"Doors" Open On The First Live, Virtual Trade Show For PPAI

Although this year’s show looks very different, its objective remains the same: to engage members and facilitate their ability to do business.

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Recognizing Excellence In Our Industry

The PPAI Expo’s elegant Chair’s Dinner is an annual opportunity for the industry to gather and celebrate its luminaries on a special evening. This year, at PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, that celebration took place online as the PPAI Icon Awards Recognition Event, held Monday night. Industry professionals from around the world, joined by recipients’ families, logged on to applaud 2021 PPAI Hall Of Fame inductee Teresa Moisant, MAS; 2021 PPAI Distinguished Service Award recipient Mark Abels, MAS; and 2021 PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award recipient Bob Waldorf, CAS, among others.

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Watson Speaks On Crisis Management & Prevention

Jamie Watson, MAS, CPA, senior financial analyst at Certified Marketing Consultants LLC, led hundreds of attendees through “Plan C(risis): Building A Resilient Company.” She discussed what a crisis looks like and describes the different types of crises a business can face. Attendees left with actionable planning strategies and best practices to set their companies up for success.

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Uniquely Different

Participants at Expo D2U were surprised and engaged all week with surprise pop-ups in the same style of PPAI's live trade shows. 

Monday: Virtual Caricature Artist and Puppy Pop-up

Tuesday: Yoga and Weber Grill Demo 

Wednesday: Pet Pop-up and Chair Yoga

Thursday: Virtual Caricature Artist and Yoga

Industry Women Catch Up At Annual Social Event

Seventy-five women in the promotional products industry came together on Tuesday evening for their annual show-based social gathering—but it was quite a departure from previous mixers. Like few otherExpo Direct-2-You social events, the women gathered on Zoom to catch up with friends, meet new attendees and talk about the past year and what’s ahead.

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Evening Entertainments

PPAI Expo Direct-2-You brought a dose of fun and laughter to the long work week. Tuesday Trivia tested the industry's random fact knowledge with quizzes on pop-culture, Netflix, Vegas and PPAI. Wednesday took the night into a once-in-a-lifetime virtual moment as the audience watched a battle between #middleguy and #middletopguy egged on by two hours of chat messages. This moment was such a crowdpleaser PPAI closed the D2U live broadcast with a dance-off finally. 

BDO USA’s Murphy, Collins Discuss Business Recovery Post COVID-19

There’s certainly a recovery period ahead for businesses in a post-pandemic world, and finally, it’s in sight. In the session “How To Prepare Your Business For Recovery,” Sean Murphy and Bill Collins of BDO USA led hundreds of attendees through a 54-minute information-packed session, beginning with what they feel is wrong with the question, “How can you prepare your business for recovery when this crisis is over?”
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Product Pavilion Trend Spotlight

The selection of innovative, standout products showcased in PPAI’s Expo Direct-2-You Product Pavilion are categorized under four headings at this year’s show—Green, PPE, Made in USA and New Products—but one of the underlying trends linking them all together seems to be “Eat, Drink and Be Cozy.” Across all four categories are comfortable, feel-good items that end users can utilize at home and take with them on the go. 

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Small Business Coaches Share Steps To Update Company Marketing

During “Pivoting Your Company’s Marketing Plan,” Sharyn and Hank Yuloff, co-owners of Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions, presented an updated and detailed marketing plan that can be implemented immediately, helping to reconnect companies to their clients through effective messaging. “A completed marketing plan is as mythical as a unicorn,” says Hank. “Since a unicorn doesn’t exist, your marketing plan is never going to be done.”

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See The Exhibitor List

Check out who is exhibiting at PPAI Expo Direct-2-You. New this year: pre-schedule a meeting with exhibitors and get the most out of your day.

PPAI’s Association Update Highlights Effect Of COVID-19 On Business

At the annual Association Update, PPAI held a live virtual, conversation among PPAI leaders on updates and changes made to the Association and its services over the past year; trends and issues affecting the state of the promotional products industry today, and growth opportunities for PPAI’s member companies and the industry as a whole. The conversation also covered the heavy, yet unavoidable, topics of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on business, the move to make Expo virtual this year and their projections for the industry’s future.

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Eco-Friendly, Personal Safety And Personalized Deluxe Products

The PPAI Expo Direct-2-You virtual show floor was brimming with striking new products that are purposeful, useful, stylish and fun.

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Critical Steps For Selling Promo In ‘The New Normal’

Industry veteran David Blaise, co-founder of TopSecrets.com and president of Blaise Drake & Company, Inc., shared a timely action plan during “7 Critical Steps to Sell Promotional Products in ‘The New Normal’” with attendees hoping to re-engage with clients, adapt their messaging, initiate more conversations and sell more promo. “When I talk about the idea of seven critical steps, I really believe that these are the most important things you can do right now to continue to sell promotional products effectively,” says Blaise. “Not just from the standpoint of selling products, but really helping your clients … accomplish their objectives.”

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Distributors Applaud Convenience, Flexibility Of Expo Direct-2-You

This week’s PPAI Expo Direct-2-You was an opportunity for the Association to step well beyond the boundaries of a traditional, in-person trade show to deliver not only exhibits and education virtually, but also live chats, social and networking events, live interviews and even some unexpected, fun pop-ups. 

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Kids In Need CEO Explains How Product Donations Strengthen Education

Overruns, misprints and surplus promotional products of all kinds can be repurposed to help make a substantial difference in underserved schools across the U.S. On Wednesday, Corey Gordon, CEO of Kids in Need Foundation, spoke with emcee BJ Smith during PPAI Expo D2U Live about the organization’s mission that every child in America should have equal access to a quality education.

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