Global Forum 2019

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    • Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
    • 17 Nov 19 - 19 Nov 19

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    Global Forum 2019

    Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

    17 Nov 19 - 19 Nov 19
    17 November 2019


    Global Forum 2019

    Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

    17 Nov 19 - 19 Nov 19
    17 November 2019


    Book NowAn invitation-only Global CEO Forum for the business supplies and associated sectors

    We are delighted to announce that the next OPI Global Forum will be held in Chicago on Sunday 17 – Tuesday 19 November 2019.

    In May 2009 OPI launched the first CEO Forum for the business products industry. This was an international gathering for senior executive leaders and provided a rare opportunity to discuss the state of the office products industry and to examine together our universal challenges. This event was incredibly successful and the attendees derived great value from meeting with their peers and discussing openly the challenges we all face.

    OPI will host the eighth OPI Global Forum in November 2019 and we plan to bring together an exceptional audience and an outstanding programme to stimulate thought and debate. We hope this forum will provide you with the opportunity to discuss the unique challenges of the office products industry with the people who understand the uniqueness of our sector and who recognise the importance of working together as an industry.

    This is not a large conference but a small, invitation-only forum with invites sent strictly to CEO/Chairman-level executives at leading resellers, manufacturers and wholesalers of office products, including ‘non-traditional’ retailers and vendors from the increasingly important EOS and consumer electronics categories.

    We understand that networking and free time are important, enabling you to spend quality time with fellow office products leaders from all over the world. There will be both structured groups to give you an opportunity to meet new people and discuss ideas as well as plenty of informal times for more private discussions. To ensure this can be accomplished in an appropriate environment, this will be a private meeting operating under Chatham House rules.

    If you would like to be considered for an invitation or wish to find out more about this event, please get in touch.

    Steve Hilleard CEO, OPI – Tel: +44 7799 891000 (US: 312 957 8510) or Email:

    You may also like to review a very short wrap-up video from a previous forum.

    The following Global Forum will take place in November 2020. Please add the following dates to your calendar:

    Global Forum 2020 – Sunday 15 November – Tuesday 17 November 2020

    Book Now

    Global Forum 2019 Programme

    Download the Global Forum Programme

    We have put together the following agenda to bring you relevant and innovative content to assist debate and strategic planning. If you would like to take part in a future programme, please contact

    Sunday 17th November

    17.00     Registration

    18.30     Drinks Reception & Welcome Dinner

    21.00     Drinks in the bar

    Monday 18th November

    07.00     Registration

    07.00 – 08.15 Group breakfast

    08.15     Opening remarks from the chair
    Steve Hilleard, CEO, OPI

    08.35   Customer 4.0: Are you ready for the modern consumer?

    • Defining Customer 4.0
    • The journey to modern commerce
    • 4 questions to prepare your business
    • Barriers to change
    • Envisioning Customer 5.0
      Gordon Christiansen, COO, Highlands

    09.10   KEYNOTE PANEL: State of the industry and channel disruption

    • How is the structure of the industry changing?
    • Assessing the impact of the Essendant/Staples merger
    • How are the various relationships and channels changing?
    • What future consolidation are we likely to see?

    Harry Dochelli, President, Essendant
    Boris Elisman, Chairman, President & CEO, ACCO Brands
    Tonya Horn, President, Rogards Office Plus
    Mike Maggio, CEO, ISG
    Bryan Wight, SVP, Office Depot
    Beth Wright, VP of Sales – Americas, Fellowes

    10.10   What’s the outlook for the US consumer and the office supply sector?
    Michael will discuss the outlook for the US Consumer and the outlook for the office supply sector. He will leverage his over 10 years of experience of following these sectors. As part of his discussion, he will cover how the US consumer is being impacted by tariffs and other factors, and he will also cover the competitive dynamics within the office supply sector.
    Michael Lasser, Equity Analyst – Hardlines & Broadlines, UBS

    10.45     Morning break 

    11.15   5G in the workplace – transformational impact and challenges

    What will be the impact (or absence thereof) of 5G on work and the workplace?  Will 5G really live up to the hype?  What will it deliver, other than a bigger pipe, that 4G doesn’t already provide?  What services might we see evolving in the next 5-10 years, based on this high bandwidth technology and its capability, and how will those services drive change in working practices and the structure of our workplaces?  We will also consider how to effectively implement the change mindset necessary to ensure adoption of new practices across the workforce.  Designed to provoke debate and encourage a variety of viewpoints, the session will incorporate plenty of time for audience questions, comments and positive interactive.
    Andrew Mawson, Managing Director, Advanced Workplace Associates
    Andrew is a leading pioneer, thinker and speaker on matters ‘work and place’. He specialises in spanning the worlds of business strategy, organisational design, workplace strategy, workplace design and change management. In his consulting work he has led workplace change management programmes with respected clients including Invesco, Unicef UK, Willis Towers Watson, Direct Line Group, National Rail, Royal Bank of Scotland, Merrill Lynch, BUPA and Interserve. He also worked with the UK Cabinet Office on the ‘agile working’ programmes.

    11.45     PANEL: What does it take to excel as a service-based organisation?

    • What is required in terms of changing mind-sets when transitioning to a service-based model?
    • What are the potential pitfalls during this transition and how can they be avoided?
    • What are the service-based opportunities for manufacturers?
    • How independent dealers can differentiate themselves through service excellence
    • What’s next in the evolution of services?

    Mark Cooper, President, Avery
    John Givens, CEO, Source Office & Technology
    Yancey Jones Jnr, COO, The Supply Room
    Kim Leazer, CEO, FSIoffice

    12.45    Networking Lunch

    13.45    Sustainable Development Plans

    • Is sustainability overlooked or simply an essential and integrated part of your business?
    • What is an SDP?
    • How can we engage workforce and customers in sustainability initiatives?
      Simone Hindmarch, Managing Director, Commercial Group

    14.15     Transition

    14.20     Roundtable 1:
    Delegates can choose to attend one of the following roundtable discussions, limited to around 15 participants.

      1. Becoming a service-based business
        Moderator: Kim Leazer, CEO, FSIoffice

      2. Acquiring and retaining young and diverse talent
        Moderator: Gordon Christiansen, COO, Highlands & Beth Freeman, Executive Vice President, FSIoffice

      3. Supplying the SMB market: How do they procure? What are they looking for? How can we serve them better?
        Moderators: Yancey Jones Jnr, COO, The Supply Room 

        1. Taking e-commerce to the next level
          In this session, we will discuss options and share experiences on how to reach the next level. What are the main challenges in e-commerce for dealers today and in the future as it relates to current eCommerce technology inclusive of wholesaler integration (Essendant & SPR)? How would you prioritise these challenges? What are the key success factors? How could your technology provider, wholesaler and the industry manufacturers work better together? How can dealers differentiate on e-commerce platforms?
      4. Moderator: Brian Bowerfind, President – Distribution Division, ECi
        Paul Gatens, VP E-Commerce & Marketing, SP Richards (first roundtable)
        Toni Green, Director – Digital Services, Essendant (second roundtable)

      5. Independent dealers
        A discussion limited to independent dealers and wholesalers only, considering consolidation, branding, building loyalty, the implications of flux in wholesaling, and how to take advantage of disruptive technologies.  
        Moderator: Tonya Horn, President, Rogards Office Plus
      6. What are you doing to embed sustainability in your company/culture /business offering?
        Moderator: Simone Hindmarch, Managing Director, Commercial Group

    15.20     Afternoon break 

    15.50     Roundtable 2: Options as above

    16.50     Transition/comfort break

    16.55  A millennial’s experience of the business supplies industry

    • What do millennials want from work? What are their career objectives and priorities?
    • How FSIoffice is building a working environment to satisfy a younger generation of workers
    • How does the industry need to change in order to attract and retain a young and diverse workforce into the future?
      Beth Freeman, Executive Vice President, FSIoffice

    17.25     Closing remarks from the chair

    17.30     Close of day one conference programme

    19.00     Drinks Reception & Group Dinner

    Tuesday 19th November

    07.30 – 08.30 Group breakfast

    08.30     Opening remarks from the chair

    08.40     The Big Interview
                  Steve Hilleard, CEO of OPI, will interview Sandy Douglas, CEO of Staples

    09.30     The future of the workplace

    We are living in a time where exponential change is being driven by advances in technology. We are bearing witness to the rapid advancement of new autonomous technology, the emergence of the sharing economy and the fall of siloed space, all of which will have profound impact on the spaces we create. But in the middle of all of this there is also a renewed sense of what is driving all this change – the desire to better enable people to live and work in optimum conditions. Hence we are seeing the parallel rise of the machine age and the rise of the human factor. These two streams are already converging in the workplace and changing not only the tools we use, but when, where and how we work as well.  If you are planning workspace for the future, you need to look at providing for a multi-generational workforce, enabled by technology and working in a more agile manner than ever before.  The NEXT generational wave is about to hit the workplace and today’s space planning decisions should anticipate them. What will they look like, and what will their impact on the way we work be? And how will new advances in technology impact the workplace going forward? Kay will examine the impact these emerging factors will have on us and the workplace of the future.
    Sarah Oppenhuizen, Director of Interiors & Mike Goetz, Senior Associate, HOK

    10.15   A return to MPS?

    With Staples acquiring one of the leading managed print firms, MPS has come back on the business agenda for the business supplies sector.

    • Current MPS Landscape
    • Why consider MPS at this time?
    • Engagement options and entry points
    • What are the barriers to entry? How can they be overcome?
    • What customer service challenges exist in the MPS space?

    Sarah Custer, Director of Services & Solutions, Supplies Network
    Sarah joined Supplies Network in 2001. She leads a team of MPS solutions and equipment advisors and a technical operations team focused on break-fix service and software solutions. She is responsible for providing critical direction and design of program enhancements and vendor integrations.

    10.45     Morning break 

    11.00   Insight: How the retail landscape and consumer needs are changing, and how that should inform your long-term strategy

    Today’s marketplace is moving faster than ever before and keeping pace with this change is the winning advantage. As the leading provider of market information and advisory services for more than 20 general merchandise industries, NPD truly has the pulse of retail. As NPD’s President, US Hardlines, Perry James combines NPD data and his personal insight in a compelling presentation that highlights the realities of today’s marketplace and the possibilities for where we are headed in the future. Content to include:

    • Who’s winning at retail?
      – consumers are spending differently. NPD tracks what they are buying across industries and categories, giving insight into which are thriving and which are challenged
    • Online shifting
      – this is happening across industries, but the landscape is different industry by industry, with some at saturation while others are just getting started
    • Direct-to-consumer and private label
      – as brands become retailers and retailers become brands, the right strategies are essential to protect and grow your business.
      Perry James, President – US Hardlines, The NPD Group
      Perry James is president of U.S Hardlines at The NPD Group – which encompasses the office supplies, automotive, home improvement, and major appliance businesses – a position he has held since 2013.  Most recently, Perry is also leading NPD’s expanded efforts to build services in B2B marketplaces. Prior to that, he was president of the Home and Office Supplies businesses, and he successfully launched the latter in 2007. 

    11.35     Brand building: What does it take and how do we do it?

    The future for businesses is in being purpose driven if they want to attract talent to work for them as well as customers to buy from them, and in being brand led if they want to outperform their competitors.  The office products sector, at all levels (manufacturers and resellers and as a commercial channel) has generally been very poor in helping businesses to build value. Consumers don’t think in terms of an office products industry, they often profess love for stationery but could probably name less than 10 brands.  Companies need to develop their future business from the top down – looking at the longer term future and not just tomorrow – with a focus on brand (that being the value in the end-to-end revenue stream of the business, not branding as in a visual identity). David will look at business and personal brand, identify campaignable assets and consider how you can create strategies and collateral to support them.
    David Langdown, Marketing Director, Focus7
    David has spent 20 years working running dealer groups and 13 years on the BOSS Board.  He co-founded Focus7 in 2015. 

    12.10     Closing remarks from the Chair

    12.30     Lunch

    14.00     Close of Global Forum 2019

    This programme may be subject to change. 

    Book Now

    Super Early rate: available until 26 July 2019
    First delegate rate: $2,995
    Second delegate rate: $2,000 *
    Independent Dealer (turnover less than $100M): $1,950

    Early rate: available from 26 July to 27 September 2019
    First delegate rate: $3,250 
    Second delegate rate: $2,350*
    Independent Dealer (turnover less than $100M): $2,150

    Standard rate: available from 27 September 2019
    1 Ticket:  $3,650
    Second delegate: $2,750*
    Independent Dealer (turnover less than $100M): $2,300

    Book Now

    If you are a Premium or VIP member please contact for a discount code to receive 10% off your registration fee. 
    If your company is an OPI Corporate Member you are entitled to a free place at the Forum and a 30% discount on future places. Please contact and she will book your places for you.
    If you wish to find out more about the substantial benefits and discounts our corporate members receive, please contact  or visit

    Reduced Fees: We have arranged a limited number of subsidised places to assist the attendance of certain delegates. This is a special rate for small but innovative reseller companies or delegates with unusual travel expenses, for example. There are a limited number of discounted places available, and we review each request on its merits. As an unsponsored event the costs to host the Global Forum are expensive, but the lack of sponsorship ensures a higher quality of debate and avoids sales pitches. We therefore kindly ask that you do not ask for a discounted rate if it is not applicable to you, so we can offer the places to those who really need them. This will ensure a more diverse audience and a better experience for everyone. We appreciate your understanding. For more information, please contact directly.

    * Booking a second attendee: If you have booked to attend at the full rate, a second delegate from your company can attend at the discounted rate. 

    Book Now

    Venue for the Global Forum

    The Global Forum 2019 will be held at:

    The Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile (formerly Sofitel Chicago Water Tower)
    20 East Chestnut St – Downtown
    60611 Chicago, IL

    Hotel Reservations
    Rooms are available at The Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile for Global Forum attendees from $255 per night.
    Room rates do not include State and Local Taxes, which are currently 17.4%.

    Make a reservation
    To make a reservation at The Sofitel, please make your reservation online directly with the hotel using this link:
    Or call: 877 813 7700 and +1 312 324 4044 (Monday – Saturday)

    The block name is: Office Products International
    The hotel will require credit card details to secure your booking. This is simply to guarantee your room booking and no charge will be made in advance of the forum.

    Book Now

    Past companies attending OPI Forums include:

    3M, ACCO Brands, Acme United, ADVEO, AIA Corporation, ALSO International, Amax Incorporated, AOPD, Avery, Basics Office Products, Baumgartens, Bi-Silque, Bluefish, BPGI, Brassard Fournitures & Ameublement de bureau, Brother, Bruneau, Buffetti, Clover, COLOP, Complete Office Supplies, Corwell, CPD, DC Mayorista, Domtar, Deflecto, ECi, Egan Reid, EO Group, EOSA, ESG, Esselte, Essendant, Fellowes, Forms & Supply, Friends Business Source, FSIoffice, FusionPLUS Data, GMi Companies, Gorilla Stationers, Gould Paper, Guernsey, Highlands, HiTouch Business Services, HP, HSM, IBM, Independent Stationers, Innovative Office Solutions, Integra, Interaction, ISSA, Lyreco, Messe Frankfurt, Midwest Resource Group, Miller’s Office Products, Network Services, Novexco, NPD, Office Basics, Office Brands, Office Choice, Office Club, Office Depot, Office Friendly, Officeworks,, OWiba, PBS Holding, PEG, Pilot Pen, Pinnacle Affiliates, Plaisio, PrintFleet, Printus, Pukka Pads, Really Useful Products, Schoen and Associates, Shoplet, Smead, Socialwise Partners, Source Office & Technology, Spicers, SP Richards, Staples, Superstat, Supplies Network, JM Smucker, TOPS, TriMega, TSRC, Turning Point Strategy, Victor Technology, Warehouse Direct, WW Grainger, Waltons, Wist Office Products, Xerox, Zebra Pen