Suppliers and distributors are the core of PPAI’s membership, but more than 200 business services members and a handful of select affinity partners offer important support operational support, from decoration to insurance to software, that keeps those promo businesses humming. Explore the variety of PPAI business services members, from artwork services to software, in our Solutions Center.

Representatives from these member companies who are attending The PPAI Expo are eager to build relationships with suppliers and distributors and learn more about what they need. One of these companies, Oracle NetSuite, led a NetSuite user group meeting during Monday’s conference schedule.

Kate Daniels, director, associations and buying groups with Oracle NetSuite (PPAI 628356, booth 2455), says the meeting provided a great opportunity for representatives from Oracle and its partners to get to know NetSuite users in the PPAI community and share industry-specific technical information.

“We’ve closely worked with our promotional products customers to see how we can customize NetSuite to best serve the industry and are continuously learning more through opportunities like The PPAI Expo,” says Daniels. “We gain tremendous insights from user group feedback involving which functional requirements our users have and how we should prioritize product improvements in the future.”

Tax compliance software provider Avalara (PPAI 823188, booth 2457), in its first appearance at The PPAI Expo, also participated in the user group.

“It’s always a thrilling experience to be in front of a new segment of potential clients to understand the overall industry, pain points, stories and trends to not only potentially help them but also help our own business continue to grow to best serve this type of industry,” says Alexa Brown, Avalara senior partner marketing manager. “Being out in the field interacting with businesses one-on-one is always the best market research we can conduct.”

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Darren Ellis, program manager with the FedEx (PPAI 273573, booth 2555) SAM Alliance Team, agrees that the insights gained from conversations with current and potential customers make The PPAI Expo an essential engagement opportunity.

“It’s always great to get their insight on how they use our services and any improvements we can make,” says Ellis. “We learn so much from members at the Expo – what services they used, how their experience has been. Any insight we can gain is a plus.”

The value PPAI provides to FedEx is immense, he adds. “It gives us the platform to work with so many customers of different sizes and show all the services that FedEx can provide to their business.”

The company offers two FedEx Ship Sites on the exhibit hall floor (at the back of aisles 2400 and 5700) to facilitate shipping of product samples, catalogs and other items collected while walking the show floor.

Touting their services to members is, of course, another key goal for the business services members and affinity partners attending The PPAI Expo.

Eric Sash, senior relationship manager and team lead with AMBA (PPAI 809803), which offers insurance services to PPAI members, says he enjoys seeing all the new promotional products on display – as well as rubbing elbows at the big Wednesday night party – but his main focus is getting out the message about what his company can offer to members.

As the PPAI insurance program continues to grow, it’s important for AMBA to build our brand within the industry and educate PPAI members on our insurance program,” Sash says.

Similarly, Rogelio Vazquez, senior business development manager - North America for QIMA (PPAI 517075, booth 2657), says The PPAI Expo provides a great platform to showcase the company’s expertise in supply chain compliance, site inspections, supplier audits and lab testing.

“We want to engage with attendees to guide them, but also understand their specific testing requirements, challenges and concerns,” Vasquez says. “… By learning more about their needs, QIMA can tailor our services to provide effective solutions, which contribute to the overall success and reputation of their promotional products.”

Given the global nature of the promotional products industry, he adds, The PPAI Expo provides an excellent opportunity for conversations about due diligence, regulatory standards, safety guidelines and more.

“Our involvement in industry events like The PPAI Expo allows us to educate manufacturers and companies on the significance of supply chain transparency, reliable testing services and establishing partnerships, all of which contribute to the overall integrity of the promotional products they offer to their clients,” Vasquez says.