The Best of PPAI Expo 2020: Day One
Welcome to Vegas! All week long, Promo Marketing will be reporting live from the PPAI Expo 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. If you're at the show, stop by booth 2718 and say hello. If not, keep an eye on our newsletter for product information, session wrap-ups and a whole lot more, brought to you right from the show floor. Up first: Some of the cool stuff we saw on the show floor on day one.
The exhibit hall at PPAI Expo 2020 opened this morning, and there was a lot to see and do. With everyone revved up about the start of a new decade of promotional products industry excitement, there was obviously a lot to cover, so we're going to try our best to include as many of the new products, trends and stories from PPAI Expo 2020 as we can.
Here's what we found on day one of exhibits. Let us know if there's anything awesome we missed, and be sure to check back in tomorrow for our day two roundup. Let's hit it!
SnugZ USA Goes Wild (Booth 4650)
SnugZ USA brought a whole new level of selfie game to the PPAI Expo this year. You'll see plenty of cardboard cutouts and maybe even a few people in costumes, but this is the first time we've seen live llamas at a trade show booth (outside of the Pennsylvania Farm Show, at least). The llamas drew the crowd, but attendees stuck around to check out the company's new and exciting offerings, like lip balm, self care items and more.
Logo Mats Goes High Above the Floor (Booth 4537)
Their products might be low to the ground, but Logo Mats did a great job making sure attendees spotted their booth from a mile away with this vertical design. Surrounding the tower with its products created a multi-dimensional and engaging display.
High Caliber Spots the Trends (Booth 3451)
A couple of the biggest trends not only in the promotional products industry, but culturally overall, are the growing efforts to minimize waste and become more eco-friendly, and the legalization of recreational cannabis in more and more states in the U.S. and Canada. A few years ago, having items like cannabis grinders or storage containers would have been downright taboo, but now it's just a fact that cannabis is as legitimate a business endeavor as one could undertake. (Bonus points if you incorporate a hugely successful cartoon in it, too.) On the eco-friendly front, High Caliber is offering not only reusable water bottles, but also collapsible ones to fit into, well, let's say an "efficiently sized" urban apartment many millennials are living in these days.
Showdown Displays Makes Signage Fun (Booth 2427)
There's a whole lot more to attracting customers than just putting up a sign. The folks over at Showdown Displays obviously recognize that, with a few games of chance like a putting game and bag toss. They're like carnival games, only designed for you to spend endless amounts of time at a trade show booth or event kiosk (rather than endless amounts of money on a guaranteed no-win). They also had some interesting seating options for pop-up displays, and included a few signage pieces that brightened up the booth and drew us in like moths to whatever the more pleasant opposite of a bug zapper is.
Beacon Promotions Brings the Color (Booth 1543)
Hub Promotional Products' massive booth is a swirling, '80s-inspired sea of color (flamingos prominently feature on one of the backdrops) and Beacon Promotions, part of HPG, was bringing color of its own. The supplier's Rainbow Laminated Totes debuted in 2019, but the drawstring bag is new for 2020. The line features four-color process decoration, and Beacon says it's the only supplier who can do that on laminated material.
BamBams' Bright Idea (Booth 1743)
Imagine a darkened arena, just before a big game, with the home fans all swirling light-up rally towels. Cool, right? BamBams is making that scenario a reality with its Light-Up Rally Towel. New for 2020, the microfiber towel has two modes (flash and stay-on) and supports sublimation or four-color decoration. It can stay lighted up for at least eight hours, enough to make it through an overtime thriller or just your average-length baseball game.
iClick Has Your Back (Booth 3563)
We watched in horror this morning as a poor Expo attendee dropped her coffee cup right in front of the Promo Marketing booth. But if she'd had this new item from iClick, that precious coffee would have been saved. The supplier's PopThirst Sleeve and Can Holders are beverage-insulating neoprene sleeves with built-in PopSockets grips. There's one for 12 oz. cans and another for coffee cups. Genius!
Want Options? Gill-Bebco's Got 'Em (Booth 3925)
Customization is the name of the game these days. Gill-Bebco was showing off an enormous amount of custom options for its already-expansive product line, giving distributors a leg up on the competition when it comes to adding value for clients. Custom cover sheets, custom cover scratch pads, drilled holes, inserts, magnetic strips, custom backers—basically, you name it, you can do it.
Custom Packaging From Navitor (Booth 6132)
Packaging, especially the custom kind, is huge right now. Just check out all the unboxing videos online, or look at the demand for retail-style packaging. Navitor is making it easy for distributors to deliver that experience for their clients with its PackageWorks fully custom packaging line. It has small minimums (to help make it a viable option for smaller accounts) and custom options that include foil, emboss, deboss, soft touch coatings and much more. Plus, Navitor has a dedicated packaging specialist on staff to take care of the details.
Maple Ridge Farms Has All the Snacks (Booth 3942)
If you need a quick snack break while walking around the expo, Maple Ridge Farms has you covered. The supplier had samples of two different types of cheese—both of which we’d 100-percent recommend. If you're not into cheese, they also have some other options like cinnamon churro toffee, chocolate mint balls, a honey mustard snack mix and more. Yum!
EMT Is Prepared With Wine Openers (Booth 4751)
One of the new products we got to check out over at EMT were these wine bottle openers. Not only will they open your wine, champagne, etc., but they have a magnetic piece on the back that allows them to stick to your fridge. Plus, they’re designed with both white and red wine bottles on the front. You'll never lose another bottle opener again.
Debco's Reusable Grocery Bags (Booth 1632)
Debco has a better option than the paper or plastic bags from the grocery store, and that's these Gather Small Mesh Produce Bags. They're perfect for storing both fruits and veggies, available in both small and large sizes, and they definitely look a lot cooler than plastic bags.