Event: NAOPA preview

The countdown to NAOPA has started.

Over the past eight years, the North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) have become a not-to-be-missed feature in the US business supplies sector’s calendar. This year’s NAOPA will again be hosted during SP Richards’ (SPR) annual Advantage Business Conference (ABC) which takes place at the fabulous Orlando Marriott World Center in Florida from 12-16 July.

Each year, a wide range of products in several categories are highlighted for their innovativeness as well as for their potential or existing success in generating revenue streams for the US independent reseller channel.

And the 2017 awards finalists are no different. Whittled down from a record number of entries and nominations, the NAOPA judging panel this year selected a shortlist (see left) that perfectly reflects the fast-changing nature of the business supplies sector. It’s also highly indicative of some of the trends in our industry, such as workplace well-being, security issues and the demand for convenient, design-oriented and customised products.

As in previous years, the NAOPA are spilt into two parts – the vendor and the dealer awards. The product-related vendor awards will be selected from five categories in the aforementioned shortlist. US readers of OPI and delegates of SPR’s ABC event in Orlando will also have the chance to vote for their own favourite product in the People’s Choice, a very popular award that was first introduced in 2012 and has seen some interesting winners over the years. 

Outstanding personalities

While the products highlighted in the vendor awards are the bread and butter of our industry, it’s people who sell that bread and butter. This is where the dealer awards come in. They single out and recognise the outstanding personalities in our sector, the ones that ‘make things happen’. 

In additional to the Professional of the Year and the coveted Industry Achievement awards, this year sees the return of the Young Executive of the Year award – first introduced in 2016 – testifying to the growing importance of involving and nurturing the younger generation in the sector in order to guarantee its continued relevance and success. 

As OPI Director and NAOPA organiser Janet Bell says: “We have had some outstanding dealer award winners in the past, people who have made phenomenal contributions to their companies and the industry at large. But it’s also important to recognise all the new talent coming into our sector – they will be the movers and shakers of the future.”

All award winners will be announced during the ABC, the vendor awards on Expo day (13 July)  and the dealer awards during the always eagerly-anticipated last night gala dinner (15 July). 

NAOPA shortlist

Best product – Core Business Product

  • 3M – Post-it Dry Erase Sheets 
  • ACCO Brands – Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad
  • ACCO Brands – Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Easel
  • MMF Industries – Wheelchair Accessible Payment Terminal Mount
  • Westcott – Hot Glue Pen

Best product – Technology

  • Brother International Corporation – Brother QL-820NWB Label Printer
  • HSM of America – HSM SECURIO P36i Shredder
  • Plantronics – Voyager Focus UC Stereo Bluetooth Headset
  • Victor Technology – DC450 Electric Dual Monitor Sit-Stand Desk Converter
  • Victor Technology – Sharp EL-1901 Paperless Printing Calculator

Best product – Facilities, Breakroom and Safety

  • Cascades PRO – Cascades PRO Signature Antibacterial Towels
  • Fellowes Brands – AeraMax Professional AM II Air Purifier
  • HSM of America – HSM ProfiPack 425 Multi-Layer Cardboard Converter/Perforator
  • Satco Products – LED HID-Replacement Lamp
  • Weiman – Goo Gone Coffee Maker Cleaner

Best product – Furniture

  • Fellowes Brands – Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation
  • Ghent (A GMi Company) – Aria Low-Profile Glassboards
  • Lorell – Black Glass Conference Table
  • Safco Products – Adapt Configurable Space Dividers 
  • Safco Products – Kick Balance Board

Product Innovation of the Year

  • Fellowes – Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation
  • GOJO Industries – PURELL Surface Spray
  • Kensington – VeriMark Fingerprint Key
  • MMF Industries – Wheelchair Accessible Payment Terminal Mount
  • Safco Products – Focal Pivot Seat

Which is your favourite?

 

Make your voice heard and help select the winner of this year’s People’s Choice award. For more details on all shortlisted products and voting information, please visit www.opi.net/naopa2017 

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