One of our industry’s steadily growing events – OPI Partnership – was once again held at the beautiful Hotel Okura in Amsterdam between 8-10 March.
It all kicked off with over 100 attendees enjoying a stunning welcome dinner at Sazanka, the only teppanyaki restaurant in Europe to have a Michelin star.
Over the next two days, a packed schedule of top-level one-to-one meetings between resellers and manufacturers took place, with the OPI team on hand to deal with any queries and ensure the strict schedule was adhered to. All appointments took place in private rooms to ensure absolute confidentiality.
In between these strategic meetings of minds, there were plenty of networking opportunities. And, of course, on the second evening more industry executives arrived to attend the European Office Products Awards, allowing even more time to catch up on old and forge new relationships.
Despite this being only the third time Partnership was held, the event is clearly hitting all the right notes with vendors and resellers, as the number of attendees once again rose. This was also the first year that service providers new to Partnership were able to participate in a small Expo.
In addition, the wide variety of manufacturers that requested to be part of Partnership demonstrates the increasing importance of this annual event, while the companies that attended also reflected the ever-changing make-up of the office products industry.
The meetings not only allow parties with existing relationships to reaffirm their strategies, but also provide a chance to investigate new opportunities and align future plans. A major drawcard is the ability for resellers to meet with new and/or emerging vendors to discuss potential business solutions, and vice versa.
The invite-only resellers came to Amsterdam from across the continent and included executives from Staples, Lyreco, EVO Group, Amazon, Interaction and Office Depot. From the vendor side, traditional OP businesses such as BIC, Pilot Pen, Fellowes, The Navigator Company and International Paper were joined by more ‘adjacent’ and new players to the sector, including Duracell, SCA and Sofidel.
OPI CEO Steve Hilleard commented: “Early feedback suggests that the third OPI Partnership event was even more successful than the previous two, and that is pretty remarkable given the tremendously positive results we saw after those meetings. The largest and most dynamic players in the European business products industry clearly place great value on their strategic relationships, and Partnership provides the perfect low-cost, efficient opportunity to strengthen those bonds at an executive level.”