SAGE wrapped up its annual promotional products trade show last week in Irving, Texas. With 215 exhibitors, 21 states represented and 24 education sessions held, the SAGE Show 2017 attracted a record-breaking number of attendees, including buyers who attended with their distributors.

The event kicked off with a full day devoted to relationship building, education and networking. SAGE and PPAI joined forces to provide professional education sessions dedicated to exploring cutting-edge technology, improving sales and marketing skills and ultimately growing promotional products businesses.

On the trade-show floor the next day, attendees explored more than 200 supplier lines featuring the latest and most popular promotional items, including wearables, writing instruments, drinkware, sports goods, and much more.

Bob Tipton, owner of distributor SHAZAMM! Promotional Products, attended the show with his daughter, Ashley Acker, who is looking to join the business. “I wanted my daughter to see her first show,” he says.  “She’s very impressed with all the fascinating products.”

Deborah Edgar at distributor Scarborough Specialties, Inc., brought her buyer, Renee Berres. “I always look forward to this show because of all the new products for the holidays and the sneak previews for 2018. I saw lots of unique usage of full-color imprint, and a lot of new products that are more retail savvy. All those things keep us on top of the industry.” Berres, who is with Medical City Healthcare, found a number of ideas for upcoming projects. “We are looking at items we can order for our ER promotions, health fairs in the community and employee gifts to promote our new brand.”

SAGE CEO Eric Natinsky was pleased with the show’s outcome. “We’re so grateful for the opportunity to bring our industry together under one roof from year to year,” he says. “Hearing positive feedback and seeing our attendance numbers soar with each new SAGE Show inspires us to continue to deliver the best experiences for promotional products professionals.”

During the show, SAGE contributed to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) by donating $10,000 to establish a  university scholarship/internship program at the University of North Texas.

“We are so pleased to receive this generous donation from SAGE,” says Sara Besly, PPEF manager. “PPEF is committed to positively impacting our community and providing the necessary support for the prosperity of the promotional products industry.”

David Natinsky, SAGE president, adds, “Educating our community is the key to growing the promotional products industry. We’re glad that we were able to contribute to this philanthropic effort, and to well-deserving students and future leaders of the workforce.”

In the aftermath of the historic flooding on the Texas Gulf Coast brought on by Hurricane Harvey, SAGE, along with Promotional Products Association Southwest (PPAS)  and PPAI encouraged attendees to bring donations to the SAGE Show. All monetary donations were delivered to the Business Recovery Fund organized by PPAI to support affected promotional product businesses. Product donations, such as clothing and personal care items, were also accepted by PPAS and were delivered to several Dallas evacuation centers, assisting as many as 10,000 people that have been displaced due to the storm.

“SAGE Show more than met our expectations this year. We want to thank all the distributors, suppliers and sponsors that made SAGE Show 2017 possible,” says David Natinsky “However, our vision doesn’t stop there. We are excited to deliver an even bigger and better experience for SAGE Show 2018.”