The PPAI Expo 2023 “Fuels The Spirit” Of Reinvigorated Distributors

The aisles between exhibitors on the The PPAI Expo 2023 trade show floor were packed with distributors who meant business but were still all smiles. Attendance was strong inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and the consensus from distributors seemed to be that spirits were way up as well.
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The PPAI Expo Opens With State Of The Industry, Association Remarks

The PPAI Expo 2023 is officially underway here in Las Vegas, and just like the promotional products industry at large, it has emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever.

Kickstarting the event on Monday morning, PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+, announced a preliminary 2022 industry sales volume estimate to a packed crowd of PPAI Expo attendees inside Mandalay Convention Center.

The annual survey, collected by third-party research firm Relevant Insights on behalf of PPAI, is ongoing, but the current estimate – more than $25 billion – is an increase of at least 13.1% over 2021.

“Last year was a pretty spectacular year for our industry given the challenges of the previous years,” says PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds, MAS. “We saw sales continue their upward trend, overcoming the downturn of 2020. And as events, which drove a significant amount of industry sales, continue to stay strong, 2023 is looking great as well.”

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Distributors Share Their Favorites From The Product Pavilion

The trade floor for The PPAI Expo 2023 officially opened up Tuesday, and while it’s an exciting, disorienting, fruitful bit of organized chaos for even the most seasoned attendees, plenty of curation can be found at the Product Pavilion.

Excellent versions of the tried-and-true products can be found there, but what tends to shine at the Product Pavilion are the innovations that spark curiosity before a logo is even placed on them.

“We’re all here because we’re looking for products that are unique,” says Sue Koth, president of Kool Ideas Marketing.

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Exhibitors Share Their Good Vibes From The PPAI Expo Show Floor

The show floor of The PPAI Expo 2023 has been abuzz with energized attendees, bustling exhibitor booths and a palpable optimism for the year ahead.

While at the show, PPAI Media found moments within the energetic thrum of activity to connect with a few exhibitors on their experiences midway through the 2023 PPAI Expo. Common among all of the conversations was an overarching enthusiasm about the show and the attendees they’ve met so far.

Based on the atmosphere on the show floor, 2022 was clearly a good year for the industry and most people are moving into 2023 expecting it to be fruitful as well.

“The energy is really high,” says David Forsyth, a sales executive at Dallas-based industry service provider OrderMyGear. “Everyone seems to be really excited about their job, which is a rare thing. Everybody’s been great.”

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The PPAI Expo 2023 “Fuels The Spirit” Of Reinvigorated Distributors

The aisles between exhibitors on the The PPAI Expo 2023 trade floor were packed with distributors who meant business but were still all smiles. Attendance was strong inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and the consensus from distributors seemed to be that spirits were way up as well.

“This is my 40th year in the industry, and I’ve been coming to this show since year one,” says Cliff Quicksell, president and CEO of Cliff Quicksell Associates. “What I love about this year is the energy that’s here.”

Bringing People Back Together

While The PPAI Expo made its in-person return in 2022, this year has proven to be a greater return to prominence for the industry’s largest and most important trade show. Drew Davis, owner of Specialty Incentives, spoke of a “reengagement” of the promo community from distributors, suppliers and service providers that became apparent as soon as they walked into the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

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Three Apparel Trends Spotted At The PPAI Expo 2023

The idea that “less is more” has never been more relevant. Before quiet quitting and The Great Resignation, the soft life trend called for eliminating stress and making peace-based decisions. This online movement began with Black women denouncing the hustle culture on social media, and now the tag #softlife on TikTok has over 543.6 million views and counting.

Whether it’s quitting a dead-end job or wearing pajamas most of the week, soft living says do what brings you peace. The Urban Dictionary describes it as “making decisions that leave you feeling stress free and vibrating higher. Less about wealth (though it helps) and more about making good choices.”

This lifestyle is reflected in 2023 apparel trends. Consumers are setting boundaries, choosing high-end brands and eco-friendly products, and gravitating toward the softest materials.

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