had thank yous from lots of you:

Many thanks to all concerned for such a good party on Tuesday evening.  Excellent presentations, booze and food, and lovely to see so many familiar faces. Joy Jackson

“Thank you for organising such a wonderful event. It was my first event where I got the opportunity to network with some brilliant people out there. Looking forward to attend more offline as well as online events.” Urmi Shah

Photos from the event

Jack Steenstra, previous Jon Walker Award winner, cutting the cake!

We’ve saved some photos and short videos to our SLA Facebook page.

If you don’t use Facebook we can consider another sharing platform. Please share your photos from the event too.

If you can’t view Facebook please let us know using the email below.

Still have questions?

Please email info@thesla.org for more information.