Getting stronger for the future

Matt Franks, Chairman of the bpma, on how the bpma is evolving to adapt to a changing environment.

I’m delighted to be involved in this launch edition of Product Media, the new trade magazine from the bpma.

The secretariat, voluntary board, and passionate members of the bpma put countless hours into developing and helping steer the UK promotional products industry. One criticism we’ve faced as an organisation, however, is a lack of transparency – what do the organisation and its board of directors actually do?

This is something I’d like to address. bpma members and non-members alike should be clear on who we are, what we stand for, and why they should get involved. Product Media magazine will help communicate this, in addition to reporting relevant and timely news and views affecting our industry.

As any modern organisation must, the bpma is evolving in order to ensure we adapt to a changing environment. Not-for-profit trade associations in any industry fill an important and unique role. Industry sectors thrive and grow when there is a healthy mix of commercial companies and where there is also governance, support and guidance provided through a strong, independent trade body with no private agenda or shareholders to report to.

For a trade association to be sustainable, its revenue is typically generated through member fees, trade shows, and additional chargeable products and services. Whilst I’m pleased to say we are in a stronger financial position now than for many years, in order to sustain this we need to put a structure in place that will provide total self-sufficiency, free from outside influence and long-term stability.

As such we are currently undertaking a strategic and carefully planned reorganisation, primarily aimed at further strengthening the bpma’s operational and financial position. This will allow us to devote increased time and money towards leading, supporting and growing the industry and our members. The recent appointment of our Event Director Nigel Bailey, the launch of The bpma Show in September 2016, and various other initiatives such as this publication, are all part of the evolution of the bpma.

The vision – of which we are currently well on track with – is to enable us to deliver better and broader education, deeper and more meaningful research, and increased collaboration between our members. This all takes careful planning, hard work, and occasionally some tough decisions. It’s reassuring to have a strong, experienced board, and a talented secretariat. I can genuinely say we are looking forward to a bright future for the association and its members.

I believe an independent, passionate and experienced trade association is vital to the health and development of our industry. The more members we have and more individuals who get actively involved in the bpma, the more positive effect we can have.

If you’re reading this and aren’t a member, you really should join the bpma and help support and develop your industry. If you’re passionate about the industry go a step further and join one of our new steering groups such as researching the size and state of our industry. If you have the experience and appetite to really make a difference, why not apply to join the board?

I challenge you to get involved in shaping the future of your industry. Click the “Get Involved” button at the top of our website to see how you can make a difference. See you at the bpma Conference.

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