At the 68th Annual General Meeting of The Giftware Association (GA), chief executive Sarah Ward and newly elected chairman Henri Davis helped to unveil new contemporary branding that was enthusiastically received by all present.
Held at Pewterers Hall in London on June 15, the AGM also featured interesting presentations from Thomas Powers speaking about the emergence of ‘Network Thinking’ and Geoff Ramm, who gave an entertaining talk about Celebrity Service.
Popular outgoing chairman Michael Pape of toy manufacturer Ravensden reported on Association activities, saying there had been “eight months of team building for the next era of growth,” led by Sarah Ward, who he thanked for all her hard work towards the evolution of the GA.
Initiatives include a new App, the creation of a ‘Business Boost Day’, a new stand at Spring Fair featuring Gift of the Year Award winners and a revamped winners brochure, featuring the “vast array of products that reflect the talents of the home and gift industry.”
The GA stand at Autumn Fair will also be branded around the Gift of the Year Awards.
Michael Pape’s vision for the GA over his two tenure as Chairman upheld the values of “community, collaboration and reputation”, and aimed to “promote the GA to a wider audience.” 33 new members have joined in 2016 and supplier retention is running at 89%.
Another new development is the sheltering of British designer-maker collective, Design Gap, under the GA umbrella, to be undertaken with the collaboration of Design Gap founder, Shirley Frost. Design Gap currently has 120 members.
This brought the meeting to the Association’s major initiative of the past year, a full-scale rebranding under the creative direction of talented branding expert, Paul Felton. Paul talked members through the design process, explaining:
Incoming Chairman Henri Davis took to the podium, saying she was: “Very excited to share the new branding [with members]. It is something we’ve wanted to do for a few years and this is the first step on our new journey,” adding that the new branding reflected the Association’s drive to be “modern, vibrant and relevant” to the evolving home and gift industry.
As he handed the Association’s medal to Henri, Michael said that working for the GA had been a “great privilege”, while “Henri declared herself “immensely proud and honoured, it is very special for me.”
Referring to her 30 years of industry experience as a retailer, Henri said she is “passionate about building the GA’s retail base without alienating our supplier membership,” emphasising that “we all need each other” if the industry is to function at optimum level. “It’s all about being relevant to every type of member that we have, we have a massive wealth of expertise to share with members.”