PromoKitchen, an all-volunteer, 501c3 nonprofit organization in the promotional products industry, hosted its annual mixer on January 11 following the opening day of the PPAI Expo Direct-2-You. The virtual event used a new platform called that allows guests to move around the room and join conversations to mingle and interact as if they were at a live event.

More than 500 people registered for PromoKitchen’s mixer and raised over $2,600 in donations. The event was free to attend. All donations went towards supporting initiatives like PromoKitchen’s mentorship program, education webinars, podcasts, regular newsletters, a weekly Twitter chat, #Promochat and more. To keep with the Vegas mixer tradition, the group worked with MDRN Photobooth to provide a live virtual photobooth where attendees could use stickers as props and create a fun mosaic from the images.

Johanna Gottlieb with Axis Promotions powered by HALO and chair of PromoKitchen, says, “We were so pleased with the number of attendees and the interactions we watched happen. This was a brand new platform for many and it had a quick learning curve. Many people jumped in with two feet. We had great feedback about how it felt like a real live networking event. We wanted to encourage attendees to learn something new and we are so glad that they did. We are really blown away by the board members, sous chefs and volunteers at PromoKitchen who helped facilitate during the event and helped put together training documents, videos and more prior to the event. The team went above and beyond to make sure that anyone who signed up was well prepared on what to expect.”

The event kicked off with light networking and a quick welcome by Gottlieb. It jumped back into networking for a bit and then a live message from Gottlieb and PromoKitchen co-chair Kate Plummer, vice president of Clearmount Plastics. Gottlieb and Plummer thanked sponsors including Hit Promotional Products and Maple Ridge Farms, recognized board members who had recently completed their terms and all of their volunteers.