Last week, PPAI Public Affairs Director Anne Lardner-Stone was in China to join industry members in meetings and factory visits, and to attend the Hong Kong Gift and Premium Fair.
As part of her trip, Lardner-Stone joined the WAGE Group’s annual meeting. The WAGE Group is a global network comprised of more than 20 international promotional products companies. This meeting served to review global market conditions as well as international marketing trends. Jo-an Lantz, MAS, Geiger, is the president, while Matt Withers, Bright Sparks Limited, and Steve Levschuk, MAS, Talbot Marketing, make up the WAGE Presidium.
“All of the WAGE members are promotional products pros,” says Lardner-Stone. “They’re at the top of their games, and they are savvy business people and marketing experts. It was a real treat to spend two days learning from all of them.”
Lardner-Stone also delivered a presentation at the Hong Kong Gift and Premium Fair alongside Rebecca Wong with Hong Kong Accreditation Service. The fair is largest of its kind in the world, and alongside the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair, drew in 164 buying missions from 74 countries and regions, counting more than 11,800 trade buyers representing more than 8,200 companies. Lardner-Stone and Wong spoke on the state of the promotional products industry and product responsibility challenges, stressing the value add of the U.S. supplier-distributor sales channel.
Lardner-Stone toured UL Lab’s Hong Kong facility and traveled to Shenzhen, China, to visit the Dongguan Kung Size Metal Company. She said the visits were enlightening, education opportunities to learn more about product safety and production practices.