PPAI Expo 2015 Recap: Success in Las Vegas
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo took place this week from Sunday, Jan. 10 to Thursday, Jan. 15. More than 20,000 industry professionals met at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for the industry's largest trade show.
"It's another strong event," said PPAI president and CEO Paul Bellantone. "It's about as large as it's been in the last couple years, both from an exhibitor and an attendee standpoint. We're really pleased with the enthusiasm that we're hearing from the attendees and suppliers that are here—they all feel that this is going to be a strong year for them."
"It's going great," Caitlin Youngs, business manager for Tropico Imports, said. "We've had a lot of people come by the booth. The attendance is pretty good every year, and we definitely gain new contacts and people become aware of us."
She added that she enjoys being able to meet people that she communicates with every day but had never met in person.
With two floors of exhibits in the convention center, attendees were able to network with other professionals, make new connections and take a look at new and innovative products in the promotional products industry.
"I love it. This is my first time here," said Spencer Hill, a distributor for AdPro.org. "It's fantastic for my business. I got a lot of good ideas. I'm looking forward to getting some new orders and working with new people. I'll definitely be back next year."
"We're the single largest event in the industry," Bellantone added. "Any time that you can get 20,000 people to get on an airplane and travel across the country to do business, then you have something pretty special."
Next year's event is already being advertised, and will take place again at Mandalay Bay from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14, with a few minor changes. While this year's layout spanned two floors, next year's Expo will include all exhibitors on one floor.
It will also be the second year to operate with the new exhibit format of running from Tuesday to Thursday, which has received positive feedback from attendees who were glad they could travel home before the weekend.
Bellantone detailed what he called the biggest difference with next year's show.
"Every supplier that is on the trade show floor will be product safety-aware," he said. "Last year we rolled out a program that any company that wanted to do business through the association need to have a minimum of four hours of product safety education. That will go into effect in 2016 for the expo."
For more information, visit expo.ppai.org.
Related story: The Coolest New Products from the PPAI Expo (So Far)