This morning, the show floor at Expo East in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was abuzz with enthusiastic attendees who explored more than 350 exhibitors showcasing promotional products and business services aimed at the sought-after Northeast market. Presented in partnership with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York, Expo East is also delivering more than 30 education sessions focused on topics ranging from marketing to inspiration, sales, embroidery and behavior-based interviewing.

Located mere steps from the registration booth, attendees were welcomed by the Product Pavilions—Top Sellers, Green Products, Made In The USA and Express Ship—where they browsed innovative goods, like CleggPromo’s Big Thought Audio Button, AP Specialties’ Vibrant Sequin Pouch and HeadLimes, LLC’s HeadLimes Gator Edition.

The free education sessions that began on Monday in session rooms continued Tuesday on the show floor, offering added convenience for attendees, with seminars led by Johnny Campbell, CEO of Rise-Up and Win International; Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, vice president of marketing at iPROMOTEu and owner of Cliff Quicksell & Associates; Vince DeCecco, owner and founder of Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc.; and Diane Ciotta of Diane Ciotta, Inc.

“Together with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York, PPAI is excited to present the premier industry trade show on the East Coast,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI. “With over 30 education sessions and more than 250 exhibitors, Expo East continues to attract the best and the brightest industry professionals from the region and across the country who are looking for new opportunities, fresh solutions and proven resources to help their businesses thrive. Our hope is that exhibitors and attendees alike will find everything they need and more at this year’s Expo East.”

One of these attendees included Brian Merrell of Sanzo Specialties, Inc. in Endicott, New York, who was particularly interested in the seminars. “The educational stuff is really what I’m here for,” he says."I like to hear what’s trending, what other people are doing and how to market myself better.” On Monday’s Education Day, he attended seven classes. “I went to every class, back to back. I didn’t take a break all day,” he says.

Beche Sprigg of Avalon Promotional in Baltimore, Maryland, attended four education sessions on Monday, and was looking forward to attending more. “I want to see how I can benefit and learn more techniques for selling, and things like that,” she says.

Katie Benrubi of Bing Bing Design in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, was more focused on making connections and finding products. “I’m looking to connect with my suppliers face-to-face and try to discover some new and interesting products,” she says. Similarly, Diana Clouser, MAS, president of Premier Promotional Solutions, Inc., in Manor, Pennsylvania, was focused on finding "new ideas, meeting reps and reconnecting with those she doesn’t see often." But she said that so far, her experience has been an easy one. “From the mailings that we received and registering online to the time we got here, and doing QuickPrint, everything was smooth.”

Much to the delight of PPAI and attendees alike, the show, which opened its doors at 9 am today, was met with warm weather and clear, sunny skies, making for a comfortable walk to Tun Tavern, across from the convention center, for a networking event after the show closes, for the day, at 4 pm.