PPPC Communiqué: Like A Steam Locomotive, PPPC’s Natcon Continues To Power Forward

Photo above: PPPC Chair Alex Jovetic presents past PPPC Chair Heidi Reimer-Epp, CAS, with a thank-you gift at the Image Awards event on September 11 during the 2019 PPPC National Convention.

Building any element of success is much like powering an old steam locomotive. In order to gain enough momentum to support the train’s journey over hills and out of valleys, the engine must be continuously stoked with wood. Without enough wood to power its way, the train simply wouldn’t reach its destination. Such is the case with Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) and the success of its 2019 trade shows.

After moving the timing of the PPPC National Convention (Natcon) to September from the long-held early February timing, the schedule for PPPC’s series of traveling shows (TOPS+), held in four major cities across Canada, was flipped from fall to beginning in late January and ending mid-February.

The much anticipated PPPC Natcon, held at the Toronto International Centre on September 9-12, 2019, set attendance records and the supplier booths sold out.

The education sessions featured many of the industry’s top speakers from the U.S. and Canada, with relevant topics for our industry. The one-day series began with Jonathan Strauss, president/CEO of PPPC; Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI; and David Natinsky, MAS, president of SAGE, hosting an interactive panel that started the day with a bang. Other dynamic speakers included industry icons such as Jae Rang, MAS, a former PPPC chair, winner of the PPPC Humanitarian Award and a published author; Nikki Pett, an award-winning PPPC distributor, speaker and author; and Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, who closed out the professional development sessions with his usual engaging and informative style that attendees are still talking about.

Natcon did not disappoint partygoers either, with an opening party sponsored by six distributor companies, which had attendees dancing into the night. A second—yes, second—networking party was sponsored by a distributor company following another highly successful PPPC Image Awards and Dinner honoring the best from suppliers, distributors and multi-line rep agencies. If you have never attended, you should. If you have never entered to win an award, what are you waiting for?

The trade show was optimized this year from a three-day to a two-day show, and registration was strong for both distributors and end users. Attendance was up from every region of the country. The show floor vibe was electric, and it continued to build over the two days. Many of the attendees and exhibitors referenced that the feeling from Natcon’s “glory days” was back for every aspect of the convention and trade show. Our strategic partners, SAGE and PPAI, were on hand to assist members with questions on education and the use of SAGE technologies. Our partners are a great addition to PPPC, and our members are ecstatic about the added value and connections made with them.

This steam engine continues to build power, and PPPC will continue to stoke the engine to provide the very best experience and value to its membership in all facets of the programs and events it delivers.  


Alex Jovetic is vice president of sales, Canada, at Starline, Inc., and chair of the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC), the national trade association for promotional product suppliers, distributors and multi-line representatives across Canada. With over 1,300 members, PPPC strives to lead, inspire and advance the promotional products industry through the strength of its participants.

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