A Memorable Week!
You don’t realize the impact of some things until you have a few days to reflect on what happened. I’ve been to many PPAI Expo weeks, but this one was like no other. In this commentary, I share a few of my video reports that offer some insight on what went on in Vegas. Those who attended experienced a great week. If you weren’t there, perhaps you will consider being a part of the industry’s gathering place next year.
It started on Saturday attending skucon, which was a first-time event held by my friends Mark and Catherine Graham, creators of commonsku. The presenters at skucon are my people! These are the trendsetters who are bringing fresh thinking to an industry that typically does not do change well. The relationship-building and networking at the amazing dinner that followed was a great kickoff to the week. A few people shared their thoughts in this short video .
On Sunday morning, I ran the course that we had laid out for the first FreePromoTips.com SuccessFit Fun Run/Walk that was held Monday. There was a light rain, and it was invigorating. I discovered that what we prepared was perfect. The about three-mile course took people by the private jet terminal where rich people fly in, Las Vegas Harley-Davidson and the world-famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
Then I attended the PPAI Volunteer Lunch, which is always a blast. Volunteers are the heart of PPAI, and this is where we all get to hang out prior to the Expo. Many of us then go into committee meetings where we play a role in making things happen in the association. For those who are not involved, you can learn more here.
We had a great turn out for our inaugural FreePromoTips.com SuccessFit Fun Run/Walk Monday morning. People had a blast! Merrill Cross from Ad-A-Day captures the spirit of the event in this short video clip. The PPAI Board Member Challenge featured incoming board member Dale Denham taking on Tom Goos with former board members, Brandon Mackay and Charles Duggan. Goos blew everyone away. Mackay and Denham share their thoughts on the race here The Fun Run was a nice start to education day.
Education day is always a highlight. There is no other event that offers the scope of professional development than the Expo. These sessions clearly give attendees a competitive advantage over those who don’t make the investment to be at the Expo. In this video a few people talk about what they took away from the day.
On Monday night, I attended the chairman’s dinner, which honored three amazing individuals who have had an impact on many people’s lives—including mine. Barbara Dail received the H.Ted Olsen Humanitarian Award. In addition to being “mom” to many in the industry, her passion for Operation Gratitude is well known. This is an organization that sends personalized care packages to our troops serving our country.
Hall of Fame inductees, Fran Ford and Paul Kiewiet have been an inspiration to many. I’ve been privileged to get to know them through years. Building relationships with people like these are what make our industry great. This video offers a few words of wisdom from Fran Ford.
Expo day started off Tuesday with a keynote presentation by actor and Golden Globe winner, Jeffrey Tambor, who talked about embracing the value of discomfort. He closed the session with a classic quote from his quirky TV show “Arrested Development.”—“There’s always money in the banana stand.”
Tuesday night, FreePromoTips.com received a technology award. It is an honor that the things we are doing for suppliers, distributors and the industry have been recognized through these prestigious awards. The evening honored a variety of industry accomplishments. It’s always great to see the creativity and successful projects people have worked on.
At industry events, I do video interviews that I believe will be of interest to the large FreePromoTips.com audience. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to interview Daymond John from “Shark Tank.” He was there to support magiccook, one of the companies he invested in, and shares his thoughts on the Expo and branding in this video clip.
One of the reasons I love trade shows is the relationships that are made. In this video, I talk with Linda and Frank who I have gotten to know at trade shows, for mnay years. Relationships are what make our industry special.
An association update from Paul Bellantone, PPAI President and CEO, is always something I look forward to sharing. There are many exciting things happening, including a big change to the 2016 Expo. See what Paul has to say here.
In addition to the Fun Run/Walk, SuccessFit at the Expo benefitting the Promotional Products Education Foundation was a big hit. Those who donated to PPEF received a collection of FPT SuccessFit branded products. SnugZ USA offered a donation challenge and started it off with a $500 contribution. We were able to generate significant dollars to help fund education scholarships.
Of course industry events like the Expo revolve around products. I was able to showcase many products in short videos from the show floor. See what I found here.
My time in Vegas was very productive, but it's a crazy week and I usually need a few days to recover. In recent years, my local Imprinted Sportswear Show is the Saturday following the Expo. I just don’t have the gas to hit another show the same week and haven’t gone lately, even though as an apparel decorator, I enjoy it.
Again this year, the sportswear show was in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday. I wanted check it out, but I had already committed to a one-day conference for AdvoNation, which are products I am using as part of my personal SuccessFit journey.
It turns out that I made the right choice. Just as presenters and success stories at the Expo inspired me, I left the Saturday event refreshed and ready to attack the New Year. If anyone is interested in following what I’m doing, feel free to reach out to me directly.
Jan. 10 through 17 truly was a memorable week!