SOPX aims to win hearts and minds

Organisers of the Stationery & Office Products Show (SOPX) are delighted after securing the support of all the major dealer groups in the UK.

The first large-scale show to be held in the UK for ten years faced scepticism from some corners of the industry when it launched almost a year ago, after previous attempts by others to organise and maintain a national event failed.

However, with a growing exhibitor list and an enthusiastic leader in Christopher Leonard-Morgan, SOPX has been working hard to turn attitudes around, gaining support from some of the country’s biggest names in the process.

Over 75 stands are confirmed for the April event, making it the UK’s biggest gathering of suppliers, brands and resellers of stationery and office supplies of the year to date.

The extensive exhibitor list now includes AF International, Antalis, Beta Distribution, BIC UK, Bong UK, Bostik, Brother UK, ECI2, Herlitz, Howard Smith Paper, GH Neville, Pentel (Stationery), Pukka Pads, Silvine, Smead, Staedtler UK and Talk Paper.

With the backing of dealer groups such as Superstat, Integra, Advantia, Office Friendly, Nemo and Officepoint now behind it as well, SOPX looks to be making a strong name for itself as a major UK date. The influential BOSS Federation is also a keen supporter.

"The show will give all dealers and resellers, from the biggest multiples to the smallest stationers, the opportunity to meet with the widest range of potential suppliers in easily accessible, quality surroundings over a two-day period," said Leonard-Morgan. "The support being shown towards us from the dealer groups proves that this event is an excellent buying and networking opportunity."

International market research company GfK is to stage business seminars at the show. Anthony Norman, business group director for GfK, Office and IT sectors will give free 30-minute talks on which categories are driving growth within the office products market and their impact on the industry.

The sessions will run on both days of the show and will be available on a first come, first served basis to visitors.

"Having GfK on board is great news for the show, for both exhibitors and visitors," added Leonard-Morgan. "I’m sure the seminars will be hugely popular. In business, knowledge is power and these seminars will empower SOPX visitors by providing them with invaluable up-to-date information about the current health of the OP market, and where to look for sales growth."

The real test – whether the inaugural event can sustain itself to a second year – remains to be seen. But with some prominent figures on board, the organiser’s enthusiasm appears to be rubbing off.

The Stationery & Office Products Show will be held on 8-9 April 2008, at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. For more information visit www.sopx.co.uk