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Posts Tagged ‘promotional merchandise’

Latest report shows event budgets suffering

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The latest Bellwether report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) shows that event budgets suffered in the last quarter of 2011, despite an increase in marketing budgets. The sector analysis of marketing budgets revealed that ‘other spend’ – which includes events and PR – saw a drop of 7% in the final three months of 2011. The report also showed that traditional media spend fell, while marketers favoured spending on digital campaigns, price discounting and more direct marketing strategies.

This trend is worrying to carrier bag suppliers and other companies in the promotional products industry, as promotional merchandise sales are traditionally closely linked with event activities.

Commented Chris Williamson, Chief Economist for Markit and author of the latest Bellwether, “Companies held their marketing budget broadly unchanged in the final quarter of last year, a flat picture which probably reflects a similar stagnation of the overall economy. However, it is encouraging to see that companies are planning to raise their marketing spend in 2012 despite seeing their financial prospects for the next three months falling to the worst since the height of the financial crisis in early 2009. It seems that many companies are looking to fight the prospects of a challenging year ahead with increased promotional activity.”

Meanwhile, the latest corporate hospitality report from Market and Consumer Insight predicts an 8% increase in this sector of the event industry during 2012. This report reckons that 2011 saw the sector grow by 2% to a total value of £950 million and it follows hot on the heels of another survey that revealed that the corporate hospitality sector employs a staggering 7% of the UK population.

Printed Bags remain top promotional product in a recovering market

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

A recent report on the promotional merchandise market in the UK and Ireland over the past five years – produced by Sourcing City, a leading provider of information services to the trade – shows the effects of the global recession but indicates that the market is slowly recovering, with printed carrier bags fairing better than other products.

The largest effect of the world economic downturn was felt by the promotional merchandise market in 2009, when the sector’s revenue fell by over 26%. During 2010 and 2011, the market has grown slightly to some £754 million but remains about 15% smaller than in 2008.

The report also shows a slow-down in the number of distributor companies ceasing trading. The number of failures in 2011 was just 69, although the overall number of distributor companies in the market has remained relatively constant over the past five years, due to both brand-new start-ups and the number of ‘phoenix’ firms that have restarted to shed their debts. The number of supplier failures in 2011 was 59, the highest annual figure recorded to date. Since January 2006 the industry as a whole has seen 769 companies cease to trade, of which 540 were distributors.

The market review also shows little change in recent years in the top promotional product groups. Printed carrier bags continue to be the top revenue earner, followed by pens/pencils and plastic giveaways. Then follows clothing at fourth spot and mugs come fifth. Interestingly, USB sticks lost their position at number six during 2011, slipping back to ninth.

The carrier bag category continues to show growth in market share, increasing its proportion from 12.8% in 2009 to 14.3% in 2010 and 16.6% in 2011.

Royal wedding boosts London visitor figures

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

According to provisional stats from the International Passenger Survey (IPS), London welcomed more than 4 million visitors in the period April to June this year, representing an increase of 12.6% over the same period in 2010. The IPS interviews more than a quarter of a million travellers each year at major air, sea and rail terminals.

The 450,000 extra visitors in the three-month period are being attributed to major events in the capital, including the Royal Wedding in April and May’s UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley.

The IPS survey shows that leisure visits accounted for most of the rise (2.2 million visits) whereas business visitors accounted for some 770,000 visits.

The IPS figures also show that visits from North America – London’s biggest in-bound market – were up by 8.6% and visitors from Europe were up by 10.4%.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, commented that the buzz surrounding the forthcoming Olympic Games meant that it was “little wonder that London continues to dominate as one of the most desirable destinations in the world”.

Mr Johnson added, “2012 is set to be a huge year for the capital and we stand ready to welcome the world.”

UK at disadvantage in bidding for international events

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

According to a report from the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), Britain needs more government support when bidding to host international business events.

The report investigated ’subvention’ – the grants and financial subsidies offered by a country’s government – around the world and found that, when bidding for events, UK cities are losing out to destinations such as Cape Town, Barcelona and Copenhagen. Many of these foreign cities provide free transport, co-ordinated hotel rates and civic receptions.

The report says, “It is clear from our research that the UK and UK destinations are at a competitive disadvantage when bidding for major international conferences and related events. Competition from new and emerging destinations, as well as from existing key competitors, will only increase in the years ahead.”

The report found that 83% of overseas destinations offered receptions for delegates hosted by officials, whereas only 35% of UK destinations did the same. An impressive 50% of overseas destinations make available a contribution to event marketing, whereas this was possible in only 17% of UK destinations. In addition, 50% of overseas destinations would provide a direct subsidy for an international event or conference, compared to just 23% at home.

The BVEP report calls for a “more effective, joined-up approach” in recognition of the long-term importance of conferences and events to the UK economy. As well as providing a boost to the business events sector, it is worth noting that up to 40% of business visitors to the UK can be expected to return with their families for leisure.

The Carrier Carrier Company clocks up 10 years

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

We are celebrating ten years of successful trading this November.

Said Nigel Scott, Sales & Marketing Manager for the firm, “The time has certainly flown by, but it’s been a great business to be involved in. We took our very first order – for the PR firm, Grayling – in November 2001. Over the years,” continued Mr Scott, “we’ve supplied carrier bags to some of the biggest global brands including Coca-Cola, Toyota, the BBC, Moet, Shell, Disney and HSBC.”

Over the last 10 years our range of custom-printed bags has expanded to include laminated paper bags, bottle bags, twisted paper handle (kraft) paper, polythene, cotton, canvas and non-woven material. We specialise in meeting urgent orders, offering lead-times from just five working days. Says Nigel Scott, “We’re very proud of our reputation for providing exceptional service. This is why many of our clients turn to us time and time again to meet their exhibition or promotional carrier bag needs.”

We are now looking forward to the next 10 years.

London & Partners celebrates raising 2 million in first six months

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

London & Partners – the promotional agency for London that was officially launched back in April – has managed to secure more than two million pounds of private sector funding from partners including Radisson Edwardian Hotels, Merlin Entertainments Group and Hilton Hotels.

Since its launch by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, the organisation has secured over 300 private sector partners, including many in the events industry. Gordon Innes, London & Partners CEO, said, “Not only have we managed to sign up an incredible range of commercial partners, but we have also brought business, associations, events and visitors to the capital. Our mission now is to ensure we are taking full advantage of the 2012 Games to attract visitors, businesses and students throughout 2012 and beyond.”

London & Partners was created in order to bring together the remits of the capital’s promotional agencies – namely Think London, Study London and Visit London. The aim is to have a single promotional agency for the capital that can speak with one voice to audiences in the UK and internationally. The organisation’s objective is to drive leisure and business visitors, as well as bidding to bag major events for London.

Olympia tube service cut

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Transport for London (TfL) has decided to go ahead with its plans to cut underground services to Olympia. Following a public consultation, TfL will implement the withdrawal of weekday tube services to Kensington Olympia in December. The organisation claims that almost 80% of people were in favour of the change. The Olympia tube service will continue to operate at weekends, as well as for major weekday events at the Olympia exhibition centre.

Commenting on the decision, Managing Director of the Earls Court & Olympia (EC&O) group, Nigel Nathan, said he was confident that Olympia remains the best-connected exhibition venue in London. The EC&O group had opposed the service cuts, being supported by the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and members of the local community. Former CEO of the AEO, Austin Hawkins, had previously warned that the service changes could “kill the events business there”.

TfL claims that the new timetable will “reduce delays” and bag “capacity for an additional 4,000 passengers on the Wimbledon branch every weekday morning”; the carrier will provide five extra trains to operate on the Wimbledon branch during the morning peak.

Mr Nathan said, “We are satisfied that Transport for London has acknowledged our concerns and confirmed that London Underground will provide a number of measures to mitigate any impact on Olympia, including a two train per hour shuttle service between High Street Kensington and Olympia via Earls Court when events at Olympia attract sufficient demand.” Apparently, London Underground has also committed to working with EC&O to ensure that Olympia visitors receive better information via the Journey Planner, station announcements and signage.

Co-op hits out at Scottish bag tax

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

The Co-operative Group has become the latest organisation in the retail sector to voice its concerns over the proposed plastic bag tax in Scotland.

Becky Toal, the group’s Environmental Programme Manager, laid out the case against the tax at an environmental committee meeting in the Scottish Parliament recently. Arguing against the proposed levy of 10p on plastic bags across Scotland, Ms Toal said that, while the Co-op backed the ethos of waste management, it feared the bag tax would have a negative overall effect on the environment and might even result in violence in its stores.

“The Co-op is committed to seeking new ways of minimising the impact of industry on the environment,” Ms Toal told the committee. “We firmly support the Scottish Executive’s desire to tackle the problem of waste and have introduced a raft of environmentally-friendly initiatives over the years to reduce the environmental impact of our trading activities.”

“The Co-operative Group and other societies trading within Scotland do not believe the current proposal is a workable solution to the challenge of minimising the environmental impact of plastic carrier bags,” she continued.

Ms Toal argued that the Co-op agreed with Scottish Retail Consortium’s view that plastic carrier bags are not a significant contributor to litter pollution. The Co-op, she explained, also agreed with the SRC that customer pressure to replace plastic bags with paper bags would undo the work of the bag levy. The SRC has argued that paper bags have a higher environmental impact in terms of production than plastic bags. In addition, as paper bags are 4-5 times more voluminous than plastic ones, more deliveries are required to get them to stores, adding to road miles, congestion and emissions.

Ms Toal also added that the Co-op feared that customers might start a backlash, with the risk of violence in stores. “Store-based colleagues would be likely to face significant customer challenge to the introduction of the levy,” she said. “The rise of physical and verbal abuse faced by many employees in the retail sector has been well charted by Usdaw in its Freedom From Fear campaign. If responsibility for communicating about the levy rests with retailers and retail employees, they would be likely to face uncertainty, at best, and annoyance, at worst, from consumers.”

Regional promotional market analysis shows the power of the South

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Sourcing City, the leading online trade sourcing and lead generation service supplier, recently published a geographical analysis of the UK’s promotional merchandise distributors, which makes interesting reading.

The overall size of the promotional merchandise market – including all types of carrier bags, among a wealth of other products – in the UK & Ireland amounts to some £715 million. Sourcing City found that distributors in the South of England account for almost £340 million of this figure – in other words, around 50% of the entire market.

Looking at the 2032 distributor companies, Sourcing City found that the average distributor size in Greater London is over double that of companies in Central England. Over 50% of all distributors with a turnover in excess of £1 million are based in Southern England, whereas around 14% of £1m+ distributors are located in the Midlands and only 18% in the North.

Greater London is the largest regional area, accounting for over £108 million, followed by Central England in second place and the Southeast comes in third with £101 million of sales.

Minister backs Britain for Events

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Britain for Events, the annual marketing campaign aimed at promoting Britain as a world-class destination for events, has been endorsed by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose MP.

Said Mr Penrose, “Any campaign that showcases the excellent work done by the UK events industry should be celebrated, and I’m delighted to support Britain for Events and its mission to encourage organisers of events to buy British.”

Now in its tenth year, the Britain for Events campaign covers every aspect of the industry including live music, sport, festivals, cultural events, meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Events – whether for business or pleasure – in Britain are now worth an estimated £36 billion. Running from September 2011 to March 2012, the Britain for Events campaign is supported by the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), VisitBritain, International Confex and a far-reaching network of UK trade associations, venues, event suppliers and other stakeholders.

Explained John Penrose, “This campaign targets not just the people that create and bring events to these shores, but also the people that attend and enjoy them, that seek inspiration and learning from them; this is critical in underlining that this is a country that believes and values the power of events.”

Michael Hirst, Chair of BVEP, added: “We are delighted and honoured to have secured the Minister’s endorsement. It underlines the importance of events to the UK’s economy as well as highlighting the campaign’s credibility within the wider business community.”