Event Review: OPI Partnership 2017

Striving for the perfect partnership.


For the fourth time, senior executives from Europe’s leading resellers and vendors met last month for a couple of days of high-level, strategic meetings in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The venue for this year’s OPI Partnership, held from 7-9 March, was once again the beautiful Hotel Okura, which provided a highly-efficient business as well as fabulous culinary backdrop to the event. 

What started as a relatively small gathering in 2014 comprising a select few vendors and resellers has, over just a few years, developed into a much-anticipated industry event. This year it attracted 26 of Europe’s best-known manufacturers covering a wide variety of product categories, and about 50 senior-level executives from the region’s largest and most influential resellers. 

The aim, as always, was not to talk about day-to-day business, but instead discuss and develop strategic action plans for continued successful collaboration. In many cases, it also provided a much-valued first stepping stone to future long-term relationships.

Framing these highly-confidential, behind-closed-doors, strictly-timed meetings was a selection of networking opportunities that allowed attendees to further cement relationships and mix with like-minded individuals – often competitors in their daily lives – in a more relaxed environment. The opening night’s welcome dinner at the stunning Michelin-star Sazanka restaurant or the celebratory and very entertaining European Office Products Awards dinner certainly completed an event that 100% of vendors described as “good” or “excellent”.

Meanwhile, asked whether they would return to Partnership next year, over 90% of resellers replied with an affirmative “definitely”.  

Excellent feedback

But, as OPI CEO Steve Hilleard emphasises, the organising OPI team will certainly not rest on its laurels: “This year’s Partnership was a terrific success judging by the feedback we’ve had. Importantly, both vendors and resellers received a huge amount of value from the strategic top-level meetings that bring together so many of the industry’s senior executives. 

“But there’s still room for improvement, perhaps most notably in terms of attracting an even wider range of vendors from many of the emerging product categories that resellers are now exploring. Work has already begun on Partnership 2018!”