GreenLightEvent - 2019


Registration for the eagerly anticipated VOW Wholesale Green Light 2019 Industry Expo is now open, and dealers wishing to attend may reserve their places via a new dedicated website,

After a decade during which Green Light has consistently grown in scale and popularity, Chateau Impney Hotel and Exhibition Centre in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire will host this year’s event. With the organisers determined to ensure that Green Light remains relevant, there is a shift in emphasis to direct the content towards salespeople, with a dedicated ‘speaker zone’ for key sales speakers who will be announced shortly.


As usual delegates will also have the opportunity to meet with an estimated 70 key suppliers, to get a first look at the 2020 new products, to learn the best way to present them, to hear about their promotional programmes and how they can work together with suppliers and resellers to grow sales.


The shift in emphasis has been received very positively by VOW Wholesale customers and it is anticipated that attendance this year could be as much as 30% higher than in previous years.


Marketing Director Helen Wade says, “We had phenomenal feedback from the 2018 Green Light and we are incredibly excited for this year’s event. The increased focus on the sales teams and giving them hints and tips that can be implemented in their roles literally the next day, has been really well received by everyone. We’re looking forward to a record attendance and another outstanding event, and we recommend that people register via the website as early as possible to guarantee their places.”

Vow Wholesale


VOW Wholesale has announced plans for its eagerly-awaited Mid-Year Dealer Event – a chance for its partners to review the year so far and look ahead to the company’s next wave of marketing initiatives to support the reseller channel.

VOW’s Diamond and Gold Venture customers – those signed up to its partner accreditation programme – will converge on Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa in Northamptonshire on July 4.


“There’s always a great atmosphere at the mid-year event, it’ll be great to take advantage of the golf and spa facilities and catch up with industry insights, opinions and gossip over dinner,” explained VOW Wholesale Marketing Director Helen Wade. “We’re also looking forward to unveiling full details of our 2020 Marketing Guide, which has been honed and updated to help our dealer network develop their sales and reach new customers.


“I don’t want to give too much away yet, but it’s fair to say that the overhaul of the guide has been designed to reflect the changing needs of dealers in this fast-moving market. There’ll be some exciting additions to our range of mailers and a refreshed emphasis on social media and digital activity through our MyMarketing portal and VOWDigicat online ordering tool.”


A cornerstone of the 2020 marketing guide will be the VOW Wholesale main catalogue, which continues to go from strength to strength. The 2019 version was a record-breaker – launching 3,000 new products and getting snapped up dealers through an unprecedented 350,000 initial orders.

Banner are offering Apprenticeships

When James joined Banner on an apprenticeship as a 17-year-old school leaver, he had minimal workplace experience. Three years on, James has developed a wide range of skills, gained qualifications and is now one of our full time sales support administrators.

James has learned from supportive colleagues who have helped him to develop in his role, learn all about our business and grow in confidence.

With Banner you’re supported and empowered to take on new opportunities and work towards valuable qualifications. This means James is being fully supported as he studies towards levels one, two and three of an NVQ in Administration.


Banner works with local colleges to give both short and longer term placements to students.

Work experience at Banner helps people discover their strengths through working in a range of admin roles and deciding where their futures may lie. We let people have week and month long ‘taster’ experiences of the different areas of business admin so they’re able to decide where they want to take their careers.

Wherever our people are at in their careers, there’s always the opportunity to learn something new. With Banner you can build new skills and pursue new qualifications.

We have colleagues taking NVQs in Management and in Business Administration, and when our people switch between departments, they’re able to study whatever they need to, to help them in their new role. So if you move from sales to admin, it’s likely you’ll take an NVQ or similar qualification to give you the head start you need.


  • James got a chance to gain work experience
  • He has developed a wide range of skills
  • Banner has around 33 apprentices within the business currently who they are helping

Banner Celebrates National Stationery Week

Banner celebrates National Stationery Week #WritingMatters

National Stationery Week is here and, at Banner, we are celebrating the week by giving away five stationery bundles, to recognise the importance and benefits of hand writing. #WritingMatters.

National Stationery week

National Stationery week is here from 29th April to the 5th May so fill your pencil cases, sharpen your pencils, grab a clean sheet of paper and get ready to celebrate.

For this week it’s time to get creative and colourful with your favourite pens and pencils to celebrate, and with so many different varieties of stationery you can be as outlandish, stylish or bold as you want by getting creative with colour and celebrating your stationery.

Why is writing by hand so important?
Today we are surrounded by technology, in a day and age where every letter is at our finger tips with the press of a button – why should we use pens and paper. We are constantly being warned that due to the excessive use of technology simple things like learning to write as a child is becoming harder with paediatric doctors warning children are finding it hard to even hold a pencil.

However, during a study at the Guardian’s roundtable event on 27th February, the people involved chose to use the classic pen and paper instead of a laptop, this is most likely due to the idea that in a group situation using a laptop to type would have been considered rude on a social standard.
Writing is a key part in our development as children cannot fully contemplate the world without creating a mental image of it, which is why teachers encourage you to draw in the sand or water when you are in primary school as it embeds in your mind – Naveed Idress of Feversham Primary Academy stated: “You never know what an A is unless you’ve physically drawn it.”

This is why writing is so important in our lives, as without it we wouldn’t necessarily know how to spell or read, because on programs such as Word it will always correct your Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.

So, pick up a pen or pencil and be creative!

Find out more
If you ‘d like to know more about what Banner are up to? Subscribe to our blog to get regular updates.

Entry terms and conditions: Entry is open to residents of the UK except employees (and their families) of EVO Group Ltd. Entrant(s) must be aged 18 or over. One entry per person. Proof of identity and age may be required. Use of a false name or address will result in disqualification. Entries that are incomplete, illegible or indecipherable will not be valid and deemed void. All entries must be made directly by the person entering the competition. Entries made online using methods generated by a script, macro or the use of automated devices will be void. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post, or due to computer error in transit. Participants will be entered into the draw to win a stationery bundle. The prize is as stated, is not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The draw will be independently supervised. The winner agrees for their name, job title and company to be published on our website and on Banner’s social media channels (LinkedIn and Twitter). The winner is responsible for any tax liability which may arise from receipt of a prize. Your entry into the prize draw will be taken as confirmation of your full agreement to these terms and conditions. Entry closes: 05/05/19.

Banner Strengthens Growing Market Presence By Acquiring Leading Re-Seller

Major workplace supplies and services provider Banner has acquired leading West Yorkshire-based reseller Ventura Office Supplies.

The purchase represents the latest strengthening of its market coverage by Banner, one of the EVO group of companies, as it broadens its business beyond its traditional base of mainly large contract customers in the public and private sectors, including major banks, government departments and local authorities.

Banner’s acquisition of Ventura follows its absorption of another reseller, Manchester-based WA Office Needs, for similar reasons, last July.

Established 12 years, Bingley-based Ventura is one of the UK’s leading independent office product dealers, It has a particular expertise in educational supplies, computer hardware and office furniture that will add both scale and expertise to Banner’s already broad business supplies offering.

All six Ventura staff will be retained following the acquisition and the company, which had a turnover of £1.4m in the last full financial year, will continue to operate from its present site and trade under its current name.

Andrea Eli, the director and previous owner of Ventura with her partner Hari Athwal, will join the Banner sales leadership team as sales director and Her wider remit will include managing Banner’s Loughborough, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon offices, as well as the Bingley site. Hari will now operate as Ventura’s sales manager.  

Explaining the reasons for the sale, Andrea said: “We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve achieved with Ventura but this is absolutely the right time for us to become part of Banner. There are significant and increasing restrictions on smaller dealers’ ability to grow their customer bases, product ranges, incomes and resourcing in the current market, without them spending serious money, and this deal releases all those chains we felt were holding us back.

“We’re also certain this is a very exciting time to be joining Banner. We are excited by Banner’s vision of the future and its very strong position in the market. It has a very bright future indeed. We’ve been greatly impressed by the expertise, enthusiasm and excitement about the years ahead among Banner’s people from the moment they first approached us.     

Summarising the reasons for the Ventura acquisition, Craig Varey, managing director, Banner, said: “The purchase will bring us incremental sales and expand our market coverage on behalf of our suppliers. It has also allowed us to add some outstanding experience and expertise in servicing growth categories to our team.

“Importantly, our partnership with Ventura makes additional sense because of our shared values. It was obvious when we were talking to Andrea and Hari that our two organisations were compatible for many reasons, such as our intense mutual focus on delivering the highest possible customer service standards.”

Craig added that Banner’s strategy meant it would continue to develop and grow by adding to its products, brands, categories and sectors. He said it will accelerate this process through strategically aligned acquisitions, where these will deliver benefits such as adding important expertise in key expansion areas.  

Andrea last month won the SME Emerging Business Leader category of the annual national awards organised by Forward Ladies, the UK’s largest support network for women in business.

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