2020 Wrap-Up: All Our PM Longform Stories From This Year
Some stories need a little extra real estate. This year, we've taken deep dives on a variety of topics related to the promotional products industry. Some of them have been heavy, some have been more optimistic, and some have been attempts at the predicting the future based on what we know about the present.
The PM Longform series allows us to go more in-depth with our coverage and explore subjects we might not normally think about in the promo space. Since we launched it in 2018, we've done 17 stories in the series. This year alone, we did nine.
Next year will no doubt bring plenty of stories to explore, but for now, let's look back at what we covered in 2020.
Amazon added $400 million in Kornit digital printing equipment and opened another Merch by Amazon facility this year, but those are just two recent moves in the company's methodical expansion of its custom merchandise capabilities. This longform looked at how the pieces of Amazon's puzzle were coming together.
In early 2020, we asked why promotional products companies were having such a hard time finding capable and qualified staff. Things have changed significantly since this story ran, but the pandemic has brought with it staffing challenges of its own and exacerbated existing issues.
You’ll probably hear the word “consolidation” a lot in conversations with industry folks. Over the last few years, there has been what seems like an increasing amount of private equity money in the promo industry. To some, it’s a positive and just a fact of life in the industry. To others, it’s a bit more ominous.
As we know well by now, PPE became the only game in town for many promotional products suppliers and distributors, keeping businesses alive as all other orders abruptly stopped. But it wasn't without challenges.
Technology has made the world smaller than it used to be, allowing us to network and build friendships with people we might have otherwise never met. On a smaller scale, regional associations within the industry create geographic bonds for distributors.
How did it get to the point where health care professionals were forced to reuse masks they’d ordinarily throw away after one day, or even one patient? This story looked at the complicated reasons behind PPE shortages for health workers and checked back in on the promo industry's position in the PPE market.
Chances are you’ve probably attended at least one fully virtual or hybrid event that you were supposed to travel to this year. Most travel plans are off, and at the time we published this there were still plenty of variables. Vaccine rollouts are a positive step, but the question still remains: What will trade shows look like after COVID?
Why do overruns occur? Are they just a part of doing business, or are they an unnecessary source of charges? What can you do about them? We asked and answered these questions and more with help from distributors and suppliers across the industry.
Promo suppliers are offering a variety of one-stop-shop apparel solutions for distributors that can simplify orders and save on costs. We identified and explained some of the many options available.
Thanks for reading PM Longform (and all our other content). Don't forget to check back in tomorrow for our next wrap-up, or revisit any of our previous 2020 Wrap-Ups.