Sales representatives of suppliers exhibiting at Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York’s (SAAGNY) Outdoor Showcase, held Monday, April 19, were delighted to meet with prospective clients in person again. Held from 10 am to 2 pm ET at the Crown Plaza Suffern-Mahwah in Suffern, New York, SAAGNY’s show took over part of the hotel’s parking lot, a location that also allowed attendees to take advantage of the sunny skies and warm weather. There were 56 exhibiting suppliers representing more than 100 lines, and 103 attendees at the event.

Although all those in attendance wore face masks per safety precautions, it was easy to see that many of them also wore smiles while catching up with industry peers and discussing the latest products. PPB’s Associate Editor Danielle Renda attended the show. She’s pictured above (on right) with SAAGNY Executive Director Donna-Jean Plante. 

“It’s such a relief to actually be face-to-face with our clients and be able to interact in a more tactile, personal way,” says Michael Reisbaum, vice president of national accounts for Long Island City, New York-based supplier Blue Generation, and vice president of SAAGNY’s Board of Directors. “Being in person is immeasurably better and more productive, and makes the turn-time much faster because our clients can actually see, feel and touch, and in some cases smell [and taste] our products. We always talk about promotional products being a five-sense advertising vehicle, and there’s at least [three] of those senses that you cannot get when you’re doing it on video.”

Lou Borini, Northeast regional sales manager of supplier ERB Safety/Fame Fabrics, based in Woodstock, Georgia, adds, “It’s really good to be out doing this…To a salesperson who thrives on in-person work with customers and buyers, there’s a big difference between how you convey that virtually and personally, so, this is much better.”

“It was a gorgeous day for people and promo and mother nature was kind to us as the weather held out just in time," says Rachel Levin, director of strategic accounts for Quincy, Massachusetts, distributor Strän Promotional Solutions, and SAAGNY’s current board president. “I was so proud of our board and our phenomenal executive director for pulling off our first in-person show of the season, safely and successfully. It was a tremendous achievement for all.”

Themes in product at the show fell into the overarching categories of golf and athleisure wear for the summer months, custom-sublimated apparel, kitting, and PPE and safety products. Ken Rode of CB Corporate Sales, representing Renton, Washington-based supplier Cutter & Buck, described a few of the latest apparel items, which combined trendy, everyday design elements—such as zippers, thumbholes and layering—with traditional golf wear, such as polos, along with additional options for women in feminine silhouettes, offering something for everyone. Reisbaum showed a selection of Blue Generation hoodies featuring unique logo placement, such as the hood lining or sewn-in gaiter, and camp shirts with matching face masks. Jon Granek of regional sales manager of Hicksville, New York-based supplier Chocolate Inn | Lanco, shared new kits designed to create different at-home experiences for recipients, such as remote worker appreciation and customer engagement. Themed kits include grilling, healthy snack foods, candies with custom branding, coffee and donuts, and make-your-own s'mores and cocktails.

On the safety side, Borini shared a full line of high-visibility and safety wear for workers from ERB Safety/Fame Fabrics, including face shields and flame-resistant neck gaiter. Adam Morales, account manager with Clearwater, Florida, supplier Koozie Group, talked about new products featuring PrevaGuard™, an antimicrobial agent that is added to the product to suppress the growth and spread of bacteria, mildew, algae and fungus. Within the collection are pens, face masks, drinkware and a draw-string bag.

SAAGNY’s next show is its Fall Showcase, to be held on Tuesday, September 14.