In the day's first panel session, representatives from four major UK MI stores revealed the secrets of their success.
Alex Marten from Red Dog Music stressed the importance of having a store identity and becoming a brand owner, rather than simply selling other people's brands.
"Try to be as proactive as possible and get involved with online networks," said Marten. "Not many retailers focus on building their own brand and their brand value. For us, it's friendliness, which has worked really well for us."
Jonathan Myall from Just Flutes stated how building relationships with customers and tying them down for the future has paid dividends for the brass and woodwind specialist.
"We always keep in touch with our customers and have really upped our efforts with our website, as well as Facebook and Twitter," Myall revealed. "We've tried to make ourselves a destination store and now most people who come into our shop go out with something."
Musicroom's Genevra Champion believes making customers feel comfortable is essential and that dealer training is unavoidable.
"We're welcoming and unjudgemental and whenever we're offered training, we see it as a fantastic opportunity," Champion stated. "We deliver consistency and clarity in everything we do."
In the second session, a mixture of suppliers and dealers analysed how the MI industry is likely to change in the next few years.
Roland's John Booth pointed out that today's end users are becoming more intelligent with their purchasing and that suppliers trading with Amazon shouldn't be frowned upon.
"Consumers are getting much cleverer at choosing what they buy and who from," said Booth. "And why wouldn't we ignore the biggest marketplace in the world? I don't see a problem with selling entry-level products to Amazon – they're a retailer too – because they'll all need to upgrade at some point."
Darrell Priestley from Northern Music urged attendees to stick to one thing and do it well and that retailers should look forward to what's ahead, rather than dread it.
"You should have a specialist area and maybe even set up a site for it. It's a way to take on bigger retailers and win," Priestley commented. "Now is an exciting time to be a retailer. You should get enthused about the future. You can choose what it is you want your store to be."