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Feature article
02 November 2022

APPA Strategic Plan Progress Update

APPA's current Strategic Plan was launched in May 2020 and paves the way until mid 2024. The Plan sets out a number of key projects that APPA staff and the APPA Board focus on achieving.

To keep members informed and up-to-date about the progress and direction of the Association, APPA has prepared a brief progress update on each of it's eight strategic goals for 2020-2024.

Strategic Goal 1: Partner with tech firms to tailor solutions that create efficiencies and scale for members.

  • Late 2021, APPA launched Promodata and initially focused on gathering as many suppliers and their product data as possible. Currently we have over 80 suppliers and 40,000 products loaded and aim to reach 100 by the end of this year.
  • In December 2021, we launched the new APPA Search which is API connected to Promodata. APPA Search averages over 1,000 distributor login each week and September was the most active month to date with 6,550 logins.
  • Promodata is now available for distributors to automatically integrate suppliers’ product data (including products with live pricing and stock levels) directly into their website and/or business management systems.

Strategic Goal 2: Increase the perceived value of using promotion products to life brand equity.

  • This is the next major project for APPA to undertake. We will be gathering information from consumers in Australasia to determine the impact and perception of promotional products, then using the resulting data to advocate the value of our industry to the wider marketing profession and general public.

Strategic Goal 3: Produce high quality trade shows that deliver value and attract the right people to stay longer.

  • CONVEX has been renamed to Promo Show and was held in Melbourne in 2022 for the first time in over 10 years. The introduction of food trucks, the decorator hub and more supplier activations collectively contributed to more than 50% of the distributor attendees rating the show better than previous shows.
  • Cameron Sutherland joined APPA in July 2022 to fill the new role of Membership and New Business Manager. In this role, Cam will be focusing on attracting new suppliers to APPA, particularly those who plan to exhibit at future trade shows.
  • Non-members now pay an entry fee to all APPA trade shows.

Pictured: APPA Membership and Business Development Manager Cameron Sutherland at Promo Show 2022

Strategic Goal 4: Cultivate the use of technology platforms/social media to help members engage, build brands and grow revenues.

  • The (private) APPA HQ Facebook Group launched in 2020 and has created a great online community for members to find products, suppliers and ask for help with other industry-related queries and concerns. In the past 12 months, more than 300 posts have been uploaded to the group by its members.
  • Since October 2019, the number of individual accounts following APPA's public Facebook page has increased by 189%, Instagram by 45%, LinkedIn by 239% and Twitter by 6%.
  • We have uploaded 149 videos to APPA's YouTube account since January 2020 (generating almost 17,000 views).
  • Several educational resources have been provided on using social media, but we aim to do more work in this space.

Strategic Goal 5: Make it easy for key member segments to build mutually beneficial relationships across the industry.

  • The APPA Y-Promo committee was launched in 2020 and has since organised three Y-Promo future leaders programs.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, progress establishing local committees to organise regular local events has unfortunately stalled. While several small events have been held in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, APPA would still like to establish local committees in all states/regions to provide more engagement opportunities for the industry.
  • Specialise interest groups are also yet to be established.

Strategic Goal 6: Foster credibility and professional development with tailored and accredited learning programs.

  • APPA members now have discounted access to the internationally recognised PPAI Certification.
  • APPA is proud to have offered 76 webinars to members since March 2020, attracting more than 3,000 registrations.
  • Still outstanding is the need to conduct an industry training needs analysis to determine future professional development content and offer these on a gamified platform.

Strategic Goal 7: Curate tailored APPA resources to help members manage business risks, benchmark and bring the Code of Conduct to life.

  • 75% of APPA members completed an online APPA Code of Conduct training course in 2021 and the updated refresher course is soon to be launched. All prospective members are now required to undertake this course in order for their membership to be approved. 
  • Two COVID-related benchmarking projects were completed in 2020 along with a distributor benchmarking questionnaire (which included more than 40 questions) in 2021 and 2022.
  • Resources on button batteries and Modern Slavery have been provided as we aim to build on our ethical sourcing guidelines with industry consultants.
  • Sustainability is the other major area of focus that APPA will focus on between 2022-2024.

Strategic Goal 8: Convene an external partner panel to help members future-proof their businesses and reputations.

  • New Zealand members now receive discounts from a large number of retailers and service providers in New Zealand due to APPA's new partnership with n3.
  • Building upon APPA's service provider program is now a focus for APPA's new Membership and Business Development Manager.


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