Inside PPAI: Cross-Country Road Trip To Expo Connects PPAI To Industry Members


Last year, ahead of The PPAI Expo 2019, the Association’s Promomobile—a Ford Transit sporting “PPAI 1” on blue custom Texas license plates and wrapped from top to bottom with the message “promotional products work”—made a cross-country trek to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the promotional products industry’s largest and longest-running trade show. Throughout the nearly-two-week journey, the van and its passengers visited industry companies and professionals, getting to know them and their businesses and what the industry’s premier trade association can do to help them succeed. And leading up to Expo 2020, PPAI did it again.

On January 1, PPAI Marketing Manager Amy Bramhall and Graphic Designer Nolan Moran left the Association’s Irving, Texas, headquarters and headed west. Their journey took them to Lubbock, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; and San Diego and Los Angeles, California; before arriving in Las Vegas on January 10. They braved chilly winds in Lubbock and saw a winter wonderland in Santa Fe, the sun, cacti and javalinas in Arizona, and sand dunes and the beach in California before finishing among the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Along the way, Bramhall and Moran hosted a series of pop-up lunches for area distributors and stopped in to visit member company’s offices on their route. Turnout at the lunches was strong, and Bramhall noted the welcoming, friendliness of everyone they met, to the PPAI staff and local industry colleagues.

Following a lunch in Lubbock with several industry members, the Promomobile’s visits began with supplier Nambé in snowy Santa Fe, where PPAI’s team dropped off cookies and pastries on their stop. In Tucson, at industry service provider BARR Credit Services, they were given the opportunity to join a staff meeting and learn more about the company’s day-to-day operations.

In Phoenix, a visit to supplier Fairytale Brownies proved a treat in every sense of the word. Bramhall and Nolan got an up-close look at the company’s delectables and operations, and were gifted with a box of brownies on their way out the door.

The stop at A+ Wine Designs in San Diego gave PPAI’s team members an education on how owner Michael McCarron started the company while in college and how its hand-etched wine bottles are created. The final California visit was with supplier Sacatelle in Los Angeles, where three employees’ on-site dogs livened up their time there.

During the PPAI Expo, the PPAI Promomobile was parked outside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, welcoming attendees as they parked their cars or stepped off their shuttle buses.

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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