A wealth of educational sessions is available to those attending The PPAI Expo, January 12-16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This year’s show offers 110 education sessions, including two luncheon keynotes presented by thought-leaders from both inside and outside the promotional products industry, a power keynote on Monday, Education Day, and a general session on Tuesday to open the show.

Education at Expo begins on Sunday, January 12, and continues throughout the show week. Courses are aligned on a wide range of eight education tracks—Incentives & Recognition, Corporate Responsibility, Marketing & Advertising, Decorate, Diversity & Inclusion, Sales, Strategies & Solutions, Technology, New To The Industry and Customer Service—along with the SAGE Conference and SAGE Experience running concurrently with Expo. Making it easier to incorporate learning into the show experience, attendees can also attend sessions on the show floor in Expo’s first professional development domes.

On Education Day, Monday, January 13, the Expo’s first keynote kicks off with a luncheon session featuring Ben Nemtin, author and the creator and star of MTV’s The Buried Life. The program followed four friends crossing the country to complete a list of “100 things to do before you die,” and Nemtin has used that bucket list quest to inspire audiences to strive for greatness. Nemtin delivers a message of radical possibility, which, combined with his “Five Steps to Make the Impossible Possible,” equips audiences to tackle the seemingly impossible by demystifying daunting tasks and creating a digestible pathway to success.

Nemtin’s session, “Five Steps To Make The Impossible Possible,” is from 11:30 am – 1 pm in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2. Cost for PPAI members is $55; the cost for PPAI Associates is $110.

Dr. Rick Rigsby, a USA Today, Amazon and Wall Street Journal best-selling author and motivational speaker, will deliver a power keynote presentation on Monday afternoon about making an impact in an era of astounding technology, instant information and rampant social networking. Dr. Rigsby argues that for many organizations, appearance—or what he refers to as “impression”—has become the new corporate wardrobe. In his session, he will share the wisdom of past generations to inspire, motivate and empower audience members to make an impact rather than an impression, not only in their professional careers but in their personal lives as well.

Dr. Rigsby’s session, “Making An Impact,” will be held from 2:30 – 4:15 pm in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2. The session is free to attend.

One of the first female sports agents in the world of professional sports and the former president of client representation at sports and entertainment agency CSE, Molly Fletcher recruited and represented hundreds of sports’ biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. Her session at Expo shares the unconventional techniques that helped her thrive, and a five-step process that will equip attendees to move forward toward their goals purposefully, create lasting change and recovery from adversity, and maximize their energy and execution.

Fletcher’s session, “Unleash Your Potential,” will be held on Tuesday from 8–9:30 am, in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2. The session is free to attend.

Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI; Ira Neaman, CAS, incoming chair of the PPAI Board of Directors and Brittany David, MAS, chair of the PPAI board, are hosting a town hall-style meeting at Expo covering current issues and opportunities for the promotional products industry, the Association and its more than 15,800 member companies. The presentation will include a review of Association initiatives designed to deliver compelling member value as well as to protect and grow the industry.

The Association Update will be held on Wednesday from noon to 1:30 pm in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, Level 2. The session is free to attend and includes lunch.


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.