PPAI’s Product Safety Summit Explores Compliance Challenges


Next month, leaders from companies across North America are traveling to Chicago, Illinois, for the third annual PPAI Product Safety Summit. Unique in the promotional products industry, the Summit explores product safety and compliance issues and the associated business issues and challenges.

Held in conjunction with the PPAI North American Leadership Conference, the Summit offers a day and a half of education, beginning Wednesday, August 14. Co-chaired by Gene Geiger, MAS, president of distributer Geiger, and Rick Brenner, MAS, CEO of supplier Prime Resources Corp. and PPAI board member, the event’s speaker lineup includes industry thought leaders, product safety labs and product certification groups, and government regulators.

“There is no single industry event where a supplier or distributor person can learn as much about how product safety compliance applies to their firm,” says Geiger. “PPAI has assembled again a superb group of product safety experts for us to learn from and interact informally with. Additionally, each person will be able to network with their peers, each of whom are dealing with similar challenges and working to turn them into business opportunities.”

The Summit also builds bridges between industry companies and government leaders. Brenner says, “The Summit is unique in that it’s very high level. In past years, we’ve been joined by heads of field compliance and the general counsel at the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission]. And after their keynote sessions, they stayed and networked with the audience. It’s a very special opportunity, when you’re dealing with laws so comprehensive, to be able to meet directly with the regulators. And we want those regulators to understand our industry. It’s a mutually beneficial experience.”

“Regulation is different in our industry,” he adds. “We’re not in control of every facet of our products’ use. For example, we may have a bunch of blank items that don’t have to meet any of the CPSIA [Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act] safety requirements, but as soon as it’s been imprinted with a piece of kid’s art, it becomes a children’s product and is subject to all of the relevant requirements. And the distributor and supplier may not have any idea it’s for a juvenile audience. That’s why it’s so important to talk to peers and regulators.”

All Summit attendees will once again receive a binder containing best practices, testing protocols and recall resource materials. A similar binder was distributed at the Product Safety Summit in 2012 and was a key attendee take-away.

The PPAI Product Safety Summit will be held at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago hotel, August 14-15. Click here for more information and to register.

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