What To Expect At Your First PPAI Expo

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From the day that I started at AIA, (back in September 2019), I knew that I’d be going to Las Vegas in January for the PPAI Expo. Between conversations, stories, and photos of past events, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what I would experience. What I didn’t know though, was that you truly can’t understand the scope of the promo industry and the extent of the PPAI Expo without experiencing it firsthand.

View From The Showroom Floor At The PPAI Expo 2020

I’ve planned and attended some very large events in the four years that I’ve been working as an event planner, but nothing prepared me for the PPAI Expo. My mind was blown at how big the trade show floor was, and how just when you thought you were getting to the end of things, vendor booths continued into the next room … and the next room … and the next room. I’m sure it sounds silly to those who have been in the promo world for years, but I truly had no idea that so many suppliers existed.

One of my favorite parts of the PPAI Expo 2020 was seeing how creative some suppliers got with their booth set ups. I’m probably biased, being an event planner, but I think it pays for suppliers to invest in their booth displays, because here I am a week out from the event, still thinking and talking about the dream house that Numo created. They made an impact, and I won’t be forgetting their name anytime soon.
 

SPARK Young Professionals Networking Reception 2020

While I was in Vegas for the PPAI Expo, I had the opportunity to attend the SPARK Young Professionals Networking Reception. This was one of the highlights of my time at the Expo. Not only did I get to participate in a community service project, packing 500 bags full of supplies for teachers in the Las Vegas school district, but I also got to push myself out of my comfort zone, sit down at a table where I knew nobody, and connect with others in the promo world who could relate to me in age and personal/professional life experience. Looking at you, Jordan and Stephen - here’s to hoping I get to spend more time with you in San Antonio!

My first promo trade show solidified my already existing thought that I’m exactly where I need and want to be right now professionally. Is it too early to start counting down the days to PPAI 2021?