Hundreds of industry distributors and their clients attended PPAI’s fall Promotional Products Work (PPW) Expo on September 29 to take advantage of the opportunity to inspire clients to leverage promotional products in new ways.

  • PPAI created the innovative virtual event to provide a client-safe environment for collaboration and exploration. Its product pavilions featured more than 200 products from nearly 40 suppliers.
  • Products were carefully chosen and displayed by product type, feature, and use rather than a typical “booth” format.
  • The PPW Expo was a demand-driven event, and the innovative format was a result of collaboration with PPAI members who served on a Promotional Products Work workgroup.

What They’re Saying

“Today’s online event was really well thought out and executed,” said Kara Keister, MBA, MAS, Promise Keeper at Social Good Promotions and a newly appointed PPAI board member. “The content was relevant, well produced, and did an excellent job of highlighting why working with a distributor helps elevate and protect an end user’s brand.

“The condensed format allowed our clients to get in and out and go on with their day. In fact, we have already received feedback from one client and a request for more information on products. I am looking forward to seeing how this online end user experience progresses.”

  • PPAI has announced plans to offer two Promotional Products Work Expos in 2023 – one in the spring and one in the fall.

“We are so happy with the event we were able to put into the market,” says Lindsey Davis, MAS, PPAI’s manager of Promotional Products Work. “Our members seem to have really embraced it. I believe we have the blueprint for future Promotional Products Work Expos.”

The Content

In addition to the product exploration, PPW Expo featured a 30-minute, product-packed program called Trends in Promo. The professionally produced offering featured segments on unboxing, customization and personalization, retail brands, sustainability, employee gifts, and technology.

  • In addition, several educational programs covered topics such as Prop 65, product safety and supply chain challenges, all of which were appropriate for buyers and encouraged collaboration with distributors to navigate the challenges that these areas sometimes present.

“The Trends in Promo video was really fun and energetic, but more importantly, I loved the different Product Pavilions,” says Emily Codner, Senior Manager, Affiliate Services at iPROMOTEu. “They were clean and organized and helped trigger some new ideas as we begin to delve into the gifting and recognition season.”

The Strategy

The Promotional Products Work Expo is one part of an overall buyer outreach initiative designed to deliver on PPAI’s vision to make promotional products essential to every brand.

“I’m extremely proud of the team and what they accomplished with this event,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, President and CEO of PPAI. “Creative ideas, solid planning, and execution made this a unique and valuable experience. 

“Now we will build upon the experience, making next year’s events even better as we continue to elevate promo.”