The PPAI Expo 2017 wraps up at 3 pm today, bringing its 15th year at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to a strong and successful conclusion. With nearly 1,300 exhibiting companies on-site in more than 3,100 booths, an extensive lineup of education sessions and world-class speakers, and innovative new events to connect with colleagues, Expo 2017 offered something for everyone.
“Year after year, The PPAI Expo delivers the best experiences and business-building opportunities for suppliers and distributors and 2017 is on track to exceed all expectations,” says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. “Our overall attendance is tracking significantly higher than past years and the buzz on the show floor and what I have been hearing from exhibitors and attendees is positive and optimistic for both the show and the year ahead.”
This was Expo’s second year on a single-floor layout. The expansive 870,000-square-foot show floor debuted at the 2016 show as part of Mandalay Bay’s $66 million expansion, putting all exhibitors conveniently on a single level.
“Traffic has been great,” says Jonah White, the founder of exhibitor Billy Bob Products. “We had one of our hats in the product pavilions, and that’s driven a lot of people to our booth.”
At the Hanna’s Candles booth, one distributor was surprised and pleased to see brandable scented wax cubes available as a promotional opportunity. “I just had a client asking for these the other day,” he remarked as he browsed the available samples. “I didn’t even know if this existed.”
Stanley Appleman, owner of distributor Get Smart Promotions, adds, “Expo has been awesome. The show is organized and the vendors have been really good. They seem to be more prepared, more organized; everybody’s about quality of imprint and ideas, not just who can get it for the least. They’re offering great services.”
Anything Goes Promotions CEO Suzan Bolski, MAS, says, “The show has been excellent. I saw a lot of great people and a lot of great new things. I got some wonderful new ideas and reconnected with old friends. As Paul [Bellantone] said, [Expo] is the glue that holds us together and I look forward to this every year.”
First-time Expo attendees Bryan and Kelly James, owners of Corporate Specialty Insignia, joined PPAI a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed their first Expo experience—especially getting to meet with their suppliers face-to-face. “There’s nothing better than being in front of our supply chain to identify us here as players,” says Bryan. “The Book Company is an example and their owner Doug [Greenhut]. We have been among their top customers but have never met the guy. To have that moment and really talk about it and where we stand in the scope of their business and where they stand in a partnership was valuable.”
Over the past week, special, daily editions of PPB Newslink@Expo have delivered the latest updates on what’s going on at the show and within the industry. To catch up, check out Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s issues.