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The Best Yet for 2017

The general election is over, but there is still some voting ahead in the shape of the BPMA industry awards. Daniela Arena gives details about the awards, how to enter and how to place votes on the online voting system.

The BPMA Awards Party on 19 September celebrates excellence and achievement within the promotional merchandise industry, rewarding commitment, outstanding service and continued professionalism from our members.

This year’s awards offer 12 categories for members to enter. The rumour “sponsor an award to win an award” couldn’t be further from the truth. The BPMA Annual Awards uses a transparent online voting system allowing members to vote and have a panel of experienced external judges for the entry based awards to determine the winners. We do not make up a shortlist behind closed doors and we don’t put forward our award sponsor or members just because they have supported the association, and we don’t put our ‘industry friendlies’ in the shortlist either.

Every member has the same opportunity to enter and each member has the same voting rights. The BPMA secretariat and the board of directors do not vote. These really are the industry awards that mean something because your fellow industry peers have voted for you or external judges in the marketing community rate you and your work. Winning an award this way is one you and your staff can be proud of. The number of award entries and award votes grows each year and the BPMA plan for the 2017 awards to be their best yet.

There are three types of award categories: awards that members are automatically entered into by the BPMA; entry-based awards with members vote, and entry-based awards with an external panel of judges voting. Quite often members comment that the same companies win all the time and that there is no point in entering an award. To be in with a chance of being a winner or becoming a finalist, members have to enter some of these awards. External judges can only judge on the entries received.

Repeat winners see the value in winning an industry award and enter each year. They put a lot of thought and planning into their entries and the standard of entries grows each year. We would love more members to enter the awards this year.

How does the voting system work?

We have an online voting system that all staff within member companies have access to. Members log in and vote on the award categories they are eligible to vote on. Distributor members vote for supplier and service partners. Suppliers vote for distributors and service partners and service partners vote for both.

The voting process is completely transparent with the finalists and winners determined solely by the number of votes and points associated with the votes. At no stage can a member company vote for their own entry in ANY of the awards.

Here is a little more info on the award categories:

BPMA Supplier and Distributor of the Year Awards

Members are automatically entered into this award based on the annual turnover details supplied to the BPMA by each member. It is the members responsibility to ensure they are entered into the correct turnover category. When the voting begins members log in and place their votes for each turnover category selecting their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice, with points allocated to each vote. Each member of staff within a member company can only vote once.

BPMA Innovative Product of the Year Award

This is a supplier entry-based award. If suppliers have launched a new and innovative product or unique service within the last 12 months, then they should enter this award. We are looking for a successful and innovative product or service that has created a competitive edge for the organisation and has exploited a gap in the market.

BPMA Marketing Campaign of the Year Award

This is an entry-based award open to distributors. If a distributor has produced an integrated marketing campaign that not only looks good, through creativity and innovative ideas, but delivers an exemplary return on investment, then this is the award to enter. The award entry must include at least three different digital components to promote a product or service. Campaigns could include online advertising, viral marketing, email marketing and integrated on and offline campaigns. Entrants should demonstrate the effectiveness of the campaign in generating business directly or indirectly. Judges will be looking for ROI or tangible business benefit.

BPMA Catalogue of the Year Award

This is an entry-based award for distributors only. With an estimated 2,000 promotional merchandise distributors in the industry and hundreds of distributor companies with bespoke catalogue covers reaching the end user market, the BPMA is looking for the one that stands out the most.

BPMA Supplier Unsung Hero of the Year Award

This is my favourite award category. This is not an award for your favourite account manager who drops by your office with sweet treats. It has been created to reward and recognise office based individuals in the customer services or sales support team, who have gone the extra mile for distributors.

BPMA Personality of the year Award

The Personality of the Year award is an award for a charismatic individual who has had a high impact on the Promotional Merchandise industry, someone who has contributed significantly and who has made a considerable difference over the last 12 months. This is an open award voted for by the BPMA membership through the online voting system.

Best Dressed Stand at Merchandise World

This award will be judged during the first day of Merchandise World on 19 September 2017. We are looking for a colourful, creative but simple stand that catches the visitor’s eye.

Winning a BPMA award creates lots of positive marketing and PR opportunities to target your markets. You will receive a winner’s logo, certificate and photo, plus a comment from the BPMA to add to press releases and emails. We would like to encourage all BPMA members to take part in the industry awards for 2017 by entering awards and of course by voting too.

Award winners will be announced at the BPMA Annual Awards Party on 19 September 2017, during the Merchandise World Show. For more information, contact

The 2017 Award Categories are:

  • Supplier of the Year up to £2m
  • Supplier of the Year £2m plus
  • Distributor of the Year up to £500k
  • Distributor of the year up to £2m
  • Distributor of the year £2m – £5m
  • Distributor of the year £5m plus
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Personality of the Year
  • Most Innovative Product of the Year
  • Catalogue Cover of the Year
  • Supplier Unsung Hero
  • Best Dressed Stand at Merchandise World

The BPMA wishes all members the very best of luck in the BPMA Annual Awards 2017.

For more information about the award categories and how to enter or to ensure you are registered for the online voting system, contact Daniela Arena –

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