Browse full schedule of all the Expo Sessions

The complete schedule of events, including all education sessions, is available on the Schedule page. You can filter the schedule to find the events that interest you the most!

Keynote Luncheon: 5 Steps To Make The Impossible Possible

  • Starts: January 13, 2020 11:30 AM
  • Ends: January 13, 2020 1:00 PM
  • Where: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2
Sponsored by:

 "What do you want to do before you die?” Is this a question you’ve asked yourself recently? It’s one that Ben Nemtin and three of his friends discussed while putting together their 100-item bucket list, chock-full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like “play ball with the president,” “deliver a baby” and “make a television show.” Years later, Nemtin and his friends—Dave Lingwood and brothers and next-door neighbors, Jonnie and Duncan Penn—who make up the cast of MTV’s The Buried Life, have crossed off these items, along with 89 others. But perhaps even more incredible is that for every time Nemtin and his friends cross an item off their bucket list, they help a stranger cross something off theirs, too.

Nemtin spoke during Monday’s keynote luncheon, “5 Steps To Make The Impossible Possible.” The New York Times bestselling author and TV personality spoke on the ripple effect of positive action and the significance of devoting time to achieving our personal goals, which, in turn, helps others move closer to achieving theirs. When the concept was born for The Buried Life, Nemtin and his friends were just recent high school graduates who were dissatisfied with their lives and wanted a change—but little did they know that their two-week road trip across North America would be something they’re still devoted to, some 15 years later, and something that has touched the lives of countless people. But what Nemtin later realized was that his trove of soul-enriching experiences started with taking a single, small step, and then another, and another.

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Power Keynote: Making An Impact

  • Starts: January 13, 2020 2:30 PM
  • Ends: January 13, 2020 4:15 PM
  • Where: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2

Monday’s Power Keynote was a moving experience for audience members—moved to laugh, to appreciate one another and even moved to tears. Dr. Rick Rigsby, author and speaker, drew on the wisdom of past generations in his session, “Making An Impact,” to motivate and inspire his audience to leave more than an impression as they move through the world. Dr. Rigsby is also a former professor at Texas A&M University, and both PPAI Board President Brittany David, MAS, and PPAI Director of Professional Development Jennifer Crowfoot count him as a favorite instructor.

Dr. Rigsby was upfront with his audience, saying that he’d only learned about the promotional products industry a few months ago, but, during that time, had come to realize how much the industry impacts his own life. He said, “You folks touch every life in the world, you should be proud of that!”

In his session, a fast-moving 90 minutes, Dr. Rigsby asked “How many of you all want to be better this year than you were last year?” And drawing from the insights and wisdom of a third-grade dropout—his father and the subject of the book Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout—he walked the audience through how to make more of an impact on the world in a lesson often peppered with moving and insightful personal stories and anecdotes.

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General Session: Unleash Your Potential

  • Starts: January 14, 2020 8:00 AM
  • Ends: January 14, 2020 9:30 AM
  • Where: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2
Sponsored By:

There’s nothing more important to a business than relationships. For promotional products professionals, relationships are everything—they’re the catalyst that brings the industry together and the gateway to strengthening and maintaining connections with clients. Without relationships—genuine relationships that require nurturing—in the promotional products industry, we wouldn’t get very far. This sentiment—and more—was the topic of discussion during Tuesday’s PPAI Expo general session, “Unleash Your Potential,” featuring Molly Fletcher, a former sports agent, dubbed the “female Jerry McGuire” by CNN and the founder of Molly Fletcher Company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fletcher’s professional journey has been rooted in relationships. Fletcher, who has authored five books—her newest one is Fearless at Work: Achieve Your Potential—recalls her early days spent navigating client relationships and bringing people together for collective gain. After graduating from Michigan State University and moving back in with her parents in East Lansing, Michigan, she decided to move 700 miles south to Atlanta, Georgia, alone, to pursue her dream job of being a sports agent. When her parents understandably asked what she planned on doing for work in the meantime, she expressed interest in becoming a tennis instructor. After relocating, Fletcher learned that tennis was big in the Atlanta area, and it was a fairly common practice, at the time, for tennis instructors to offer their services at places like apartment complexes, in exchange for a reduction in rent. Fletcher approached the apartment manager and offered her services, but learned the complex already had a tennis pro working there, and not only had he been there for the past six years, but they were very happy with him. Nonetheless, Fletcher persisted—and soon after, serendipitously and as perfect timing would have it, the current pro was relocating and there was an immediate opening for a new tennis pro. Fletcher got the job. Fletcher’s determination to succeed as a tennis instructor was just one example of how she used her skills and connections to reach her goals.

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Keynote Luncheon: PPAI Association Update

  • Starts: January 15, 2020 12:00 PM
  • Ends: January 15, 2020 1:30 PM
  • Where: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2
  • Cost: Free To Attend

In an open panel forum on Wednesday during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE; Board Chair Brittany David, MAS, and Incoming Board Chair Ira Neaman, MAS, reflected on the Association’s highlights from last year and discussed how they plan on preparing for the industry’s future.

The promotional products industry is changing right before our eyes, they said. From a new generation entering the work force to how digital is changing consumers’ buying habits, PPAI is taking the initiative to anticipate what’s next.

“We must have the confidence to evolve,” Bellantone said. In the past year, the Association has demonstrated its crucial role as an advocate for its members and the entire industry. David reflected on how the introduction of a new bill, the "Stop Wasteful Advertising by the Government Act," or the SWAG Act, would have prohibited federal agencies from spending money on promotional products to promote themselves and their programs. “PPAI acted quickly, and we were able to have a seat table to help craft the new language of the bill,” David said.

During the Q&A section, audience members asked their most pressing questions ranging from the potential impact of President Trump’s signing of the initial trade deal with China to how non-traditional companies are entering the industry. Regarding the latter, David answered, "We can either welcome and embrace them or try to keep them out. Because, either way, they are going to keep doing it whether they are a part of our Association or not."

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Interested In Being A Presenter At The PPAI Expo In 2021?

Call for proposals for The PPAI Expo 2021 are open through February 28, 2020. Notice of selection will be sent out by July 13, 2020.