PPAI Announces PPAI Expo 2016 Attendance Numbers
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo, held Jan. 10 to 14, brought more than 11,762 promotional professionals from 4,365 companies together to learn, network and engage at the five-day event in Las Vegas.
The PPAI Expo featured more than 100 education and networking events, and 1,324 exhibiting supplier companies in 3,186 booths presenting hundreds of thousands of products, occupying a million square feet of the newly expanded and redesigned Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
With more than 19,429 participants from the U.S. and 38 countries, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimated the overall non-gaming economic impact of The PPAI Expo 2016 at $19,481,000. Next year’s show will return Jan. 8 to 12, 2017, to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
“The PPAI Expo was a resounding success and achieved key milestones positioning the association and the industry for a successful year,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO, in a press release.
The show featured five days of professional development, speakers, awards, networking, buying, selling and trend-spotting. The 100-plus educational sessions and special events were held throughout the Mandalay Bay, including promotional product and decorating trends, product safety and compliance training, sales and marketing presentations, and workshops.
“The members of the promotional products industry both create trends and follow trends, so the most influential products and features always assume innovative, new and fresh forms,” added Bellantone. “There is something for everyone at the PPAI Expo.”
This year’s show was filled with many firsts. The PPAI Expo 2016 opening marked the first time in decades that the show took place on a continuous single level and exhibited against a newly redesigned $70 million expansion of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
A streamlined end-to-end, 360-degree show merchandising scheme highlighted exhibitor merchandise and encouraged attendees to discover the entire show. To further enhance the show, PPAI integrated mobile technology allowing attendees to create a more personalized show experience. Through SAGE Mobile, attendees were able to view complete event schedules, create walk lists, navigate the show floor using an interactive floor plan, and take notes, pictures, videos and voice memos all from a handheld mobile device.
The new design, along with all-in-one single-level access, a rolling opening, first-look pavilions, and Expo Live stage showcased the exhibitors and catered to the wants and needs of the distributors through visual appeal and thoughtful convenience.
Marketer, blogger, innovator and author Seth Godin drew a standing-room-only crowd for his keynote presentation, “Invisible Or Remarkable: Notes From the Revolution.” He challenged the audience to change the way they see themselves, not to go for the mass market and be anything other than average throughout his hour-long presentation
“There is really good news, which is this industry that you specialize in, the relationships that you have, the skills that you have are perfect for this moment,” said Godin in his keynote. “The power of what you are capable of weaving together as physical artifacts in the digital world is your ability to create connection.”
The PPAI Expo has come to be known as a "big tent" event for the industry, a gathering of like-minded peers and affiliates—some for the first time. This year the big tent welcomed back the RPI Annual Conference, the SAGE Conference, commonsku’s skucon and PromoKitchen workshops, and grew to include iPROMOTEu’s A Woman’s View and representation from the American Marketing Association.
For the first time as part of the association’s Product Safety Aware (PSA) program, every company exhibiting on the trade-show floor had completed a minimum level of product safety education. The PSA program is designed to foster an industry-wide commitment and a culture where industry companies are not only aware of product safety but also are engaged in leading the effort to instill confidence across every level in the channel.
If you were unable to attend or missed something at this year’s show, check out The PPAI Expo highlight reel.
Related story: 10 Standout Apparel Pieces from the 2016 PPAI Expo