Inside PPAI: PPAI Cancels Or Postpones 2020 Events And Meetings Due To Pandemic
PPAI has updated certain 2020 events and meetings to ensure the health, safety and well-being of its attendees, exhibitors, participants, staff, and event and venue partners in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
“With careful consideration of restrictions of all gatherings and reports from leading health organizations, PPAI’s leadership team and board of directors have made the decision to reevaluate certain PPAI events and meetings schedules for 2020,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI. “The health and well-being of all parties involved is our No. 1 concern during this unprecedented time.”
He adds, “For 118 years, PPAI events and meetings have served as the gathering place for the promotional products community to connect over shared experiences, and we’ve always known that no matter what, we are in this together. The hardest part about this crisis is that, for us to be in this together, we must remain apart at this time. While, like you, we are saddened by the need to cancel, consolidate and reschedule our events and meetings, we know the strength of our industry, our connections and the power of promotional products will bring us together again–growing stronger than ever before.”
At presstime, PPAI had cancelled or postponed the following events and meetings to ensure promotional products industry members and stakeholders can focus on preventing and diminishing the spread of COVID-19. Further updates will be posted at www.ppai.org/events.
Expo East Cancelled – With shelter-in-place restrictions in many areas across the U.S. and the designation of the Atlantic City Convention Center as a temporary field hospital to accommodate expanded capacity, PPAI has cancelled Expo East, which was planned for June 3-5 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Exhibitors who have signed up for Expo East will receive a credit with PPAI and will be contacted by a representative. Show registrants who have made a purchase or booked housing will be contacted personally as well. PPAI has also added an FAQ section to www.ppai.org/expoeast with additional cancellation information.
Promotional Products Work! Week Postponed – PPAI will postpone this week-long event, originally scheduled for May 4-8, to coincide with Advertising Week, October 5-8, where the Association already invests heavily in industry advocacy activities. The industry and PPAI will use this as a rallying point to begin rebuilding and the early October dates can be both timely and fortuitous.
PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) Cancelled – The annual visit to Washington, D.C., originally scheduled for May 6-7, in which industry members represent and lobby on behalf of the industry, has been cancelled. However, PPAI intends to encourage all members to reach out to their members of Congress to thank them for their work on behalf of all of the industry and ask them to keep the needs of small businesses top of mind.
SPARK Conference Cancelled – While the Association recognizes the importance of young professionals to the well-being and future success of the industry, it has made the difficult decision to cancel this program, originally scheduled for July 15-17 in San Antonio, Texas. However, PPAI is considering making SPARK a one-day event in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in January 2021.
PPAI’s Women’s Leadership Conference Cancelled –WLC is one PPAI’s most highly-attended and strongly-supported programs among PPAI’s annual events. However, given the current situation and following discussions with past attendees and the WLC workgroup, the Association decided to cancel this year’s event, which was scheduled for June 22-24 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stay tuned for other opportunities and plans.
PPAI’s Tech Summit Cancelled – The 2020 PPAI Tech Summit was scheduled for September 21-23 in Austin, Texas. However, details on a virtual Tech Summit should be forthcoming soon.
James Khattak is news editor of PPB.