Event: NAOPA 2021 Preview

Back once again: NAOPA 2021.


Following a brief hiatus in 2020 due to coronavirus, the much-anticipated North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) are back with a bang. There are a few exciting changes for the 2021 awards, including a new industry partnership and updated categories.

The NAOPA are organised by OPI and, for the first time, in association with Independent Suppliers Group (ISG). Now in their 11th year, the winners will be presented during the eagerly awaited Industry Week ’21, powered by ISG, taking place in Orlando, Florida, from 7-12 November (read a preview of Industry Week).

Unsurprisingly, there have been tweaks to the awards to reflect the current industry situation, with five main product categories representing the much broader array of business supplies available within our sector.

The shortlisted entries for NAOPA 2021 span the full gamut from traditional office products to the latest in technology, as well as innovations in cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising to help combat COVID-19 in the workplace.

The shortlist for the Best Product categories and Innovation of the Year is as follows:

Best Product – Core Business Product

  • 3M – 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger
  • 3M Post-it Flex Write Surface
  • Avery Avery PermaTrack Metallic Asset Tag Labels
  • COLOP – e-mark
  • Kensington – UVStand Monitor Stand with UVC Sanitization Compartment

Best Product – Facilities, Breakroom, Safety & Infection Control

  • 3M – Scotch-Brite One Step Disinfectant & Cleaner
  • ACCO Brands – Leitz TruSens Z-3500 Smart Air Purifier
  • Fellowes Brands – AeraMax Pro
  • Kensington – UVStand Monitor Stand with UVC Sanitization Compartment
  • OttLite Technologies – OttLite Sanitizing Desk Lamps

Best Product – Furniture & Design

  • C-Line Products – Chair Cubbies
  • Ghent – Pointe Mobile Glassboard & Partition
  • Special-T – CORE by Safe-T
  • Special-T– LINK Flip & Nest Collaboration Table
  • Victor Technology – DC830B 3ft Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Best Product – Technology

  • COLOP – e-mark
  • Kensington – StudioCaddy with Qi Wireless Charging for Apple Devices
  • Kensington – VeriMark Guard Fingerprint Keys
  • OneScreen – OneScreen GoSafe
  • Xebec Xebec Tri-Screen 2

Innovation of the Year

  • 3M – 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger
  • 3M – Post-it Flex Write Surface
  • Kensington – StudioDock iPad Docking Station
  • Kensington – StudioCaddy with Qi Wireless Charging for Apple Devices
  • Newell Brands – Sharpie S-Gel Pen

As with previous years, the NAOPA are split into two sections – vendor and individual awards, the latter of which comprise three accolades: Young Executive of the Year, Professional of the Year and Industry Achievement. These awards focus on people who have made outstanding contributions to the independent dealer channel in the North American business supplies industry.

One of the highlights of the product-related vendor awards is the popular People’s Choice (details of all the finalists can be found below), which is open to OPI readers in the US and Industry Week attendees.

All NAOPA winners will be revealed during Industry Week.

Pick the best

You have the power to help choose your favourite product(s) in the 2021 People’s Choice award. You have two votes and it’s easy to select those you think deserve the accolade by voting online

3M – 3M Claw Drywall Picture Hanger

3M’s Claw Drywall Picture Hanger requires no tools and is a heavyweight solution with the ability to hold up to 45 lbs. All that is required to securely place items is to mark, push and hang as the engineered hardened steel claws lock securely into the drywall.

3M – Post-it Flex Write Surface

The Post-it Flex Write Surface quickly transforms a work surface into a whiteboard. Designed as a one-time wall application for long-term use, it sticks to a variety of surfaces. Dry erase and permanent markers can both be used and wiped clean. It is also safe for use with common disinfectant sprays.

3M – Scotch-Brite One Step Disinfectant & Cleaner

Offering a smart way to clean, Scotch-Brite One Step Disinfectant & Cleaner acts as a 5-in-1 all-purpose solution that cleans, disinfects, degreases and deodorisers hard surfaces. It even sanitises soft surfaces.

Essential in today’s workplace environments, it kills 99.9% of bacteria in seconds and is approved for residential, healthcare and institutional usage.

ACCO Brands – Leitz TruSens Z-3500 Smart Air Purifier

ACCO Brands’ TruSens Z-3500 Smart Air Purifier offers unique features such as PureDirect dual airflow and a SensorPod remote air quality monitor. The TruSens app provides real-time indoor and outdoor air quality levels, allows users to control scheduling and fan speed, and order supplies. The app also works with Alexa.

Avery – Avery PermaTrack Metallic Asset Tag Labels

Avery PermaTrack Metallic Asset Tag Labels provide a fast, affordable and easy way to create custom heavy-duty metallic asset tags/labels, barcode labels, equipment tags, property tags and nameplates. The tags can be made on demand with a laser printer and are chemical and abrasion-resistant, waterproof, and print smoothly without skewing, jamming, or static buildup.

C-Line Products – Chair Cubbies

C-Line’s Chair Cubbies help solve a key pain point in a learning environment – space. Eliminating clutter and maximising space, Chair Cubbie organisers instantly create a storage area directly on the back of a student’s chair.

The dual pocket holders are available in four different sizes and turn a chair into a valuable school supplies repository. Reinforced stitching ensures durability, while the included insert can be used for identification purposes.

COLOP – e-mark

COLOP’s e-mark is a portable printing device that is battery operated, based on inkjet technology and works in combination with an app. It is now available in three editions – the e-mark, e-mark create and e-mark secure.

The app includes a barcode, QR code generator and a desktop version. A special printer driver enables print jobs to be sent directly to the e-mark from software such as Microsoft Word, web browsers and photo editing programs.

Fellowes Brands – AeraMax Pro

AeraMax Pro air purifiers are localised, smart air filtration systems. They have patented EnviroSmart and PureView technologies that continuously scan and analyse rooms, purifying the air with visible results.

The AeraMax delivers 3-5 air changes per hour, based on room size and shared space, while the True HEPA filtration system removes 99.99% of all airborne contaminants.

Ghent – Pointe Mobile Glassboard & Partition

Ghent’s Pointe Mobile Glassboard & Partition takes collaboration to the next level with its double-sided glass writing surface. With a powder-coated steel frame, the configurable dual-purpose mobile glassboard can be daisy-chained to multiple units through its built-in connectors to create a space divider.

Kensington – StudioCaddy with Qi Wireless Charging for Apple Devices

Designed exclusively for Apple, the StudioCaddy with Qi Wireless Charging for Apple Devices is a versatile solution that maximises desktop space while keeping all devices charged, organised and within reach.

The dual Qi charger works with any Qi-enabled iPhone and AirPods, with additional USB-A and USB-C charging ability for an iPad, iPad Pro and Apple Watch.

Kensington – StudioDock iPad Docking Station

Ideal for creative professionals, the StudioDock enables users to get the most from their USB-C iPad Pro 11”, iPad Air or iPad Pro 12.9”. Elegantly designed, it offers a seamless magnetic attachment and rapid charging.

In addition, StudioDock includes Qi wireless charging and supports a single 4K HDMI 2.0 video and a monitor. It has four USB ports (one for charging), an audio jack, a Gigabit Ethernet jack and an SD card reader.

Kensington – UVStand Monitor Stand with UVC Sanitization Compartment

The UVStand Monitor Stand with UVC Sanitization Compartment safely, easily and efficiently helps sanitise keyboards, mice, trackballs, mobile phones and other devices, while promoting healthy posture and optimal comfort. It can be used to store desktop items, but also just as a laptop stand.

Kensington – VeriMark Guard Fingerprint Keys

Kensington’s USB-C and USB-A Fingerprint Keys feature end-to-end security with Match-in-Sensor Fingerprint Technology. This isolates and secures all fingerprint data in the sensor, so only an encrypted match is transferred.

Both are FIDO2 and FIDO U2F certified and provide strong single-factor (passwordless) dual, multifactor and Tap-and-Go support. The compact design offers a protective cover and keyring hole for transport when not attached to a device.

The keys support cybersecurity measures consistent with privacy regulations such as GDPR, BIPA and CCPA, and is TAA-compliant.

Newell Brands – Sharpie S-Gel

With a sleek, elegant design, the Sharpie S-Gel is a high-performance gel pen. Delivering an exceptional writing experience thanks to its no smear, no bleed technology, it features a contoured rubber grip and best-in-class ink.

The S-Gel collection is available in a range of point sizes, ranging from ultra-fine to bold, with a choice of five gel ink colours and various barrel designs.

OneScreen – OneScreen GoSafe

OneScreen GoSafe is an entryway management device that uses biometric technology for scanning and recognition to help businesses keep employees and visitors healthy and safe.

GoSafe features include hands-free rapid and secure temperature scanning, mask detection, prescreening questionnaire, and 99% accurate facial recognition without a mask. It also offers employee attendance and time clock integration, badge printing and live remote assistance.

OttLite Technologies – OttLite Sanitizing Desk Lamps

OttLite Sanitizing Desk Lamps use patented SpectraClean visible light disinfection (VLD) technology to continuously sanitise workspaces. VLD utilises a narrow band of light wavelengths to reduce bacteria and other organisms by inactivating them so they cannot reproduce and infect.

The lamps also feature ClearSun LED technology which has been shown to reduce eyestrain by 51%.

Special-T – CORE by Safe-T

CORE by Safe-T operates as a one-stop resource to create a COVID-19 safe environment consisting of three 120° workstations and allowing each person to be seated six feet apart.

At the centre is a medical-grade air purifier system. Barriers extend 30” above the work surfaces and are made from durable PET material. They are antibacterial and sound dampening.

A central steel power hub provides removable panels for easy access to wiring and power.

Special-T – LINK Flip & Nest Collaboration Table 

The LINK Flip & Nest Collaboration Table offers six surface shapes – rectangle, half-round, crescent, trapezoid, presentation and quarter round – and 16 preset configurations for maximum flexibility and mobility. With easy-to-use ganging clips, LINK tables can be connected in infinite ways for effective space utilisation, while tight nesting enables space-saving storage when not in use.

Victor Technology – DC830B 3ft Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Victor Technology’s standing desk surface allows room for essentials such as a monitor, laptop, keyboard, mouse, etc, while being small enough to fit in tight workspaces. It provides up to four different sitting or standing heights with a smooth, electric operation. The desktop will support a weight of up to 110 lbs.

Xebec – Xebec Tri-Screen 2

The Xebec Tri-Screen 2 is a portable dual-screen laptop monitor that adds two additional screens to any modern laptop using a patented tensioning mechanism. This creates an ultra-compact, lightweight and portable multiscreen setup.

Weighing just two pounds, the Tri-Screen 2 folds up for easy storage and has a telescoping adjustable kickstand built into the housing. It offers an efficient cable system as the inputs are moved to the inside corners of the screens, decreasing cable lengths by 70%. A new adapter connects through a single USB-A connection per screen.