Photo by Austen Distel  /


In September, PPAI announced that because the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to stage large, in-person, live events without compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, attendees, participants and the community at large, it will transition The PPAI Expo 2021 to a completely virtual, live format in January under a new name. PPAI Expo Direct-2-You will deliver a trade show, education and networking opportunities to the promotional products industry in the comfort of participants’ homes and offices. It will be held online from January 11-14, 2021, and attendees will discover the latest and greatest products, attend quality industry education sessions, engage with hundreds of exhibitor suppliers and business services, and be able to network with thousands of other distributors.

While it won't be the same camaraderie that we get in the face-to-face show, this is the next best option. I just attended the SAGE Show Virtual and I must say, it provided a decent atmosphere, good new product ideas and contact with sales reps to answer questions. Many of the suppliers include two- to three-minute videos of their newest products or processes, so that was helpful. And it was certainly easier on the feet!  

The downside was not being able to actually touch and feel products, which is definitely important to help judge overall quality, but it was easy to order samples if necessary. There wasn't enough time to see all the exhibitors and include any education. Perhaps for PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, you can ensure any education modules are also available after the show days, so we don't miss out. 

Joanne Worrall
JPR Consulting, Inc.
San Diego, California
PPAI 304765, D1

As a COVID-19 survivor and with several friends who were not so lucky, you would not want to go there. PPAI, I commend you on the right decision in considering the well-being and safety of all involved and their families.  

Manny Griego
Vago Sports World, Inc.
El Paso, Texas
PPAI 288523, D1

I know this was not an easy decision for many reasons, so PPAI is to be commended for being so forward thinking and moving on to keep us up to date as best as possible with show information, suppliers and products. I pray this goes smoothly for you all and will benefit everyone with new ideas. Perhaps the show can remain online all year so others can take advantage of all your efforts.

Susan Shamoon
Shamoon Advertising & Marketing
Greenville, Mississippi
PPAI 134722, D1


The September PPB’s Editor’s Picks section highlighted the vital role reward and recognition programs play in motivating employees and boosting company morale.

During the pandemic, we have experienced an increase in digital ads, sponsored messages ... etc., to the point that we are able to tune out of those messages automatically. However, snail mail is the new "cool.” A lot of us have been working from home for over six months now and some of us—myself included—have figured out our mail schedule. Every day we will look forward to receiving our mail and packages. It could be a new sample or catalog sent by our suppliers, or a nice care package from a virtual event we have just signed up for.

Swire Ho
Director of Sales and Marketing, #thepromoguy
Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions
Los Angeles, California
PPAI 620267, D1


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.