Sponsors make winning happen

Behind-the-scenes support is so important for The Henries Awards


Winners are the main focus of awards ceremonies – but without the behind-the-scenes support of sponsors events such as The Henries Awards simply couldn’t happen.

And there is a whole raft of names giving their backing to this year’s Oscars of the greeting card industry – including Alpha Colour Printers, Antalis, Card Factory, Cardgains, EBB Paper, Fedrigoni, FujiFilm, G.F Smith, Gould Paper, Graphite Creative, Herbert Walkers, The Imaging Centre, LB Warehousing, Loxleys, Postmark, Progressive Greetings Live, Scribbler, Sherwood Group, Skeet Print, Skylight Media, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, UK Envelopes, and Windles, with Bright Agency and House of Cards also on board as associate sponsors.

Above: Tracey Knox has 40 years’ service at Alpha Colour Printers
Above: Tracey Knox has 40 years’ service at Alpha Colour Printers

“The Henries are the epicenter of the UK’s greeting card industry,” said Alpha Colour Printers’ reprographic director Luke Ostle, “and we’re proud to continue to support the event. We love being able to meet so many customers, suppliers and industry trend-setters on the night.”

The family-run firm is also celebrating as company secretary Tracey Knox marks 40 years with the business in Quedgeley – Luke said a lot has changed in print over the past four decades “but one thing that has remained constant is Tracey’s fantastic sales and customer service”.

Tracey herself laughed: “Teamwork makes the dream work – and lots of holidays and prosecco!”

Fellow print firm Windles is holding its annual pre-dinner drinks party at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel before attendees make their way into the Nine Kings Suite for the main event, hosted by comedian and entertainer Pippa Evans, on Thursday, 5 October.

Sales director Andrea Norcott explained: “Windles is proud to sponsor The Henries awards as we see it as an opportunity to support and celebrate the achievements of our amazing industry.

“We are invested in our pre-dinner drinks party to continue with our committed support to the Henries and to not disappoint all those publishers in the industry who look forward to it to kick the evening off with.

 Above: Windles has printed the gorgeous tickets for The Henries 2023

Above: Windles has printed the gorgeous tickets for The Henries 2023

“In a fast-moving and changing industry, Windles seeks to offer the highest levels of customer service and quality and, in order to continue to innovate. we have installed a state-of-the-art press to meet the demands of the industry.”

Known for its green agenda, the Thame-based print group is supporting and increasing publisher use of carbon offset boards, while also actively accelerating decarbonisation by investing time in monitoring the company’s impact to learn and make real steps towards further reducing its carbon footprint, and continuously developing in-house systems to do so.

And Loxleys md Tony Lorriman commented: “The Henries is the biggest social event in the greeting card industry calendar, celebrating the fantastic creative achievements of designers and publishers large and small.

“It’s a wonderful occasion to come together with industry friends and an event which we are proud to support with our category sponsorship and raffle prize.”

And sustainability is also high on the agenda at the Sheffield specialist printer, which has invested £200,000 in the last 12 months on high-speed paper banding as a replacement to traditional OPP film-flow wrapping, the installation of LED lighting throughout the site and voltage optimisation technology which have reduced its energy usage.

And Tony explained Loxleys is now busy adapting its existing packing lines which has given us the ability to offer naked cards with the envelope nested in the middle of the card, and paper banded in units of six “an additional sustainable solution to meet the needs of our greeting card customer base”.

Above: High-speed paper banding is on offer at Loxleys
Above: High-speed paper banding is on offer at Loxleys

Over in St Neots, LB Warehousing owners Lynda and Tony Raymond admit they don’t do much advertising for their warehouse and distribution services tailored to the greeting card world because they prefer to concentrate on the service to customers and “word in this industry soon gets around”.

But the Raymonds are very happy to support The Henries Awards: “Progressive and its organs and events are an effective and unifying vehicle for the industry and provide a voice for the members far above what could be heard individually.”

Above & top: Tony and Lynda Redmond will be putting on the style again for this year’s Henries
Above & top: Tony and Lynda Redmond will be putting on the style again for this year’s Henries

“Our economy has weathered a lot of storms but, being much loved, cards are robust and in the face of IT challenges, faxes, emails, clips, clasps, bands, coordinated economy-damaging strikes, Brexit, Covid, and shops shut by law, we have mostly survived where many industries have not.

“One of the key drivers to our non-essential product’s survival is our creativity, that’s recognised to be the best in the world, and our inbuilt desire to say nice things even more in times of happiness, sadness, and challenges – let’s keep talking it up.

“For a few pennies, what else can you buy that will be in a loved one’s hand miles away for breakfast, touching that person’s emotions, saying I Love You, Miss You, I Hurt You , I’m Sorry, Let’s Talk, Good Luck, Congratulations and, of course, Happy Birthday!”

Thanks to all these generous sponsors The Henries Awards 2023 will be going ahead on 5 October with a mardi gras theme – tickets designed by The Art File and printed by Windles on board supplied by G.F Smith will have arrived by post for attendees.

The full list of product finalists, and the eight through in The Lynn Tait Most Promising Young Designer Or Artist category, can be found here – arrived at following a two-stage judging process, with the second in-person event seeing 35 buyers from grocers, multiples, small groups and independent retailers scrutinise all the shortlisted ranges arrived at from the first round of online voting, and their collective votes from the day decided the finalists.

The Best Service To The Independent Retailer award is sponsored by the Cardgains buying group and nominations were sought over a month from 1,750 independent card retailers, both Cardgains members as well as non-members.

The 2023 best service finalists can be found here and, as in previous years, there will be three trophies – Bronze, Silver and Gold – which will be announced along with all winners at the industry’s big night. Tickets for the event can be bought here.

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