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Strength and Support

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

THE SUPPORT WE OFFER EACH OTHER MAKES THIS INDUSTRY STAND OUT

(December 2020) They say it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends are. I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement, but after living through about 8 months (as I write this) of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I think I would adjust it slightly to say: it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends and colleagues are.

That’s because in this time of great uncertainty, one thing we’ve always been able to rely on is the amazing advice and help of our peers in the awards and personalization industry.

No matter the issues we’ve faced personally and professionally, members of the Awards and Personalization Association have continued to post wise words, encouragement, and information on the Member2Member Forum. We’ve continued hosting educational sessions and events (albeit virtually) to share our expertise with our fellow professionals. We’ve continued to submit content to Insights and celebrate our achievements together in Association News.

Regardless of the challenges, we’ve continued to not only survive, but also share our limited resources with our peers—people who might be called competitors in other businesses—to support our industry and all the people in it.

It’s just these kinds of incredible efforts by Awards and Personalization Association members to connect and share that have inspired a few changes to our member resources.

You may have heard about—or even tested the waters in!—the brand-new Member2Member Forum. This new platform will offer all the benefits of the previous Forum, including the ability to share new products, advice, questions, and concerns with your fellow members, but now offers enhanced functionality to help you engage better. This includes a cool new “like” feature to acknowledge and promote posts (without the need to write a comment) and the ability to interact with smaller groups targeted toward specific concerns, processes, or interests.

We’re also rolling out some changes to Insights to ensure we can offer news and articles in a timelier (and more easily accessible) way. This shift will include posting more online content—to give you constant access to the tips, tools, and techniques you need—and sending Insights e-mail newsletters with special content.

Check out page 18 of this issue to learn more about the new Member2Member Forum and Insights. I encourage you to read the article and then log on to the Awards and Personalization Association to check out all the new features on the Forum for yourself—and of course, watch your e-mail and mailbox for the new Insights.

These may be particularly tough times, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from them, it’s that awards and personalization professionals will persevere. There is great strength in our numbers. So take advantage of the many ways you can connect with your peers for support—and give back your own advice and insights when you can. Together, we will ensure that when the storm subsides, awards and personalization professionals will be there to share our expertise and creativity with customers and friends alike. Recognition is always rewarding, but when that time comes, it will be more important than ever.

Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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