Event Preview: North American Office Products Awards 2021


After a year’s hiatus, the North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) are back with a bang. The 2021 awards feature more categories and a new host event, while the individual dealer awards have been expanded to include anyone contributing to the independent dealer channel, be that as a supplier or service provider.

Now in their eleventh year, the NAOPA are organised by OPI in association with Independent Suppliers Group (ISG). The awards will be presented live as part of Industry Week ’21, powered by ISG, from 7-12 November in Orlando, Florida.

The past year or so has been hugely challenging for the business supplies industry due to the coronavirus pandemic and all it has entailed. However, many manufacturers and dealers have found ways to grow and thrive, whether through the launch and sales of new products – many related to dealing with COVID-19 – or by adapting to cope with the extraordinary business environment in which they found themselves.

New categories

Several tweaks have been made to the product-related awards this year, including the introduction of infection control and furniture & design, both of which reflect how the pandemic has modified existing categories. In total, there are four Best Product awards.

OPI Director and NAOPA organiser Janet Bell says: “We are expecting some great entries to emerge in the furniture & design category due to the homeworking phenomenon and alterations to the workplace post-COVID.

“The addition of infection control this year is a no brainer. We’ve deliberately kept this broad as there are so many ways in which this category can be interpreted. We’re certainly anticipating some interesting contenders.”

The coveted Innovation of the Year covers any category, but products must have been launched within the past two years. The judging panel – a broad range of dealers, dealer group figureheads and wholesaler executives – is looking forward to a high number of entries and exciting new solutions.

The culmination of all the product categories is one of the main highlights of the NAOPA – the always popular, interactive People’s Choice award. The shortlist is chosen by the judges from the top-scoring products, and then opened to voting by OPI readers in the US and Industry Week delegates. Voting takes place online via opi.net.

At every NAOPA, the spotlight is shone on personalities who make an outstanding contribution to their company, community and the wider business supplies industry. The three categories – Young Executive of the Year, Professional of the Year and Industry Achievement – are designed to acknowledge and reward individuals at different stages in their career.

The individual awards and People’s Choice will be revealed at Industry Week in November, while the product shortlists will be announced at the end of August with a full preview of the selected products in the September/October issue of OPI.

For more information on this year’s NAOPA, visit opi.net/naopa2021

Award categories

Nine awards will be presented at NAOPA 2021:

  • Best Product – Core Business Products
  • Best Product – Furniture & Design
  • Best Product – Facilities, Breakroom, Safety & Infection Control
  • Best Product – Technology
  • Innovation of the Year
  • People’s Choice
  • Young Executive of the Year
  • Professional of the Year
  • Industry Achievement

Listen to OPI Talk with Janet Bell and Andy Braithwaite for more NAOPA insights