Last week, the Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC) brought the industry to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, for the 2016 PPPC National Convention.

Running January 25-29, the 60th annual convention drew more than 3,000 attendees for professional development and networking opportunities, and to meet with nearly 200 industry companies in 370 booths on the trade-show floor. This year, the national convention allowed non-member distributors to attend on the second day of the trade show, and on the third day, it welcomed more than 1,300 distributor-invited clients.

Ed Ahad, PPPC president and CEO, says, “Welcoming non-member distributors to the show did not disappoint. It brought additional traffic to the show floor and gave PPPC staff the opportunity to communicate the benefits of being part of this great association. And having distributors and their invited clients on hand created an extremely active final day. These were very successful initiatives.”

The national convention’s professional development schedule extended throughout the week, and featured speakers from the U.S. and Canada to explore the industry’s best practices and new ideas. On Tuesday, the schedule also included keynote sessions with former school principal, coach and speaker Karl Subban; and Chitra Anand, head of public relations at Microsoft Canada and an expert on fostering “intrapreneurship”—those within the organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, driving innovation, creative thinking and new ideas. The day concluded with an opening night networking party, where a Battle of the Bands pit PPPC’s The Misprints against PPAI’s Midnight Soul Patrol.


On Wednesday night, more than 800 guests attended the 36th annual Image Awards ceremony. The evening saw 92 trophies presented to 44 different member companies. BrandAlliance was presented with the National Distributor of the Year Award for the second year in a row, and the Supplier of the Year gold award went to Debco Bag Distributors, while Spector & Co took home the silver and Leed’s was presented with the bronze award.

That evening, Mark Wingrove, MAS, of BIC Graphic, was recognized for his contributions to the industry and association, and was inducted into the PPPC Hall of Fame. Kevin Hill, of Abednego Agencies, was honored with the 2015 PPPC Humanitarian Award for his dedication to several charitable organizations, such as Lifeline Malawi in Malawi, Africa; the Doors of Faith Orphanage in La Mission, Mexico; and for his service as a volunteer minor league hockey and football coach in his local community for more than 15 years. PPPC also presented eight Momentum Awards, recognizing industry professionals who have demonstrated the initiative and skill required to propel the industry forward.

"Like our own PPAI events, the PPPC National Convention is dedicated to meeting the needs of a diverse and evolving marketplace," says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. "PPAI and PPPC share borders, members and strategies for the promotion and growth of our industry and the professionalism. Our presence and collaboration with PPPC at their National Convention and throughout the year not only supports our sister organization to the north but also the common goals we strive to achieve for the betterment of the north American and global promotional products industry."