This issue, we speak to VALERIO DEL VECCHIO, Head of Marketing at PPMA, about the Association’s work and the benefits of membership…
You’ve been Head of Marketing with the PPMA for around eight-months now, so where were you before that and what brought you here?
You’re right, it’s been only eight-months, but time has flown by very quickly. Under the direction of PPMA’s new CEO, Andrew Mint, we embarked on a long journey to bring the PPMA to a new phase of development. Previously I was working in the energy industry in a B2B role, so quite a steep learning curve for me in the transition to marketing for a trade association. However, I may argue that marketing principles and practice hold true to any industry and I’m certainly bringing a fresh pair of eyes to this prestigious trade association in its 30th anniversary.
The PPMA is, incorrectly, mostly known solely for the PPMA Show, so could you educate us as to exactly what the PPMA is and what its objectives are?
You hit the nail on the head. The PPMA Group of Associations is certainly a lot more than just the Show. First the PPMA Group comprises of three associations, PPMA, the processing and packaging machinery association, BARA, the robot and automation association and UKIVA, covering industrial vision. The PPMA Group, similarly to other trade associations, actively helps its members through provision of services, tools and initiatives to make them thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. One of our key marketing objectives in the medium term is to ensure that the wider public understands better the nature of our mission and our membership proposition.
How many members are currently involved and what are the benefits of membership?
At the close of last year, we celebrated our 500th member. Their benefits range from access to learning and training courses, access to market intelligence reports, PR activity through an industry leading publication, to publicity on our online directory that generates hundreds of leads a year, a preferential rate and member-only benefits at our annual trade show and many more.
You also run seminars around the country, so what kind of topics do they cover?
Technical seminars covering – Machinery Directive, PUWER, Machinery Guarding, Functional Safety. Personal training and development – HR for non HR managers, Management Workplace performance, Introduction to Project management, Time management, Communication skills at work, Sales skills for non-sales people and dealing with difficult people, plus many more. We also organise Golf Days, Driving Days and the Chairman’s lunch – this year held at the iconic Tower of London. Plus, we offer free-to-attend half-day networking events – covering Industry 4.0, recruitment, digital marketing and other topics relevant to our industry.
Finally, looking ahead to this year’s PPMA Show, can you tell us what we can expect from 2017’s event?
This year’s event will focus on smart innovation and we’re happy to announce that we have already more than 250 exhibitors confirmed as we speak. We have also revamped our educational offering by adding extra seminar sessions to our Learning Hub and making the VIP experience a little more exclusive for our distinguished guests. The PPMA TV, a familiar feature of the Show, will be there as usual to capture the best moments and will extend its presence for the first time to the PPMA Industry Awards gala night on 26th of September, the first day of the Show. For the ones who are up to for a good challenge and love football there will be an interesting entertainment feature, a ‘robokeeper’ that uses enhanced machine vision technology to keep the goal safe – it’s going to be truly ‘man VS machine’!