PYMBLE, NSW, 11 October 2016 – Office Brands has once again hosted, what many members have stated is, their “best ever” Conference and Expo, in conjunction with their 2016 AGM.

The theme for the 2016 Expo, held last weekend at the magnificent Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, was Innovate, Integrate, Motivate. After a busy period of implementing new marketing and technological strategies in 2015-16, including a completely revamped website, new B2C site, new app and eCupboard, enhanced SEO, and new Salesforce CRM, Office Brands is now encouraging members to expand on their integration of these innovations. The motivation came from a cohesive message across the three days, with practical assistance and motivational talks.

Keynote speaker and author of “How to Be Your Best You”, Bruce Sullivan, was dynamic in his presentation about accepting change. According to Sullivan: “Everything we enjoy as good in this life is a result of change”. His mantra was to put on your happy pants from the top drawer, not your cranky pants from the bottom drawer, because change is unavoidable but how we embrace change is up to us.

Change was in the air, with CEO Gavin Ward’s opening address stressing the importance of embracing innovation. In it he equated the innovations recently implemented by Office Brands to the winged keel of Australia II that lead to Australia’s first win in the America’s Cup. As with Australia II, the technology didn’t really work until the ‘crew’ got involved and worked out how to maximise the technology. Ward stated: “In our business we now have tremendous technology and it is up to our crew, our members and our staff, to maximise the results.”

Ward showed member statistics demonstrating increased business of over $2 million across just 3 of the 30 current Marketing Automation Campaigns. He also showed how category expansion has led to significant growth for those members who have embraced it.

Every moment of the weekend was optimised from the Sales Conference event incorporating sales training, to the Members’ Business Forums held across two days. In addition, members benefitted from hands on breakout sessions on CRM and Marketing Automation implementation, and the Subject Matter Expert session.

The supplier trade exhibition was a resounding success with the overall sentiment that this was one of the best expos ever. Suppliers were thrilled to be kept busy on the stands, with members given ample time to visit each. Many suppliers reported that orders placed at Expo were at the strongest levels seen in recent years.

It wasn’t all business, with time to enjoy and socialise a priority. A Welcome & Supplier Awards Function was held on the Friday night and the jewel in the crown of the weekend was a spectacular Member Gala Awards Dinner with a Casino Royale theme on the Saturday.

Office Brands were pleased to reveal the winners of their Supplier Awards at the Friday night function, and congratulate all winners and finalists:

Supplier of the Year:
Dynamic Supplies

“Above & Beyond” Supplier Excellence Award:
Runner-up – Pelikan Artline
Winner – Dynamic Supplies

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Gold Customer Service & Supply Chain Excellence Award:
Runner-up – ACCO Brands
Winner – Dynamic Supplies

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Silver Customer Service & Supply Chain Excellence Award:
Runner-up – Bantex Group
Winner – Cumberland Corporation

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Saturday night’s Gala Awards Dinner was overflowing with winners as Office Brands announced the winners of their State Member Awards, Member of the Year Award, as well as new awards: Technology Micro Innovation and “Above & Beyond” Customer Service Excellence, recognising the most outstanding employee of an Office Brands’ dealership. Stunning “Bond girls” assisted nominees and winners to the stage. Office Brands wants to congratulate joint Member of the Year Award winners: Connelly’s Office National and Office National Canning Vale, Hall of Fame inductee, Ian Kindred of Express Office National, along with all finalists and winners.

2016 Member of the Year:
Joint winners –
Office National Canning Vale, Canning Vale, WA
Connelly’s Office National, Young, NSW

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NSW/ACT State Member of the Year:
Connelly’s Office National

SA/NT State Member of the Year:
Herriman’s Office Products Depot

QLD State Member of the Year:
Pencraft Office National

VIC/TAS State Member of the Year:
Paul John Office National

WA State Member of the Year:
Office National Canning Vale

Congratulations also go to Office Brands’ two new Board Members, Chris Hoban (Surry Office National) and Brendan Stallworthy (Coastal Office National), appointed at Sunday’s AGM.

With 2016’s event wrapped up, Office Brands are already planning towards the next, announcing Cairns Convention Centre as the venue for their 2017 Expo on the weekend of 22-24 September.