The PPAI Expo Top 10


Behind every connection … there’s a story. If that statement sounds familiar to you, you have no doubt seen one of PPAI’s marketing pieces to alert you that it is almost time for The PPAI Expo 2014.

Ask anyone who has been to this show before and you will get their personal—and perhaps passionate—perspective as to why the PPAI is the must-attend event of the year.

I have been attending Expo since I joined the industry in 2001. It was a thrill when PPAI moved the show from Dallas to Las Vegas in January 2003. The show got a tremendous boost with a new, state-of-the-art convention center, innovative entertainment options, four-star restaurants and more, all set in the exciting city of Las Vegas.

This month I share with you my top 10 reasons why The PPAI Expo is the place to be during the week of January 13-17, 2014.

10. In January, Las Vegas is usually shirt-sleeve weather with average highs of near 60 degrees. From where I’m traveling (Chicago), those temperatures are balmy!

9. The PPAI Expo is the longest-running trade show in the promotional products industry. The show dates back to 1914 when the Association held its first show in Chicago with 32 manufacturers exhibiting.

8. Expo is the largest show in the industry, encompassing more than one million square feet on two levels of the stunning Mandalay Bay Convention Center. This coming January, the show will feature 1,400 industry companies exhibiting in 3,300 booths. You can’t go to any other show in this industry and see more suppliers and products than at Expo.

7. At a show of this size and with its timing in mid-January, you can be assured you are seeing more new product launches than at any other show—anywhere.

6. With almost 11,000 promotional consultants returning to The PPAI Expo each year and many opportunities, both organized and spontaneous, to meet and greet, this show is the No. 1 networking opportunity in our industry. Looking to connect with old friends and colleagues or to meet someone new? You will find them at The PPAI Expo.

5. Four product pavilions sort some of the best products into distinct product categories so you can tick ideas off your client project list quickly: New Products, Green Products, Made In The USA and Express Ship. Tip: Check out the pavilions before the show opens by attending the Sneak Peek on Tuesday, January 14, from 5 – 7 pm.

4. PPAI’s brand. is the industry’s most popular incentive products showcase featuring name brands such as Bose®, Bulova®, Citizen®, Movado®, Nikon®, Sony®, Swarovski® and Waterford®. If you are looking to expand your business into the incentive arena or want to provide more to your current clients, be sure to check out PPAI’s brand. pavilion while you are at the show.

3. Recognizing the superb achievements of PPAI members is paramount, and the awards events at The PPAI Expo seek to parallel that excellence. Join in the applause as we recognize winners of the Pyramid Awards, Supplier Achievement Awards, Supplier Star Awards, Image Awards and Technology Awards on Wednesday, January 15, and honor our Hall of Fame inductee and recipients of PPAI’s Distinguished Service Award and H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award on Thursday, January 16.

2. PPAI’s top-rated education program is a key draw at The PPAI Expo, and you can choose from more than 80 sessions within seven tracks that each earn credits toward your CAS or MAS. I am delighted to welcome this year’s keynote speaker, Tony Hsieh, CEO of innovative online retailer Plan to hear him speak on creative ways to align your organization around core values on Wednesday, January 15, at 8:30 am.

1. The No. 1 reason to attend The PPAI Expo is, in a word, energy. Nowhere else can you actually feel the excitement, the electricity and the oomph that can drive business forward than at this show. Hands down it is the smartest way to kick off an exceptional year for your business.

I’ll look to see you next month in Las Vegas.

To register, view the schedule and find more information, go to


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