This year’s Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW!W), the industry’s annual event celebrating the power of promotional products and the importance of working with professionals, began on Monday. Now in its ninth year, the five-day event brings together businesses, professionals and organizations in the $24.7 billion promotional products industry to raise awareness among marketers, advertisers and legislators about the value and effectiveness of the media.

PPAI joined the Ohio Promotional Product Association (OPPA) last Friday in Coshocton, Ohio, the birthplace of promotional marketing, for “Born In Ohio,” the week’s official kickoff event. The day-long program drew OPPA and PPAI members, local and state legislators, and suppliers and distributors from all over the state of Ohio and the surrounding region. The event celebrated and shared the rich history of the promotional products industry, and served to advocate for small businesses and the power of promo as a highly-effective advertising medium.

The day featured meet-and-greets, a factory tour, a boat ride through Coshocton, museum tours that included viewing of the original printing press used to imprint the famed burlap bag for industry founder Jasper Meek, presentations on the significance of the promotional products industry and networking opportunities. The official kickoff occurred with a formal presentation held at the Johnson-Hunrickhouse Museum. Speakers included Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI; Kyle McGovern, president of OPPA; Jeff Shaw, national sales director at HALO Branded Solutions and former president of OPPA; Kirby Hasseman, owner of Hasseman Marketing & Communications and current OPPA board trustee, and Kara Keister, immediate past president of OPPA, a RAC delegate, and Ohio L.E.A.D. attendee.

While 2020 and the pandemic present unique challenges for this year’s PPW!W, promotional products companies and professionals are stepping up to speak for the industry and take part in the program. Bellantone says, “Much of 2020 has been tough, but as we celebrate this week, recognize that our industry helps businesses rebuild, reestablish themselves in the marketplace, rebrand as needed and reclaim their market share. Those accomplishments are worth celebrating.”

Industry companies looking to create awareness for the industry can find more information about participating in PPW!W at Companies and organizations are also encouraged to send descriptions and photos from company activities and events to for consideration in a future article.