Expo East Exhibitors Reflect On Show Experience

The energy on the show floor remained high-spirited as nearly 400 booths opened this morning for the final day of Expo East in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The aisles of the trade show at the Atlantic City Convention Center were filled with smartly decorated booths presenting new, popular and unique products to consider for advertising and marketing campaigns of all types. Many of the booths showcased customizable products, from water bottles to pop sockets and bags, and some offered hands-on experiences, including onsite t-shirt screen printing.

PPB Newslink spoke with a number of exhibitors, who were all pleased with their show experience. John Gautsche, account executive with Apogee Commemoratives, Inc., in Minneapolis, Minnesota—a supplier of awards, plaques, puzzles and frames—says distributors weren’t only interested in their products, but appreciative of the suppliers who exhibited. “It seems like there were more engaged decision-makers here, and they understand the expense that suppliers pay to be at the show,” he says. “We appreciate that. They’re making an effort to visit all the exhibitors.”

Lauralee Pullara, director of Bulova in New York, shares Gautsche’s experience about distributor engagement. “I think the show actually met and exceeded expectations,” she says. “I have a couple of really good leads and people who came to the booth specifically with projects. We’re also introducing our new jewelry line, and people really took to that. It was worth it all the way.”

Nestled in an attractive booth surrounded by dazzling, blinking lights, Kathy Nguyen, marketing coordinator with Chao Cards in Orlando, Florida—a custom pop-up card supplier—says the show allowed her to engage more with distributors. “The show has been really nice so far, because we get more time to build a relationship with the distributors and have longer conversations, which I like, without feeling rushed,” she says.

Attending her first Expo East show, which required her farthest flight northeast, Rachel Crane, sales manager of Ad Bands Plus in Hot Springs, Arkansas—a supplier of customized rubber bracelets, silicone bracelets and fitness bands—was satisfied with the location of the booth and distributor engagement. “So far, so good,” she says. “This is so new to me, but it’s been very nice for my first time at this show.” This is also the first time the company has exhibited at Expo East in several years.

When attendees hit the show floor this morning, they were welcomed with a thought-provoking seminar from 9-10 am, How To Achieve A Positive and Happy Life, led by Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, CEO, chief marketing officer, speaker and event planner for The Scarlet Marketeer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Setting a positive vibe for the rest of the day, Sokalski encouraged participants to consider their short-term and long-term goals, both personal and professional, and how to move them from conception to reality. The session was followed by Creating Relevance With Self-Promotion from 10:15-11:15 am, led by Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, which discussed the impact of designing relevant, engaging and targeted advertising to market your business.

Before the show floor closes today at 3 pm, attendees will be treated to sample delicious bites from food trucks located on the show floor, including pizza cones from Chank’s Pizza and cupcakes from House of Cupcakes, sponsored by 5B’s Embroidery and Screen Print. The Product Pavilion, spotlighting featured items in the categories of Top Sellers, Green Products, Made In The USA and Express Ship will also remain open through 3 pm, allowing attendees to browse interesting and trendy products to use in upcoming projects.

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