How To Make The Most Of The PPAI Expo 2022

The PPAI Expo 2022 returns to Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Monday after a pandemic-driven hiatus in 2021. Running January 10-13, it will deliver the trade show, education and networking opportunities that promotional products professionals are looking for to grow their businesses and support their clients. First-timers and seasoned pros will notice that this year’s show is a new experience, all or in part, and there are several tips, tricks and aspects of the show to keep in mind to make the most of it.

Before heading out to visit with the more than 720 exhibitors registered for The PPAI Expo as of January 6, attendees can kick off their show-floor experience with a visit to the Product Pavilion Sneak Peek. Beginning at 8 am Tuesday, January 11, nearly 300 products will be on display in five unique pavilions—New, Made In The USA, Green, Healthpitality and First-Time Exhibitor Products.

And when that perfect product for a client or program is uncovered, attendees can ship samples right from the show floor. New in 2022, FedEx® Quick Ship Sites will be available at the back of aisles 2400 and 5700. This replaces the previous package and valet mail service. Attendees can arrange for shipping and pay for the boxes at the drop-off location on site. Click here for pricing, hours and more information. Discounts are available for PPAI members enrolled in the FedEx Advantage Program prior to the show.

To get to and from the convention center while in Las Vegas, a free shuttle service to Luxor and Excalibur is available. Click here for the schedule. For those driving to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, visit the MGM Pricing Guide for the latest parking details. And for attendees needing a room during their stay, book one directly by phone with the following hotels:

  • Mandalay Bay/Delano 1-877-632-7700 (callers will receive a PPAI discount)
  • Luxor 702-262-4000
  • Excalibur 702-597-777
  • Four Seasons 702-632-5000

When arriving at the show, attendees can skip the registration line and print their badge at Quick Print with their badge confirmation email. The barcode needed to print a badge can be found inside SAGE Mobile, the official show-planning tool of The PPAI Expo. Click here to register more staff.

PPAI takes the health and safety of all of those participating in The PPAI Expo extremely seriously. The show policies, as of January 6 in accordance with local guidelines, are that face masks are required, while vaccination and proof of test results are not. COVID testing is available in MGM property hotel rooms and at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Click here for pricing and more details. Also, The PPAI Expo is now a recognized GBAC™ STAR™ Event. Visit ppai.org/expo/healthpitality for more information.

Want to let your clients and colleagues know that you’re going to be in Las Vegas? Promote the excitement surrounding the industry’s largest and longest-running trade show by using the ‘We’re In’ badge on social pages, your email signature and website. Download the art here.

Mapping Out Your Show Floor Experience

The PPAI Expo is an expansive, multi-faceted experience, and taking it all in can be daunting, even for experienced attendees in a more normal year. PPB Newslink asked a few veterans of The PPAI Expo for their attendee tips to have the best, safest and most-productive time at the show.

“Have a plan,” says Tom Goos, MAS, president of Kirkland, Washington, distributor Image Source. “Show up with a plan of attack. If you are a distributor, map out the suppliers you want to see, check out the new products pavilion and be sure to leave time to look for new suppliers and products. If you are a supplier, contact distributors you want to see and schedule time on the floor for them to meet you. Get in the aisle and work the show, don’t sit back and wait for distributors to linger in your booth, be proactive!”

Goos adds, “Take part in the professional development available. Attend as many sessions as possible. Introduce yourself to presenters, ask questions and introduce yourself to others.”

Rama Beerfas, MAS, CTSM, chief solutions specialist at Santee, California, distributor Lev Promotions, says, “Go to engage! Create relationships with your suppliers so you have a contact you can connect with to thank when things go right and reach out to when the glitches happen. Those are invaluable relationships. Ask about case studies, self-promos and spec sample policies—those are so valuable in our own marketing and client conversations.”

Speaking practically, Beerfas adds, “Bring two pairs of shoes, both comfortable for walking and well broken-in. Change shoes every day, or even during the day if you head back to your room for a break. Your feet will thank you. And if you have a rolling cart/bag or are in a scooter, please be mindful of those around you.”

The PPAI Expo is the premier industry event to meet and connect with peers, both on and off the show floor.

“Checking out the amazing products on the show floor is important, but Expo happens on the fringes too,” says Danny Rosin, CAS, co-president of Raleigh, North Carolina, distributor Brand Fuel. “Don’t miss out on education sessions, dining with partners and the product pavilions.”

Goos adds, “Create collisions! Connect (collide) with as many people as possible to learn and share. Collide with suppliers, distributors and even PPAI staff. Magic happens when you connect with others. One meeting at The PPAI Expo may result in finding the next best product for your biggest order or your next best customer.”

The PPAI Expo 2022 will be an unprecedented event in the industry, and making the most of it also means respecting the realities of the pandemic. But with patience and mutual respect, the spirit of the show experience will be unaffected.

“While at Expo, we are going to want to indulge in high fives, hugs and handshakes. Don’t assume that’s OK,” says Rosin. “Respect boundaries, be respectful and ask if it’s ok to come in for that hug you have been looking forward to for two years.”

Beerfas says, “Be patient with everyone—from airport/airplane staff to transportation to hotel employees to the show staff and booth staff. Things are difficult out there right now. And be appreciative of the exhibitors who come and be respectful to them.”

filed under January 2022 | The PPAI Expo
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