It may be a wrap for The PPAI Expo 2011 but business continues strong for the distributors and exhibitors who attended this year’s show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Darel Cook, PPAI’s director of expositions, said that preliminary show numbers indicate distributor attendance at just less than 12,000, which exceeds both the 2009 and 2010 Expo attendance. In addition, the show floor featured more than 3,300 exhibitor booths representing 1,400 supplier companies.
Anita Sebetic with Canoga Park, California-based YAFA Line (UPIC: YAFAINC) said, “It was so busy this year—nonstop the past two days. All of our catalogs and samples are gone. We’ve had a great response. This show has also had a better quality of attendee than past shows—very friendly and optimistic too. I think it’s going to be a good year.”
Returning to this year’s Expo were two popular pavilions: Made In the USA product pavilion, featuring American-made products and the Green Products pavilion, featuring eco-friendly products. In addition, the New Products pavilion also featured hundreds of never-before-seen products making their debut to the industry.
While snow hit the northeast, it didn’t hinder attendance to the promotional products industry’s largest, longest-running and most attended event. Optimism was high, and fresh signs of a slight upturn in the economy were present as the show welcomed distributors and suppliers who had never before attended.
First-time attendee Tara Milburn with Sydney, Nova Scotia-based distributor Ethical Swag (UPIC: ESWAG) said, “It’s fabulous how I’ve been able to make connections and absorb new ideas.”
In addition to the show floor, The PPAI Expo also featured two additional industry events, brand., which showcases the incentives market and DECORATE, highlighting the equipment that transitions basic products into powerful vehicles of promotion.
Beginning on Monday, January 10, The PPAI Expo also hosted almost 100 free workshops covering nine primary tracks: business management, incentive marketing, industry essentials, marketing and advertising, professional development, sales and service, strategic business issues, technology and decorate. The keynote luncheons were sold-out events, featuring “Leading at the Edge of Change” with author Dr. Janet Lapp and “Changing Face of the Promotional Products Industry,” with a panel of buyers and leading-edge industry professionals.
The show floor was also buzzing about the new strategic alliance between PPAI and SAGE, in which new and renewing PPAI members will receive a credit for SAGE Online and other SAGE services as a PPAI member benefit.
“The electricity of The PPAI Expo this year was like none in years past. People were excited and ready to do business. Opportunities seemed boundless and the innovation of the products and technology in this industry were in the spotlight this year,” said Cook. “We believe The PPAI Expo provided a great momentum for large to small businesses to experience sales growth in 2011. The PPAI Expo consistently delivers the best value and continues to show why it is the most important trade show in the industry.”
So what’s in store for 2012? Cook and the PPAI Expo team are already at work to continue this great success.
Expo speakers (from left) Janet Lapp, Ph.D., Dan Pink and Rohit Talwar delivered a wealth of new ideas and strategies to listeners.