Sharon Lee champions neurological charity

Sharon Lee are proud to have spent 2017 supporting Funding Neuro, a wonderful charity that targets devastating and debilitating conditions of the brain.

The organisation focuses on identifying and resolving issues which hinder getting pioneering neurological therapies to those who need it most. It works towards improving the lives of those afflicted with many conditions, including glioblastoma, Parkinson’s Disease and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a brain stem cancer that is the most common primary brain tumour in children.

Representatives from Sharon Lee were pleased to present a mammoth donation of £2035.00 to the charity through the help of sales from their customers during this year. They also pledged to continue their support however they could going forward.

Managing director of Sharon Lee, Toby Pache commented: “Funding Neuro also has a personal connection with me as I have seen first-hand what it has done to friends of mine. Their daughter, Daisy, sadly passed away at the age of six back in 2014. Quite simply devastating.”

For more information on the charity, please follow this link.

Introducing the Big Promotional Trade Show

Two promotional powerhouse groups have joined together to form a brand new exhibition experience called the Big Promotional Trade Show, which will exhibit three times in 2018.

Promotional Showcase and the Promotional Suppliers Partnership have joined together and will take 40 of the top promotional merch suppliers on the road with them. Specially selected guest suppliers (UK and Ireland-based) will help present this series of new exhibitions – featuring a comprehensive range of services and products, and providing the latest innovative ideas/marketing solutions to maximise visitor experience.

Promotional Supplier Partnership’s Martin Markey shared: “The joining of these two roadshow groups for the three standalone shows will have massive benefits for the member suppliers. We can meet new and existing customers in a more intimate environment and distributors can meet a trusted network of trade only suppliers.”

Gerry Thomas of Promotional Showcase commented: “We are building upon the success of previous Promotional Showcase and Promotional Suppliers Partnership events, and by uniting together we can bring a really useful, practical and focused show to the industry where there’s clearly an appetite for this.”

Launching on 1 March 2018, the first of the Big Promotional Trade Shows will take place at the Red Cow Moran in Dublin, with further shows confirmed at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and London Heathrow during June.

Peat House in Leicester

New Leicester office for EverythingBranded USA

EverythingBranded USA has boosted its expansion plans with an investment into a state of the art offices in the heart of Leicester.

Charles Alexander Distribution has invested in the 14,000 sq ft office space to help with the continued growth their American brand has seen since it was formed in 2016. The office letting is one of the biggest deals of its kind in the East Midlands in 2017 and sees the brand expanding over two floors at Leicester’s Peat House.

The office will be the central base for EverythingBranded USA and will aid plans for further expansion into the international promotional product market, including satellite offices on the American east coast and the west coast in 2018.

Paul Rowlett, CEO and founder of Charles Alexander Distribution, said: “It has been a long held ambition to create something like this office and I’m delighted that it’s finally underway after over 12 months’ planning. It’s a great achievement for the team and the business to move into an office space like this after just over a year of operating.

“I really believe in creating both a relaxed and professional workplace. The modern fitout we’ve given the space will continue the company ethos of positivity and letting creativity flow.

“The additional space the office offers has really future-proofed our business, with a fantastic space to grow into. It will be exciting to see where 2018 takes EverythingBranded USA with the new home as a base to build from.”

Renovations to the site are underway and the group is looking forward to settling into their new home in February 2018, ready for an open day on February 9, 2018. The office will feature a dedicated training room, a modern break-out area with all the toys, and an innovative jungle-inspired tunnel heading through to the fully-functional kitchen diner area. When complete the offices will be able to seat over 140 members of staff.

Galpeg associates ready themselves for a tour of Halfar's HQ

Galpeg’s associates take a peek inside Halfar’s HQ

German manufacturer Halfar, which specialises in promotional bags, recently opened its doors to Galpeg’s network of associates for an open day.

Ushered inside the Bielefeld HQ, the British visitors had the opportunity both to learn about Halfar’s history and to see products being created at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

Noted as the UK’s fastest-growing network of distributors, Galpeg’s director Paul Green commented: “It was such a beneficial trip, both in terms of strengthening relationships and learning more about how well-placed Halfar is to assist us from a service perspective. The Halfar team really went out of their way with their hospitality.

“Halfar are recognised for having the best quality assortment of branded bags at affordable prices. They are noted for sustainability and an array of precision branding techniques.”

Another aspect of Halfar’s offering was their Hall of Fame; a display of all the awards and certifications the company has collected over the years. The Galpeg trip also coincided with Halfar’s ‘Welcome Home’ roadshow on the final day of the Brit’s visit – giving them the opportunity to meet eight other leading European suppliers and get a sneak preview of what’s new in 2018.

Promotional Works’ Richard Andrews marveled, “The Halfar factory is definitely the most impressive facility I have ever visited.” Vicki Gibbings of Think Promotions added: “I was extremely impressed with the set-up. Quality is the watchword throughout Halfar’s design, production and fulfillment process.”

Peter Leseberg, Halfar’s sales and marketing executive, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Galpeg associates to Bielefeld. I know how difficult it is for so many people to be away from their workplace at the same time, especially at this time of year. We look forward to working more closely with each of the associates in the future.”

A walking tour of Bielefeld, dinner out and a trip to the city’s Christmas market rounded off the visit, which the Galpeg delegation hailed as a great success.

Sally Findlay

Recognition Express calls on businesses to support mental health

With mental health at the forefront of societal consciousness, Recognition Express’ Sally Findlay recently decided to support Mind’s Christmas Matched Funding Appeal. The charity reached out to the local businesswoman who runs the East Molesey-based promo company with her husband and agreed to pledge £500 to their campaign.

It’s estimated that only 25% of people suffering from mental health issues receive support each year and with her donation Sally hopes to encourage other local corporate donors to do the same. Mind, whose president is TV personality Stephen Fry, is looking to raise more than £150k this Christmas.

“I want to help people get the help they need for something that has been stigmatised for too long. Talking about it is good; people shouldn’t be ashamed and there is help out there”, Sally shared. “I have friends and family who have had problems with their mental health, ranging from transitory episodes of depression, to one friend who suffers so severely she has had several stays in hospital and wanted to take her own life.

“These are people I love and in the past might have been told to bring on the stiff upper-lip and pull themselves together, but actually we are learning to treat these illnesses more effectively and saving more and more lives every year. As part of the community we serve, I believe it is important for local businesses to give back where we can.

“I hope other companies will take up my invitation to match our donation to this very important charity.”

Printvision's new premises

£1.5 million upscale relocation for Printvision

Leicester-based suppliers Printvision, who specialise in litho and digital printing (flags, banners and display stands), are greeting the new year in style in a new, £1.5 million factory to keep up with rising demand.

We’ve bought the factory freehold,” explained managing director Ash Patel. “The £1.5 million was just the factory build cost to get it all set up. With the machinery as well it’s probably about £2 million.”

Printvision, now in its 22nd year of trading, has grown steadily over the years from a one-man company to employ a staff of 25 people. “We sell our own branded product, called Rhino, which has increased the recent growth in our business,” continued Ash. “That one product has taken us to the next level in fabric printing.

The new premises will be kitted out with all the state-of-the-art printers, including the EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340, made by an Italian company, Reggiani. “It’s probably one of the best machines out there in terms of quality and speed. It’s also the only machine available with fluorescent inks which are going to be our main selling point for 2018, and which we will be demonstrating at our 2018 exhibitions, beginning with PPD LIVE.

“The FabriVU also runs speeds of 150-200sqm/ph, so a job which means we can print faster than we’ve ever done before. The lead times in the B2B world can get very tight, but these new machines enable us to deal with the tight-deadline orders.”

With the new factory now set up, Printvision will be moving offices in the last week before the Christmas break so they are ready to start fresh in the new premises in January. The company’s phones will be redirected, so contact details for the company will remain the same.

Snap Products deliver donations to the Trussell Trust foodbank

Snap Products support local foodbank

Snap Products were happy to support their local Trussell Trust foodbank with a recent donation of supplies. Staff from Snap Products and sister company The Pen Warehouse collected tins, packets of food and other essentials which were delivered to the Farnham Foodbank by Production Manager Terri and Customer Services Manager Charlotte. They got to meet Rose and Mel, just two of the foodbank’s hardworking volunteers.

The Farnham Foodbank was opened in 2010 and last year helped over 1,500 people in crisis. With one-in-five people below the poverty line, its work is more important than ever. The foodbank is run by the Trussell Trust, a nationwide charity that has a network of over 400 foodbanks across the country.

Snap Products were proud to do their bit, especially with increased demand on the foodbank over the Christmas period.

To find out more, to get involved or to find your local foodbank, visit

SignLink Live gets rebranded following a successful debut

Following their October show, SignLink Live are officially rebranding as The Sign Show as of next year. Their debut event earlier in 2017, which ran alongside sister event, The Print Show, at Telford’s International Centre, collectively welcomed 5,335 attendees.

Designed to exclusively focus on the sign-making market, the event will preserve this approach as it moves into its second year, although the venue and dates will change. Birmingham’s NEC will now host The Sign Show and The Print Show, which will both take place from 18-20 September.

Event director for both shows, Chris Davies noted “The Print Show has proved such a success, we have opted to realign SignLink Live to bring it more in line with the event, and our new ‘The Sign Show’ brand reflects this approach.

“To quote a famous advert, The Print Show does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a show all about print. The Sign Show is exactly the same; it’s an independent show all about sign-making, dedicated to one of the most creative industries in the UK.

“Having considered all feedback from out inaugural event this year, we are now working to ensure The Sign Show proves to be just as successful, retaining a key focus on helping UK sign-makers identify the tools that can help their businesses expand and grow.”

Sir A P McCoy (3rd from left) and Celia Denny (far right) with the winning Betfair team

Celia Denny raises festive funds on the green

With the Christmas season just around the corner, Celia Denny, a partner in Mike Denny Golf Promotions once again rallied fellow golfing fanatics the annual Christmas Starts Here Charity Golf Day.

The event was held on Tuesday 5th December at the beautiful Foxhills Club and Resort in Surrey.

Also present was notable former jockey and author – and President of The Injured Jockeys Fund – Sir A P McCoy, OBE, who presented the prizes and cheered on the charitable sports men and women.

In total, £10,028 was raised for various charities; £1,500 was given to The Royal Marsden Hospital to pay for the children’s Christmas grotto, party and presents, £1,500 was donated to Demelza Hospice Care for Children for the same, and the rest was given to The Injured Jockeys Fund.

96 guests came to take part on the day, mainly from the Horsham area, although some flew in from as far away as Scotland, Ireland and even Germany to support the day, with players from Betfair taking the trophy as winning team.

Elvir Rizvic

Goldstar begins European recruitment drive

Goldstar Europe has proudly announced that it has welcomed aboard Elvir Rizvic as their new sales account manager for the West area of the German market. Bringing with him two years of industry experience, Elvir was inspired by the company’s approach to business:

“I cannot believe how quickly Goldstar is growing; the size of the operation in Ireland, our number of machines and the simplicity model – I am so excited to join this fast growing team.”

Previously, Elvir has been an employee at Swiss pen producer, Burger Pens, where his main areas of responsibility were Switzerland, Austria and Germany. He also boasts a working relationship with customers based as far as the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden.

General manager of Goldstar Europe, Colin Loughran, is more than pleased about this recent addition, stating, “I am delighted Elvir has joined our team. He is motivated and energetic, with so much potential and passionate about providing the best customer service. He is the first of an additional five appointments we will make in the DACH market in the coming months.”

PF Concept International B.V. acquires SPS (EU) Limited

Polyconcept, a global leader in the promotional products industry, announced today the acquisition by its European subsidiary, PF Concept International B.V. (PF) of the entire share capital of SPS (EU) Limited (SPS). Based in Blackpool, UK, SPS is a leading manufacturer and marketer of promotional products serving the UK, Ireland and Europe markets.

PF Concept is Europe’s leading marketer of promotional, premium and corporate gift products. With this transaction, PF expands its product offering throughout Europe and strengthens its market position in the UK. “We are excited about the growth opportunities that the SPS product line and production capabilities bring to PF and we welcome the SPS team to the Polyconcept family,” said Ralf Oster, CEO of PF.

“We are delighted to join hands with PF to deliver the best solutions to our customers all over Europe. The two companies complement each other well and we are excited about our future together,” remarked Phil Morgan, CEO of SPS.

Kalfany Süße Werbung create overnight magic

Great news for the last-minute shopper with a sweet tooth – leading German promotional confectioners, Kalfany Süße Werbung, have introduced overnight production service for their delicious fruit gums.

Sales manager Patrik Kaiser, explained “Already starting from 2,000 pcs, we can now produce and print the overnight fruit gums and ship them out the next morning to our customers in the UK and Ireland. This means they’ll be with your customer within 48 hours.”

Available are Kalfany’s famous standard Premium Bears with 10% fruit juice, as well as the ever-popular Christmas Mix – in the classic, individual full-colour branded 10g promotional bag.

“We have to listen to the market and our customers, so we pulled out all the stops to offer our distributors a last-minute solution for their spontaneous customer”, Patrik elaborated.

With a force majeure exclusion, the German suppliers are guaranteeing overnight production when orders are made before 11.a.m (UK time). They’ll deliver the packages the next morning with an express option to have them in the UK on the following day.

For further information and the overnight flyer, please contact Rebekka from Customer Service Export:

PPD Issue 66

Alan Weston jailed for 40 months

Back in October 2015, PPD led the call for distributors who had been the victim of Alan Weston’s fraudulent activities to step forward and make themselves heard to Trading Standards.

We can now report that Alan Weston, who cheated companies out of tens of thousands of pounds for non-existent promotional goods was jailed for 40 months on 21 November. In addition, he has been disqualified from being a director for eight years.

Weston appeared at Leicester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading in respect of two companies he ran between December 2011 and August 2015.

The court heard how Weston had been the director of two companies – Promoprods Ltd and 8th Wonder Merchandise Ltd. Between 2011 and 2015 he defrauded companies out of more than £80,000 by methods including ordering and receiving goods from suppliers but never paying them; taking advance payment from customers for goods which he failed to supply, and offering free gifts to entice people to order goods, but then failing to supply them.

Elane Vass, who lost a considerable amount of money to Weston, was delighted with the news. “Obviously it’s not going to bring back our money, but considering it’s almost the maximum sentence for his crime, I am very pleased with the outcome,” she explained. “The fact that he pleaded guilty shows some level of remorse.”

The court was told how Weston had responded to complaints from customers with excuses ranging from being in hospital, undergoing surgery, having a brain cyst, family members dying and blaming various courier services.

In all, 24 businesses made complaints to Leicester City Council’s Trading Standards team as part of its investigations.

“As soon as he’d stung me I went to the police, but there needed to be a lot of people who reported him before anything could really be done,” Elane went on. “I knew he’d targeted people who hadn’t spoken up so I got involved with PPD to help put him on people’s radar and encourage them to come forward.

“Fraud is a horrible crime. It’s really quite difficult to prove, so it’s really very important indeed that people do report it. I don’t think if it had been just my report, this would have come to court.”

A separate hearing is due to take place in early 2018 to set out confiscating the proceeds from Weston’s fraudulent activities.

Leicester deputy city mayor with responsibility for regulatory services, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “We are pleased with this prosecution which is the result of a lot of hard work by our Trading Standards team.

“Dozens of companies were affected by this fraud, which totalled more than £80,000. This prosecution shows that we will, and do, take action against fraudsters, as well as looking to recover the proceeds he made from his illegal activity.”

Jamie Gray receives his award from Uzma Sadiq of West London College Photography by Justin Thomas

H&F award sends Jamie Buddy Bursting with pride

Founder of Buddy Burst, Jamie Gray, was delighted to crown his company’s second successful year trading with a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Best New Business at the Hammersmith & Fulham Brilliant Business Awards 2017.

The council held a glittering awards ceremony on 15 November to honour the best and brightest of the borough’s businesses. “It really was a great event at Hammersmith Town Hall; hats off to the council who put it on,” said Jamie.

A panel of judges were full of praise for Buddy Burst’s eco-friendly products, especially their Seedsticks for which it is particularly well known. “Really clever; we loved the seed business card!” commented the judges. “Their dedication and passion really carries through into their delivery.”

Sadly, however, only Jamie’s nearest and dearest were there to cheer him on. “I was in the running for the IoD [Institute of Directors] awards this year too and I went completely overboard and got a whole table, and didn’t win a thing! So this time I was a bit more sheepish about inviting people,” he laughed.

“But it was still wonderful to have my girlfriend and parents with me, especially as my father was the one who originally pioneered the Seedstick. In a way Buddy Burst is the spiritual extension of his own company, so it was great to be able to celebrate with him. “

Vegan offerings from Hay Hampers

Hay Hampers unveil festive treat for vegans

Hay Hampers is launching a brand new vegan hamper for this coming Christmas season to meet the increasing demand of vegan food in the market.

Simply called ‘A Vegan Christmas’, this hamper contains no dairy, meat, seafood and honey products, making it a suitable gift for vegans.

Evoking the countryside with a blue and green colour theme, this gift basket includes a mix of five savoury snacks; crisps, pickled baby onions, Sicilian crushed olives, Cajun spicy nuts and rosemary breadsticks, plus traditional fruit sweets, crunchy butter-free cookies, organic dark chocolate, green Ceylon tea and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand.

According to new figures from the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK has risen 350 percent over the past decade. Some 542,000 people – i.e. more than one per cent of the population – have adopted a plant-based diet, up from 150,000 in 2006. 42 percent of them are aged between 15 and 34.

“The trend is clear,” said Gabriele Da Re, managing director at Hay Hampers. “Plant-based eating is taking the health-world by storm. Veganism is currently one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements and we at Hay Hampers pay special attention to new foodie trends and we always try to be innovative with our gourmet offer.”

Packed in a glossy reusable carton box, A Vegan Christmas hamper will also be available for purchase on Amazon Prime this year.

Conference delegates browse promotional merchandise

Clever marketing speaks volumes at Celebration of Communication

Earlier in November, promotional merchandise firm Vibrant Colour gave marketers plenty of food for thought by organising a seminar in Peterborough.

The free half-day ‘Celebration of Communication’, held at the Allia Future Business Centre in the city, covered topics like digital marketing strategy, promotional merchandise, and gender marketing, with more than 40 in attendance.

The speakers included marketing psychologist Katie Hart of Rhetonic, who covered the differences in marketing to different genders and Dean Lynn, associate director of digital marketing agency Datify, who went back to basics, ensuring delegates knew what to plan for in their marketing strategy.

Christopher Smith, director of Vibrant Colour Print and Promotional Merchandise, who has created the event, said: “It was great to bring together marketers from across the city, and from post-event feedback, it seems like everyone took away at least one piece of new learning.

“I was delighted to learn a couple of delegates have had conversations between themselves after the event developing plans, and I’ve already helped several businesses develop exciting and effective promotional merchandise making use of the ideas and inspiration they picked up from the event.”

HAPTICA® Live 18 to be its greenest show yet

With sustainability and ecological issues being such essential topics in business today, WA Media are aiming to make the 2018 incarnation of their annual HAPTICA® Live event –  held on 21 March at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany – their greenest to date.

Alongside programme items aimed at marketing professionals, buyers and ad agency creative directors, as well as promo products distributors, HAPTICA® Live 18 will introduce a new special zone called the ‘Experience of Haptic Advertising’. The World Conference Center’s foyer is set to host the ‘Focal Theme: Sustainability’, where visitors can learn about the diverse and complex facets of this hot topic.

Processes in haptic marketing, sustainability certificates and quality seals, fair production conditions, organic or vegan raw materials, climate-neutral dispatch or recycling and upcycling will also be discussed.

The lecture programme is also focusing on the sustainability theme. “Waste is nourishment” is the thesis of the talk of Professor Michael Braungart, who founded the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA). The concept behind his thesis is known as ‘Cradle to Cradle’. Already during the development stage, products should be developed in such a way that their individual components can be fed back into the recycling cycle – and definitely not end up as waste. Prof. Braungart sets out to explain the consequences this approach brings for product development and what influences and advantages this can also lead to for the haptic advertising sector.

Jamie Gray at 10 Downing Street

Jamie Gray in export talks at Number 10

In October, Jamie Gray, founder of eco-friendly promo supplier Buddy Burst, got a chance to put burning business issues on the table when he was invited to 10 Downing Street to discuss international trade.

Jamie was one of almost 20 delegates from the Institute of Directors (IoD) who met with Jimmy McLoughlin, special advisor to the Prime Minister on business affairs, who himself has a long history with the IoD.

“It was a meeting to understand what frustrations we have as start-ups and small companies trying to export abroad,” explained Jamie. “But while export was the chief topic, we also discussed other frustrations that small companies are having right now.

“It was a definite eye-opener to learn the issues facing other young companies from all sorts of industries, and it was great to be able to put them to someone only a step away from the Prime Minister.

“There are so many frustrations that go through your head every day, and most of the time you don’t really know why certain things happen the way that they do. So to have someone that high up either explain these things or agree to pass them on for consideration was very reassuring. I’ve never been to somewhere that prestigious where someone really takes notice and is keen to address your concerns.”

(L-R) Ralf Rieken of Uniscon, Andrew Goldstein of Deloitte, Julian Thormählen of Tradeconthor and Henrik-Jan van der Pol from Perdoo

Deloitte crowns Tradeconthor a Rising Star

Established a mere two years ago as an electronic products supplier, Germany’s Tradeconthor recently emerged victorious at the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, as it grabbed first place in the ‘Rising Star’ category.

Now in its 15th year, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Awards is one of the foremost technology award programmes, celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in business. Tradeconthor received the Rising Star award – an acolade for rapid business growth – as it boasts a 1,595.12% growth since its inception in 2015.

The Adendorf-based start-up’s CEO and founder, Julian Thormählen, reflected, “This award shows that we’re on the right path and that our innovative products appeal to the zeitgeist of the rapidly growing mobile generation. This year we gained a lot of major customers such as Deloitte, Adidas, VW and ThyssenKrupp.” Julian recognised the company’s huge growth as an illustration of Tradeconthor’s intensive marketing and sales activities, concluding, “We want to exploit this potential with our ever growing, highly skilled team.”

In addition to Tradeconthor, the start-up Perdoo (663.63% growth) and Uniscon GmbH (340.72% growth) also received Rising Star awards.

Currently, Tradeconthor is expanding its location in Adendorf, as well as its branches in China. By expanding international trade, Tradeconthor wants to continuously move forward. With its first product, the 2in1 charging cable ‘ZWEINS’ which works for Android as well as iOS devices, Tradeconthor is now represented in 22 countries worldwide.

The Vernon Company joins forces with Brandinc

Two powerhouses of the US distribution sector, The Vernon Company and Brandinc, have officially formed a strategic partnership. With the former placing no.19 on ASI’s ‘Top 40 Distributors’ list and the latter earning eighth place on the ‘Fastest growing 2017’, this collaboration aims to serve Fortune 500 clients with domestic and international requirements for promo marketing programs.

The new partnership is dedicated to helping international corporations with their global branding initiatives. It provides integrated technology solutions and core groups of custom-designed products that are both market specific and safety compliant to local distribution points throughout the world.

CEO of The Vernon Company, Chris Vernon, noted, “We are really excited about this relationship with Brandinc. After working closely with them on a complex multi-year program for an international company, we quickly realised that both organisations could benefit immensely if we were to formally collaborate together.

“We feel Brandinc’s highly creative product development team compliments Vernon’s broad array of administrative, marketing, financial and technology services. Our partnership is a win-win for both companies, as well as a major benefit for our mutual US and international clients. In addition, we feel this provides a major leap forward for existing and future AE’s to present turn-key creative marketing and global distribution programs.”

The Vernon Company, a fourth-generation family business founded in 1902, is an integrated manufacturer and marketer of branded merchandise programs designed to help businesses increase revenues, improve profits and enhance employee morale.

Adrian Ferrand, CEO of Brandinc, elaborated, “This is an exciting opportunity for Brandinc to grow our business by partnering with a well-established and technology focused marketing firm. Vernon has earned its reputation for being one of the most financially-solid distributors and a philosophy of being a customer-focused organization closely mirrors that of Brandinc. Together we will hit the ground running in our approach to find creative business solutions for Fortune 500 companies around the globe.”

Brandinc – Global Branding Solutions established in 1998, is an award-winning design-led brand management consultancy specializing in creative, leading edge, retail quality products and online solutions. Together, the companies offer a global solution with sales offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Turkey, Australia, Singapore, United States and Canada.

Both organisations will continue to operate as separate companies and no financial terms were disclosed.

(L-R) Peter Welch of Beeline, Dan Morrissey of Free Radio, Scott Jones and Jenny Welch of Beeline

Radio station teams up with Beeline for festive appeal

This year, West Midlands’ Free Radio are running their own ‘Mission Christmas’, which is part of the Cash for Kids programme. Local promotional products supplier Beeline are officially supporting the cause and will be donating £5 from every order placed by their customers.

Research shows that one in four children are living in poverty and both Beeline and Free Radio are looking to make a difference during this festive period. Winter is a season of joy and warmth, which is exactly why these two organisations are sharing the responsibility of raising such awareness.

From 1 November all the way through to 15 December, Beeline will be fulfilling their £5 promise. No restrictions apply to this special offer and the donations will be given in the form of toys – distributed by Free Radio during the week commencing 18 December.

Iona Lake

Production manager chases down Commonwealth Games entry

Scanglo Ltd of Norwich, who have been active in the safety reflector market since 1999, are excited to announce their young production manager, Iona Lake, will be representing England at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Daughter of the company’s owner Matthew Lake, Iona will be part of the 75-strong athletics squad who’ll be competing during April 2018 in Queensland, Australia.

“We are a family-run business so growing up, Iona and her sister were always in and out of the business,” explained Matthew. “So when she returned from her two-year scholarship at the University of Virginia, USA in 2016, she needed a very flexible employer (whilst she recovered from her injury and dealt with the ever-increasing training schedule, traveling to and from competitions).

“She is a very useful addition to the team, but we all know where her ambitions lay and we are all keen to give her the time and support she needs. Therefore, we are changing her role within the business. It’s not easy at the level she is at; its either unbelievable highs or utter disappointment, and always with the thought that an injury or sickness can ruin a season’s or a year’s work at will. You definitely couldn’t run a business on those terms.”

We wish Iona all the best on her Commonwealth journey next year.

Big numbers flock to SignLink Live’s debut

The recent SignLink Live’s inaugural event proved a big success with more than 5,300 visitors flocking to the Telford International Centre for this and its co-located sister event, The Print Show 2017. Taking place from 11 – 13 October, the shows cater for businesses in the sign-making and print markets.

“The whole idea behind SignLink Live was to offer something that nobody has done before – a show about sign-making and only about sign-making,” noted events director Chris Davies. “Other events do have an aspect of sign-making, but also feature a lot of wide-format print and this can get frustrating for exhibitors from a sign-making background, as it can draw visitors’ focus.

“From the feedback we have already had, we achieved exactly what we set out to do; exhibitors were able to speak with the visitors that really mattered to them. People who visited the SignLink Live hall knew exactly what they were going to see and they were certainly not disappointed.”

Applelec were among the most recognisable brands exhibiting at SignLink Live, lighting up one of the hall corners with bright LED sign-making solutions. Commercial director of the Bradford-based company, Carl Eastwood, enjoyed his experience thoroughly, saying, “Set up was great; it’s been friendly and organised. The show is a breath of fresh air.”

Anthony Lowe, manager at The Sign Group, elaborated, “Everyone we spoke to was a potential new customer for us, which is great. Although it might not be as busy at times, it’s a better quality visitor coming through the doors.”

Brand Stand UK’s Alexander Brice presented the new ultra-bright LED back-lit tension fabric display system at the show, adding, “The quality of visitor is high to SignLink Live; they are switched on and they know the market well. Five years ago, there wouldn’t have been as much fabric at the show but it is now definitely an emerging side of the industry.”

Shell scheme stands will be kitted out

Grand designs for exhibitors at PPD LIVE

Exhibitors at PPD LIVE 2018 will be turning heads at the January exhibition show with a fantastic graphic design package deal.

Those who sign up before Friday 1 December and are utilising a shell-scheme stand will have the option of a complimentary full graphics and furniture package.

“All they need to do is tell us the stand they would like, the furniture they need and send the artwork through and everything will be taken care of for them,” explained events manager Julie Lang.

“They can just turn up at the show, arrange their product samples and then get straight on with meeting the distributors.”

The shell schemes come in three sizes (12sqm 18sqm and 36sqm) and three different designs: one with a lot of shelf space for product-heavy stands, one which is open and ideal for service providers who want a lot of space for face-to-face meetings, and one which combines elements of both.

To take advantage of the offer, contact Kathryn at or call 0844 880 2751