product-shotsThey say it’s tough to reinvent the wheel—and that it probably shouldn’t be done—but promotional products survive precisely because they are reinvented, reimagined and reinvigorated to wow new generations of recipients year after year. When the show floor opened Tuesday to thousands of eager attendees, the exhibitors on site were prepared to wow them with their own innovative, stylish and purposeful products.

Among the trends spotted at The PPAI Expo were cork products outside the kitchen, such as tote bags and notebooks, and smart backpacks for mobile devices and laptops. Stylish, comfy apparel is showing up in new finishes and colors, with more sizing options than ever before.

Glass crystal awards are embracing the art-glass aesthetic, featuring colorful, blown-in designs. Even bicycles are rolling up on customers with chic, streamlined bodies and wheels, styled with a European touch. Soft-sided coolers haven’t lost their place at the picnic, and now they are taking on a more retail-inspired look with trendy patterns and colors.

We all forget where we put our valuables sometimes, and several suppliers are banking on our short-term memory loss by offering trackers for virtually every item, including luggage, as well as simple yet effective branded phone loops. Adhesive phone wallets are getting more sophisticated and offer covers to keep valuable cards out of site and away from sticky fingers.

Drinkware is sleeker and more portable than ever, with super-slim styles and new approaches to carrying with finger loops and paracord handles. Nightlights get an upgrade as COB (chip-on-board) light switches that can be placed in areas where no outlet is available, and accessories go green as seeded-paper bracelets. Clever gift ideas abound, including new twists on tools for grilling gurus.

These intriguing promotional solutions are just a drop in the bucket of all that The PPAI Expo has to offer. The show floor is open today until 5:30 pm and Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm, so get out there and find a treasure trove of new ideas for your team and your clients.