Category: Member News

bpma patrons meet at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant

Another successful patrons dinner was held on the 10 November at the highly acclaimed Gordon Ramsay restaurant, Maze.

Traditionally the events have been held at the House of Commons or the Carlton Club with Brian Binley MP leading the after dinner debate. A new format is now working with a guest speaker, and first up was the turn of Chris Daly, director of customer experience at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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BIC named official partner of COP 21

The BIC 4 Colours pen and the BIC Evolution pencil were the official ball pens and graphite pencils for the COP21 Convention on Climate Change.

This major international conference, which took place from November 30 to December 11 at Le Bourget in France, saw many state and government leaders attend.

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The bpma vision for 2016

Matt Franks bpma chair and CEO of Fluid Branding, sets out plans for 2016.

It seems 2016 is set to be another big year for the bpma. Relocating to our new Cambridge offices, and with an expanded team being recruited as we go to print, we’re excited to be offering more value to the industry and our members than ever before.

Having achieved ATO status for the association, we’re delighted to provide government-backed funding for bpma members exhibiting at PSI this month. Helping our supplier members export their goods and services overseas is a double win, bringing external money into the UK market and further strengthening our sector.

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What marketers really think about promotional gifts

Rising demand for electronic goods is among findings in bpma research into marketers’ attitudes.

The findings from extensive research by the bpma into what marketers think of promotional merchandise were launched during Promotional Products Week in September. Brand awareness is the main reason for using branded merchandise but increasingly they have more specific uses for seminars and conferences.

Two-thirds are now purchasing electronic goods, notably power banks and all manner of USB options. Marketers also believe the key to a successful promotional product is finding something that is both high in quality and memorable in some way.

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Mystery shoppers provide insights into industry

The bpma’s mystery shopper programme will help to improve standards, writes Gordon Glenister.

The bpma conducted its first-ever mystery shopper programme in the summer of 2015. In all, 30 distributors were selected by leading researcher Facts International, across a range of turnover bands.

Each distributor was shopped four times, twice on email and twice on the telephone. A number of interactions were measured. With regard to the telephone responses, 73% had their call answered within three rings and 9% went straight to voicemail. At its best, the phone was answered with one ring. At its worst, six calls were made and an answer-machine was noted each time.

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The Great British brands abroad

Phil Morgan, the CEO of SPS, offers tips on exporting.

It may seem a cliché but, with the massive developments in communications technology, the world really does seem a smaller place, especially when it comes to doing business around the world. There are huge opportunities for taking Great British brands abroad, and a wealth of support to help companies do just that. Chambers of commerce, UKTI and of course the bpma offer a wealth of guidance and support.

As CEO of a British manufacturer, I can offer a few “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to exporting your products. 

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Be protected with passwords

With hackers and scammers on the prowl, digital security is more important than ever, but one basic step you can take is to avoid the most popular passwords. Research continues to reveal that the world’s favourite passwords are “password” and “123456”, followed by “iloveyou” and “qwerty”. Pet names and birth dates are also popular.

According to Wolfpack Information Risk, the best way to create a strong password is to use spaces and/or combinations of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (for example, @ # $ % ! ?), with a minimum of seven characters.

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Craig Sibbald of Creative Promotions issues a warning to the industry

One of the things I love about this industry is the people. It’s an industry full of genuine folk working hard to bring the best range, price and service possible to one another to build their businesses while serving the needs of those around them. It’s not often the industry is tarnished by an unscrupulous individual. However, one person has proven a consistent thorn in the side for three years now and it’s high time he was driven out the industry for good. 

Regular trade press readers will likely know who I’m talking about but for the avoidance of doubt, I’m going to say his name loud and clear…. So take note and inform your colleagues he must be avoided: ALAN WESTON. Affectionately known as @AlanGingeWeston on Twitter, Alan Weston on Facebook and Alan J Weston under various online directory enquiry and directorship listings. It seems he’s giving redheads a bad name too, tut tut… Mr Weston!

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Suppliers tee off with Brand Addition

With the Costa del Cheshire weather set fair, the fourth annual Brand Addition Cup at Shrigley Hall Hotel in September proved to be a great success.

The team competition was won by Supplier Victory, while the victor of the individual competition and nearest the pin was Clive Allcott of Essential Embroidery Design. The winner in the long drive was Nicky Gold of Brand Addition.

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Portable Power

Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas on 10 things you need to know about power banks.

1) A power bank is a battery to charge your gadgets and electronic devices. They are generally rated in their battery capacity (milliampere-hour or mAh), in their output capacity 0.5-1A (smartphones only) or 2.1-3A (smartphones and tablets) and by the speed at which they charge input voltage/mAh and output voltage/mAh – the higher the input rating, the quicker it will re-charge your device.

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Winning ideas ahead at Trophex

The annual Trophex show is returning, taking place on January 17 and 18 at the NEC in Birmingham – a must-attend event for anyone who works in the trophy, awards and personalisation industry.

Visiting Trophex will help you to diversify and grow your business, look for new suppliers and get better deals, and find out about new innovations and products on the market.  See the latest engraving machinery in action via demonstrations, see the latest trends for the coming season and take advantage of special offers that exhibitors will be offering exclusively to Trophex visitors.

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IPPAG looks to the future at 50

Members past and present helped the IPPAG Cooperative celebrate its 50th anniversary in the beautiful setting of Saint-Paul de Vence and Nice in the south of France.

Events included a two-day Open Forum about the future of the Cooperative and the industry, a 2CV rally through the countryside, a pétanque tournament and the 50th-anniversary gala dinner.

Florence Mosnier, IPPAG Cooperative general manager, commented: “We are very fortunate to count such brilliant minds and industry players in our group and evolving at their sides has been a privilege. Our 50th anniversary is an opportunity to honour the past with the presence of our ‘old tigers’ and look to the future with our Open Forum meetings exploring the true value of IPPAG.”

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Process over product

Alex Turner, managing director of Listawood, explains how  the best solutions are about more than just product.

As a printer over the years, I’ve seen too many orders going through the system where the process could have delivered so much more than the design chosen. Bland pictures of delivery lorries or shipping vessels, even PowerPoint slides or clip art used as the basis for a promotional product that will have cost the end user many thousands of pounds of jealously guarded marketing budget. This is not something that the ultimate recipient is very likely to retain, which is, of course, the great strength of promotional merchandise as an advertising medium when targeted properly. Worst of all, the end user might conclude that the blandly branded mugs or diaries that they bought were a waste of money and be turned off from using merchandise in the future.

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Film role for Promo the Panda

Great Central Plastics demonstrated how promotional products are about fun with the help of Promo the Panda.

The company ran a competition themed around the mascot of Promotional Products Week, offering UK distributors the prize of £250 off their next order. They had to watch a short video and email how many times they spotted the panda.

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Ancestors helps bpma mark 50 years

The Ancestors Group, trading as ANC Manufacturing, created a 3D metal bookmark as a gift to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bpma.

Carrying the association’s logo, it was given out to guests on the bpma’s anniversary cruise on the Thames, designed to be something that would be kept, have a practical use and be valuable as well as being made in the UK.

A sculptor made a model of the logo, using a silicon mould and casting the pieces in lead-free pewter onto a brass bookmark template, 24ct gold plating, laser engraving and finally the packaging.

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Industry veterans recall ‘the good old days’

100% mark-up, £5 origination, £5,000 annual salary…. that must be a long time ago.

So what happens when four industry retired figures come together? They talk about the good old days! bpma director general Gordon Glenister arranged for George Hayward, founder of the Page Group, Marion Oxley of Lesmar, Tony Cohen of the Incentive Group and Keith Willis, founder of Dowlis, to come together for lunch and talk about how the industry has changed over the last 50 years as part of the bpma’s 50th-anniversary year.

Keith started his career in 1972 with Gale Melville and, before long, headed up the newly formed business gifts division. Don Wood and Keith Willis saw Gale was going nowhere and created a new company out of their names, Don and Willis, which is how Dowlis was formed.

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ANC’s Manufacturing Processes

ANC Manufacturing is a leading supplier to Promotional Product Distributors. We are a proud member of the British Promotional Merchandise Association and Giftware Association.

ANC Manufacturing is part of the Ancestors Group, established in 1992. The business has developed and evolved with a solid background and track record in research, design and manufacture for the heritage and corporate sectors. The company has become uniquely placed to service these industries through its extensive knowledge and manufacturing capabilities. 

17 different manufacturing processes are carried out on our premises in Folkestone and all can be used to create great products swiftly for the promotional market.

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New twist for Senator pen

Senator is now offering a larger than normal clip print area for Signer Liner, winner of a Red Dot design award.

The premium twist mechanism Signer Liner is now available from the UK with a 35 x 6mm one-colour print on the jet black clip.  It is made from a unique combination of metal and plastic.

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The Pen Warehouse adds 360° laser engraving

Thanks to investment in cutting-edge technology, The Pen Warehouse now offers 360° laser engraving on 118 of its products with a five-day standard lead time.

Traditionally, the laser engraving process has only been able to mark a restricted area on a cylindrical pen. It only has line-of-sight of one side of the barrel and cannot engrave around it. This means it is typically limited to an engraving height of between 6mm and 10mm.

However, technological advances mean the machine can now also engrave around the circumference of the pen at the same time, making the entire 360° of the barrel available for branding.

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Factory visits offer hands-on experience

The bpma education programme factory visits were a real success for the summer and autumn seasons and prove to be a highlight of the learning journey. The factory visits have been created to complement the course content for the Trained in Promotional Merchandise (TPM) level qualification, allowing learners to engage with suppliers, see theory in practice and gain hands-on production experience.

Commenting on the benefi ts of a factory visit, Listawood’s sales director Sim Shalom reports: “It’s useful to be able to spend time helping learners to gain a better understanding of the many printing and production processes involved in the accurate branding and manufacturing of a wide range of ceramic products and other best-selling items.”

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