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VOW Green Light

VOW’s Green Light event which took place on December 2 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, NEC, played host to around 400 reseller delegates

Anthony Stears, 'The Telephone Assassin'
Anthony Stears, ‘The Telephone Assassin’

Managing Director Adrian Butler kicked off the ‘Transformation is now’ themed pioneering cross category event opening by asserting the fact that he wants resellers to “have confidence in our commitments”.

Butler’s address included an update on VOW’s strategy and focus areas for 2017, focusing on the value of wholesale, how the industry can counteract threats from giants such as Amazon, latest market trends and growth areas.

He also provided an update on VOW’s performance and the Group’s financial results, as well as outlining how the wholesaler had spent 2016 getting in shape and is now set to kick of 2017 with renewed vigour and focus.

Having seen unprecedented levels of price increases post-Brexit – over 200 core brands have increased on average by six per cent, Butler suggested that dependent on the mix, the increases could be up to 20 per cent in some instances. “It’s marketwide,” he said, “You have got to pass the price increases through.”

Keynote speakers

Ruth Marshall-Johnson, The Future Laboratory
Ruth Marshall-Johnson, The Future Laboratory

The event included a packed agenda of content. The morning’s keynote speakers included ‘The Telephone Assassin’ Anthony Stears, who shared ideas designed to get businesses talking again and stop people from hiding behind emails and social media. His insightful presentation centred on helping the audience find new ways to get in front of more of their ideal customers and getting more business from their existing customers.

The session covered top tips on how to avoid rejection, get past the gatekeeper, perfect a pitch and quickly build rapport over the phone.

Geoff Ramm’s lively ‘Celebrity Service’ keynote speech challenged the audience to think smarter and create better, leaving them with the mindset to continually stay ahead of the competition. His delivery was both energetic and entertaining, as he took delegates on a journey of memorable customer service and marketing ideas. Ramm outlined what is different about Celebrity Service, arming delegates with a number of different techniques to apply in their own businesses to open up new opportunities.

Ruth Marshall-Johnson from The Future Laboratory discussed key workplace trends and shared insight into what is driving transformation in the workplace, including how Digital Mindsets, Bleisure, the New Worker and Womanomics are having an influence. She explained why it is important to embrace new forms of workplace flexibility and use highly visual communication to cut across all divides of the workforce. Practical examples and an Innovator’s Toolkit to enable delegates to respond to the impact of these trends on their businesses, were shared on the day.



Attendees also took the opportunity to visit the exhibition where more than 80 exhibitors including headline sponsors ExaClair, ACCO and Fellowes, promoted new products and the latest innovations to help resellers kick start plans for 2017.

As an event exclusive, Polaroid Play showcased its brand new Polaroid Play 3D Pen that will be commercially available from February.

The very first VOW Immersive Experience which aims to capture the imagination with a conceptualised display of workplace environments took centre stage at the exhibition. Designed to demonstrate new category and product ideas to drive sales growth, the walkthrough stand with a showroom-style layout featured reception, washroom, kitchen, office, meeting room and classroom environments, with products relevant to each area.

Focus sessions

Focus sessions taking place in the afternoon included a session by Matt Trimmer on how resellers can transform their Google Analytics and AdWords. Trimmer is the Principal Consultant and Managing Director of ivantage, a leading provider of hands-on, in depth and detailed training for digital professionals. He is listed on with only 14 others authorised to train exclusively for Google’s Seminars Success programme. Today, he is one of the world’s leading experts in Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Search Engine Optimisation and Digital Marketing.

In research conducted by ACCO Brands, nearly half of office workers expressed an interest in products specifically aimed at improving their health and wellbeing, representing significant new business and revenue opportunities for office products resellers. With this in mind, ACCO’s Strategic Account Manager Charlie Wallis led a session on workplace wellbeing, arming delegates with the knowledge to boost sales of desktop and individual workspace solutions.


David Thomas, who is known for having one of the world’s most powerful memories, hosted an immediate memory transformation workshop. During this interactive session, Thomas shared his strategies with delegates.

‘The Telephone Assassin’ Anthony Stears, also conducted an additional focus session for delegates looking to learn more about transforming their sales calls and VOW’s Technology Category Director Gilly Blackburn, held an exclusive focus session for HP attended partners, providing an overview of the likely changes that are to be implemented in 2017.

Ricky Gervais lookalike Tim Oliver, who is one of the stars of Lookalikes on Channel 4, also made a special appearance during the day and evening. The lively David Brent from ‘The Office’ impersonator, entertained the audience in style. From awkward dances to completely inappropriate, cringe worthy behaviour both on and off stage, he successfully had the audience in stitches as he brought The Office to life.

Commercial and Marketing Director, Heather McManus, who was also the host and compère for the event, said: “I am very proud of the VOW team who have once again raised the bar at Green Light to make this an integral part of the industry’s event calendar. Feedback received on the day has told us that the theme of ‘Transformation is Now’, the exciting array of new products at the exhibition, the content and agenda of the day has all helped kick start plans for 2017 and equip our reseller delegates with valuable ideas.”

Green Light Gala Awards

The Green Light Gala Awards ceremony was held in the evening, with the awards jointly presented by VOW’s Channel Director Nikki Todd and National Sales Director Martin Weedall. The evening ended with a grand after-party, another first since Green Light’s inception.

This year saw the introduction of new supplier award categories. The winners announced on the night included:


Brother - Supplier of the Year award
Brother – Supplier of the Year award


Helen Wade, Fellowes

Bi-Silque Ultrabrite Boards

Pukka Pads

Helen Wade, Fellowes, Supplier Account Manager of the Year Award
Helen Wade, Fellowes, Supplier Account Manager of the Year Award

VOW partners also received awards across a range of categories:

1st place Commercial
2nd place ACS
3rd place Nectere

1st place L & S Offce Supplies
2nd place William West
3rd place Chariot Offce Supplies

Stand of the Show
Stand of the Show

1st place Inkost
2nd place Emphasis Group
3rd place Principal Offce Supplies


Ian Smith - Best Newcomer
Ian Smith – Best Newcomer

Ian Smith



Moorside Office