VOW is already planning next year’s Green Light conference and exhibition after a successful 2016 event.
On January 22, 400 delegates including representatives from 200 resellers gathered at the Hilton Birmingham, NEC for VOW’s Green Light 2016 exhibition and conference, which this year had the theme of ‘Stepping up a Gear’.
Managing Director Adrian Butler kicked off the cross-category event by re-stating VOW’s commitment to the reseller channel – “Supporting the resellers that support us most remains our key reseller strategy,” he said. Last year partner sales increased by about 4% for the fourth year in a row, reaching £182 million out of a total turnover of £336 million.
Butler highlighted a number of emerging growth categories that he said were opening up new revenue streams, including MPS, Tech and Facilities Supplies. He added that VOW would continue to broaden its range while increasing its relevance to resellers.
National Sales Director Martin Weedall presented a VOW+ Partner update and launched VOW Venture, the wholesaler’s reinvigorated partner programme. Entry to the three-tier programme is open to resellers that place the majority of their wholesale business with VOW.
In his presentation, Weedall confirmed that the wholesaler will continue to invest in specialists to focus on key growth categories, adding that recent appointments, including that of Paul Roberts as Commercial Operations Director, are geared to “bringing knowledge to expand across the sales team to aid category growth”.
The comprehensive line-up of guest speakers included Adam Noble, Managing Director of Irongate Group, who shared the secrets of his success with delegates; Adam Chester, Head of Economics at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, who described the economic outlook for 2016 and the role of business services in the UK economy; and Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent, who entertained the audience with amusing anecdotes from the ‘the innocent story’.
In the afternoon VOW held a series of packed-out workshops covering Jan/ San, Social Media, Google Analytics and Managed Print. Head of Marketing Emma Nourry said: “The agenda and content of the day was set to enable delegates to
proactively prepare for fast-paced industry changes. We’re pleased to report that feedback from the workshops has been positive, with attendees finding the topics practical and useful.”
The accompanying exhibition featured new products and services from more than 100 business supplies brands. Amy Horn, Head of Collections, EBP Group (ST3Di 3D Printers), said: “The trade show this year has been non-stop all day and I’m looking forward to turning some of those leads into orders. We will absolutely be at Green Light 2017!”
Paddy Richards and Stephen Rooney from Igateoffice.ie said: “It’s very important for a business to be here at the Green Light event. As dealers, we get to see all the latest products showcased by manufacturers, see what the latest trends are and see what VOW’s initiatives are for the coming year.” Martin Turnbull, Director of Cambridge Office and Business Supplies Ltd, commented: “I’ve found it particularly useful to meet other likeminded dealers who’ve had similar issues and I’ve found a lot of new products that we haven’t sold before.”
Alan Gray, Managing Director, Sarratt Office Supplies, said VOW Green Light was a good opportunity to catch up with dealers and buying
groups and keep abreast of updates, innovations and new products. “I like the networking side because as a dealer you can feel quite isolated and it’s nice to hear how other people are feeling and how things are working out for them. Suppliers are always good for networking, arranging training and looking at larger projects,” he said.
Planning for Green Light 2017 has already commenced and interest can be registered by visiting