UK – The summer meetings of the Ippag (International Partnership for Premiums and Gifts) are traditionally held upon invitation of a member company. The organiser of this year’s conference from September 20-22, 2017 was the British member, Lesmar. The venue was the Hotel Compleat Angler on the banks of the Thames in the picturesque city of Marlow, near London. 25 of the 31 Ippag members – only one member is permitted per country – had travelled to England, where a full programme awaited them. The promotional products market that is characterised by digital change, consolidation, new players and target groups, changing consumer behaviour and growing challenges was the thematic focus: During a sales session on the first day, the participants discussed how the transition from merely selling products to providing solutions can be successfully achieved – including new marketing strategies and the adaption of contemporary technologies.
Approaches that were further developed in the workshop on the second day: Under the direction of the guest speakers, Charles Cuny and François Huet from the French ImmaTerra Institute, the enthusiastic Ippag members developed solutions to guarantee that their companies are fit for the future in an increasingly complex market. Internal affairs such as marketing initiatives, the Ippag website and community, CSR activities, the partner suppliers and a new social project of the cooperative were on the agenda on the third day, and following this as usual the attendees presented successful case studies on projects that their companies had carried out. Furthermore the new members from China, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania introduced themselves. Prominate, the international full-service agency, which was founded by several Ippag members as the shareholders, also held a conference during the meeting.
As usual, there was plenty of opportunity for an informal exchange – after all many of the Ippag members have been friends for years. The highlights of the supporting programme included a karaoke evening accompanied by a live band in the local pub as well as the official dinner on the last evening, which saw the members dressed up in 1920s style. After the meeting some of the guests enjoyed a weekend in London including attending a rugby game.
A detailed report will be published in the coming issue of eppi magazine No. 119 (October 11, 2017).
// Till Barth
Photos: Till Barth, Michael Scherer, © WA Media