The PPAI Expo 2021 Transitions To PPAI Expo Direct-2-You

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to stage large, in-person live events like The PPAI Expo 2021 without compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, attendees, participants and the community at large. As first announced today in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, PPAI has made the decision to transition The PPAI Expo 2021 to a completely virtual live format in January under a new name: PPAI Expo Direct-2-You.

“With the transition to a virtual live event, we can deliver a unique experience to connect our members globally, give more people the opportunity to view new, trending products, expand their knowledge with exclusive education sessions, network with their promotional products community and make lasting business connections,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “This unprecedented time has generated an amazing amount of creativity and collaboration in business, and PPAI is responding in kind. Participants can expect the same quality and scope of event that have long been distinguishing attributes of The PPAI Expo.”

PPAI Expo Direct-2-You will deliver a trade show, education and networking opportunities to the promotional products industry in the comfort of participants’ homes and offices. It will be held online from January 11-14, 2021. Attendees will discover the latest and greatest products, attend quality industry education sessions, and engage with hundreds of exhibitor suppliers and business services, and be able to network with thousands of other distributors.

Bellantone adds, “While I will personally miss seeing everyone face-to-face, I’m excited about the transition to virtual because of the opportunity to reach the many members in our industry and around the world who would otherwise be unable to attend.”

From the very outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PPAI show management and the executive team, and the Association’s board of directors have monitored and carefully considered its progress and ongoing regulatory and travel restrictions as key factors in show planning. After exhaustive study, consultation and consideration, transitioning The PPAI Expo 2021 to a virtual live event was an unavoidable action, the Association says.

PPAI will soon be posting additional information on PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, including more detail on hours and the event schedule, on the event website and in member communications. PPAI plans to return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in 2022. The PPAI Expo 2022 will be held on January 9-13, 2022, with exhibits open January 11-13.

For additional information, view the video announcement and review the FAQ. For general questions about the PPAI Expo or PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, contact the PPAI Expositions department at or call 972-258-3902. Suppliers and business service providers interested in information about awareness opportunities can reach out to their business development account manager.

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Comments (7)
Susan Shamoon
October 10, 2020
I know this was not an easy decision for many reasons, so PPAI is to be commended for being so forward thinking and moving on to keep us up to date as best as possible with show information, suppliers, and products. I pray this hoes smoothly for you all and will benefit everyone with new ideas. Perhaps the show can remain online this year so others can take advantage of all your efforts. Thanks to all!!
Joanne Worrall
September 27, 2020
While it won't be the same camaraderie that we get in the fact-to-face show, this is the next best option. I just attended a SAGE virtual show and I must say it provided a decent atmosphere, good new product ideas and contact with sales reps to answer questions. Many of the suppliers includes 2-3 minute videos of their newest products or processes, so that was helpful. The downside is not being able to actually "touch and feel" products, which is definitely important to help judge overall quality. But it was easy to order samples if necessary. And there wasn't enough time to see all the exhibitors and include any education. Perhaps for PPAI, you can ensure any education modules are also available after the show days, so we don't miss out. And for sure it was certainly easier on the feet!
September 26, 2020
WOW! Sure is a lot of haters. As a Covid Survivor and several friends that were not so lucy, you would not want to go there. PPAI, I commend you on the right decision in considering the well being and safety of all involved and their families. I do not think anyone will die from not attending the PPAI show 1 year.
Ellen Tucker
September 25, 2020
Stephanie, we appreciate your feedback and for connecting with us offline. We look forward to continuing that conversation with you as we move forward. Based on the current federal, state and local governmental regulations it would be impossible for us to host an in-person event in January. We, along with you, look forward to being able to host our next in-person show. In the meantime, we will continue to find ways to bring the industry community, knowledge and a forum to do business. — Ellen Tucker, CAE, Director, Business Development and Expositions, PPAI
Stephanie Wilson
September 25, 2020
I am extremely disappointed in PPAI. I will not be attending this event in a virtual format. Our industry is built on face to face and personalized relationships that no amount of technology is going to support or enhance. You have only strengthened the largest of the lot and are continuing to place your smaller members and distributors in a very tough spot for survival by not offering the services we need. We will wait for the event to go face to face before continuing our membership.
Mitch Bublitz
September 24, 2020
Wow a virtual show. Do you think this old dog can learn this new trick? Do I have to wear pants? At the show I am sometimes talking to a number of people at the same time. How is this going to work? Two booth people in the booth, do we have our own camera to talk to our own distributor? After the show can I go out to eat at a restaurant? I am going to miss being with Becky my daughter for those days. Samples need to be sent if requested. Maybe we should have them on a web page. Have a shopping cart? I could have the booth set up in my house, Back drop, samples on the back drop. This could be fun. Could save money with no plane tickets, room cost, expensive food at the convention hall, helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, car rental. t
Shelley Gautschi
September 24, 2020
We just had the Canadian virtual show. It was interesting, but due to the time it takes to go through the different booths, we were not able to see them all and the information from the supplier was not available after the show. I can see this as a big problem with your show as there will be so many more suppliers. It would be nice to be able to see what the suppliers are promoting at the show. I think this would good for the suppliers as many more distributors would view their products. Not everyone is a genius on the computer. Thank you for your time.
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