bpma Annual Conference

The second bpma Annual Conference, “Future Proof Your Business”, has been hailed a success, with many of the sessions filled to capacity.

More than 220 delegates, experts and speakers defied strikes and traffic chaos to attend the event at the Park Inn Heathrow on July 9, with many staying on for the bpma Annual Business Awards Dinner the same evening.

The proceedings were opened by the chairman of the bpma, Matt Franks, who called for support of an independent association that could prioritise its core values and help grow and expand the industry and the use of promotional merchandise as part of the general marketing mix.

Facts International released the findings of a bpma-commissioned survey that revealed, among other things, the results of their distributor mystery shopper survey which caused a stir among those present. Highlights of the study revealed that many distributors need to more proactively engage with customers, question them, understand them and take the time to offer alternatives.

As reported, it pointed to a gap between the want and need for creativity from marketers and the response from distributors. The survey found that 72% of marketers have been unhappy with promotional merchandise they had purchased and their providers.

Delegates who attended had the chance to book one-to-one sessions with a selection of experts who were there to offer valuable advice in a multitude of industry fields from PR to pensions and legislation to product safety.

With 12 seminars being offered during the morning to delegates, many sessions were oversubscribed, with slots on search engine optimisation (SEO), LinkedIn and Vistaprint being standing room only.

Nigel Bailey, event director for bpma, commented: “This has been a fantastic day for the industry, and the comments and appreciation we have received about the depth and quality of the event we have delivered has been amazing.”

“We will be running a similar event in 2016, although we will be looking as always to improve the offering in every way that we can.”

“My special thanks go out to the delegates, speakers and experts, many of whom faced difficult journeys to be at the conference, and also to team bpma for pulling together and creating such a great event.”

Attendees found the conference extremely valuable. Mick Humphries of TC Group commented: “Many thanks once again for a really inspiring conference. It is very evident that you and the team put an enormous amount of effort into the event which is very much appreciated. The bpma is certainly a credit and valuable asset to our industry.”

Andy Thorne of Outstanding Branding added: “Huge well done and thank you for a cracking conference and awards.”

The bpma Annual Business Awards Dinner was attended by over 120 people. Keynote speaker Philip Hesketh delivered a lively, amusing and thought-provoking session which was extremely well received by the audience.

Four awards were presented. Website of the Year, sponsored by Business Growth Service, was won by Fluid Branding while Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by PSI, was won by Corporate Creations. Employer of the Year, sponsored by SVM, went to Matrix APA.

Professional Development Student of the Year sponsored by the bpma education programme was won by Louise de Silva from Outstanding Branding after achieving 100% in her TPM examination. See page 11 for an interview with her.

Jean-Francois Chodecki of Corporate Creations said: “A big thank you for a wonderful evening capped by Corporate Creations winning the Newcomer of the Year award. You’ll never know how proud and honoured I am. Looking forward to working with you closely to improve the promotional industry.”

Gordon Glenister, director general of the bpma, commented: “We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response from both delegates and experts who attended the conference.”

The bpma would like to thank Cyan Group, PSI, SVM, Pinpoint, BTC activewear, The Carole Group, Marketing Answers and Solutions, Business Growth Service, Chili Concepts, Liquid Lens, 741 Awards and Just a Drop for supporting the conference and awards.

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