On August 14, in conjunction with the MAPPS by SAGE tradeshow in Dallas, Texas, PPAI held its annual Suppliers’ Forum, an education opportunity for industry suppliers focusing solely on supplier issues. Industry and non-industry experts provided their singular outlooks at the event on best practices and hot-button topics including social media, internal operations and product safety.
“Suppliers’ Forum continues PPAI’s drive to offer valuable, actionable education resources to the supplier community,” says Melissa Hendrick, PPAI’s director of professional development and integrated media. “This year’s event brought unique perspectives from the assembled speakers and engaged discussion among the audience, emphasizing the value Suppliers’ Forum brings to our industry’s suppliers.”
The Suppliers’ Forum began with a panel discussion looking at technology trends in the industry. David Natinsky of SAGE Technologies moderated the panel, which included Eric Alessi, president of Essent (UPIC: essent), Bobby Lehew, CAS, of Robyn Promotions & Printing (UPIC: ROBY0001), and Paul DiFrancesco of Eight Legged Media. Their discussion examined the trends industry professionals need to be aware of to enhance their business and stay on the cutting edge. The session covered the tools being used for communication, marketing and order management, and the importance and uses of QR codes, social media, mobile technology and order tracking technologies.
Daniel Beederman, Esq., an attorney with Schoenberg Finkel Newman and Rosenberg, LLC, spoke on avoiding liability. Every day, businesses are exposed to the risk of potential claims for law and regulation violations, as well as damages arising from their conduct. Beederman discussed how to minimize, if not avoid, exposure to antitrust violations, product liability claims, deceptive business practices, commercial disparagement and defamation, intellectual property infringement, tax and employment issues and bankruptcy preference claims, among others.
The Suppliers Forum closed with a panel of promotional product distributors and their end buyers sharing their perspectives on how they most effectively use promotional products, how distributors can better serve them and how advertising trends are shaping their buying habits now and in the future. Moderated by Alan Christopher, MAS, of DAC Marketing (UPIC: DAC-MKT), the panel included Karen Foy, CAS, of Gorman Foy, Inc. (UPIC: gormfoy); Kathy Burke, MAS, of Above & Beyond Incentives/Flagship (UPIC: ABI); Tom Carpenter, CAS, of Scarborough Specialties, Inc. (UPIC: SCARSPEC); and end user Julie McMillian of Business Jet Access.