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21 May 2024

Getting to Know the APPA Board: Greg Sandrey, APPA Board Member, New Zealand

APPA: Tell us a little bit about yourself; what is your role at your company and what does this involve?
Greg Sandrey: I am the NZ National Sales Manager at Fashion Biz. Much of my role is sales focused but I also enjoy contributing and adding value to other departments in the business. Especially like the opportunity to take part in product development and love contact with all our customers.

APPA: What made you want to work in the promotional products industry and why?
 I fell into the role at Fashion Biz by fluke, which gave me exposure to the promo industry; not knowing anything about it.  I have loved the last 10 years and I am now looking forward to the next 10. Such a cool and underrated industry to be part of.

APPA: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
GS: I never knew what I wanted to be when growing up, and I think even now I still don’t. I guess I haven’t grown up. I have always been guided by opportunity and have been happy where that journey has taken me. I am a great believer that it’s ok not to know what you want to be when you grow up.

APPA: What is the most memorable promotional campaign you've ever seen, and why did it stand out to you?
GS: Without doubt it is the Smurfs Promotional Campaign run by BP in the 80’s. I always remember urging my parents to fill up our car at BP stations when I was a kid, just so we could collect the Smurf figurines. It’s amazing the power kids have over their parents, when promo toys are involved.

APPA: What is your prediction for the promotional products industry in 2024? Are there any trends you can foresee taking off?
GS: “Eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, “zero carbon” are the buzz words at the moment. A lot of companies are focusing on their ESG’s and the promo industry is quickly adopting products to reflect that. I think it is an exciting time to be in the industry with the innovations behind that.

APPA: What's the most unusual or interesting request you've ever received from a client in the promotional industry?
GS: Outside of Waterproof Teabags and Solar Powered Torches, nothing springs to mind.

APPA: What is the biggest misconception people have about the promotional industry, and why is it not true?
GS: Traditionally the industry might have been known for cheap giveaway plastic pens and squishy balls, but it is so much more than that today. I am blown away every year by the quality and innovation of what is on offer and it just seems to be getting better and better. The bar is being raised every year.

APPA: Can you share a funny or memorable experience you've had at an industry event or trade show?
GS: Typically the funny experiences happen at the bar after an event or show, and should never be talked about again. However, events and shows are always a memorable experience for the spirit that is evident across suppliers and distributors, it definitely is a special community.

APPA: If you could create a promotional product for a famous celebrity, who would it be and what would the product be?
GS: After being in the US in April and seeing the power and reach of Taylor Swift and her album launch, creating something for her would be an opportunity to have exposure to her billions of “Swifties“ fans. Maybe something like an AI voice changing microphone that makes you sing like her?

APPA: If the promotional products industry had a theme song, what would it be and why?
GS: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor – “Risin' up, back on the street, Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet” Lyrics to be sung loud especially after long days standing at Promo Shows.

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