Tag Archives: trade show

SHRM Show Amusements

Guest post by Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, SPHR, PPAI Director, Human Resources

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) hosted more than 13,000 human resources professionals during its annual conference in Orlando, Florida last month. This year’s hot topics included human resources strategy and leadership, healthcare reform, workplace flexibility, national and California-specific employment regulation, social media recruiting; and much more.

HR professionals are one of the top users of promotional products within today’s business enterprise. A variety of promotional products are used as engagement tools for employee relations, training and education, wellness, motivation and incentives programs. And at this year’s SHRM Conference, promotional products were featured front and center—before, during and after the event. Here are a few of the stand out observations from this year’s SHRM event.

SHRM Best Of

The best use of promotional products was by CareerBuilder®, the largest online job site in the U.S. and a global leader in human capital solutions, which employed an integrated approach using experiential, direct marketing, digital, social, multimedia and promotional products to create the ultimate tradeshow environment, CareerBuilder World: Where recruiting dreams come true.

The CareerBuilder exhibit brought a magical amusement park experience to the thousands of SHRM attendees and featured everything you love about amusement parks – a claw game, a water gun game, a roller coaster photo op, a souvenir (promotional products) shop, traditional amusement park food and more to get visitors attention and keep it.

The engagement experience began before attendees arrived in the form of a paper lollipop mailed to homes, teasing a chance to win a pair of orange Chuck Taylor Converse when the prize code was scanned at the CareerBuilder booth. Regretfully, this attendee didn’t win!

It’s ok, though—the paper lollipops were quickly exchanged for the real thing, which had another promotional message. The booth was set up like an amusement park—we were a captive audience and many of us went back again and again.

Honorable Mentions

  • The must-have conference product was the brightly colored and well designed 4imprint® tote bag, a big winner with the female attendees, who made up 75 percent of the conference attendees.
  • The best use of a branded premium product was by the relocation firm who gave out GUND® plush toys.
  • There were lots of imprinted pens, bags, books, lens cleaners, mints, markers, first-aid kits, tech tools and munchies. Many were customized to highlight company brands, like the Papa John’s Pizza sticky notes.
  • VitalSmarts® had a great idea to distribute its New York Times bestselling books.
  • RecruitMilitary® distributed useful jump drives in the shape of a key, but missed an opportunity to share more information by leaving the drive blank.
  • Many mailed collateral to attendees’ homes prior to the event, but those that did not include a prize or gift incentive did not perform as well.

The parting themes for SHRM 2014…get engaged and be engaging!

Demand For #SXSW Promotional Products Captures Event Headlines; Positive Proof Promotional Products Work!

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals offer a variety of events for anyone interested in music, film and interactive technologies. Year after year, this huge trendsetting event serves as a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings providing buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning; business activity thrives at the trade shows and global networking opportunities abound.

Austin’s relaxed atmosphere serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders sparks new ideas and carves the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

So, you can see why promotional products are the perfect marketing tool for SXSW creators and marketers to share strategically crafted branded products with this highly sought-after target audience.

I wanted take this opportunity to share with you our thoughts on the news and goings on at Austin’s SXSW event this week.

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Promotional Products Association International has issued a statement from President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, regarding screened luggage at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport during SXSW and his rebuttal of the claim by a Palo Alto tech firm that “most of the (SXSW) freebies end up in the attic, if not the trash.

“It turns out the news reports of delays at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport were due to the fact that SXSW event goers were actually taking their promotional products home and not trashing them.

The TSA has since issued this travel tip recommending that airline passengers leaving SXSW with lots of freebies should take them in their carry-on luggage so they can get through security faster.

Regarding the Palo Alto tech firm’s claim that ‘most of the SXSW freebies end up in the attic or trash,’ Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the promotional products industry wholly support the donation of unused promotional products to help those in need, and are glad the Austin-based Foundation for the Homeless is the beneficiary of the generosity and compassion of South by Southwest (#SXSW) attendees and its marketers.

Working with promotional products professionals, savvy marketers design and produce strategically branded promotional campaigns to reach and appeal to a highly targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner. Promotional products are used to educate, support worthy causes, recognize and reward employee achievements, support legislation and inspire action. In cases where promotional products are not needed, consumers report a pass-along rate of 36 percent—a lucrative benefit for marketers.

Promotional Products Fact Sheet

Promotional Products Fact Sheet

PPAI’s more than 40 years of industry research supports the fact that promotional products are one of, if not the most valued of all advertising media. In fact, eight in 10 consumers own promotional products, keeping them for more than a year in their kitchen (91%), workspace (74%), bedroom (55%) and in pockets or purses (24%) because they are useful. For marketers, the efficacy of promotional products provides the best ROI in the business, delivering an 88-percent brand recall and driving 85 percent of recipients to do business with the brand after receiving a branded product.

Whether through research or anecdotal evidence, it is clear promotional products have value to everyone, otherwise, they would not be distributed to both their intended audiences and to unintended, but equally valued, audiences—audiences who will find their original purpose to be just as useful and for which they are equally appreciative.

This appreciation of the function, form and fit of promotional products is why we, as an industry, strive to ensure unused products make their way into the hands of those who can use them most—teacher resource centers, animal shelters, community outreach organizations and, yes, homeless shelters.

The promotional products industry donates, contributes and volunteers in support of the communities it serves every day with literally thousands of products, millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours supporting worthy causes, schools and organizations, such as the Kids In Need Foundation, Merced Rescue Mission, Community Health Charities Minnesota, Richmond State School for Success and many more.”

Spread the word, promotional products work!

Paul

When Worlds Collide

Based on keynote speaker, Tony Hsieh’s “collision model” this year The PPAI Expo not only created community and co-learning, but an astounding 800,000+ collisions.

The PPAI Expo 2014 Marks 5-Year High  in Attendee and Exhibitor Numbers

The PPAI Expo 2014 Marks 5-Year High in Attendee and Exhibitor Numbers

For one week the promotional products industry comes together to launch their year, and this year they came out in force to gather industry insights and trends and set the stage for the year to come. Whether it is The PPAI Expo’s sheer size and quality or professional development and business-building opportunities, no other industry event provides this level of engagement and access to the promotional products market, its leaders, brands, new products, services and solutions.

This year, The PPAI Expo ranked 53rd among all U.S. trade shows on the Trade Show Executive Gold 100, but it is clear The PPAI Expo is the number one trade show in our industry and 2014 was personally my favorite so far.

The PPAI Expo 2014 generated growth in both attendee and exhibitor participation. At more than a million square feet of exhibition and education space, The PPAI Expo is the largest single gathering of suppliers, decorators, technology providers and distributors in the industry dedicated to showcasing new, green and Made in America products, decorating technology, motivational strategies, professional development and leadership and global access to the promotional products marketplace.

I am pleased to report The PPAI Expo 2014 attracted a five-year high of more than 11,500 attendees from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 34 countries, representing our fourth consecutive year of growth. Professional development and education session attendance also experienced significant increases. In fact, Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh’s general session had one of the largest crowds ever measured with an overflow attendance of more than double the previous year.

This year, significant growth was generated through an increase in promotional products suppliers, decorators and distributors, as well as the co-location of the Recognition Professionals International conference with PPAI’s brand. pavilion. With the additional growth, exhibit and education space totaled more than 1,100,000 square feet, with more than 1,400 exhibiting companies in more than 3,250 booths.

We hosted more than 120 professional development and certification sessions drawing standing-room-only attendance to education tracks highlighting business management, product responsibility, marketing, sales and service and technology.

With guidance from the Association’s Product Responsibility Advisory Group, industry committees and advisory groups, PPAI launched ‘Product Safety Aware’, a program designed to enhance an industry-wide commitment and culture where companies are not only aware of product safety but are leading the discussion at every level in the promotional products channel.

The general session and keynote line-up included remarks from Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh, The Mark of a Leader’s CEO & Chief Storyteller Doug Keeley;  Valorie Burton discussed how to be better, not bitter; and our industry’s own, Mark Graham of RIGHTSLEEVE and Bobby Lehew of Robyn Promotions who walked the audience through the three important models to consider in business and how to market a business to not merely survive turbulent times but to stay alive and thrive.

We recognized more than 160 companies and individuals with Suppliers Achievement, Pyramid, Image, Technology and Supplier Star awards and during the PPAI Chairman’s Leadership Dinner we gave special honors to Don Lafferre as the 2014 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Schenker, MAS, as the recipient of the 2014 PPAI Distinguished Service Award and Peter Geiger as the recipient of the 2014 H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award.

For the last two years I have talked to anyone that would listen about PPAI’s goal of delivering industry Visibility, Viability, Credibility and Community—we now add Commitment, Culture and Confidence to our pledge of industry advocacy. This philosophy was exemplified through Tony Hsieh’s inspirational keynote address where he explained the Zappos model of creating community, co-learning and collisions. Attendees were excited to hear how Zappos.com builds business by accelerating collisions between co-workers and their communities through organic growth generated as a result of strategic design, location and traffic flow—promoting interaction, collaboration and commerce.

Based on the Zappos.com model, The PPAI Expo week generated more than 800,000 collisions in over a million square feet at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas!

Looking Forward To This Year And The Next

Next year, The PPAI Expo 2015 will be held Sunday through Thursday, January 11-15, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas; the SAGE Show will take place, April 23-25, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas and Expo East will be held May 19-21, 2014, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. For more information, visit The PPAI Expo, SAGE Show and EXPO East.

I hope to see you at one or all of the upcoming events!

Paul

Trip Report — The Trade Only National Show

— As reported in PPB Newslink, January 29, 2013

The Trade Only National Show Hosts An International Audience of Exhibitors, Visitors

The Trade Only National Show Hosts An International Audience of Exhibitors and Visitors

Trade Only National Show organizers have announced that despite adverse weather conditions, the event’s seventh iteration was its most successful ever. Held January 23-24 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom, the show attracted thousands of industry attendees.

“It has been an incredible few days,” says Nigel Bailey, event director for Trade Only. “The show has just kept growing and is now one of the biggest and best promotional product tradeshows in the world. With over 80 percent of space now reserved for 2014, we are already hard at work planning to make next year’s event even better. Feedback from suppliers and distributors alike has been universally very positive. ”

There were more suppliers exhibiting than before, with 345 stands and nearly 2,000 staff. The show benefited from an international flavor, with representatives from 52 countries.

Gail Kilcoyne, exhibition manager for Trade Only, adds: “It has been amazing and we have all been working nonstop. The reaction from everyone has been terrific with a ‘blitz spirit’ prevailing, as everyone was determined not to let the snow get the better of them. Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who has been a part of this great show in any way.”

The British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) Annual Awards Dinner organized by Trade Only on the second night of the show enjoyed record attendance, too, with 900 suppliers and distributors on hand and with musical performances from pop artists Alexandra Burke and JLS. The dinner saw awards for Brand Addition, Liquid Lens, LSI, Senator and Outstanding Branding, with a live vote for Campaign of the Year won by BTC Group and Personality of the Year won by Nigel Bailey.

On January 22, almost 150 delegates attended the inaugural bpma Education Day, endorsed by the show, which included sessions by Cliff Quicksell, MAS, and a rousing closing address by Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI. During his session, Bellantone spoke on three areas that industry thought-leader PPAI was focusing on in the industry today: emphasizing promotional products’ position as a true advertising medium, advocating for the industry with good standards and practice, and helping the association’s members better compete with other media.

Bellantone also took part in a lunchtime World Leader Keynote panel, joining Hans Poulis, president and CEO of the European Promotional Products Association; PPAI board member and MadeToOrder CFO Rod Brown, CAS; Carol De Ville, MAS, The Branding Company president and Promotional Products Professionals of Canada board member; Frank Murphy with the BTC Group; and Neal Beagles of bpma.

The next Trade Only National Show will be held at the Ricoh Arena January 22-23, 2014.

PPD Cover 01/13Ahead of the Trade Only National Show, Bellantone was interviewed by Promotional Product Distributor, a magazine serving industry in the U.K., about PPAI, his role at the Association and the challenges and opportunities for promotional products. Click here to download the issue and the article.

Under The Big Top!

Irvin Feld built an iconic entertainment enterprise in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus by elevating the consumer’s experience and putting a big show under one tent. And so, too, has PPAI.

In a few short months, The PPAI Expo will bring together – under one roof – nearly 1,400 suppliers presenting hundreds of thousands of products, and tens of thousands of industry professionals.  These energized and motivated industry professionals will take part in face-to-face networking, awards and recognition, more than one hundred hours of professional development and so much more—all in nearly a million square feet of exhibition space at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The PPAI Expo, January 14-18, 2013,  really has it all under one big top. If you haven’t registered for The PPAI Expo yet, here’s the link.

Speaking of tops, I am pleased to announce The PPAI Expo has once again been ranked in the Top 50 U.S. tradeshows by Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100. I hope you have a chance to read about your industry tradeshow’s latest achievement.

As always, I thank you for your support of PPAI and hope you’ll let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you grow your business.

See you at The PPAI Expo 2013!

Paul

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The PPAI Expo Ranked As 47th Largest Show

In 2012 Trade Show Executive Gold 100

Promotional Products Association International announced The PPAI Expo, North America’s largest international promotional products tradeshow, ranks 47th on the 2012 Trade Show Executive magazine’s list of the Gold 100.  The rankings, published in the October special issue of TSE, are based on a three-part, same-show comparison including show size, growth and attendance as well as innovation, social media practices, green initiatives, global participation and economic impact.The PPAI Expo has been ranked in the Top 50 of the Gold 100 since the ranker’s inception in 2007.

“Comprehensive market access and the highest quality tradeshow experience are vitally important to the mission and values of PPAI as an international trade association, and they are essential to the success of our industry in delivering proven promotional products marketing and communications strategies to buyers around the world,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO.

North America’s largest international promotional products tradeshow at a million-plus square feet, The PPAI Expo was held January 10-14, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The PPAI Expo brought 11,718 distributors under one roof for the five-day event and featured more than 1,447 exhibiting companies occupying 330,600 net square feet of exhibit space at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. With a total of more than 20,315 participants the overall non-gaming economic impact of The PPAI Expo 2011 was estimated at more than $19 million by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

“We are very proud of our long-standing commitment to producing a Top 50 tradeshow. It is very gratifying for The PPAI Expo to be recognized by Trade Show Executive magazine as a 2012 Gold 100 tradeshow,” said Darel Cook, PPAI director of expositions. “I believe the size of The PPAI Expo is a direct outcome of our focus on producing the most valuable tradeshow for our members and industry. Being ranked the best tradeshow in the promotional products industry, year after year, has been and will always be our primary motivator. That’s what makes us most proud.”

The shows held in 2011 that make up the fifth annual Trade Show Executive Gold 100 tallied a total of 42,458,142 net square feet (nsf), a increase from the 2010 events, which topped 39,192,000 nsf.

“The 100 tradeshows that make up the ‘Gold 100 Class of 2012’ made notable gains in exhibit space, exhibitors and attendees over the previous year, and outperformed TSE’s Composite Index of Trade Shows as well,” said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group.

For more information about The PPAI Expo 2013 to be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, January 14-18, 2013, visit www.expo.ppai.org.