Industry Anticipation Builds For The PPAI Expo Next Week
The PPAI Expo returns next week to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas as an in-person event, the first since the January 2020 show. Running January 10-13, including the education and professional development-focused PPAI Expo Conference, the promotional products industry’s largest and most-anticipated trade show will bring attendees together with more than 700 exhibiting companies, thousands of new products and countless ideas and opportunities for their businesses and clients.
“It’s time we return to in-person events and benefit from the creativity that thrives when we are face to face,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, PPAI president and CEO. “The PPAI Expo will be held in the midst of numerous challenges, but it will be full of entrepreneurs and businesses leveraging The PPAI Expo to drive success. Come to The PPAI Expo prepared to do business and to have success in 2022!”
This year, The PPAI Expo will be a little different, marrying the trade show, networking and education opportunities the industry has come to expect with extensive procedures and technologies intended to provide a healthy, safe and comfortable environment for all in attendance. But the spirit of the show and its role as the industry’s grand opening event, remain intact.
“The Expo represents the nucleus of the promotional industry and the unofficial kick-off of the New Year,” says Kevin Walsh, CAS, president of exhibitor Showdown Displays.
Brandon Mackay, MAS, president and CEO of exhibitor SnugZ USA, says, “Expo starts the year off with a bang. It’s an important date on the calendar as it is the starting point for the selling season. Everyone circles the date as a reminder of when the fun will begin.”
The PPAI Expo’s place on the calendar has grown even more important during the pandemic. Mark Jenkins, MAS+, managing director of promotional markets at exhibitor Pioneer Balloon, says, “Expo continues to be an important part of our trade-show calendar. Since COVID, it has gained relevance as we are more selective about how we will direct our marketing dollars. We are expecting to connect with customers and colleagues in ways we have not been able to over the past two years.”
Greg Muzzillo, founder of distributor Proforma, says, “The PPAI Expo is a great place to start the new year and 2022 is perhaps the most critical year ever for getting a new start. We have all been through a few of the toughest years ever. Now more than ever, we need to hit the ‘reset’ button. Reconnect with old friends, connect with new friends, learn what’s new from the suppliers, learn how distributors are navigating these different times and come away with a renewed vision, plan and optimism for the new year.”
The community that surrounds The PPAI Expo continues to be top of mind for most who attend.
“Networking, spending time with others in the company who I don’t get to see that often and others in the industry, is important,” says Craig Nadel, CAS, CEO of distributor Jack Nadel International. “Truthfully, there will be less of that this year obviously, but I still think there will be plenty, and that is very valuable.”
Lori Bauer, senior vice president of affiliate sales and support for distributor iPROMOTEu, says, “At iPROMOTEu, we truly value the opportunities that trade shows, and especially The PPAI Expo, provide. The Expo, in particular, affords us the opportunity to connect with our affiliate network in a dynamic environment. We look forward to attending next week’s Expo and taking advantage of all it has to offer. As long as the Expo is taking place, iPROMOTEu will participate in a big way with a large contingency of our affiliates.”
Walsh adds, “While there’s countless opportunity to cultivate opportunities and grow business, the fundamental reward for myself and our team is the sense of community that The Expo represents. The opportunity to connect with friends, colleagues and partners to forge new—and fortify existing—relationships.”
Mackay says, “What I love most about Expo is getting the chance to be with friends, customers and, to be honest, some the best humans on the planet. It is the highlight of the year and I’m excited it always happens in January.”
The PPAI Expo is also where many of the industry’s newest and most innovative products make their debut and represent an exciting point of intrigue for exhibitors and attendees alike.
“We get the opportunity to meet firsthand with some of the industry’s brightest minds and share with them our innovation and excitement for the new year,” says Mackay. “It’s a great place to rekindle friendships and make new ones.”
Nadel adds, “It is good to see new products and also what is selling. Here at Nadel, we get lost in our own little world, and there is great value to knowing what is selling and what is new. At the end of the day, we still make our money by buying something, almost always decorated in some fashion, and selling it for more, and we know the right things matter.”