PPAI Executive Vice President Bob McLean, CPA, CAE, joined in a panel discussion at distributor iPROMOTEu’s (PPAI 218870) recent Affiliate Forum in Boston, Massachusetts. Ross Silverstein, president and CEO of iPROMOTEu led the discussion that included McLean and Tim Andrews, president and CEO of ASI, who talked about key trends facing the promotional products industry and how PPAI and ASI see them developing.

“It was an honor to be invited,” says McLean. “It was great to witness not only how iPROMOTEu values their affiliates, but also their great supplier partners. I was thrilled to share the stage with Tim Andrews and Ross Silverstein.”

The conversation covered the recent Supreme Court decision that opened the door for states to collect sales tax on online sales; mergers, particularly the recent one between alphabroder and Prime, and the role of private equity in the industry; the impact Amazon, Walmart and others could have on the industry; the future of industry trade shows; tariffs and trade wars; and aging and diversity in the industry workforce, among other topics.

The forum brought together approximately 100 of its top affiliates and 100 of its preferred suppliers for two days of education, entertainment and a trade show. The first night included a Boston Red Sox game, at which Silverstein threw out the ceremonial first pitch, while the second featured a cruise around Boston Harbor and a lobster bake at the federal courthouse.