PPAI and SAGE introduced staff members from the office of Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) to the promotional products industry at the SAGE Show last week. The visit was an opportunity to give Veasey’s staff an up-close look at the people and businesses in the promotional products industry and to educate them on its challenges and opportunities.
Veasey’s staff members, Daniela Huerta and Rand Barrett, were hosted on their tour by Dana Floyd, director of information services for SAGE, Mark Jenkins, MAS+, Pioneer Balloons’ managing director, promotional markets, and past chair of the PPAI Board, and PPAI Government Relations Manager Seth Barnett.
“They were able to see the industry hands-on, which is so important,” says Floyd. “Promotional products are a part of everyone’s day to day lives, but most people don’t realize it. We can talk about the industry all day long, but there is something about seeing us in action that makes the message even stronger than throwing out stats and case studies.”
Huerta and Barrett’s conversations with their hosts and the suppliers and distributors ranged from the numbers and types of industry jobs, companies in Texas and the industry’s value in the state, to the different types of products on offer and how they are used.
“The highlight of my day was to see the light bulb go off when we walked around the show floor and they made the connection between promotional products and their past experiences with events and other marketing they’ve seen or been a part of,” says Floyd. “My hope is that this visit opened their eyes to promotional products being an industry that is very active and alive in Texas. We hope they saw the value of promotional products as a form of advertising and marketing to Texas businesses.”
The visit was also an opportunity to educate Veasey’s staff on how certain legislation in Washington can affect industry companies in Texas and elsewhere. Floyd adds, “PPAI has done a great job of advocating for the industry and this is another step in building the right relationships with the members of our government to ensure we continue to prosper. These relationships give us a voice when something comes up that could affect our industry.”