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The PA CLUB

By PDC BIG 14 February 2017

The PA Club, a fast-growing premier networking group and membership organisation handling over 60 international events a year uses PDC BIG’s award-winning re-usable Selfit® name badge system as part of its event organisation.



The PA Club has over 2500 members across the globe, and is ably managed by a small and highly-efficient team. As with any membership organisation, its calendar of events is a major asset and forms the larger part of its activities. The PA Club has expanded rapidly, increasing in membership, events and the amount of time and work involved in organisation and registrations. During this time, the team faced an ongoing challenge in coping with the increasing registrations while still providing quality events. It was at this stage that Managing Director Michael Hislop decided to invest in the PDC BIG Selfit® Name Badges system to better manage registrations and reputational risk.

• The PA Club, led by Michael Hislop, is an amazing success story. It grew from an innovative small club based in Canary Wharf that had responded to a request from suppliers to connect with City PA’s, Assistants and Office Managers. Today it is considered an industry leader.

• The PA Club has three membership categories: PA members who work at senior level within multinationals and corporates; Prestige members who have access to increased benefits and Partners which include carefully selected companies offering relevant goods and services.

• In just a decade, it has become a highly influential international organisation, immediately recognised for its professional connections and quality events. The PA Club is now expanding across Europe and the US, while still remaining true to its roots connecting partners with members.

Challenges:

The PA Club expanded from a small group, hosting events in the City and the West end into a large-scale international organisation, bringing together a range of Partners, PAs, Assistants and Office Managers from across sectors and sizes of corporates and businesses. In the early days, event organisation was a manual and laborious process and name badges were paper inserts in clear plastic wallets with safety pin fasteners. These badges were certainly not ideal. As Michael recalls, “the whole process was a nightmare.It was expensive, time consuming and the result was hardly professional. Name badges did not look attractive and the safety pins damaged clothes.”

As the club evolved, Michael knew he had to find a better solution. He was specifically looking for quality, practicality and time-saving features. He said, “As we grew, the challenge was coping with the sheer number of members. When faced with thirty or forty people all arriving at once, it was obvious that our name badges were no longer an option. Over the years, we built a reputation for quality and professional events however, we were fast approaching a stage where we risked our reputation through our continued use of paper-and-wallet badges. We needed a high-end solution that would give us flexibility and a better quality product which reflected our brand.”

Michael’s decision to invest in a stress-free badging solution coincided with the PDC BIG membership of The PA Club as a Partner. PDC BIG were invited to sponsor a number of events and provided branded re-usable high quality event name badges. It was a clear demonstration of the impact of quality image- enhancing event name badges. As Michael said, “It was a no-brainer.” PDC BIG, together with Abbie Smith, The PA Club Membership Manager who oversees the club’s events management, investigated a long term solution for The PA Club events.

Solution (How the products helped):

PDC BIG had recently launched the award-winning Selfit® badge system, a complete solution for quality re-usable name badges, which included software, badges, inserts and printers. Described as the “go-to system for stress-free badging”, PDC BIG knew it was the right solution. “Selfit® is ideal for The PA Club. It is designed to achieve flawless, professional and image-enhancing name badges - anywhere, anytime. It is practical and efficient, a time-saving system that is effortless to use and guarantees professional name badges.” In short, it ticked all the boxes and was quickly adopted by The PA Club.

Abbie has since been the primary user of the Selfit® badging system. She introduced colour-coded name badges to manage the different categories of members at their events. The advanced Selfit® software allowed her to do this easily, facilitating name badge management and providing stress- free organisation before, during and after the events.

Together with the reporting features and printer for onsite printing, it was a winning sustainable and efficient solution that also provided lower operational costs.

Conclusion/Results:

Michael concluded, “Over the years, our relationship with PDC BIG has been good because of the friendly and helpful service we have always received from them. They have supported us and helped us so much over the years. Nothing is a problem, whether we need more badges, or have a last minute request. PDC BIG and Selfit® badges are a no-brainer for us. Our relationship is pain-free and we know how it works. PDC BIG are part of the way we operate and we like that.

Similarly Selfit® badges have worked very well for us. The PA Club is still growing and badges will continue to play an important part as we look to connect our members across Europe and the US.” He added,” In my mind, the biggest ROI lies in the enhanced perception among our peers, our members and partners.

We are often complimented on the organisation and quality of our events, and I believe that the look of a badge has a lot to do with that. The States in particular were most impressed and praised our quality badges. Certain badges look disposable. Ours are impressive and there is very clear ROI in terms of style, reputation and brand image. The fact that they are re-usable merely reinforces our values and continues to play to our strengths. I believe our name badges are helping us to maintain our standards and reputation. I therefore consider PDC BIG name badges an integral part of our success.”