News

Jake Scott-Paul (L) with Matt Lucas (R)

Obstacle course feat for Soopa Doo-pair

Jake Scott-Paul, company director of promotional product supplier Soopa Doopa, was one half of a tireless twosome to take on the obstacle course race ‘Rush’.

Raising funds for a deeply personal matter, Jake took on the challenge, organised by Nuclear Races, with his good friend Matt Lucas. Soopa Doopa’s head honcho is coming up to two years free from alcoholism, and saw this event as a fantastic opportunity to help generate money for charity Action on Addiction.

The course invited participants to wade through 52 obstacles in total, plus a 7km run. Swimming, zip lines, tunnel crawls, death slides and mud baths were all part of the obstacle circuit too.

Jake and Matt raised over £800 for their charitable exploits, with Soopa Doopa kitting the pair out so they could be easily spotted in their hot pink tops.

“While we are doing this for a bit of fun, we felt it was a great opportunity to raise awareness around addiction, that affects so many people. It shows that recovery is possible,” commented Jake.

The duo are hoping to raise £1000 altogether for this cause, with donations being added through this link.

Below is an excerpt from the JustGiving page:

Unfortunately many people do not get access to the residential care that proves so successful in overcoming active addiction, therefore I would like to try and raise some funds to help! This is a bit fun, but also shows that recovery from active addiction is possible and you can turn your life around.

Claire Hutchinson

Key account manager joins pen specialists

Senator Pens have announced that a new member has joined their accounts department. With 20 years of industry service under her belt, Claire Hutchinson has secured the role of key account manager.

Experience and knowledge go hand-in-hand, and Claire has built a fantastic reputation in the stationery and promotional merchandise sectors.

Sharing her excitement about joining the writing instrument specialists, Claire commented: “The heritage of the Senator brand in the UK speaks for itself in terms of consistent product and service innovation. The company has built very strong customer relationships right across the industry over the last 35 years, so with my knowledge of both the retail and promo sectors, I am looking forward to helping develop that business and to further build on the strong foundations already in place.”

Managing director of Senator, Andrew Hill, is impressed by Claire’s credentials; “We are very privileged to be able to bring someone of Claire’s experience into the fold. Her ability to react to market trends and convert insights into proven business-building strategies will ensure our distributors are in excellent hands.”

Senator’s new addition will be representing the company at upcoming industry events.

PPD digital

PPD is going digital

PPD are proud to announce that they will be doubling down on their digital services and expanding their options to help suppliers and distributors stay informed and connected.

With this in mind, from June onwards, PPD magazine will continue as a digital-only publication.

However, the first issue of every quarter – January, April, July and October – will also be special printed editions and act as keystone magazines for the upcoming selling seasons.

“Many readers revealed how much they enjoy reading PPD magazine online at this January’s PPD LIVE 2018 show,” revealed head of content, Richard Hollis. “The general consensus seemed to be that printed magazines are wonderful reference material which people like to keep on their desks, but people increasingly relied on digital sources for their news updates and features.

“With this in mind, the decision was made to re-imagine PPD as a digital-first entity and expand our offerings and services for the promotional industry, which we will be announcing soon.

“We are hugely excited to be focusing on our digital output and helping all our readers stay up to speed with everything the need to know to drive their business forward.”

London Stationery Show sets new standards

Last month was the launch of London’s eighth Stationery Show, which saw more than 2,000 visitors flock to the Islington’s Business Design Centre. Taking place on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 April, the exhibition nicely coincided with National Stationery Week.

Event manager, Hazel Fieldwick shared: “We want our event to be the place to find writing and paper products – whatever your starting point of interest may be, so it’s great to see such a mix of visitors attending. This year’s show attracted all the national key stationers and a strong line-up of indies.”

Representatives from garden centres, bookshops, gift and greeting stores, print and copy shops, educational establishments, distributor businesses and publishers were all in attendance. The show also welcomed a growing number of licencors, licensing agents, and high street fashion and accessory retailers including Next, Missguided, Next, Monsoon Accessorize and Amara Living.

The show also ran the annual 7th Stationery Awards, which introduced a new accolade – the Good Design Award, which was won this year by Back Pocket. Lime Stationery & Art and Abrams & Chronicle each collected several awards.

The show also introduced ‘Trend Tours’ and the ‘Stationery Trends Hub’ to attract more design and designer-led stationery brands.

“For retailers and suppliers who want to plan beyond the next season, understanding how trend forecasting works and marrying the information to what they know about current customers – or indeed the customers they’d like to have – is of real commercial benefit. It allows retailers and suppliers to focus on what they need to maximise future sales. This is an area we’ll definitely be developing further next year” explained Vanessa Fortnam, the show’s marketing director.

Partnered with The Paper Library, the show also launched the new ‘Student Stationery Award’ scheme. Design managers from Paperchase (Portico Design and Caroline Gardner) are supporting this new competition and offering a student placement as the prize. They attended the show itself whilst also taking taking part in a Q&A about their jobs and roles within their respective companies.

Below are the categorised winners from the Stationery Awards:

Filing – (Joint winners) tied by the Flatty Wallet and Compack – both from JPT Europe

Social Stationery – Green in Bloom Notecards – from Laura Stoddart Ltd

Everyday Writing – Construction Liliput pen by Troika – from Lime Stationery & Art

Novelty – Calendar Stickers – from Carpe Diem

Gift Packaging & Wrap – Hand tie-dyed gift wrap – from Paper Mirchi

Licensed – Christian Lacroix New York A5 Notebook – from Abrams & Chronicle

Diaries, Organisers and Calendars – New Octagon Collection – from Octagon Design (LaunchPad Winner)

Writing Instruments (over £25) – LAMY aion – from LAMY

Notebooks – Troika Lilipad and Liliput – from Lime Stationery & Art

Desk Accessories – The Never-Ending Notebook – from Abrams & Chronicle

Arts & Crafts – Colour Happy Big Box – from edding UK Ltd

Good Design – Back Pocket Notebooks – from Back Pocket

Judges’ Choice – (Joint winners) The Lilipad & Liliput – from Lime Stationery & Art, The Octagon Collection – from Octagon Design

 

Charlotte Hollidge and Daniel Hill

Senior account manager addition at Zagwear

As part of the company’s expansion within European and UK territories, product based marketing agency Zagwear has appointed a new key member to the team.

Daniel Hill, taking on the role of senior account manager, will lead the office alongside senior manager of global accounts, Charlotte Hollidge.

Looking to introduce Zagwear to a larger client base, Daniel shared: “Zagwear is a merchandise player that is slightly under the radar in the UK at the moment but, working with Charlotte and the team, we aim to change that. I’m looking forward to helping steer and maximise our growth and presence in the UK and EMEA.

We want to demonstrate to brands how Zagwear can help them deliver local and global solutions for their merchandise needs while driving down costs and creating efficiencies.”

Daniel’s new colleague, Charlotte added: “Since joining Zagwear approximately two years ago, we have kickstarted the UK operations and it is now time to take things on to the next level. I am really forward to implementing the exciting plans that the company has in place for the UK and EMEA.”

Some of the company’s most notable clients include Land Rover, Marvel, Heineken, Nintendo and The Discovery Channel.

Zagwear’s CEO, Toby Zacks sees the UK and EMEA market as a fantastic field for growth. He noted: “Our global clients are increasingly asking us to provide the same capabilities, level of service and quality that they get in the US, internationally. The world is becoming a smaller place for brands, which provides a great opportunity for us to deliver the Zagwear proposition in growing markets.

“In Dan and Charlotte, we have two seasoned professionals with substantial experience in the UK promotional products sector. We are fully aligned on the corporate initiatives and it’s great to build the Zagwear presence in the region with these professionals. We will continue to focus on strategic growth relying on Zagwear’s experience and capabilities in critical areas such as technology, process, logistics, compliance and creative execution.”

Sam Charlton and Monique Lawrence

Print specialists snap up fresh recruits

Snap Products, who celebrate a decade in trading this year, have recently added to their workforce: enter Sam Charlton and Monique Lawrence.

Based in the customer service team, they’ll both take on the position of sales administrator. Among others, their responsibilities will include taking customer enquiries, processing sales orders and liaising with production to ensure everything is delivered on time.

This expansion of Snap Products’ customer service department is the result of year-on-year growth. Customer service manager Sarah Craik had this to say about the new duo added to the team: “It’s a pleasure to have Monique and Sam on board. They’re already displaying enthusiasm and a passion for customer service, so are great additions to our growing team.”

Chris Nelson (left, with Nick Crisp) accepts The Extra Mile Supplier Award for The Laltex Group

Impamark’s fifth client day is the greenest yet

Last month saw the fifth annual client day organised by Impamark, this year titled ‘The Power of Brand’. Designed as a merchandise and marketing conference, this event took place at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Colchester, on 25 April.

Approximately 50 clients arrived from across the UK to meet with 35 leading suppliers at the event. A number of informative presentations were given by industry figures, including Simpsons Creative MD Richard Taylor and Voice Communications’ Lucy McKechnie among others.

Reflecting the company’s move to a more environmentally-focused sensibility, MD at Impamark Nicky Crisp commented: “There has recently been a lot of focus on plastic pollution. I was very fortunate at Christmas to swim with the turtles on holiday and I feel very passionate about the current issues facing the world today with regards to plastic waste.

“Impamark is strengthening its own internal systems to reduce waste, and will actively be focusing on more eco-friendly products to assist our clients in promoting their own stand against pollution in the environment. For example, we are no longer offering printed plastic carrier bags as an option for promotional merchandise.”

With a fresh strapline (‘Our solution is less pollution’) being used on their organic, reusable or recycled merchandise, Nicky further explained: “We want to promote the use of merchandise manufactured in a sustainable manner which can be reused and recycled rather than simply being thrown away. We all need to take ownership of the issue of plastic pollution and protect our planet for future generations.”

The day also held Impamark’s very first incentive awards for both clients and suppliers, with the following winners; Bristol University (Education in Partnership Award), G Collins & Sons Funeral Directors (The Celebration Award), Downhall Hotel & Spa (Eco Campaign Award), University College London (Customer Engagement Award), Grove Logistics (Most Innovative Use of Brand), Sapper Shop RE Corps Enterprises (Newcomers Award), The Laltex Group (The Extra Mile Supplier Award) and Preseli (Supplier of the Year Award).

Peanut butter flavoured protein balls

Coronation Promotions puts the protein balls in your court

Promotional confectionery supplier Coronation Promotions have expanded their range with a healthy and delicious treat: protein balls.

They have entered into an exclusive agreement with The Protein Ball Co to offer the market leading protein snack as a personalised promotional gift for the first time.

“The promotional sector was an area that they hadn’t covered yet,” explained Andy Bradbury of Coronation Promotions. “They’re a relatively new brand that are doing very well but obviously concentrating on the retail sector. This year we are celebrating 30 years in the industry, so we thought their great product and our experience was a natural partnership.

“They are available in two delicious flavours: peanut butter as well as lemon and pistachio. They really do taste great and come in a trio pack in a sealed bag that goes into a handy, pocket-sized box that can be completely personalised with a full colour print on all surfaces.

“They are obviously perfect for any promotion involving health and fitness but  this is a product that ticks a lot of boxes. They are all natural, with no added sugars, no GMO’s and no soy, they are gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian/vegan and low calorie with only 94Kcal per pack.”

Delicious offers introduced at Promo Trade Co

Promo Trade Co have designed a new and lip-smacking incentive to whet their clients’ appetites. The free Pizza Lunch Prize Draw selects a company at random who have requested a quote within the fortnight to win a pizza banquet for their company.

Bordon’s Complete Merchandise Ltd were recently the first winners of this offer, after requesting eight quotes over the fortnight.

Delighted and a little full from the Italian cuisine, Tom Singh, senior sales and marketing executive at CML said: “We’ve all had pizza many a time before, but my reaction over the phone to Chelsea telling me that we had won was like I’d won the EuroMillions! It’s always fun working with the Promo Trade team. We are forever getting the team to source unusual products from the Far East for our clients as well as using them for their top 20 bestsellers.

“Stomachs full, we would like to thank Promo Trade for setting up the competition and all the years of great service. Bring on more competitions (we hope)!”

The Pizza Lunch Prize Draw will continue each fortnight, so get involved to have a chance of tasting that magical grub!

 

Doming Service Snap Products

Snap Products launches digital doming service

Digital print specialist Snap Products is now offering a new doming service – the ideal way to add impact and perceived value to a promotional gift.

Recent investment in the latest resin doming technology allows Snap to offer this beautiful branding option on a number of key product lines, including a comprehensive new notebook range. As well as digital printing and debossing, many of these notebooks can be adorned with premium de-doming, which combines a debossed design with a full colour dome.

Other products available with doming include the new Pulse Bluetooth Headphones and Mirage Wireless Charger, adding extra full colour appeal to cutting-edge tech.

Doming is the process of digitally printing on an adhesive label and then coating with a layer of transparent resin. The result is a soft-feel dome with an eye-catching raised 3-dimensional effect. Snap Products’ domes are manufactured mercury free to conform to EU standards.

To find out more, call the Snap Products customer services team on 01252 796860 or email sales@snapproducts.co.uk.

The Pen Warehouse custom sleeve

The Pen Warehouse launches custom printed packaging

Thanks to investment in new print finishing equipment, The Pen Warehouse now offers a fantastic range of cardboard packaging options, each digitally printed in stunning full colour. This custom packaging service is a great way to enhance a corporate image, create a story and increase the opportunity for messaging.

Available options include the Card Pouch, a pen and business card holder ideal for both end-users and for distributors wanting to send self-promotion samples.

You can also choose from a versatile pen sleeve and a cardboard box with a large printable surface area. Each is branded using the latest digital technology for photographic-quality prints that are sure to be noticed.

The Pen Warehouse also offers variable data printing for the ultimate in personalisation. This allows individually personalised items from a single print job. The business card holder, for example, could be printed with individual names and contact details.

For more information, call The Pen Warehouse on 01252 400 270 or email sales@pens.co.uk.

Euro Trophex

Euro Trophex 2018 is Berlin bound

After having been hosted in Amsterdam for many years, Europe’s biggest annual event for the awards, trophies and engraving industry, Euro Trophex, is moving to Berlin for the 2018 show.

Scheduled to run Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 November, the event will be held at the iconic Estrel Berlin hotel and conference centre, which offers world-class facilities and an event space designed for up to 10,000 visitors.

Show organiser, Tracey Greenfield, said: “Visitors travel to Euro Trophex from over 70 countries worldwide to meet the companies that are leading and influencing the development of the trophy and awards industry in Europe. With a large influx of innovation in the market coming from Eastern Europe and beyond, we felt Germany, and Berlin in particular, would be a great central European location for visitors to experience the latest designs and materials that are revolutionising the industry.”

With exhibitors and visitors coming to Euro Trophex from all over the world, the Estrel offers everything to make their stay easy, accessible and convenient. There are 1,125 bedrooms and suites, 450 parking spaces on-site with a further 500 opposite the hotel and four international restaurants to cater for every discerning palate.

Diane Pentaleri-Otto, international sales director for the Estrel, said: “We look forward to welcoming Euro Trophex to the Estrel. Our venue is the perfect location and has unrivaled facilities in Berlin when catering for an international audience. We are sure we will deliver a first-class experience for both exhibitors and visitors to Euro Trophex.”

Robert Ebben from Biemans, supporters of Euro Trophex said: “This move to Berlin is an important step in the growth of the Show, embracing change and identifying new innovative manufacturers and suppliers from around the world is imperative in driving the industry forward. Also, being able to target new domestic markets in Europe will be invaluable to exhibitors post Brexit.

“I am looking forward to appearing alongside some of the best companies in Europe such as Stieber and other industry leaders who will be at Euro Trophex.”

Abraham Braun from Stieber said: “We are pleased to be presenting our new innovative products at Euro Trophex 2018. We are convinced that the trophy market must go with the trend of the times.”

Tracey Greenfield concluded: “Visiting the show is a must if you work in the trophy, awards, engraving and personalisation industries. If you are looking to identify suppliers, manufacturers, distributors or worldwide export opportunities then this is the show for you.”

If you are considering exhibiting please call Tracey Greenfield on +44 (0) 1442 826826.
Registration for Euro Trophex 2018 is now open.
Please visit www.trophex.com/euro-trophex to register for free entry to the show.

Elisabeth Och and Marco Bettiol speaking at Padua University

Hay Hampers becomes university case study

On 9 April 2018, leading British gift hamper company Hay Hampers took part in a lecture at the University of Padua in Italy as a case study of a fast growing e-commerce business.

About a hundred Italian students of the faculty of communication attended the lecture arranged by the professor of business management, Marco Bettiol and given by the marketing director of Hay Hampers, Elisabeth Och. The main focus was on Hay Hampers’ marketing strategy which has led the British company to make considerable headway in the hamper industry and continuously grow their business.

Not only is the University of Padua one of the most prestigious universities in Italy, it is also one of the oldest in the world, being founded in 1222 as a school of law. It is the second-oldest in Italy and the fifth-oldest in the world. In 2016 it was ranked ‘best university’ among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students.

“Attracting the attention of foreign research institutions is an amazing achievement for a small family-owned business such as ours – even more important than the results we have reached in recent years,” said Gabriele Da Re, managing director of Hay Hampers. “We have been very happy to have the opportunity to bring our working life into university as staying in touch with young generations is a great way to grow new, fresh ideas.”

Sandown Park Exhibition Centre

Trophex Live 2019 heads to the races

The organisers of Trophex Live, the leading trade show for the awards, trophy and engraving industry, have announced a new venue for the January 2019 show: the Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Surrey.

Tracey Greenfield, event & sales manager for Trophex, said: “Sandown Park has an enviable reputation as one of the top venues in the country and will enable Trophex Live to attract an increased visiting audience from London and the South-East to the show, in addition to the regular annual visitors to Trophex Live.”

Trophex Live 2019 will take place in the Surrey Hall which is the largest of the two available halls at Sandown, and is adjacent to the main entrance and registration foyer, providing excellent and easy access for visitors to the show.

Tracey continued: “In addition to delivering an outstanding venue and location for Trophex Live 2019, we have invested time and effort into exploring how we can target and attract increased visitor numbers to Trophex Live, analysing research and demographics from this years’ show has given us an insight into the fundamental course of action we must take to meet the objectives of both the exhibitor and the visitor to Trophex Live.

“In order for us to deliver those objectives we have taken action to put the necessary steps in place to enable us to achieve a closer relationship by working with the trophy retailers, to understand more what they want, what they need, and to bring the retailers and wholesalers closer together through the medium of Trophex Live”.

For further information about the show, contact Tracey on:

01442 826826, 07710 456068 or email; traceygreenfield@hillmedia.com

FleQs

fleQs joins the drive to banish plastic waste

As part of their drive towards sustainable and eco-friendly production processes, fleQs promotional paper products have recently taken the decision to remove single-use plastics from their production processes and product packaging options.

Since the beginning of 2018 and thanks to their customers for supporting this initiative, the company has seen a fall of approximately 3,000m of single-use plastic wrapping that would have otherwise entered the environment.

fleQs are looking to further this reduction in the coming months and years, where all single-use plastic packaging will now only be available upon the specific request of the customer and no longer offered as standard.

Ian Hill told PPD: “Following dialogue with a number of distributors within the UK and also via our colleagues on the continent, we listened to their concerns and the decision was taken to make a small but significant step in supporting the global movement towards reducing single use plastics which has become so evident in recent months.”

Chairman of Lantex, David Hardman

Lantex celebrates 100 years in business

Accrington’s promotional textiles manufacturer, Lantex, has an incredibly special anniversary this year – its centenary. Coinciding with this mammoth milestone, the company has announced record sales, with turnover reaching £2 million plus.

Lantex’s chairman, David Hardman, whose family have owned the business since the early days, commented: “Reaching £2million of sales is a fantastic way to celebrate our centenary. One hundred years of history is something to be proud of, and we believe we have achieved this landmark by flexibility, assessing what the future holds and keeping costs low.

“We are specialists in this textile printing/promotional merchandise sector, producing over 12,000 units a week and can turn bespoke orders around very quickly. We are also utterly committed to maintaining the balance of nature in all we do, with less than one per cent of our raw materials wasted and 85% of our off-cuts recycled.”

The manufacturing outfit deals with a broad range of kitchen and catering textiles alongside promotional items – all bespoke and made to order. In addition to producing tea towels, tote bags, cushion covers, aprons, table cloths and promo merchandise, Lantex also sells blank fabric to printers and designers.

Managing director John Parker explained: “Our production facility is modern and flexible so we can make exactly what customers require. We work together at the design stage and we agree a delivery date. In the past decade we’ve invested £230,000 in training, new plant and machinery and £40,000 in R&D. The number of employees has increased fourfold over the last 12 years due to demand for more complex products and presentation.”

Jim Low

Sixty second interview: Jim Low

Meet the director of Badge Superstore, Jim Low.

What did you want to be growing up?
Believe it or not, my ambition as a young schoolboy was to be a cameraman. Photography was something that I was interested in when I was younger, so it seemed a natural progression.

What’s your favourite aspect of the promotional industry?
You don’t know from one day to the next who you’re going to meet, or what they’ll be looking for. Just helping those people with their requirements and trying to get something from a concept to a finished product.

Have you ever met anyone famous?
I met my music hero when we were coming back from Portugal a few years ago; Steve Harley, the front man of Cockney Rebel was on our flight. He took a lot of time to speak with us which was magic.

What’s your favourite alcoholic drink?
White Zinfandel wine. That would always be my choice!

London stationery show

The eighth London Stationery Show edges closer

Later this month, the London Stationery Show is set to make its big return. Taking place from 24 – 25 April, this is the eighth incarnation of the event and promises to be the largest yet, set to showcase more than 150 exhibitors at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

Tonic Studios, Scribble Geeks, Dingbat Notebooks, Paper Lounge, Crafters Companion, Daler Rowney, Sloane Stationery and TapePal are just a handful of exhibitors making their debuts at the show, joining popular returnees such as Collins Debden, Faber-Castell, Stabilo International and uni-ball.

Situated in the networking-hive that is London, the show will offer a ‘Live Talks’ programme, each lasting 30 minutes on the Gallery Level. Scarlet Opus’ trends translator Phil Pond will be at hand to wax lyrical, alongside Alex Schlagman of savethehighstreet.org and The Paper Library’s Debbie Wigglesworth.

These sessions are spread across the two days and will also feature graphologist and coach Christina Strang, editor of Greetings Today Tracey Bearton, retail expert Rebecca Saunders and news commentator and analyst Michael Weedon.

2018’s edition of the show will also introduce that all-new Stationery Trend Hub, which will help you learn more about ‘on trend’ products identified by forecasting agency Scarlet Opus.

Award for constant quality

Kalfany’s constant quality control wins award – again

For the fourth year in a row, German confectioners Kalfany Süße Werbung have been recognised for their meticulous food standards by the DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschaft-Gessellschaft – German Agricultural Society) and received an Award for Constant Product Quality.

Participation at the international quality testing event is voluntary, and the procedure is demanding. Companies hoping to earn the accolade must take part at the DLG Test Centre for Food and receive at least three awards. Only when they have met this mark for five consecutive years do they then receive the Award for Constant Product Quality.

Each year the quality testers at DLG cast their eyes over more than 1,000 products and assess them on a variety of factors including smell, taste, general appearance, shape, decoration, bite and chew, as well as packaging and identification marking tests.

Back in February, the pioneering company welcomed two new directors, Rudi Bedy and Stefan Eiche to the family.

Reed Exhibitions to launch PromoTex Expo 2019

Reed Exhibitions are accelerating their trade show activities within the advertising and marketing sectors, with the introduction of PromoTex Expo next January.

Taking place concurrently with PSI and viscom from 8 – 10 January at Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre, PromoTex Expo is designed as an international trade show for promotional apparel, sportswear and workwear. The focus of the expo is on promo textiles, team wear, household and home textiles, corporate fashion and textile finishing.

Combined, the three shows will draw more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and over 20,000 international trade visitors. Michael Freter (Reed Exhibitions Deutschland’s managing director) commented: “They thus cover the entire spectrum of visual, textile and haptic advertising and communication on the international level.”

Internationalism is one of the show’s most notable foundations, with textile experts/finishers, promo products distributors, advertising technicians, designers and agencies from over 80 countries expected to be in attendance. Petra Lassahn (event director across PromoTex, PSI and viscom) stated: “Nearly half of all trade visitors will travel from outside Germany – a level of internationality that’s unsurpassed in Europe. That’s because here at PromoTex they get to meet the most important international textile manufacturers, importers, textile distributors and finishing service providers.”

Focusing on such hot topics as mass customisation and personalisation, smart clothes, sustainability in the textile production chain, and the multifaceted world of textile finishing, around 140 exhibitors are expected to participate at the show.

Textile finishing veteran Stefan Roller-Aßfalg, has also stepped aboard the PromoTex team as project manager, sharing: “I’m thrilled about being able to contribute this experience on the international level. The task of positioning PromoTex Expo in the context of PSI and viscom has excellent prospects, and that’s what makes this job so appealing.”

Following on from this fantastic staff addition, Mr Freter expressed: “This is a stroke of luck for us and a stroke of luck for the industry – because Stefan is a valued industry insider, a smart guy and a reliable partner to companies. His standing across the entire sector is enormous.

“PSI members and certified agencies will retain the exclusive right to visit PSI. By creating a dedicated textile advertising world (PromoTex Expo), we’re strengthening the exclusivity of PSI. We did that because again and again we’d heard about a desire for an open trading zone beyond the limits of the PSI show – especially from the promotional textiles segment. In the new structure, we’re doing justice to both sides.”

CEO Matt Franks in the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Fluid Branding aim high in a string of charitable events

Members of the Fluid Branding team have been on a charitable run of late, with an 1,800 mile trek, the deliverance of business leadership workshops in the heart of Kenya, and taking part in a London marathon on the agenda.

First came a challenge to mimic the staggering journey taken by wildebeest from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara every year. Raising money for the Vanessa Grant Trust, this 24-hour challenge covered 1,800 miles from 22 – 23 March 2018, taking place 12pm – 12am.

The trust is involved in various projects in Kenya including building and maintaining schools and nurseries, as well as vital vocational training programmes. The event was hosted at Evolve Sport & Fitness in Cornwall (in association with Cornwall College), with participants allowed to run, jog, cycle or row their distance.

Fluid Branding’s CEO, Matt Franks traveled to Rongai, Kenya last year to help with the ongoing development of existing projects as part of a volunteer group, delivering business leadership workshops and helping set up essential IT infrastructure for the schools in the community. Fluid’s managing director, Miles Lovegrove is planning his volunteering visit to Rongai this summer to continue this vital work. The company has supported the Vanessa Grant Trust since 2010 and during that time they have raised over £10k, which has helped the charity give aid and support to the community of Rongai.

Managing director Miles Lovegrove in training

Managing director Miles Lovegrove in training

Meanwhile, the first ever London Landmarks Half Marathon took place on 25 March, with over 10,000 runners taking part – Matt Franks being one of them. He raised funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK, a cause very close to his heart and achieved a very impressive time of 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Matt commented: “It was a fantastic event, running around the closed streets of London was an experience I won’t forget, the crowds were amazing and really helped spur me on when I needed that extra boost! I’m delighted to be able to help raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.”

Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd joins Premier Brands

Alan Stride and Amanda Miles (MD and FD respectively) are delighted to welcome Steve Gadd to Premier Brands, the promotional product division of Premier Impressions Ltd.

“After the successful introduction of PromoMate® and uni-ball® pens, Markie® Permanent Markers, CamelBak® Sports Bottles and the successful Mighty Mug® products to our portfolio, it was time to take things to the next level for our distributor clients,” said Alan.

“During the last few years we have invested in new systems and increased our internal sales team in order to support the promotional trade with our expanding range of products.

“Steve’s new role as sales and marketing manager will allow us to expand our sales opportunities externally even more, whilst also providing internal management of the day to day running of the sales and marketing departments. This will also provide benefits to improve our traditional corporate branding services too.

“Operations manager Keith Lewis will work closely with Steve to provide our clients with a truly world class experience.”

Steve has a wealth of sales experience previously as a distributor and, more recently, as UK sales manager with Logobugs Plus.

Steve has been tasked with ramping up sales activity with distributor customers, buoyed with the introduction of two new products. The Marathon and Ezee-Write pens were launched recently and both products have received very positive feedback.

“I am excited to be joining Premier Brands at this time and am really looking forward to the challenge of both continuing the sales growth and importantly raising the brand awareness of the Premier Brands portfolio,” said Steve. “The products we have are up there with the best that are available in the industry and the teams task is to offer these to the trade combined with a world class service from our Newhaven Facility.”

 

Andrea Hatcher

Shiny new premises for Laser Crystal

2018 is so far proving to be an exciting and busy time for Laser Crystal as they expand to take on a third factory. This growth enables Laser Crystal to extend their product range to ensure they can deliver bulk orders in very short lead times at great prices.

Increasing their warehouse capacity by 50% means Laser Crystal can continue to provide an optimum service to their expanding clientele, accommodate their growing product portfolio and deliver bulk orders in the shortest lead times.

The creative studio has also taken on a new designer who specialises in creating stunning and innovative intricate designs, bespoke to the customer’s brief.

Ensuring they keep up with industry trends, Laser Crystal continue to invest in their machinery, software and infrastructure. One of their latest innovations in crystal is combining full-colour digital print or embossing; with intricate 3D crystal engraving. This delivers exceptional bespoke crystal awards that stand out from the rest and really deliver that extra WOW factor.

As well as expanding their premises, they have completely overhauled their online offering with the launch of a brand-new website and invested in a brand-new CRM system. The new website means they can now really showcase the superior quality of their product online and do it justice.

Andrea explains: “Expanding our premises is an exciting next step in the evolution of our company as we meet customer demands. It will mean we have even more choice of shapes and styles of crystal and continue to accommodate bulk orders faster than our competitors. I’m proud that our name is synonymous with quality, innovation and a fast and efficient service.

“Laser Crystal is at the top of our game as we are simply the best at what we do and our new website aims to really showcase this. As our business continues to grow it is vital to deliver the best service possible to our customers and some of the new website functionality such as videos and shortlisting favourites certainly help to improve the user experience.”

Deadline for PSI Sustainability Awards entry approaches

Since its debut three years ago, the PSI Sustainability Awards has been one of the standout events in our industry, incentivising and recognising the achievements of ecologically-focused companies and campaigns. With the awards returning this September for its fourth edition, companies wishing to enter must apply by 20 April.

Distributors, importers, manufacturers, designers, advertising agencies and users are all eligible to participate, with a PSI membership not required. Submissions of campaigns, products and certified companies/corporate in-house initiatives are all welcome, with eight categories available to enter: Economic Excellence, Environmental Excellence, Social Excellence, Environment Initiative, Social Initiative, Sustainable Product, Sustainable Campaign and Sustainable Company of the Year 2018.

A jury consisting of officials from the industry, trade publications and professional associations representing the promo products sector will be evaluating submissions in the Environment Initiative, Social Initiative, Sustainable Product and Sustainable Campaign brackets.

The awards ceremony will unfold at the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden on 7 September, with all of the winners also being presented to a broader group of trade professionals at PSI 2019.

PSI Sustainability applications must be submitted online, with participation fees starting at €190 for PSI members and €380 for non-members. Details can be found at the website HERE.