Delegates enjoyed a relaxed – and well-earned – dinner at a Chicago restaurant on Monday evening after a busy first day of panels and presentations at the 2022 OPI Global Forum.
The Global Forum had returned after a COVID-enforced two-and-a-half-year break, and the world is certainly a different place today compared with November 2019. Hence the tagline to this year’s event of ‘Making Sense of Chaotic Times’.
The opening session saw a high-level panel of industry leaders from North America and Europe give their views on the business and workplace products industry as they see it in 2022. This was followed by enlightening presentations about the future of work and the post-COVID office – given respectively by McKinsey Partner Neel Gandhi and HON regional VP of Sales Kyle Marks.
The afternoon kicked off with a ‘fireside chat’ with Edgewater Research Partner Eamon Kelly. He talked about some of the ‘bigger picture’ themes such as the impact of government aid on the education sector, inflation and the recent softening in sales trends at major retailers.
A panel of vendors then shared their own experiences of dealing with inflationary and supply chain pressures. They left the audience in no doubt that there are still challenges ahead for the remainder of 2022.
Two digitally focused presentations rounded off the day. Website expert Andy Crestodina gave a critique of the industry’s online presence, including a live evaluation of one of the delegate’s own e-commerce sites. Finally, Stu Conroy from Highlands outlined the potential of live/social shopping. This is an industry that is forecast to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2025 and is something that more business products brands are expected to explore.
The 2022 OPI Global Forum will conclude on Tuesday, 24 May.
Chicago (IL), USA