The PPAI Expo Conference

Join us on Monday, January 9 for one day of education in a conference format, elevate your business by learning from some of the most compelling professional speakers as well as numerous industry experts.

PPAI Welcome & General Sessions

8:45 - 10 am
PPAI Welcome

Speakers: Dale Denham, MAS+, President and CEO, PPAI and Dawn Olds, MAS, Board Chair, HALO

General Session: Pushing Your Envelope: How To Overcome The Self-Doubt Of Imposter Syndrome, Once And For ALL!
Speaker: Maureen Zappala
Session Description: Description: You’re talented, accomplished and s successful. People think you have it all together. Yet you still think to yourself “Oh my gosh! I don’t t know what I’m doing! And everyone is about to figure it out! They’re on to me!” You may suffer from the Impostor Syndrome or the Impostor Phenomenon.
It’s estimated that 70% of all people suffer from this. Maureen will share proven strategies, called the “Fraud-Free Framework” that will silence that impostor voice so you can enjoy your own success and begin to believe you really are as smart as everyone thinks you are.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J

10 - 11 am
General Session: Diversity, Inclusion And Bias: Measuring Progress, Improving Performance And Increasing Productivity

Speaker: James Pogue, PhD
Session Description: Does your organization need to be able to measure its success with diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias efforts? James Pogue’s model will help you do just that. James will share the latest research around bias and its impact in the workplace and clarity the connection between diversity, inclusion, bias and organizational success. James will identify practical steps to move forward, recognizing that the first step is often the most difficult.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Mandalay Bay Ballroom J

Breakout Sessions 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Breakout Session 1: The Rising Generations: How To Attract And Retain Millennial And Gen Z Talent And Customers
Speakers: Mykayla Goodwin, Senior Director, Marketing, OrderMyGear and Taylor Borst, Director of Marketing, Events & PR, American Solutions for Business
Session Description: The promotional products industry is transforming as Millennials and Gen-Zers become more involved and engaged than ever before. Join this session as we uncover how these digital natives are using their talents to shake up the industry and bring a fresh perspective to promo. Whether you’re new to promo or a seasoned expert, we will:

  • Discover how to attract, retain, and support Millennial and Gen-Z employees and customers.
  • Explore ways to make your company approachable and appealing to rising generations.
  • Share tips on cultivating an authentic online brand through transparent and empowering content.

Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon H

Breakout Session 2: Sell Promotional Products And Have A Positive Environmental Impact – Your Clients Are Asking
Ashlee Baker, Principal & Waste Diversion Specialist, Waste NOT Consulting
Session Description:
How can promotional products being sold have a positive impact in a world where waste generation and disposal are a problem? Your clients want to know this answer, along with what you are doing to help resolve this serious issue. In this session, you will gain valuable insight into how you continue seeking business success in the promotional products industry, while still considering where the products will end up.
MAS 1.0
Breakers B

Breakout Session 3: Digital Transformation: Industry Service Provider Review, PDX, Cybersecurity
Speaker:  Chris Alfano, SVP, Business Technology, AIA Corporation, Nick DiNicola, Digital Transformation Manager, PPAI
Session Description: There are so many different aspects to digital transformation, and each one can influence your sales and your customers. This session takes some of the hottest topics and provides much needed information on each. Discover the details, facts, stats, and data regarding Industry Service Providers, PDX and Cybersecurity, and learn the different ways these can affect your business, reputation, and growth.
Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Breakers E

Breakout Session 4: Maximizing Your Time Management By Evaluating And Segmenting Your Clients
Speaker:  Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, MASI, President and CEO, Cliff Quicksell & Associates 
Session Description: Time management for small business entrepreneurs is one of the greatest challenges; therefore, being more strategic and at the same time, differentiating oneself is more critical than ever. Both clients and prospects are looking for a higher level of marketing expertise, far beyond what is found in a catalog or online – they are looking for relevant messaging. This session will unveil the vertical marketing strategy through the segmentation and classification process. This process improves time management, boosts sales, improves profitability, and increases loyalty among your clients – truly a must-see presentation.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon L

 *Agenda Subject To Change

Breakout Sessions 12:45 - 1:45 pm

Breakout Session 1: The Business Case For CSR: Conscious Consumerism: A Seismic Shift In Buying Behavior
Speakers: Mary Furto, VP Marketing, PCNA; Holly Brown, Chief Revenue Officer, PCNA; Liz Haesler, Chief Merchandising Officer, PCNA
Session Description: The emergence of conscious consumerism – making ethical purchasing decisions based on environmental and social considerations – represents a seismic shift in consumer behavior. On the heels of so much uncertainty and extraordinary change during the past couple years, it’s a reason for optimism being driven by a new generation entering the workforce – a new generation with new attitudes about how they choose to spend their money and what they expect from an employer. We’ll present eye-opening statistics that illustrate how this macro trend is dramatically affecting buying decisions, and why it will likely be the biggest catalyst of both change and opportunity in the promotional products market for years to come.
Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon H

Breakout Session 2: Promotional Products Work
Speaker: Lindsey Davis, MAS, Director, Business Development, PPAI
Session Description: PPAI has launched an industry outreach effort to elevate Promotional Products and educate buyers on the value of our advertising medium through research, education, networking, and events. In this session, you will see some of the tools you can use in your own business to take advantage of this campaign and increase sales.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand how Promotional Products Work efforts can help you in your business and grow sales.
2. Identify specific tools your business can take advantage of.
3. Understand why PPAI is investing to promote the industry.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon L

Breakout Session 3: Own The Brand, Own The Business
Speaker: Bill Petrie, Founder and Creative Director, brandivate
Session Description: The buyers of promotional merchandise have evolved and changed which means that it’s no longer good enough to simply sell them products with logos on them. In this session, Bill Petrie will explain how to fully own every aspect of your client’s branding and marketing efforts making you an indispensable resource for years to come.
Actionable Takeaways
• Understand the importance of thinking larger than promotional merchandise and how doing so will separate you from the competition.
• Discover the four parts of the client brand experience that are critical to master for success.
• Master the five ways to truly own your client’s brand to grow their business – and yours!
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Breakers E

Breakout Session 4: Digital Transformation: Take Charge Of Your First Impression
Speaker: Malik Hemani, Principal, Creative Director, Graphic Stylus LLC
Session Description:  Highlight essential information and show what makes your distributor unique and right to the next generation of buyers. Learn how to 10x sales while easily connecting with new customers. Whether you’re looking for foot traffic or web traffic, use this knowledge to generate the ultimate referral source. To get the most out of your Google Business Profile, you must optimize it. Here we will talk about some quick and easy ways to do that. Creating this free profile is a great way to increase your visibility across Google. Information from your Google Business Profile appears in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. A Google Business Profile helps ensure that people find your business when looking for products and services.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Breakers B

 *Agenda Subject To Change

Breakout Sessions 2 - 3 pm

Breakout Session 1: The Art of Wickedly Creative Product Design, Packaging, and First Impressions
Speaker: Jason Lucash, Two Days Apart, LLC.
Session Description:  Jason Lucash, founder of Origaudio will share his tips and lessons for how to make yourself, your products, and your brand stand out in a crowded space. Over the last decade, Lucash has taken the industry by storm by launching cutting-edge products in ultra-creative packaging and helped Origaudio stand out from other suppliers in the promo industry. In this session he will dive into how he did that, the importance of packaging, why first impressions matter most, and where the inspiration for his creativity comes from.
Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Breakers B

Breakout Session 2: Do You Know Me? A Generations Game Connecting People To Product
Speaker: Vicki Ostrom, SanMar
Session Description: Let’s touch base on some key trends shaping our lives in 2023 through the lens of what’s happening with generational groups. It’s never been more important to connect in an authentic way – to each other, to our customers, co-workers, and employees. Through a QA format, we will identify the ways technology and economics are influencing each unique generation – and micro-generation. That’s the game! Generation roundup review, Q & A and then we will apply those answers to match people to product! You’ll come out of this hour with actionable information as we bridge current trends to product applications. Come on in and let’s have some fun!
Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon L

Breakout Session 3: Customer Experience – What Does It Mean In The Promotional Products Industry
Speaker: Laura Turner, VP Customer Experience, Alphabroder and Amy McCray, Vice President, Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products Group
Session Description: Companies all over the world are finding ways to measure your satisfaction with their goods and services… And, if they are doing it right, they are taking action to improve their operations in response to your feedback.  This has become a hot topic, especially in the promotional products industry.  Please join Laura Turner from alphabroder and Amy McCray from Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products as they map the customer journey from concept to delivery and share how their companies are listening to their customers, measuring their satisfaction, and improving their experience along the way.  It will be an engaging session that will leave you with some simple ways to start measuring customer experience in your organization.
Designation: CAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon H

Breakout Session 4: DEI: The Value Of Certification
Elise Lindborg, CEO and Business Development, Brand|Pride, Kathy Cheng, Founder, Redwood Classics Apparel, and Heather Cox, President, Certify My Company, Rhoda Hassad, Supplier Diversity Manager, MGM Resorts International
Session Description:  While corporate contracts are one of the most effective ways for companies in the promotional products industry to grow their profit and impact, too many are profoundly struggling to start or scale their corporate work. Unclear about how to get in the door or turn an initial contract into a recurring one, many often find themselves hustling for introductions and networking with the wrong people. Learn how diversity certification can help a diverse business owner (i.e., woman, minority, LGBTQ, veteran, or disabled) accelerate their business success if they understand how to get certified and leverage their certification once they are certified. If you are a company who is not able to become certified, learn how you can partner with those who are and benefit from those relationships.

CAS 1.0
 Breakers E

 *Agenda Subject To Change

Breakout Sessions 3:15 - 4:15 pm

Breakout Session 1: 5 Secrets Of The Fastest Growing Companies In North America
Speaker: Greg Muzzillo, Founder, Proforma
Session Description:  Gaining dynamic sales growth and profitability is the goal. Would you like to know how distributors in the promotional products industry have been able to be named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies? In this session, Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma will share the top 5 “secrets” that have helped these distributors find record breaking success.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon L

Breakout Session 2: Unlocking Engagement: Smart Strategies To Create Motivated, High-Performance Connections
Speakers: Kate Alavez, COO. PromoShop and Erin Reilly, CEO, Pop Promos
Session Description: Are you looking for a reboot in your motivation? When you’re working with your team in the post-pandemic workplace do you miss the engagement you had before or do you sometimes feel just ….lost? Whether you’re putting together a team for the first time, leading a team you’ve known forever, or just starting on your career path, taking time to pause and rewrite your roadmap can be an exceptional opportunity to zoom out and see the whole picture just a little more clearly. Join Erin and Kate in an interactive session designed to help you reengage and authentically connect with high-performance inspiration. This session focuses on tools to find zeal, connect using a whole human approach, and track progress for women at all levels of their organization.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon H

Breakout Session 3: CSR, The Case For Diversity, Equity, Inclusion And Belonging (DEIB)
Speaker: Dawn Olds, MAS, Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and DEI, HALO, Johanna Gottlieb, VP Sales, HALO and Kara Keister, Co-Owner, Social Good Promotions, Natalie Tenner, Credit Manager and Chair: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action Council, SanMar, Rob Crowley, Senior Director, Basics and Activewear, SanMar, Sonya Kaleel, Founder and Principal Consultant, The Inclusion Practice
Session Description: Would you plant a garden with only one type of plant?  What is a gardener’s responsibility in making sure all of their plants thrive? Come to this session, where you will learn why diverse teams working in an environment of equity, inclusion, and belonging drive the best business results. This session’s panel includes perspectives from PPAI members leading the DEI charge within their organizations and the owner of a consulting firm whose sole purpose is to help organizations build inclusion programs, through inclusive leadership coaching and evidence-based tools.
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Breakers E

 *Agenda Subject To Change

Education Session 4:30 - 5:30 pm

Session: Promo Sales Master Class
Speaker:  Tom Economou, Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Sales, HALO; Luke Sigle, Sales Executive, The Vernon Company 
Session Description: Finding new ways to increase your revenue is always the objective and goal.  Learn from some of the best in the promotional products industry during this panel discussion.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been in sales, the industry, or the size of your company, everyone can benefit from this Promo Sales Master Class. 
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Lagoon H

Session: Online Marketing Master Class
Speaker: Kirby Hasseman, CEO, Hasseman Marketing & Communications, Charity Gibson, National Accounts, Peerless Umbrella; Javier Melendez, National Account Executive, Walker Clay; Brandon Pecharich, Digital Media Director, PromoCorner
Session Description: Online marketing offers many different tools to help you increase your sales and profits. Come to this Online Marketing Master Class to learn from those who are doing exactly that.  This panel discussion will share tips, expertise, platforms and a step-by-step overview of how to put a successful campaign together.  Join this session and heighten your online marketing knowledge to benefit you and your company.  
Designation: MAS 1.0
Location: Breakers E

 *Agenda Subject To Change

Browse Full Schedule

The complete schedule of events, including all education sessions, is available on the Schedule page.

SAGE Education at The PPAI Expo Conference

  • Starts: January 09, 2023 11:15 AM
  • Ends: January 09, 2023 5:30 PM
  • Where: Reef A-F

11:15 am – 12:15 pm      
X Marks The Spot: How To Find Obscure Products In SAGE CAS 1.0
Sometimes looking for something more obscure in a sea of millions of products can feel like an impossible treasure hunt. Not to mention the customer's expectation of locating this hard-to-find product before the lunch hour. We have a solution. SAGE Online's product search is the map you need to find what your client is looking for! Join us as we walk you through how to search for products, apply filters, and navigate the research area. Let the adventure begin!

12:45 – 1:45 pm        
Your Company Store Questions Answered CAS 1.0
Company stores are a great way to drive revenue and bring the ease and comfort of ordering online right to your clients. Come full circle with us in this session to discuss strategies on how you and your clients can succeed from start to finish.

2 – 3 pm           
Marketing With SAGE: Staying In The Conversation With Clients CAS 1.0

Keeping the conversation going with your clients can be difficult, but if you market your business correctly, it's as easy as pie. And SAGE is here to help! Join us as we discuss how you can use SAGE to market your business and stay at the forefront of your customer's minds. From email marketing to social media and websites - we've got you covered.

3:15– 4:15 pm          
Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website CAS 1.0
The internet is mysterious and can make you feel like you need to weave some serious magic to drive traffic to your website. But you don't need to be a wizard to bring people in! This session will cover ten ways to drive traffic to your website to help you put a spell on potential clients.

4:30 – 5:30 pm 
Supercharge Your Sales Through Customer Experience CAS 1.0
Your relationship with your customers makes your business thrive, but if you could improve their experience, increase your sales, and save a little time in the process, would you do it? Of course you would! In this webinar, we'll show you easy tools you can use to engage with your customers, streamline your communication, and close more sales faster.