2014 has been an exciting one for SMBiT Professionals – a year in which we achieved a great many things as a professional Association.
A key starting point was the development of a strategic Marketing Plan, instigated by Christian Mudd earlier this year. This plan gave us the framework from which to define who we are, what we stand for and what we want to achieve in the longer term.
A major output of the marketing plan was the creation of our new positioning statement ‘Strength in Numbers’ which has provided us with a strong foundation to promote the benefits of SMBiT Professionals to existing members, potential new members, vendors and customers alike. The modernisation of our logo and incorporation of the tagline enables us to better tell our story to the broader market, and position ourselves as a modern and reputable organisation.
I would like to thank Christian for championing the need for a strategic Marketing Plan, and being the driving force of a much needed change to our marketing approach.
The 2014 marketing plan focused on getting all the critical components in place that would enable SMBiT Professionals to begin communicating with a much broader audience in a far deeper and more engaging way. Since mid-year, Brett and Vivien have been working hard to develop our new website – www.smbitpro.org – which will be launched in January 2015. Briefed to develop a site that was clean, modern, professional and easy to read / navigate / interact with, they have achieved this in spades! Visitors will be left with a very positive first impression of SMBiT Professionals and existing members will feel proud to direct their customers and contacts to this site. Join me in thanking Brett and Vivien for their efforts.
In October we successfully held our inaugural National Conference in Melbourne which exceeded our expectations and attracted over 75 participants. Featuring a full agenda of business development topics, networking opportunities and vendor presentations, the Conference provided a platform for greater information sharing and deeper vendor engagement. Vendor and participant feedback was very positive and we will incorporate all our learnings to ensure the 2015 Conference is even bigger and better.
As part of our continued growth strategy, I am pleased to announce Epson Australia signed on as a Silver Partner in December, bringing our total number of Silver Partners to seven. This strategic relationship with Epson Australia illustrates the value of our collective expertise and insights to major international vendors, and their willingness to partner with us in the pursuit of better product development, improved product trial and ultimately, increased product sales.
The end of the year brings with it changes to our Board with both myself and Ryan Spillane stepping down from our roles as Chairman and Company Secretary respectively.
Ryan has been with SMBiT Professionals since inception; and his work-ethic and professionalism has left an indelible mark upon the foundation of the Association. Through his passion, enthusiasm and expertise, he has been instrumental in securing a positive future for SMBiT Professionals and I am deeply grateful for his valuable contribution. Thank you Ryan.
I am pleased to announce that Vivien Dehamer will be assuming the role as Company Secretary in addition to her current role as Administration Manager. She brings a wealth of experience, passion and commitment to growing SMBiT Professionals.
As the year closes, we will turn our attention to the development and execution of the 2015 Marketing Plan; which will focus heavily on maximising our vendor partner relationships and networks with the express aim of significantly raising awareness of SMBiT Professionals, growing our membership base and delivering greater benefits for you, our members.
In closing, 2014 has been a critical one in setting the foundation for SMBiT Professionals. We now have the right message, the right communication materials and the right approach to strategically promote SMBiT Professionals, and achieve our goal of 1000 Members by the end of 2015.
On a personal note, I would like to thank you all for your commitment, passion and time in supporting the ethos of SMBiT Professionals. There really is Strength in Numbers!
I wish you all a very safe and happy festive season, and look forward to succeeding with you all in 2015 and beyond.
NATIONAL CHAIR (Retired)
SMBiT Professionals Limited