Success for PoM – new affiliate members of the Giftware Association
I met Sarah Ward, the Chief Executive of the GA at Moda in September 2016, it was a very quiet afternoon on the last day of the show, so we had a long chat! I was bowled over at the number of shows that Sarah and her assistant Simone attended throughout the UK and Europe over the course of a year. Sarah talked about the potential benefits of PoM becoming members of the GA, which I thought might be useful to us in the future. We packed away the show, and I quickly forgot about our conversation.
But a few weeks later, when tasked by Simon Beck, the MD of PoM to look into how we might expand our Brand into Europe, Sarah’s conversation came back into my mind. As Business Development Manager for PoM, I am often tasked by the Directors to look at new ways we can grow the business, with a very weak Pound and with a very good loyal customer base in the UK, exporting our Brand now seemed like a really good next step for PoM.
As we were already members of the BJA, we took advantage of the Affiliate membership package. And it wasn’t long before I was emailing Sarah to ask her if the BJA might be able to point us in the right direction for some help with exporting. She kindly agreed to see me and we had a long meeting to discuss the potential avenues PoM had open for export. She also introduced me to Rebecca Gough, The International Services Manager at the GA. Rebecca gave lots of great advice about the pros and cons of exhibiting at the various European shows and also the potential funding available, through the DIT.
Armed with a great list of contacts and lots of things to ponder, POM have started the ball rolling with a view to exporting. And already we can claim to have had some success. Sarah mentioned the Department for International Trade, with each area of the country having a local office. After a few emails, I managed to contact an international trade adviser in the South West, Jamie Douglas, and through that contact we have managed to access several free hours of export advice to help with our digital presence in Europe and we have also secured some great advice on IP protection.
PoM was also invited to apply for regional grant funding from the Export for Growth programme (supported by the European Regional Development Fund), and we have been successful in receiving £3,000 of match funding to put towards costs associated with our export drive, thanks to the help of the DIT and the Giftware Association.