OPI Global Forum 2021

    • Virtual / Online
    • 05 May 21 - 06 May 21

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    OPI Global Forum 2021

    Virtual / Online

    05 May 21 - 06 May 21
    5 May 2021


    OPI Global Forum 2021

    Virtual / Online

    05 May 21 - 06 May 21
    5 May 2021


    Book Now

    Download the Agenda: OPI Global Forum 2021 ONLINE Agenda

    “It exceeded my expectations and is a not-to-be missed industry event” *

    Welcome to the OPI Global Forum 2021 online, an interactive forum for key industry leaders in Europe, North America and beyond to debate and define the future of the business supplies sector (view past attendees)

    We are sorry that we can’t meet up with you in person in Chicago, but we are looking forward to connecting online instead. This is not our first online forum and we have been surprised and delighted at the success of these virtual events. They have enabled more delegates to join us safely, with no travel or hotel costs, and with so much going on in the industry it essential to find a way to share ideas, strategies and best practice to the benefit of all attendees. 

    The event is designed to help senior industry executives better understand and analyse the changes to our sector. Practical takeaways will enable them to make informed strategic decisions to ensure their businesses succeed in the ‘new normal’.

    “In very challenging circumstances, OPI created a fantastic forum that was thought-provoking and motivating at the same time. Despite it being a virtual forum, I really felt that I was somehow physically at the event. Superb job Team OPI!” *

    The format will be even more interactive than usual, with few ‘talking heads’ and very little PowerPoint. This will certainly not be a typical webinar! Instead we will focus on hard-hitting interviews with industry thought leaders and external experts, as well as engaging panel discussions, at all times giving you a chance to ask direct questions .

    “A well-constructed and informative event helping focus and drive our industry forward through these changing and challenging times.” *

    And we’ll host our very popular round tables to ensure you can have intimate in-depth interactions with other delegates and invited experts, discussing the important issues we are all facing.

    There will also be plenty of networking opportunities including informal coffee break areas, one-to-one chat rooms and a speed networking facility. Through the sharing of knowledge, vision, best practice and experience everyone will leave the event with actionable takeaways and a better view of the way forward.

    “A highly relevant event, covering the topics that really matter in this brave new transformational world in which we currently live. Great content, great speakers and great organisation. Thank you OPI.” *

    To maximise engagement and minimise screen fatigue the Forum will take place over two days on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 May . We will start mid-morning (EST) on both days to give our North American audience a chance to clear their Inboxes, and we’ll finish mid-afternoon so they can finish up ‘in the office’.

    This is an urgent “must attend” event for companies from across all channels and is designed to help senior industry executives better understand and analyse the changes to our sector in a post-COVID world. Practical takeaways will enable them to make informed strategic decisions to ensure their businesses succeed in the ‘new normal’. 

    “Thank you OPI for a very successful online event. Instant access to key industry leaders, thought-provoking speakers and robust discussions without the travelling. Well done to all concerned!” *

    We hope you can join us. If you need any additional information, please contact either janet.bell@opi.net or steve.hilleard@opi.net

    * quotes given by attendees at the recent OPI European Forum 2020 Online

    Book Now

    Book Now

    Download the Agenda: OPI Global Forum 2021 ONLINE Agenda

    Global Forum 2021 Online Programme – Embracing the Future

    An interactive forum for key industry leaders in Europe, North America and beyond to debate and define the future of the OP sector.

    This is an urgent “must attend” event for companies from across all channels and is designed to help senior industry executives better understand and analyse the changes to our sector in a post-COVID world. Practical takeaways will enable them to make informed strategic decisions to ensure their businesses succeed in the ‘new normal’.

    We are still finalising the programme and this page will be updated regularly.
    If you would like to speak at the event, or have any suggestions for the programme, please contact steve.hilleard@opi.net

    Outline Agenda – all times are CST (GMT-6 or CET-7)

    Wednesday 5 May

    9.00am (CST) Login for 1:1 Networking

    10.00am (CST) Official welcome by Steve Hilleard – CEO, OPI

    10.10am (CST) The Changing World of Work
    The opening session at this year’s Global Forum will take a holistic look at the changing world of work via an interview with the leading international workplace consultant, Andrew Mawson, Managing Director of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), the global, science-based workplace transition consultancy with headquarters in London and New York.

    Since forming AWA almost 30 years ago, Andrew has developed a reputation as a leading pioneer, thinker, writer and speaker on all matters ‘work and place’, having the unusual ability to span the worlds of business strategy, organisational design, workplace strategy, workplace design, technology and change management.
    Interviewee: Andrew Mawson – Founder & Managing Director, Advanced Workplace Associates

    10.30am (CST) Transition

    10.40am (CST) Panel: The Future of the Workplace
    Having set the scene, Andrew Mawson will join a panel of thought leaders representing a number of disciplines and product categories that will not only be essential in ensuring a safe return to work post-COVID, but will also define the workplace of the future. From air quality to cleaning and sanitation, furniture and layout to technology and ergonomics, this session will feature some fascinating insights from the brightest minds in the business, helping you capitalise on the workplace of the future.
    • Mark Catchlove – Director, Insight Group EMEA, Herman Miller
    • Peter Henson CPMR, I.C.E., CSBA, AAP – CEO, Allynt Solutions
    • Phil Jones MBE – Managing Director, Brother UK
    • Andrew Mawson – Founder & Managing Director, Advanced Workplace Associates
    • Tony McCool – Head of Interactive & Collaborative Solutions, Exertis PRO AV
    • Louise Shipley – European Head of Marketing – Workplace Health Solutions, Fellowes Brands
    • Van Young – VP Sales, Environments Denver (a division of EON Office)
    Moderator: Steve Hilleard – CEO, OPI

    11.20am (CST) Networking Break

    11.50am (CST) Breakout Sessions

    Breakout Session #1
    Turning Crisis into Opportunity
    John F. Kennedy once said: “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” In this inspirational session we’ll take a look at some of the organisations in our industry that have thrived during what’s been a year of crisis for many.
    • Richard Costin – CEO, Bisley Office Furniture
    • Steve Haworth – CEO, EVO Group of Companies
    • Walter Johnsen – Chairman & CEO, Acme United
    • Mark Miller – CEO, Eakes Office Solutions
    • Beth Wright – VP Sales, Americas, Fellowes Brands
    Moderator: Steve Hilleard – CEO, OPI

    Breakout Session #2
    Planning through Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) Times
    Co-hosted by the Business Solutions Association (BSA)
    BSA has teamed up with Crystal Lee and Dan Spatz of Oliver Wight to discuss how companies can:
    • Thrive amidst the VUCA Times
    • Achieve predictable performance through better demand planning
    The notion of an increasingly VUCA world – more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – was first framed in the late 1980s as a way for scholars to describe and study human leadership behaviour. Decades earlier, the Oliver Wight firm was helping create a set of planning best practices that, in modern times, has evolved into a methodology that many leaders use to maintain momentum in their increasingly VUCA worlds. In this session, Crystal Lee and Dan Spatz, Principals with Oliver Wight, will discuss how companies can achieve predictable performance through better demand planning, and thrive amidst the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of their marketplaces.
    Host: Travis Kaste – National Sales Manager, 3M Consumer Business Group & President, BSA
    Speakers: Crystal Lee & Dan Spatz – Principals, Oliver Wight Americas

    Breakout Session #3
    Canada – recovery and growth prospects in the manufacturing sector
    Co-hosted by the Canadian Office Products Association (COPA)
    This Canada-themed session will feature a presentation from one of the leading voices representing the interests of the Canadian manufacturing and export sectors, Alan Arcand. His presentation will review the state of Canada’s manufacturing sector in light of the pandemic and what the industry’s recovery and growth prospects look like.
    Host: Sam Moncada – CEO, COPA
    Speaker: Alan Arcand – Chief Economist, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

    12.50pm (CST) Transition

    1.00pm (CST) Roundtable Session 1 (most sessions repeated the following day)

    • Latest trends in B2B e-commerce
      Hosted by Paul Demery – Editor, Digital Commerce 360 | B2B
      Explore the trends and changes that are happening within the B2B e-commerce industry in this group discussion chaired by one of the most knowledgeable editors and commentators in the field.
    • What’s new in B2B marketplaces
      Hosted by Eamon Kelly – Senior Research Analyst & Partner, Edgewater Research
      B2B marketplaces will undoubtedly continue to have a significant impact on the future of the business products industry. Led by one of the most experienced research analysts in this area, this conversation will explore the opportunities and identify some of the key developments you can expect to see on the major marketplace platforms.
    • Leveraging the heightened importance of Jan/San
      Hosted by Peter Henson CPMR, C.C.E., CSBA, AAP – CEO, Allynt Solutions
      As we exit the global COVID-19 pandemic, what do you need to know to position your Jan/San offering to make it relevant to building owners and managers? Hosted by one of the most highly-respected thought leaders in the cleaning industry, this discussion will look at how changing workplace dynamics have shifted from cleaning for appearance, to cleaning for health & wellness and how this shift is impacting cleaning product use and purchases.
    • Back to business…or not? The New Normal
      Hosted by Robert Baldrey – Chief Sales Officer Contract EU7, Office Depot Europe
      As COVID vaccination programmes begin to take effect, businesses are starting to think about returning to the workplace. There seem to be two schools of thought gathering: those that think there will be a return to pre-pandemic ways of working and those that think that a hybrid home/work pattern is here to stay. In this roundtable discussion, Robert Baldrey will lead a conversation about what is likely to happen, what implications any changes in working will have on our industry, and what you should be thinking about to future-proof your business for this emerging change in customer behaviour.
    • The future of sales
      Hosted by Gordon Christiansen – COO & Partner, Highlands
      It’s expected that the typical post-pandemic office employee will behave very differently to what we’ve been accustomed to. Their place of work will be a hybrid of office and working from home, with an even greater degree of reliance on technology to communicate, especially for non-essential meetings. The salesperson of the future will need to adapt to this new environment while at the same time evolving and acquiring new skills to remain relevant in an environment of increasingly prevalent artificial intelligence and customer service automation. Sales managers too must therefore evolve to effectively manage, train and motivate a salesforce that will travel less yet be even more remote than before. Join this timely session to explore the ‘new normal’ of sales.
    • Implications of the potential Staples/Office Depot transaction
      Hosted by Andy Braithwaite – News Editor, OPI
      Should the proposed Staples/Office Depot deal transpire, and regardless of the exact detail, it is very likely to have other ramifications for the North American business products channel. This highly interactive session will brainstorm the most likely scenarios, enabling participants to be better prepared, no matter what the outcomes.
    • Supply chain insights
      Hosted by Tim Engstrom – VP Supply Chain Shared Services, Essendant
      Whether it’s the global container and shipping crisis or the challenges of last mile delivery, supply chain issues continue to test all participants in our industry. Join seasoned supply chain and logistics expert Tim Engstrom for an engaging discussion on how to mitigate these effects of the crisis.
    • The Changing World of Work
      Hosted by Andrew Mawson – Founder & Managing Director, Advanced Workplace Associates
      A unique chance to further explore the opportunities presented by tomorrow’s workplace, hosted by our keynote interviewee.

    1.50pm (CST) Summary of Day One

    2.00pm (CST) Informal International Networking Rooms Open

    2.30pm (CST) Networking Ends

    Thursday 6 May

    9.00am (CST) Login for 1:1 Networking

    9.40am (CST) Welcome to Day 2

    9.50am (CST) Keynote Interview: Amazon Deep Dive
    John Ghiorso is an e-commerce thought leader with a reputation for articulating industry perspective and forecasting shifts within the Amazon marketplace. He is the founder and CEO of Orca Pacific, a full-service agency dedicated to growing the Amazon business of consumer product brands. He leads a team of over 50 former Amazonians and industry experts who develop digital marketing strategies on the cutting edge of e-commerce.

    John’s insights have been featured in prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Vox, Modern Retail, and Digiday. He speaks at mainstream industry events on a range of topics from retail and advertising strategies to the future of e-commerce and can now add the OPI Global Forum to an already impressive list of conferences at which he has enthralled participants.
    Interviewee: John Ghiorso – Founder & CEO, Orca Pacific

    10.30am (CST) Transition

    10.40am (CST) Roundtable Session 2
    Sessions as per day one, plus:

    Amazon – An even Deeper Dive
    Hosted by John Ghiorso – Founder & CEO, Orca Pacific
    Join our keynote interviewee for a chance to learn more about the challenges and opportunities for brand owners on Amazon.

    11.30am (CST) Networking Break

    12.00pm (CST) Roundtable Session 3
    Sessions as per day one

    12.50pm (CST) Transition

    1.00pm (CST) Panels: The Future of the Channel
    Choose from one of two panels: North America or Europe
    It is widely believed that the pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on our industry, adding to the many significant changes we have already seen in the marketplace over the last year. Two panels of industry thought leaders from either side of the Atlantic will shine a spotlight on the recent developments we are already seeing and discuss how the channel will likely evolve as a result.

    Panel #1 – North America
    • Harry Dochelli – President & CEO, Essendant
    • Jordan Kudler – President, Legacy Office Solutions & Chairman, Independent Suppliers Group
    • Mike Maggio – CEO, SP Richards
    • Mike Rowsey – CEO, Harbinger National
    • Tom Tedford – EVP & President, North America, ACCO Brands
    Moderator: Steve Hilleard – CEO, OPI

    Panel #2 – Europe
    • Greg Lienard – CEO, Lyreco
    • Richard Scharmann – CEO, PBS Holding
    • Jonathan Smith – Consultant
    Moderator: Chris Exner – Chief Commercial Officer, OPI

    2.00pm (CST) Summary and Key Takeaways
    Our final session will summarise what promises to be a hugely varied and very timely programme. With input from the OPI editorial team and many of the key panellists and roundtable hosts, we’ll be sharing key takeaways and actionable to-do points that will help you position your organisation for success in the post-pandemic business supplies industry.

    2.30pm (CST) Forum closes

    Book now

    Book Now

    OPI Global Forum Ticket Types:
    • General Admission – Early Registration (book by 9 April) – $299
    • General Admission – Standard Registration (from 10 April) – $349
    • General Admission – Independent Dealers with annual sales below $25M – Free of charge
    All general admission tickets include a second delegate place, for a colleague from the same company, free of charge. 
    Discounts for OPI paying members

    If you are a Digital, Premium or VIP member and have any problems logging in to access your discount code, please contact lisa.haywood@opi.net 

    If your company is an OPI Corporate or Ultimate Member, you are entitled to a free place at the Forum. Please contact lisa.haywood@opi.net and she will assist you.

    You can learn more and take out a membership here


    All registered delegates will receive a copy of the recordings from the keynote interviews and panels. This includes: 

    • The Changing World of Work
    • Keynote Interview: Amazon Deep Dive
    • Panel: Future of the Workplace
    • Turning Crisis into Opportunity
    • Planning through Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) Times
    • Canada – Recovery and Growth Prospects in the Manufacturing Sector
    • The Future of the Channel – North America
    • The Future of the Channel – Europe
    • Panel: Summary and Key Takeaways

    Please note the roundtables are NOT recorded. These highly interactive sessions take place under Chatham House rules and therefore are private. You must attend the event to take part in these sessions.  

    Download the HOPIN How to guide

    We will be using an events platform called HOPIN to host this event. Please find some details below to maximise your experience.

    PROFILE: Update your profile to make yourself known. Insert your job title and company name in the ‘Headline’ field

    RECEPTION: View the schedule below and plan to make the most of your day
    CHAT: Introduce yourself, comment, ask questions, contribute to polls and make connections with other delegates  
    STAGE: Where the day begins and where you’ll find the keynote presentations

    NETWORKING: Meet fellow delegates face-to-face for up to three minutes. Click connect to share details and build your relationship offline
    SESSIONS: Here you’ll find the panel discussions, roundtables and ‘Coffee break tables’ (for informal networking) 

    CONTENT ON-DEMAND: Post-event, you will receive a link to relive the Keynote sessions, interviews and panels, time and again. The roundtables are completely private and will not be recorded or reported so please feel free to share your thoughts. We ask all delegates to respect Chatham House rules for the roundtables. 
    How to participate
    Join us in the main stage, listen to sessions, attend interactive roundtables, speed network and join coffee break ‘tables’. Timings are detailed in the schedule. 

    Please ensure you have added your job title and company to the ‘headline’ field of your profile. To amend your profile click the circle in the top right and ‘edit profile’.

    For further assistance, please watch the following Hopin video tutorial:


    Or read the Hopin ‘Tips and User Guide with FAQs HOPIN How to guide

    If you have any technical problems please visit the OPI Help Desk which you’ll find in the Sessions tab or search for ‘Event Organiser’ in the people menu to contact us directly.

    Book Now

    These are just some of companies who regularly attend OPI Forums:

    3M, ACCO Brands, Acme United, Advantia, ADVEO, AF International, AIA Corporation, ALSO International, Amax Incorporated, AOPD, Avery, Banner, Basics Office Products, Baumgartens, Bi-silque, BIC, Bluefish, BPGI, Brassard Fournitures & Ameublement de bureau, Brother, Bruneau, Buffetti, Clover, Codex, COLOP, Comercial del Sur, Complete Office Supplies, Corwell, CPD, Dacris, DC Mayorista, Desktoo, Domtar, Deflecto, Durable, ECi, eBay, edding, Egan Reid, Energizer, EO Group, EOSA, ESG, Essendant, EVO Group of Companies, Fellowes Brands, Friends Business Source, FSIoffice, FusionPLUS Data, GMi Companies, GNS Wholesale, Gorilla Stationers, Gould Paper, Grand & Toy, Grainger, Greenspeed, Guernsey, Hamelin Brands, Highlands, HP, HSM, IBM, InControl Marketing, Independent Suppliers Group, Innovative Office Solutions, Inovocom, Integra, Interaction, International Paper, ISSA, JGBM, KOLOK, Lyreco, Mayer-Kuvert Network, Messe Frankfurt, Midwest Resource Group, Miller’s Office Products, Mitsubishi Pencil, Monolith Global, NEMO, Network Services, Newell Brands, Novexco, Novus Dahle, NPD, Office Basics, Office Brands, Office Choice, Office Club, Office Depot, Office Friendly, Office Supplies Denmark, Officeworks, OfficeSupply.com, Offix Holding, OT Group, OWiba, PBS Holding, PBS Network, PEG, Pilot Pen, Pinnacle Affiliates, Plaisio, Prima Software, Printus, Pukka Pads, Quantore, Quick Corporate Australia, RAJA, Rapesco, Really Useful Products, Rexel Office Products, Safescan, Schoen and Associates, Shoplet, Smead, Soennecken, Soft carrier, Source Office & Technology, Sourcingpartner, Spectrum Industrial, SP Richards, Staples, Staples Solutions, Stewart Superior, Superstat, Supplies Network, JM Smucker, tesa, The Navigator Company, TOPS, TPPS World, Trodat, TSRC, UHU, UKOS, United UK, Victor Technology, VOW Wholesale, Warehouse Direct, Waltons, Westcoast, Wist Office Products, Xerox, Zebra Pen

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