The PPAI Expo Keynote: AI Is Here, But Humanity Is Essential To Promo’s Future

Every year, The PPAI Expo ushers in the future of the promotional products universe. In 2024, the future is accelerating faster than ever before.

That was the message from keynote speaker Anat Baron to a packed ballroom of promo pros at Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Monday.

Her remarks kicked off The PPAI Expo Conference’s education sessions with ideas and insights on leveraging AI, preparing for the constant pace of disruption it is ushering in, and how promo companies are uniquely positioned to evolve alongside technology.

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Step Right Up: The PPAI Expo Party At The Greatest Show On Earth

The PPAI Expo 2024 is the promo’s big top, under which every aspect of the promo industry is on display. It’s only fitting that The PPAI Expo Party, promo’s largest celebration, brought the circus to life at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Wednesday night, PPAI and SAGE played host to a capacity crowd at the party of the year. It had everything: drinks, food, dancing, carnival games, roving magicians, an aerialist performing suspended in mid-air and an energetic live band.

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Meet The Winner Of 'The Pitch'

Sweeter Cards (PPAI 810735, S1) won “The Pitch,” promo’s version of The Voice mixed with Shark Tank. In the second annual competition, seven supplier participants had three minutes to win over a panel of veteran distributor judges Monday afternoon at The PPAI Expo 2024.

The St. Louis, Illinois-based company – in Booth 1017 on The PPAI Expo show floor – took first place with its Sweeter Card product – a fully customizable greeting card and chocolate bar, all in one.

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Photos: Attendees Network And Cut Loose At Opening Reception

With The PPAI Expo Conference wrapped up and the trade show floor set to open in the morning, promo professionals gathered at Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Monday evening for an official opening reception to The PPAI Expo 2024.

  • The opening reception was a new addition to The PPAI Expo experience this year, an evening entertainment option replacing the customary Chair's Leadership Dinner, which moved to a special, more intimate setting in 2024.

The reception was open to anyone attending The PPAI Expo: Suppliers looking to unwind after setting up their booths all day, just-got-in-town distributors and anyone who spent Monday taking in presentations and panels at the conference. The ticketed event allowed attendees to exhale with drinks and hors d'oeuvres while a DJ spun music.

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2024 PPEF Golf Tournament Raises Over $40,000 For Scholarships

In support of the Promotional Products Education Foundation, which in 2023 awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships, 100 golfers from 40 industry companies took a swing at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas during the Glen Holt & Fran Ford Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, raising more than $40,000.

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It’s A Small World When The PPAI Expo Brings Global Promo Pros Together

PPAI’s vision is that promotional products are universally valued, and the Association looks for ways to engage with its international members year-round. Nearly 100 international attendees at The PPAI Expo this year highlighted the I in PPAI, from long-time attendees to first-timers looking to grow their business footprints globally.

“Engaging in international business is intricate and costly, and our members face increasing demands to cater to global clientele in an evolving landscape,” says PPAI President & CEO Dale Denham, MAS+, who has logged tens of thousands of miles over the past couple of years traveling to visit promo pros on multiple continents – including Europe’s largest promotional products trade show earlier this month.

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