Can't Wait for Tomorrow
Paul Bellantone and I walked to dinner after the first day of PPAI’s 2015 Product Responsibility Summit and talked about the same thing we always do: the best concerts we’ve seen recently. (Foo Fighters and the Smashing Pumpkins, for the record.) We also talked about the summit and the state of promotional product safety. Standing on a rainy corner, surrounded by suppliers and distributors carrying matching umbrellas, Paul told me it was the biggest and most successful summit yet. “I can’t wait until we no longer need this event,” he said.
Not what you expect to hear when talking about a successful and rapidly growing conference. Yet it makes sense: We need this event because there are still people selling unsafe products. As long as someone is willing to sell products that put users at risk, our entire industry is at risk. We are one recall away from a public backlash against promotional products and, as long as that can happen, education is necessary. As Paul put it, “I can’t wait until product safety and compliance become so ingrained in our industry’s culture that they are second nature.”
Product safety wasn’t a topic when I started writing for Promo Marketing 10 years ago. Today, we regularly publish news about the state of product safety, and you can’t attend a trade show without hearing about compliance; suppliers can’t even have booths at PPAI Expo unless they’ve attained Product Safety Aware status. We’ve made a lot of progress in a short time.
There is still a long road ahead of us, but seeing how quickly the industry has accepted its responsibility, I think a time will come when the product safety courses, seminars and lectures will no longer be necessary. We’ll all be safer for it.