The show floor of The PPAI Expo 2023 has been abuzz with energized attendees, bustling exhibitor booths and a palpable optimism for the year ahead.

While at the show, PPAI Media found moments within the energetic thrum of activity to connect with a few exhibitors on their experiences midway through the 2023 PPAI Expo. Common among all of the conversations was an overarching enthusiasm about the show and the attendees they’ve met so far.

Based on the atmosphere on the show floor, 2022 was clearly a good year for the industry and most people are moving into 2023 expecting it to be fruitful as well.

“The energy is really high,” says David Forsyth, a sales executive at Dallas-based industry service provider OrderMyGear. “Everyone seems to be really excited about their job, which is a rare thing. Everybody’s been great.”

A hallmark of the show experience is the opportunity to discover and connect with new businesses and individuals. Forsyth, at his first PPAI Expo, notes that was part of his experience: “Some people aren’t familiar with OMG, so a lot of our conversations have been educational and coaching. But it’s been nothing but good vibes so far.”

The PPAI Expo 2023’s show floor is not only living up to expectations, but also dispelling concerns.

“It’s been very, very good,” says Nigel Harris, CEO of Ottawa-based supplier “We were a little nervous because we understand that a lot of distributors that had been acquired by the larger buying groups in favor of their national shows. Our big customers are members of the buying groups, so we were a little concerned about that. But that hasn’t been the case at all.

“We’ve been getting all these buying groups coming in in waves and they still want to see us and talk to us, so nothing’s really changed.”

While the smaller PPAI Expo in 2022 was very well received by distributors and exhibitors alike, The PPAI Expo 2023 shows a marked return to the pre-pandemic scope and scale of the promotional products industry’s largest and longest-running trade show.

“The show’s been great this year,” says Chris Pearson, MAS, vice president of compliance and Asia operations at Montreal-based supplier Spector & Co. “We’ve had really high quality and a lot of energy. Everyone’s been really enthusiastic and it’s great to see everyone again.

“After being off for a few years and all the restrictions we’ve had, this has been a great show. High energy, everyone is coming in really interested in the products we have and everything we’ve been doing, so it’s been a really great show for us this year.”

Melissa Ralston, chief revenue officer at Koozie Group, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, reports a similar experience. “We’ve been extremely busy at our booth with lots of good engagement. We’ve enjoyed reconnecting with our customers and colleagues to share new products and services and discuss opportunities and goals for 2023. Our booth traffic has been busy and steady both days. It has been a great opportunity to engage with thousands of our customers.

“We’re seeing a lot of excitement about our fun social media contest. Our Koozie-branded and BIC-branded products always get rave reviews, and our SCX Design items are generating a good deal of buzz, especially because of their retail-inspired packaging. Finally, our GCI Outdoor chairs are providing a welcome chance to sit back, relax and rest weary feet.”