Members shown how to take the spotlight
This year’s Network VEKA AGM was another great success, with delegates travelling from every corner of the UK to attend the event at St John’s Hotel in Solihull.
The whole AGM had a ‘Hollywood’ theme, as the evening awards and dinner dance encouraged guests to dress to impress for ‘A Night at the Movies’ and the day’s conference explained why Network VEKA surely deserves the accolade of ‘Best Supporting Role’ for all the marketing assistance on offer.
The afternoon’s conference focussed on addressing changing consumer buying habits, with speakers highlighting the wide variety of new online marketing opportunities available to members. In the spirit of modern marketing practices – the event was tweeted live throughout the day.
The AGM was compered once again by John Meredith and his own brand of tongue in cheek humour.
Trevor Hind from Network VEKA’s long-serving marketing agency, The Image Works, spoke to the membership about the cost-effective merits of ‘organic’ Search Engine Optimisation before showcasing the impressive Network VEKA Marketing Portal.
Trevor explained: “Network VEKA’s Marketing Portal offers member companies the chance to personalise a wide range of professionally-designed marketing materials – all at the click of a button.
“Members can simply log in to view everything from adverts and posters, to mailers and brochures and then personalise these items to suit their company. All the items already feature their individual details and logo – and they can then add any extra details that they wish, such as special offers or other company-specific information.
“It’s an extremely cost-effective solution which ensures that marketing is consistent and professional and – as Network VEKA has commissioned the design and copywriting already – there’s only the printing and postage costs left to pay.”
Tools of the trade
Network VEKA MD John Ogilvie then took to the stage to introduce the new suite of Network VEKA Tools, which can be added to members’ websites to help them compete for more business in their local area.
John explained how these online tools can be implemented to make sure that very member company is getting the most from their website and converting more online visits into sales.
“There are a number of features to choose from and members can decide whether to go for the ‘full package’ including a complete new website, or simply pick and choose the pages that will best serve their existing site.
“Pages include: A Price Engine, Feedback Generator, Showcase Page, Discount Voucher Engine and Control Panel to edit and manage all the various features.
“These simple-to-use tools have been designed to help Network VEKA members establish a stronger web presence and get more out of every possible sales opportunity online.
“The idea is that by combining these tools with your existing advertising and PR, you can turn more web traffic into quality sales leads.”
John also made the exiting announcement that The VEKA UK Group’s online ‘Design a Door’ facility is being made available – free of charge – for use on the websites of those members that carry the Bowater composite door range.
A social occasion
Next up, independent speakers discussed social media with the AGM attendees, with a particular focus on Google+ and how a combination of social media activity and a ‘pay per click’ approach can be a very useful way to boost your web traffic and get your business to rank highly on the major search engines.
John Ogilvie rounded off the afternoon’s AGM with a rousing speech encouraging the membership to take advantage of all the online services on offer from Network VEKA.
“In a changing, modern market – modern practices must be adopted in order to stay ahead of the game.
“Cumulative sales for the Network have already reached £770million and I’m looking forward to seeing the installation that takes us over the £800million mark. Let’s make it sooner rather than later!”
A black and white classic
The evening’s festivities began with a champagne reception sponsored by Glazerite, before guests – dressed in their Hollywood finest – made their way along the red carpet into the ballroom for a night of glitz and glamour.
Other companies that supported the event with sponsorship were Glazpart, The Image Works, Prefix Systems and Clearview & ProInstaller Magazines.
Charity envelopes were collected and a generous £630 was raised for Burnley Neonatal Unit.
The awards were presented by Network VEKA MD John Ogilvie who was delighted to congratulate all the award winners on their continuing hard work and high standards.
John explained why he feels the awards are so worthwhile: “It’s a great representation of what Network VEKA is all about. These customer satisfaction ratings come directly from the homeowners, and we collate the results from around 16,000 questionnaires every year. It’s a true reflection of how our installers’ customers feel they are treated.
“Network VEKA members collectively have an average customer satisfaction rating of 97%, compared with a recognised industry average of just 83%. I’m more than proud to be part of an evening that recognises and celebrates this level of service.”
Thistle come as no surprise… overall winner!
Aberdeen-based Thistle Windows broke the company’s own record for the number of awards collected at this annual event. The Scottish company’s representatives Paul Mair and Andy Cadman were understandably proud to claim the regional award for Scotland and the overall award for customer satisfaction. This year’s success takes the tally up to an impressive 13 awards for Thistle over the years.
Getting into the swing
During the meal, music was provided by the talented Brothers of Swing who serenaded guests with a host of classic favourites from the silver screen. Steve Hancox from Goliath Homeworld was just one of the guests to join the boys in showing off a swinging singing voice.
The evening was topped off with live music from Radio followed by a disco to keep the dance floor busy until the early hours.
And the winner is…
Best New Member: Rodda and Hocking
Embracing and Promotion of the Network VEKA Brand (North): AWC Home Improvements
Embracing and Promotion of the Network VEKA Brand (South): Shane Howells
Regional Winner for Scotland: Thistle Windows
Regional Winner for the North East and Yorkshire: David Brunskill Windows
Regional Winner for the North West: AWC Home Improvements
Regional Winner for The Midlands: Goliath Homeworld
Regional Winner for Central England: Shane Howells
Regional Winner for Eastern England: Trent Valley Windows
Regional Winner for the South East: KJM Group
Regional Winner for the South West: Heavers of Bridport
Regional Winner for Wales: MPN Windows
Regional Winner for Ireland: Better Homes LLP
Overall Winner: Thistle Windows