Promotional Products Around the Globe: A Two-Part Series
To that end, Federation members have attended meetings with Asian manufacturers, and have even presented education sessions at several Asian trade shows, namely the Hong Kong Premium & Gift Show and the Canton Fair. “Hong Kong manufacturers are very good business people, but they had no understanding as to what our business structure was,” explained Kurt Reckziegel, president and COO of Quebec-based PPACanada and secretary of IFPPA. “We were quite successful, and had most of the major organizations attend our seminars.”
When asked if IFPPA’s ongoing efforts to educate the Asian market on its business model have proven successful, Slagle said, “Organizations in Hong Kong and China have been very responsive in wanting to be helpful and realize that what we are saying about our channel of distribution and supply fits most of the companies there who really want to do business the right way.”
He continued, “They want to get engaged appropriately, and they know for them there is more money to be made if they would accept it and not view it as a threat.”
IFPPA is also committed to the sharing of resource information among its members in order to decide what is being done well in another part of the world that members may adopt for their own purposes. An example of this, according to Slagle, is the successful education and awards programs utilized by the Federation’s members.
Like A Good Neighbor
Naturally, the geographical location of both the United States and Canada allows for the countries’ respective promotional products associations to closely resemble each other in structure and scope. “We have the same education programs that lead to CAS and MAS designations, a large expo in Toronto at the beginning of February, complete with an awards ceremony, a gala and two-and-a-half days of trade show,” noted Reckziegel. He also said North American associations offer a combined education academy, most recently convening in Montreal, where members of both PPAI and PPAC took courses that counted toward the continuing education component of their respective associations.