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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.

The highlight of the year is undoubtedly set to be our Education Day and the bpma Show, taking place on September 13-14 at the prestigious Silverstone Wing. This will form the main event in our third Promotional Products Week (PPW), bringing key players within our industry together in what looks to be the most productive couple of days in the year.

The third bpma Conference at Heathrow in May will again look to support suppliers and distributors alike, educating and debating topics crucial to running a successful and profitable business within the promotional products sector. The seminar programme at the bpma Conference has been exceptionally well received for the last two years, and is a truly high quality event your senior management team should attend.

We’re investing more time and resource into our online education programme this year, the only one of its type within the UK promotional products sector. We’ll be updating and developing the content, and crucially looking to bring the technology platform within the UK for better control over the learning experience.

With more than 130 people actively learning through the bpma education programme, many of our member companies are starting to differentiate themselves from their competitors through ongoing, high quality education. Investing in yourselves and your staff builds value within the team, resulting in motivated and higher valued employees, more informed decision making throughout the company, increased knowledge and therefore higher sales. Why wouldn’t you invest?

In addition to training, we also recognise that industry research is critical to growing the promotional products sector. Again we are looking to increase resource in this area. We launched the industry’s first mystery shop in 2015, and will look for deeper insight from a larger study in 2016. Our intention is to build members’ understanding of the UK market, trends and opportunities. This will happen by reinvesting any surplus funds generated from the bpma Show and Product Media magazine back into research, education and engaging end user brands and buyers with the value of promotional products, and specifically bpma members.

Communication and feedback from members is so important to the association, and something we are keen to improve upon this year. Our new steering groups around British manufacturing (Briman), end user engagement and Promotional Products Week, professional development, and the clothing sector should all help keep the bpma’s activities aligned with our members. Our Product Media magazine will continue to be a news-led publication keeping the industry updated with relevant and useful news.

Please help us to continue our evolution into a stronger, more effective trade association by getting involved, feeding back, and supporting our events and activity.

I wish all of our members a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016, and look forward to supporting you over the coming year.

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