The PPAI Expo is one of the largest and most exciting industry events we participate in every year. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the promotional products industry, network with other professionals and best of all, we get to see and talk to members of our AIA community. After a week of great conversations, workshops and walking the show floor, these are our biggest takeaways from the PPAI Expo 2020 in Las Vegas.
Best Events At The PPAI Expo 2020
We might be biased, but one of our favorite events was Ritz & Rendezvous at The Mob Museum. We loved seeing our community members (both owners and suppliers) all dolled up to participate in the 1920s theme. It was an opportunity to spend time together and share genuine conversations. It also gave some of our newer owners and employees an opportunity to put names to faces.
We also enjoyed moderating an owner collaboration session during the show. The panel of AIA owners did a great job discussing how they have diversified within their accounts and grown their sales. The conversation flowed with insightful questions and answers from the audience. Everyone was able to walk away with actionable insights and information from their peers.
Another highlight was the SPARK Networking Reception for young professionals. Attendees participated in a community service project by packing 500 bags full of supplies for teachers in the Las Vegas school district while getting to network with each other. It was a great opportunity for young professionals in the industry with the same drive of business, leadership and personal growth to get to know one another.
Biggest Trends From The PPAI Expo 2020
After walking the show floor and talking to suppliers, we concluded that 2020 is going to be a huge year for sustainable products. They were everywhere from apparel, personal care items and more.
Another big trend is suppliers giving back. One of these brands is Denik. They create notebooks and other stationery products, and with each item sold, a portion of the proceeds is set aside to fund the building of schools in developing nations. So far, Denik has successfully funded five schools. This is just one of the many suppliers giving back with each order.
We also saw a theme of iridescent products that caught our attention. There were bags, pens, notebooks, water bottles and even umbrellas, all with that luminous, rainbow sheen.
Best Conversations Heard At The PPAI Expo 2020
“Although the owners are each their own individuals, they all care about each other and are willing to help out anyone that needs it. Whether they help out AIA or other fellow owners. I have always heard that the owners are like their own little family but never witnessed it until this event.” — Jennifer Fernandez, Senior Account Coordinator
“The owners were able to have some very candid conversations around some of their challenges and how they tackled them with AIA's help - from company stores to due diligence during an acquisition.” — Kelly Gerrity, Business Development Marketing Manager
“My favorite part about attending the PPAI Expo as well as other shows is facetime with our Owner Community! I love talking about all things marketing with them and hearing about the great projects they’ve been working on. A week jam-packed with other creative minds is my type of week!” — Melissa Haen, Manager of Owner Marketing
Best Finds From The Showroom Floor At The PPAI Expo 2020
“They had highlighters that looked like nail polish bottles. The nail polish highlighters looked so realistic, I actually thought they were nail polish bottles and I love nail polish. They also had jumbo highlighters, the biggest highlighters I have ever seen before.” — Jennifer Fernandez, Senior Account Coordinator
“They brought a house of promo products to the show floor. It was two stories of neon and creativity that really stood out and was memorable.” — Kelly Gerrity, Business Development Marketing Manager
“Numo's booth was amazing. I felt like I walked into Barbie's dream house. I wanted to buy the place and move in. Their booth was so playful, colorful and fun, and their products were equally as awesome.” — Nicole Schuh, Event Coordinator
“Shout out to PPAI for having puppies on the show floor. If I had to pick my favorite thing on the show floor, it would be the puppies! Being able to hold and hug and kiss puppies was a great end to my trip!” — Jennifer Fernandez, Senior Account Coordinator
Gordon Sinclair Bermuda Tumbler
Origaudio Luxe Bottle
Prime Water Resistant Smartphone Pouch
Final Thoughts From PPAI Expo 2020
“PPAI Las Vegas opened a lot of different opportunities for me to be more involved in the promotional products world. Walking the show floor with one year under my belt helped me understand even more about the difference between distributors and suppliers and learning about the different products.” — Rachel Ries, Digital Graphic Designer
“This industry is so relationship focused, I really enjoyed seeing the owners interact and how much love they have for each other.” — Rochelle Blindauer, SVP of Owner & Employee Services
Thank you to everyone who made this another event to remember!