PPAM Kicks Off Second Selling Season with Holiday Showcase
On September 16 and 17, the St. Louis based Promotional Products Association of the Midwest (PPAM) held its annual PPAM Holiday Showcase to kick off the second selling season. The two-day event began at The Ritz Charles in Overland Park, Kan. and concluded at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Between both cities, more than 500 distributors attended the event.
“With overall trade-show attendance down not only in the promotional products industry but also in most other markets, we feel very fortunate that the PPAM Holiday Showcase maintained both attendee and exhibitor numbers compared to last year,” said Kathy Fleming, PPAM executive director.
Each day included not only four hours of exhibits, but also a special hour-and-a-half education session, “Real Life–Real Experience–Real Value,” presented by Sherri Lennarson, MAS, senior vice president of business development for Iowa City, Iowa-based Bankers Advertising Company and current PPAI chair of the board. In this MAS/CAS certified course, she illustrated how promotional products build relationships that make other advertising mediums green with envy because of the ROI delivered that creates loyal, lifetime clients and sustainable relationships. She also gave attendees a simple method to showcase the power of promotional products and engage buyers by telling their own personal stories that stick.
Additionally, a new product pavilion was also added to the lineup, a first for the showcase. Twenty-seven suppliers featured more than 50 items from cool-weather apparel and classic resort wear to updated desk and office items. However, eco-products had the most new entries, such as tote bags made from recycled bottles and notepads printed with soy-based inks.
Distributors also voted on the best supplier booths. First place in both cities, and $100, was awarded to Fenton, Missouri-based Quick Point Inc. Second place in both cities, and $50, was awarded to Roxana, Illinois-based Gemini Industries Inc.
“The PPAM Holiday Showcase on September 17 was probably the best run and most enjoyable show I have ever attended on a local level,” said Don Lafferre, CAS, owner of Florissant, Missouri-based Priority Promotions. “Considering as how SLASA [PPAM predecessor] started with a small local show, to have had a large show like this one at a convention center is hard to imagine. [SLASA Past President] Sam Goldman would be utterly amazed, as it was his vision that we have a trade show with so many local suppliers. Now we have suppliers from throughout the U.S., which reflects the growth of our industry—and association.”