Industry Leaders Join UMAPP Fire & Ice Show’s Panel Discussion

PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, the UMAPP panel's moderator, presents a question to panelists (from left) Bill Smith, Jr., president of Brown & Bigelow and Hotline Calendars; Paul Tauton, CEO of Business Impact Group; Chuck Fandos, CEO of Brand Addition and FacilisGroup, and CJ Schmidt, president of HIT Promotional Products.

The Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) held its 2017 Fire & Ice Show on Tuesday, bringing more than 400 distributors at Shakopee, Minnesota’s Canterbury Park Expo Center. Alongside a trade show with 111 exhibitor booths and multiple networking opportunities, the Fire & Ice Show also brought together a number of industry leaders for a panel discussion on trends, research and best practices in the promotional products field.

The panel, moderated by PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, represented supplier, distributor and business services companies in the industry and featured Chuck Fandos, CEO of Brand Addition and FacilisGroup; CJ Schmidt, president of HIT Promotional Products; Paul Tauton, CEO of Business Impact Group; and Bill Smith, Jr., president of Brown & Bigelow and Hotline Calendars.

The panel discussion drew a crowd of more than 90 people to learn from the participants’ experiences, perceptions and business strategies. Bellantone shared the results of PPAI’s surveys, research and interviews, as well as industry trends, and the conversation ranged from supplier and distributor best practices and regulatory and compliance issues, to consumer behavior and new technology.

“Each panelist [runs] their business to their own sets of metrics of what’s important,” says Gary Haley, president of Beacon Promotions, who attended the session. “And they all had different backgrounds and approaches to things. It was a refreshing exchange that connected with the audience. The panel and the types of questions asked certainly hit the mark a lot more than a narrower approach.”

filed under industry-news | march-2017
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