As printers reopen operations nationwide, The Premier Paper Group has taken the extraordinary step of sponsoring free membership for all of its active customers to the benefits and resources of the Independent Print Industry Association (IPIA) trade association.
IPIA president Mike Roberts said, ‘The IPIA Council is both proud and excited by this generous initiative from Premier as it enables us to provide even more support to the industry as we face some of our most difficult challenges. No other trade association could have offered more business help and advice during the Covid-19 crisis than our team, and it has been hugely appreciated.’
Dave Jones, marketing director at Premier, said: ‘During the pandemic, the IPIA was not only very proactive representing the print sector’s interests with government, but also extremely efficient at providing timely information and guidance for its member community. We wanted to best support our customers’ return to work and decided that giving them a year’s free membership to IPIA’s Lite scheme would be of most value.
‘It has never been more important for print businesses to have a credible source of advice and information that they can rely on, and a platform where good ideas and experiences can be shared. The IPIA continues to provide opportunities to raise the profile of the print sector through its various events and creative initiatives, and it has also worked tirelessly over the last few months to support our industry through this turbulent time. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the IPIA whilst, at the same time, being able to offer a valuable resource and service to our customers.’
At a time when many trade bodies are losing members, the IPIA has proved its relevance. Mike reports that only a few members have been lost so far, which is what he would expect through usual business closures and mergers. He said his team has welcomed a few returning members and new ones over the past couple of months but the prospect of a substantial number of new members through the Premier offer is a clear endorsement of the IPIA’s valuable work and strategy during the pandemic.
IPIA chairman Graeme Smith added, ‘The IPIA team has been nimble and focused as we realised Covid-19 presented a situation none of us had ever faced before, with no idea of what would be coming next.
‘Getting as close as we could to government and disseminating the information relevant to our industry has been a much appreciated lifeline for many. The sense of community the IPIA generates with initiatives like the Sourcing Bridge, which connects buyers and suppliers, and our ‘in the know’ video broadcast has been of real value to the many members I have spoken to.’
Since lockdown began in March, the print industry has responded and evolved amazingly. Many IPIA members have proved real heroes in supplying floor graphics and posters for essential businesses and the NHS, while others have been working on bringing to market innovations like anti-bacterial print finishes and UV sanitisation.