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Growing Pains?

Phil Morgan, the CEO of SPS, looks at getting your business in shape for 2016.

As we start a new year, what are your business objectives for 2016? I’d hope that one of them includes ‘business growth’ – isn’t that what it’s all about?

Even in a challenging economy, you can still make plans for your business designed with growth as the main aim. But here’s the thing – It’s not just about planning to increase sales by 10%, increase market share by 5%, or expand into three more countries. You need to consider the bigger picture and adapt your business in order to handle the growth you’re aspiring to.

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Dunelm Office and Meeting Room Bundles

Dunelm Glass is always looking for innovative products and solutions, and sales manager Chris Smith has shared some of the company’s latest offerings.

“Our bundle packages are set to go really well, based on customer feedback, and we are offering value-for-money executive office and meeting room sets, perfect for any business. There are two great bundles to choose from at an affordable budget, suitable for everyone from small companies and large blue-chip organisations.”

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SPS EU gains exclusive UK supply deal with Contigo Drinkware

SPS EU is now the exclusive supplier of Contigo products to the UK promotional merchandise market. The deal gives UK customers a simple and reliable way to access the prestigious American brand, along with all the benefits of the service levels provided by SPS.

The new agreement builds on the longstanding reputation of SPS in the UK Drinkware market for quality branded thermal mugs and water bottles. The company’s share of the UK drinkware market has grown in recent years, driven by the huge popularity of the Americano Thermal Mug range and H2O Active Sports Bottles.

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New Products for 2016

Technology Gifts 2016

The Pen Warehouse and Snap Products have released Technology Gifts 2016, packed with innovative ideas to promote businesses and brands.

With touchscreen technology everywhere, organisations are keen to associate themselves with smartphone and tablet related products as their frequent use offers great brand exposure.

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Creating quality product images at no cost

Suppliers and distributors alike seek to show off their products in the best possible light. Preseli, along with many other companies in the promotional industry, spends huge amounts of money on high quality photographs, to ensure the products are perfectly presented for printed and online media as well as being blown up and enlarged on presentation banners and exhibition stands.

However, on occasion and with particular products that allow for it, Preseli tries to do something a little differently with their photographs and importantly produce them at zero cost.

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bpma Golf Day returns

The return of the traditional bpma Golf Day was welcomed by members despite the challenge thrown down by the weather.

Back in the bpma schedule after a gap of a few years, the event was held at the prestigious Grove resort near Watford, famous for hosting G8 meetings and X Factor auditions as well as championship golf.

The weather on October 21 was atrocious for the start of the tournament, although it did clear up later in the morning. The event was organised by TKG Europe and supported by Crystal Galleries and Titleist, and was well received by the members and guests who competed.

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bpma Christmas lunch sees out the year in style

The bpma Christmas lunch brought 2015 to a close in fine festive style. More than 140 guests attended the event, held for the first time at the Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch in London, on December 11. The new venue went down a storm, with a number of members even deciding to make a weekend of it by staying over.

Chairman Matt Franks opened the proceedings by sharing some of the highlights of 2015 but also looking forward to some of the Association’s plans for 2016. Guests were entertained royally by Paul Sinha, who most would know as one of the celebrities from the TVs quiz show The Chase. Paul is however a renowned and highly acclaimed comedian and had much of the room in stitches. 

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Don’t close the book on catalogues yet

The promotional gift catalogue is a stable part of many distributors marketing campaign, but with the growth in digital spend, Gordon Glenister investigates the impact on catalogue usage.

With an industry value approaching £1bn, conservative estimates suggest that over £600m is managed within the catalogue groups. At least 300,000 catalogues have been sent out through the major catalogue groups.

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bpma Show set to be a winner

Stands for the bpma show are going quickly, with over 65 trade suppliers already exhibiting. Leading brands like SPS, Senator, Brunel. Liquid Lens, Crystal Galleries, The Carole Group, Impression Europe and many others will be providing an excellent opportunity for members to engage in what is truly one of the best venues in central England – Silverstone. 

Leading distributors have welcomed the show including Chris Lee, CEO, Brand Addition, who says: “We are delighted that the bpma will be representing our industry by hosting their own show from 2016. The location is ideal for us, allowing all of our people in London and Manchester to attend the whole day.” 

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The bpma LinkedIn forum

The bpma LinkedIn community has almost 900 members and a number of important industry topics are discussed. Some of the more recent ones include

Computer Virus hits industry: A computer virus hit the industry in November and a number of companies got caught out. The subject heading was Promotional Gifts – Project Draft Urgent. The bpma advice is always to be mindful of unsolicited email. If it looks too good to be true it probably is. Also, check the url suffix.

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New group set up to support British Manufacturers

A new special interest group has been set up by the bpma to support British Manufacturers. At a recent meeting held in Leicester, a group from First Editions, Orchard Melamine and Great Central Plastics will become part of a steering group to help manage and co-ordinate a programme of activity.

The group’s main aims are to:

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Why Senator?

1. Heritage

Our blend of 95 YEARS’ experience, integrity, creativity and future-orientated zeal makes us the ultimate promotional partner for any brand. A member of the Merz Group in Frankfurt (1908). senator® Global was founded in 1920 and operates in 88+ countries worldwide. senator® UK & Ireland was established over 30 years ago (1983).

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Awards – Life After The Acceptance Speech

Jamie Marshall, founder and MD of Premier Print & Promotions ( reports on the spin-off benefits of awards.

Back in September, Premier Print & Promotions and I were honoured to win the Essex Business Excellence Awards for ‘Customer Care & Service’ and ‘Outstanding Business Person’. 

These were awards for companies based in our county, judged by experienced business people from other successful local companies. And before you ask, no, the awards ceremony wasn’t held at The Sugar Hut night club from ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex!

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Electronics into 2016

Bluetooth is set to get faster, longer range and further enhance all our Tech, says Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas.

Bluetooth is an integral and growing part of our digital lives. Whether driving, working, exercising or relaxing this technology has “cut the wires“ over the last ten years and opened up many opportunities for promotional marketers within our industry. This explosion of wireless gadgets has helped to push the gadget sector to above 12% of total spend on promotional products. 

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Just the Two of Us

Sue Moth of Sanders Badges spotlights the Family Business ethos.

I first came into the industry 40 years ago when I was employed in the finance department by Sanders Badges on a part- time basis. Having two small children at the time meant that it was only possible to work a few hours per week. As the children grew so did my role at Sanders, and over the next 20 years my roles changed many times until I became  managing director during the 1980s.

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Looking Ahead to Trends in 2016

Confidence in 2015 was certainly more buoyant in the promotional products industry with more and more companies expressing increase in sales revenue, albeit in some instances with a drop in margin. We asked industry figures for their take on what changes are in the pipeline for 2016.

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Continued exam success

Big congratulations to Carly Prophet from Allwag Promotions for passing her TPM exam in just six weeks with an impressive 100%. Carly dedicated 1 – 2 hours a week to studying, achieved the 125 credits needed to take the exam in just five weeks and decided to book the exam straight away.

Carly says: “I am over the moon with my exam mark. I am new to promotional merchandise and the TPM course was a great starting place to learn about the industry and products. I would highly recommend it to anyone starting out or wanting to refresh their knowledge on the basics. I am looking forward to starting the CPM course in the New Year!”

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Building a happy and profitable workplace

Why are some employers more successful at retaining their workforce over others?

In our modern, competitive and creative environment, organisations can adopt several practices to help attract and retain employees. A business offering a healthy, varied work environment which favours the well-being of employees is more likely to attract and retain staff over those that don’t.

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The Pen Supplement new edition is launched

The Pen Warehouse is has released edition two of The Pen Supplement, its collection of best-selling products. The range offers something for any type of promotion, whether it’s low cost plastic pens for event giveaways, budget-friendly pencils for large campaigns, or high-quality metal pens for executive gifts.

New additions include the Sparta Ballpen which utilises double-injection moulding technology, and the Quad-i Ballpen with four coloured refills and touchscreen stylus. A 360° laser engraving service is now available on their improved version of the Electra Ballpen.

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