As simple as… ABC!



As simple as… ABC!


by Stephen White


With United Stationers not due to gather its dealers until 2011, it’s left to SP Richards to hold this year’s big wholesaler event in the US


"We never tire of making every effort to bring a new and exceptional experience to our customers and suppliers," enthuses Jim O’Brien, SP Richards SVP of Marketing. "2010 marks our 12th such celebration, and we can think of no better destination than the magnificent Fontainebleau Miami Beach and the sights, sounds and sands of fabled South Beach."


This year’s SP Richards Advantage Business Conference (ABC) circumnavigates the Gulf of Mexico from its previous host city New Orleans to Miami and takes place between 23-27 June.


Bringing the event to the Florida city has given SP Richards the chance to play around with its location, including opening with a homage to the area’s past with the Buccaneer Bash on the first evening of the event and a theme based on the city’s most famous recent TV incarnation, CSi Miami. Although a forensic analysis of the theme bears only a small relation to the hit show.


"The acronym CSi is something you’ll hear more about, but the letters can represent a number of themes, thoughts or actions," says O’Brien.


For the purpose of this year’s ABC, the first letter ‘C’ stands for change, create, collaborate, challenge and commitment, says O’Brien. Taking that further, ‘S’ stands for strategy, solutions and success, "all destinations or works in progress that we will learn more about".


O’Brien adds that ‘I’ stands for innovate and investment but also, echoing a CSi Miami script meeting, "investigate is the action verb for the week and will be the primary goal in Miami Beach."


The itinerary for the attending delegates features all the ingredients that have made previous meetings so popular, including the requisite mix of networking opportunities, learning experiences and entertainment in the evenings.


Talking of entertainment, the show opens with keynote speaker, Larry Winget. Winget, the self-styled Pitball of Personal Development, calls motivational speaking "a load of crap" and is guaranteed to hit delegates harder than their first cup of coffee that morning. The ABC event has always brought together a varied assortment of speakers chosen to inspire dealers and this year’s line-up is one of the freshest for a while. An entirely new selection of seminars and mini-keynotes are scheduled and will be boosted by a number of first-time speakers for the event.


Dominating the second evening is the North American Office Products Awards which has been organised by OPI in association with SPR. Concluding a six-month nomination process, judging for the awards was conducted last month in Atlanta (GA) by a prestigious panel of over 30 judges, representing many of the leading players in the North American independent office products dealer channel.


The process saw over 250 submisions representing a sizeable cross-section of the product available in the US and Canada, and – although OPI has been running the European Office Products Awards since 2002 – it is the first time that an awards of this scale has been held for the North American market.


Many of the winners and nominees will be on parade the following morning at the Office Products Expo. Always a busy event, this year’s exhibition will be the largest ever.


It is back to the conference rooms on Saturday morning with author and Duke University Professor, Dan Ariely talking to delegates before they are introduced to SP Richards’ dealer programmes for the next 12 months.


A busy few days is drawn to close in the evening with the return of the popular author and columnist, Dave Barry and the ‘Miami Nights Celebration’.


The inaugural North American Office Products Awards


New to this year’s event will be the inaugural North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) on the Thursday evening, presented by OPI and in association with SP Richards.


The panel of judges faced the daunting task of whittling down more than 250 entries into a final shortlist.


Their already challenging task was made all the more difficult by the incredibly high standard of the entries for the eight categories. However, following several hours of engaged and thought-provoking discussions, the panel decided upon the following list of entries to be nominated for the shortlist:


Best Product – Core Office Products


Ideastream Consumer Products – Find It Hanging File Folder


Master Lock Company – 1500iD Speed Dial Set-Your-Own Combination Lock


Newell Rubbermaid Office Products/Sanford Brands – Paper Mate Biodegradable Pen & Mechanical Pencil


Pilot Pen – FriXion Light Erasable Highlighter


ReBinder – ReBinder Presentation and Storage Products


Best Product – Cleaning and Breakroom


Dial Corporation (The) – Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets


Georgia Pacific Professional Food Services Solutions – SmartStock cutlery Dispensing system


LC Industries – Office Party Pack


Pacific Handy Cutter – Autoloading utility knife CQA-376


Seventh Generation – Disinfecting Sprays & Wipes


Best Product – Technology Products


Brother International – Brother MFC6890cdw


Dymo/Newell Rubbermaid Office Products – DYMO Desktop Mailing Solution


Emcien Corporation – EmcienPatterns, Buying Patterns Analytics


INTEK America – GoECOlife GXC1620T Commercial Shredder


Victor Technology – Victor Big Print


Best Product – Furniture


Global – The Total Office – Triumph


HON Company (The) – Ignition


Iceberg — Clarity Dry Erase Board


Mayline Group – Valoré Seating


MooreCo – Lumina Antimicrobial Conference & Training Tables


Environmentally-friendly Product of the Year


Baumgartens – Conserve Cleaners


C-Line Products – Biodegradable Expanding Files


Quality Park Products – Park Preserve Recycled 100% Post-Consumer Content #10 Regular Envelopes


Seventh Generation – Disinfecting Cleaners – Sprays & Wipes


Simple Green – Naturals products


Product Innovation of the Year – New Product


ACCO Brands – HeatSealSprint H925


Cablox North America – Cablox Cable Organizer


INTEK America – Boxis AutoShred


Master Lock Company – 1500iD Speed Dial Set-Your-Own Combination Lock


Pilot Pen Corporation of America – FriXion Light Erasable Highlighter


Product Innovation of the Year – Product Development


ACCO Brands – Quartet Kapture Digital Flipchart


Fellowes – Fellowes Patented 100% Jam Proof System for Powershred Series Shredders


Ideastream Consumer Products – Find It Hanging File Folder


Pilot Pen Corporation of America – B2P Bottle-to-Pen BeGreeN Gel Roller


Smead Manufacturing Company – Easy Grip Pockets


Overall Product of the Year


No shortlist – winner to be announced on the night