Office Friendly celebrates 25 year anniversary with biggest ever annual conference

Office Friendly celebrated its annual Entrepreneurs Festival at Cheshire’s Carden Park Hotel on 4 October

The conference, which played host to over 230 delegates, celebrated the co-operative’s 25th business anniversary with an event packed full of insightful content alongside the long-awaited prize draw of the industry-first Van-Tastic incentive.

The prize draw, a culmination of hard work from dealers, suppliers and the Office Friendly team throughout 2019, was led by MD Julie Hawley with the help of Craig Noyle and Garry McCluskey from South African dealer group Inovocom. Bedford’s Springfield Business Supplies took home the grand prize of a Nissan Electric van, whilst Commercial and A4 Office also took home prizes of a Sony HD TV and an iPad respectively.

The event, which saw the highest rate of attendance in recent years, was split across two evenings and a day. Thursday evening celebrated the dealer group’s 41 founding members by sharing memorabilia and memories from Office Friendly’s beginnings in 1994. Guest speaker John Barnes also gave a memorable speech on his experiences throughout his professional, personal (and musical) career.

Delegates also attended a day of business content based on aspirational themes of entrepreneurship, risk, innovation and opportunity. Three keynote speeches from performance coach Jamil Qureshi, ex-pro poker player Caspar Berry and comedy writer Tim Reid were followed by a series of Rogue Monkey workshops where delegates were encouraged to reflect on building a high-performance team within their businesses, including company cultures and working habits.

A more casually structured afternoon saw a packed supplier exhibition, VOW Q&A open forum and pool tournament sponsored by Prima Software. A Greatest Showman-themed Gala dinner followed by entertainment featuring band Joey the Lips and the Office Friendly Awards. Winners included D3 Office Group for Dealer of the Year, Brother for Supplier/Vendor of the Year, and Stuart Thompson of Intec Office Supplies for Professional of the Year.

Office Friendly MD Julie Hawley, said: “I’m so proud of the team for putting on yet another magnificent conference, and to all sponsors, dealers and partners who supported the event. The office was buzzing on Monday morning and the initial feedback we have had from the industry is that a good time was had by all and we really celebrated our 25th anniversary in style.”

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