17-second Sales Pitch at Expo East
I joined thousands of suppliers and distributors last week at Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo East. This was my first chance to experience Expo East combined with the Imprinted Sportswear Show (ISS). Quite a few Geiger colleagues, as well as a few other PPAI board members, joined me.
I saw several vendors that I had missed at previous shows for whatever reason. WineO, one vendor I met, sells custom wine stoppers in small quantities, and I picked up a sample even though I’m more of a beer guy. I was as impressed with the booth staff as I was with the item. The two staff members were saying to passers-by, “We have the best 17-second sales pitch at Expo East,” and invited people to listen and get a free sample. Always afraid to get stuck listening to a sales pitch at a booth, I was intrigued and stopped. It was, in fact, 17 seconds and it was good enough that I asked a few questions. I spun the game wheel and got a deal on self-promotion as well as a sample. What a great way to engage me and hundreds of other Expo East attendees.
I also stumbled on Bondi Band, which is based in Florida. I had missed them before as well. I took a sample and, sadly, did not take a picture of myself running with it this weekend in Florida for this blog, but I can assure you that the item works. (I can’t assure you that I would make a good model!) This item worked well for keeping the sweat out of my eyes during my 4-mile run, and the imprints were great.
The entire show was larger than I had expected, but still not so large that I felt pressure to rush through the show. I had several great meetings with other suppliers, such as Alpha Industries, SanMar, Logomark, Prime Line, Vantage Apparel and many more. I had casual meetings due to randomly bumping into people in the aisles or at booths. One of my favorite meetings was with a distributor friend who is excited about Promo Standards. He and I were talking at a supplier booth about how helpful the standards are, and the supplier now is excited about the possibilities of industry standards as well. The impromptu meetings at Expo East were very valuable for me.
Some of my favorite conversations at Expo East related to printers and printing equipment being on the show floor. The reactions were mixed, with no majority for or against it, but several vocal in each category. I was impressed with a few suppliers that were excited about the chance to reach new potential distributors. Many of those same suppliers were concerned about printing equipment on the show floor but most weren’t concerned. I heard some suppliers talking to ISS attendees, helping them see the value of a supplier. I heard one distributor telling a supplier that it helped him to better understand the suppliers' costs and processes by seeing the equipment on the floor.
There are absolutely pros and cons to mixing Expo East/ISS participants. Based on my conversations and my own perspective, I think having Expo East combined with ISS is a big win for suppliers and distributors alike. Many of my colleagues felt the same way. I look forward to going back again next year.