Industry Pros Show Up For SAGE Conference At Expo

Held in conjunction with The PPAI® Expo, SAGE Conference welcomed promotional products distributors new to SAGE and experienced users. The one-day free conference, held on January 14, featured a series of SAGE experts on how to make the most of the company’s products and services.

Above, left: The SAGE Conference drew more than 900 attendees this year for a program that included introductions of new products and services, best practices and case study examinations. Above, right: Ryan Hanchey, CAS, senior sales manager - distributor sales, delivered a presentation on ecommerce myths and realities as part of SAGE Conference's education line-up.

Above: Eric Natinsky, SAGE CEO, spoke on some of the features of the latest version of the company's SAGE Online research and business management solutions.


commonsku’s Sixth Annual skucon Draws Industry Innovators

commonsku, an industry provider of promotional products business and sales software, held its skucon conference at Las Vegas’ Keep Memory Alive Event Center on January 13 in conjunction with The PPAI Expo 2019. The full-day conference drew speakers and attendees from across the industry.

Above: Now in its sixth year, skucon drew more than 300 industry professionals to its 2019 event.

Above: Bobby Lehew (left), chief content officer at commonsku, and Pierre Marthichoux (right) of Chameleon like, Inc., co-hosted a conversation on the mind of a creative entrepreneur and how to build a business as a creative consultant in a  product-driven business. Panelists included (second from left) Lee Fine of Juice Marketing, Lauren Borelli Fitzgerald of Canary Marketing and Yvonne Lyngaas Zeman of Monarch and Company.


Sweda Presents $100,000 Donation To The Dan Nevins Warrior Spirit Retreat

Sweda Company, LLC (PPAI 113914) presented a $100,000 donation to the Warrior Spirit Retreat at The PPAI Expo 2019. The retreat is a place where warriors learn to heal the physical and mental wounds of military service. Since 2017, a portion of the proceeds of all sales of the City of Industry, California-based supplier’s Basecamp items have been donated to fund the retreat. To date, it has donated more than $250,000 to the cause.

Above: At Sweda's booth at the Expo, Sweda CEO Jim Hagan, CAS, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kellie Claudio and Vice President of Finance Ginalin Tan presented Warrior Spirit Retreat founder Dan Nevins with the $100,000 check when surrounded by distributors, friends and Sweda team members.


PPEF Golf Tournament Raises Almost $50,000

On January 14, the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) held its annual Glen Holt & Fran Ford Memorial Golf Tournament preceeding The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas to support its college scholarship program. This year’s tournament raised close to $50,000 for the fund. The tournament honors the late Glen Holt, MAS, a former PPAI board member and Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in 2010, and Fran Ford, Jr., CAS, president of supplier Castelli, a division of Magnet, LLC, and PPAI Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in 2018. A dedicated supporter of PPEF, Ford launched the PPEF Glen Holt Scholarship Golf invitational in 2014. The tournament supports their lasting legacies with PPEF scholarships named in their honor.

Above: After a four-way tiebreaker, the BIC Graphic team, consisting of David Klatt and Dave Saracino from BIC and John and Sara Papa from John Michael Associates, won the scramble, Jerry Bravneis took home the winning prize for men's longest drive, Sara Papa for women's longest drive, and closest to the pin winners were Matt Barnes at hole No. 6, Jim Stutz at home No. 9, Bill Mahre, CAS, at home No. 11, Jim Stutz at home No. 14 and CJ Schmidt at hole No. 16.

Above: This year's tournament drew 31 foursomes, representing 60 industry companies to compete for prizes and bragging rights. Event sponsors included AGE; HALO Branded Solutions; The Legacy Group; Laura Holt, MAS; Boundless Network; CPS/Keystone; Paul Lage, MAS; LarLu Promotional Products; Pioneer Balloon; alphabroder; BIC Graphic USA; Perry Ellis; Hit Promotional Products; Imagen Brands; Links Unlimited; Links Unlimited and SanMar.


The 2019 PSI Show Draws A Growing International Audience, New Ideas

The PSI Show, Europe’s largest promotional products trade show, was held January 8-10 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in conjunction with PromoTex Expo, the international trade show for promotion, sports and workwear, and viscom, the European trade fair for visual communication.

Above: The PSI Show, PromoTex Expo and viscom together accounted for 1,084 exhibitors, with The PSI Show, at 772 exhibitors, comprising the largest share.

Above: At the show, GWW, the umbrella association of the German promotional products industry, released data showing that industry sales in Germany grew two percent over the past year, with industry sales calculated at €3.58 billion ($4.1 billion). GWW President Frank Dangmann says, “Promotional products reach 89 percent of the population over the age of 14—more than any other medium. With this kind of reach, promotional products are the undisputed leader.

Above: The 2019 PSI Show drew 17,602 attendees, representing 81 countries, a 1.5 percent increase over the year before. Some 58 percent of visitors travelled from outside Germany, one in seven of them from overseas. The show’s final day was open to end-buyers, with 1,012 industry customers attending as distributors’ guests.


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.