PPB Preview: East Coast To Feel The Expo Experience

In a column in next month’s PPB, which is shared in this blog post, I review PPAI and SAAGNY’s decision to create Expo East, a strategic alliance that expands our reach and delivers The PPAI Expo experience to the eastern U.S.

Readers can learn more in the August issue of PPB Magazine.

East Coast To Feel The Expo Experience

Since January 2011, PPAI distributor membership has grown by 57 percent to more than 7,763 members—47 percent of which are located east of the Mississippi. Would you have guessed that while The PPAI Expo is one of the 50 largest tradeshows in the entire United States (in all industries), it still only draws about half of PPAI’s membership and a smaller percentage of total industry distributor companies and professionals?

As surprising as these statistics might sound to you, they’re facts we research, study and act upon every day at PPAI. The PPAI Expositions team works tirelessly to improve and enhance The PPAI Expo, making it the industry’s most successful, valuable and well-attended event and making “The Expo Experience” the benchmark for what you have come to expect

In a joint statement at PROMOTIONS EAST on June 6, PPAI and the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) announced the creation of Expo East, a strategic alliance that expands our reach and delivers The PPAI Expo experience to the eastern U.S.

Through this strategic alliance with SAAGNY, PPAI will bring its vision, growth management and production expertise to the robust eastern marketplace.

If you’ve been following this column or have had the opportunity to attend a regional Town Hall meeting, you already know that the PPAI Board of Directors and staff are laser-focused on reaching out to members to better understand their needs and how the Association can better serve the marketplace. We quickly learned that not only were thousands of East Coast distributors not being served by The PPAI Expo or PROMOTIONS EAST but they also were not attending or participating in the education or business-building opportunities provided by any other tradeshows in the area.

Being aware of the abundance of shows already in the industry—and the already strained time and financial resources of our industry’s suppliers—it was determined that an alliance between PPAI and SAAGNY to form one show, as opposed to the creation of a new event, was the best way to impact the market in a positive way. Expo East will enable PPAI to reach thousands of members and industry professionals who were not attending PROMOTIONS EAST, The PPAI Expo or other major tradeshows.

In addition to helping both SAAGNY and PPAI reach, serve and educate current members and member-prospects in a first-class tradeshow environment, the strategic alliance allows SAAGNY to focus on providing enhanced member benefits and gaining new members. It allows PPAI to bring its expertise in producing The PPAI Expo to a new area and a new audience.

Alan Baker, MAS, SAAGNY board president and a driver in the building of the alliance, agrees. “By forming this strategic alliance with PPAI and letting them bring their tradeshow expertise to the East Coast, it allows SAAGNY to focus on its members and the growth of the association. We are excited about focusing our staff and volunteers’ time on developing more valuable programs and services to better serve our membership.”

As I mentioned during the Expo East news conference, members join associations to collectively solve problems and address issues in ways they cannot successfully accomplish on their own. Similarly, the strategic alliance between PPAI and SAAGNY recognizes that both organizations could collectively address issues more successfully than each association on its own.

PPAI has an obligation to serve the industry and our members at every level, large and small—wherever they are—in every geographic area. I am confident that Expo East and our strengthened relationship with SAAGNY will give us a substantial footprint in the eastern U.S. from which to serve our industry and our members like never before.

I think Steven Meyer, MAS, PPAI chair of the board, summed it up best when he said: “Launching Expo East, slated to open May 19-21, 2013, is consistent with PPAI’s desire to be more inclusive with its members. We realized that there is a fairly high percentage of our membership located in the eastern U.S. not attending The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, they were missing out on the opportunity to experience all the great products, networking and education offered at Expo. Expo East will bring that experience to them.”

For more information on Expo East, visit www.expoeast.ppai.org.

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