Daily Archives: November 15, 2011

Meet Me In Las Vegas

In a few short weeks, our mailroom, loading dock and every empty office and inch of free space at PPAI Headquarters will be stacked high with pallets, boxes and shipping crates. Staff has until December 22 at 8 am sharp to have our
show materials packed and ready to be loaded on the trucks headed to The PPAI
Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas—or else!, states
the internal memo sent by Christi Jones, CEM, PPAI operations manager (read:
Expositions Queen).

After four months on the job, I’ve learned that my new position doesn’t buy me
deadline extensions. And, having worked with Christi for 12 years, I’ve
learned that “Or else-ville” isn’t a pretty place to be.

It’s been exactly five years since we’ve had to load the trucks this early in
December to make it to The PPAI Expo on time. Not coincidently, it’s been
five years since The PPAI Expo—the 48th largest show in the United
States and the promotional products industry’s premier event—was forced to
shift dates to accommodate the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Contrary to what you may have heard on the street, PPAI staff didn’t forget to book the convention center or intentionally shift dates to go ‘head-to-head’ with other industry shows. As in 2007, the CES—North America’s largest tradeshow with more than 100,000 attendees—moved its 2012 show dates to the second full week in January; the same week we traditionally schedule The PPAI Expo. I know the folks at CES. They are good, decent people and didn’t do this intentionally to harm us. It is just an unfortunate by-product of the way New Year’s Day falls on the 2012 calendar.

We considered having our show overlap with CES, but the “Expo experience” simply can’t be duplicated when we have to compete with a show of CES’s size for airfare, hotel rooms, cabs, restaurants and labor. Prices would be up to triple their normal cost, if these services were even available. Moving the show later in
the month wasn’t an option either, as the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is
booked years in advance. Yes, even Las Vegas, the convention capitol of the
world, has its limitations.

To ensure you will still have the best overall experience, The PPAI Expo 2012 has
moved to Monday, January 2, through Friday, January 6, (exhibits are open
January 4-6), 2012.  How does this shift benefit you?

  • Hotel rates at all major
    properties are consistent with 2011
  • Even less expensive hotel rates over New Year’s weekend with $95 room rates at the Mandalay Bay Hotel for those wishing to enjoy the holiday in Las Vegas
  • No challenges getting Las Vegas show tickets
  • No challenges for cab or dinner reservations
  • No dramatic price increases on airline tickets
  • For exhibitors, the show move-in dates of January 2-3 will not result in additional labor costs

Historically, having the show the first week of the year has had a minimal impact on our attendance. In fact, attendance was down just seven percent in 2007. While you have a lot of choices when it comes to industry tradeshows, the truth is, no other show delivers more for your time and money than The PPAI Expo, and no other show offers more to help you grow your

  1. More than 100 education sessions
  2. Nearly 1,500 exhibiting companies
  3. Two high-flying general sessions featuring Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly and lead pilot of the famed U.S. Navy Blue Angels, John Foley
  4. Two keynote luncheons
  5. The New Product Pavilion
  6. The Green Products Pavilion
  7. The Made In The USA Pavilion
  8. Comprehensive Product Safety Education
  9. The Power of Two Party

Start your year off with The PPAI Expo, the industry’s largest, most successful and longest-running exhibition and conference. It promises to deliver everything you’ve come to expect and more. If you haven’t already registered, go to www.theppaiexpo.com today.

I appreciate your support of PPAI and The PPAI Expo 2012, and look forward to
seeing you in Las Vegas.