News
June 14, 2018
In a deal that was finalized Wednesday, supplier HUB Promotional Group has added Concord, Ontario-based supplier Debco Bag Distributors, Ltd. (PPAI 317015) to its portfolio of companies. The announcement was first made earlier today in a PPB Newslink Breaking News.  Debco adds a Canadian decorating and distribution arm, a new product line in tote bags, and an expanded line of highly competitive drinkware offerings to HUB’s growing portfolio of products and services.  Joe Fleming, CEO of HUB Pr...
June 14, 2018
PPAI leaders contributed their industry expertise on why blank t-shirts are big business to a Business Of Fashion (BoF) article released this week. BoF is a London-based global resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. The article by Lauren Sherman, exclusively for BoF professionals, explores the thriving opportunity of purchasing and imprinting blank apparel for fashion brands, bands and concert organizers. The article cited the annual revenue of the p...
June 14, 2018
Small businesses reported increased compensation, profits and sales trends, according to the Small Business Optimism Index published by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). May marked the second highest level in the NFIB survey’s 45-year history. The index rose to 107.8, a three-point gain. The May report noted several records: Compensation increases hit a 45-year high at a record net 35 percent. Positive earnings trends reached a survey high at a net three percent. Posi...
June 14, 2018
When the doors to the Atlantic City Convention Center closed on Wednesday at 3 pm, distributors were still strolling the aisles, taking care of last-minute business. An estimated 2,000 distributors were expected at the largest show on the East Coast, many driving in from nearby cities and surrounding states for the three-day event.   “Having a strong show in the Northeast region is valuable for all members,” says PPAI Board Chair Dale Denham, MAS+, chief information officer for Geiger. “I spoke...
June 14, 2018
PPAI staff was on the road again recently as Julie Kwan, diversity and learning engagement manager, visited with PPAI Chair-Elect Brittany David, CAS, vice president of sales for supplier SnugZ USA, at her offices in West Jordan, Utah, on June 7. Kwan, who joined PPAI’s team this spring, talked with David about her background and career, and her path to PPAI leadership, from her election to PPAI’s board to being named chair-elect in 2017. They also discussed diversity at SnugZ and within the pr...
June 13, 2018
Disruption is becoming a common occurrence in business today as legacy institutions and longtime stalwarts in industries from transportation to groceries are being uprooted by changemakers such as Airbnb, Amazon and others. Disruption, as disconcerting as it may be, brings innovation—and no industry is completely safe from this type of change, as reported in an article on the MIT Sloan Management Review blog. The authors—Megan Beck, CIO at OpenMatters and research fellow at SEI Center for Advan...
June 13, 2018
President Donald Trump nominated Peter A. Feldman on June 4 to fill the fifth and final spot as commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The nomination fills the vacancy left by former Commissioner Joe Mohorovic, who resigned from the commission in October 2017. If confirmed, Feldman would fulfill Mohorovic’s term through its expiration on October 26, 2019. The President is expected to renominate Feldman for an additional seven-year term. Feldman’s nomination follows ...
June 13, 2018
David Bywater, president of Iowa City, Iowa-based distributor Bankers Advertising Company (PPAI 101972), has been named chair of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI), the state’s largest business networking organization. He is a longtime ABI board member and a well-known Iowa business leader.  The election marks the first time a third-generation family member will chair ABI. Bywater's great-great grandfather and company founder, Samuel Wakefield Mercer, helped c...
June 12, 2018
A successful Expo East 2018 comes to a close this afternoon in Atlantic City at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Over its three days, the show, which began on Monday, featured a full education schedule both on and off the show floor, an active trade show with almost 400 booths and several networking opportunities. Monday’s education schedule brought together speakers from across the promotional products industry and the business world. Attendees could choose from 32 free professional develo...
June 12, 2018
Most exhibitors—almost 80 percent—use trade shows as an opportunity to build relationships with attendees, reports distributor 4imprint. The Oshkosh, Wisconsin, company’s findings come from a survey of trade show attendees and exhibitors conducted earlier this year. The survey, which examines how small and large businesses are using promotional giveaways to make connections and promote their products and services at trade shows, also found that 29 percent of respondents attend 11 or more trade ...
June 12, 2018
PPAI has launched its Strategic Foresight Playbook, a step-by-step guide to implementing strategic foresight and operational excellence for promotional products industry businesses. Strategic foresight is the capacity to look at the future and spot potential disruptions and emerging trends, so they can be proactively addressed by preparing for the disruptions or by being in the best possible position to take advantage of the trends. It helps companies be more prepared to succeed in the days ahe...
June 12, 2018
Beginning on Tuesday morning, Expo East attendees have been taking in product displays in the more than 100,000 square feet of exhibitor space at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Product Pavilion at the show’s entrance offered a glimpse of trending products, and after perusing the impressive array of products across the show floor, a few additional trends began to emerge. The increase in consumer consciousness has generated an unprecedented interest in brand activism, including products...
June 12, 2018
The Vernon Company’s (PPAI 109323) Vernon Life Supporters team raised $4,500 for the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer. The money was raised through a variety of fundraisers at the Newton, Iowa-headquartered distributor, including a silent auction with over 20 auction items, a book and bake sale, the opportunity to purchase “jeans days”, fruit and vegetable sales, pizza and walking taco lunches, and the purchase of bird and leaf cutouts for Vernon’s Tree of Hope in honor of lov...
June 12, 2018
As first reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, PPAI, SAGE and Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC), the association serving the Canadian promotional products industry, have announced a strategic relationship to deliver a comprehensive membership solution to promotional products distributors and suppliers in the Canadian marketplace. “We’ve spent the last number of months listening to our members and hearing exactly what they were asking for,” says Heidi Reimer-Ep...
June 12, 2018
Charleston, South Carolina, supplier Vapor Apparel (PPAI 398237), a manufacturer of sublimated apparel and sun protection clothing, has partnered with Mossy Oak, a branded camouflage and outdoor lifestyle company, to offer a fully customized print-on-demand program. The partnership marks the initial entry of Mossy Oak’s products into the promotional products industry. Together, the companies will offer a variety of short- and long-sleeve shirts manufactured and designed by Vapor Apparel, with c...
June 12, 2018
More than 50 industry professionals gathered Monday at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Course in Galloway, New Jersey, for the SAAGNY Foundation’s Lenore Goldberg Memorial Golf Outing. The outing, named for late Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) volunteer, board president and foundation trustee Lenore Goldberg, raises funds for the SAAGNY Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Monday’s golf outing began with a noon lunch followed by play at 2 pm. This year’...
June 12, 2018
The exhibition industry is enjoying a growth spurt with a year-over-year gain of 1.8 percent during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year. Although weaker than the 3.5 percent uptick reported for the fourth quarter of 2017, it still indicates stability. The good news comes from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), an organization that, among other services, helps its stakeholders meet current and emerging customer needs and strengthen their competitive po...
June 12, 2018
In an announcement last week for Google My Business users, Google now allows two new types of posts: product news and promotional offers. The search engine giant posted specifics about the benefits of the posts, saying that when customers have more access to business information and updates they can make better decisions as they browse. The Posts feature offers four main benefits: facilitating direct communication from businesses to local customers; improving the customer experience with timely...
June 12, 2018
Expo East, the largest promotional products trade show on the East Coast, opened this morning at the Atlantic City Convention Center with over 390 booths and 325 exhibiting companies. Attendees took an early look at products in some of the show’s most popular categories—Top Sellers, Green Products, Made in the USA and Express Ship—when the Product Pavilion opened at 8:30 am. With nearly 2,000 attendees expected at the show through Wednesday, the projected economic impact of Expo East on Atlantic...
June 12, 2018
Popular Expo East keynote speaker Diane Ciotta returned to the Atlantic City Convention Center to join Monday’s education lineup. Ciotta, a professional speaker with an extensive background in retail sales, shared her experiences in handling objections from prospects and customers. Ciotta broke her presentation down into four parts: controlling the “no”; knowing the “no”; where the “no” falls in the sales process; and finally, turning the “no” into a “yes.” In a session punctuated by audience q...
June 11, 2018
Bill McCormick, owner of Catskill, New York-based distributor Team Creative Connections (PPAI 624673), confesses that he was a poor salesperson early in his career. But times have changed. McCormick has become so accomplished at using LinkedIn to build his distributorship that he now owns a second business to teach others about the platform. In this standing room-only presentation at Expo East on Monday, McCormick outlined specific, step-by-step instructions to maximize LinkedIn’s effectiveness...
June 08, 2018
Expo East education opens today in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the trade show opens Tuesday, bringing together nearly 2,000 distributors with over 325 exhibitors at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The most attended summer show in the industry is the result of teamwork between PPAI, producer of The PPAI Expo, the largest trade show in the promotional products industry, and the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), the largest regional association on the East Coas...
June 08, 2018
SAGE Mobile and its comprehensive show planner tools are being provided free to all Expo East 2018 attendees. An advanced mobile research and business management solution for the promotional products industry, SAGE Mobile has several features that maximize the Expo East attendee experience at the Atlantic City Convention Center, making it more productive and efficient. Users can navigate Expo East using the app’s interactive floor plan, create a walk list prior to the show and be guided to each...
June 08, 2018
Jack Nadel International (PPAI 107145) has expanded into two new markets: Wilmington, North Carolina, and Calgary, Alberta, in Canada. With this announcement, the Los Angeles, California, distributor looks to grow in the Mid-Atlantic region and expand its global footprint. “We want to develop into an even larger company and we want to do it intelligently," says CEO Craig Nadel. “We plan to do this in two ways. First, by supporting our employees who explore new markets. And secondly, by accommod...
June 08, 2018
As the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) reaches its 10-year anniversary on July 10, the organization and its board of directors are recognizing Denise Fenton, executive director of compliance, for her role in establishing and maintaining its accreditation program. At QCA, she administers all compliance aspects for QCA and is responsible for the ongoing evolution of the QCA Accreditation Program. For more than 20 years, Fenton has worked in international manufacture-for-export. Prior to joi...
June 08, 2018
PPAI has promoted Natalie Clark to director of membership services. Clark joined the Association in September 2013 as manager of membership services. Since then, she has played a decisive role in several of PPAI’s initiatives, including the implementation of the PPAI Associate Program and the PPAI Industry Directory, and assumed responsibility for the Association’s Affinity Programs. Clark joined PPAI from Mannatech, where she worked for 17 years. At Mannatech, she served as senior vice preside...
June 08, 2018
The Vernon Company (PPAI 109323) has named Lisa Pelzel (above, left) of Beacon Promotions its 2017 Supplier Account Manager of the Year. The Newton, Iowa, distributor presented Pelzel with the award during its annual National Sales Meeting in April at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. “Lisa is one the best,” says Vicki Palm, director of marketing. “She continually goes above and beyond in her services for Vernon and our account executives. She’s proactive with client storyboards, creativ...
June 07, 2018
In the 10 months since PPAI launched Promo Connect, a knowledge community for the promotional products industry, the online platform’s user base has grown at a rapid pace. Recently, Promo Connect welcomed its 5,000th user, Staci Whittington of distributor Graphtech. In recognition of the milestone, PPAI awarded Whittington $250 in online education credit. The Association’s objective for Promo Connect is to cultivate a place where participants can grow professionally through engagement around me...
June 07, 2018
Supplier Augusta Sportswear (PPAI 187246) in Augusta, Georgia, has announced a strategic partnership with Russell Athletic (RA) to serve as the exclusive team sports partner of Russell Athletic and exclusively manufacture, market and sell RA-branded team uniforms and other team-specific products. “Augusta Sportswear is an ideal partner to bring Russell Athletic to the next generation of teams and athletes,” says Matt Murphy, Russell Athletic’s vice president. “With a brand legacy that includes ...
June 07, 2018
The news of designer Kate Spade’s unexpected passing in New York City on Tuesday rocked the worlds of fashion and retail, where her signature handbags have set a standard in style and quality for more than two decades. But the loss was also felt throughout the promotional products industry because of the retail industry’s strong influence on design within many product categories, especially apparel and accessories, such as consumer-inspired totes. Spade knew the power of a logo and was one of t...
June 07, 2018
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the country’s economy added 223,000 jobs in May, marking 92 uninterrupted months of job growth, and dropping the unemployment rate to 3.8 percent, the lowest it has been since December 1969. The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, however, decreased in May after five consecutive monthly gains. The index now stands at 107.69, down from 108 in April. The change represents a 3.9 percent gain in the index compared to a year ago. “The decline in the ...
June 07, 2018
PPAI Membership Services Director Natalie Clark and Marketing Manager Amy Bramhall attended the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) Membership & Marketing Conference last month to support the marketing efforts of PPAI’s Membership Services Department. Held May 22-23, ASAE’s annual conference focused on the latest trends, technologies, integrated strategies and success stories that are effectively being used by associations to market their brands and communicate value to membe...
June 07, 2018
PPAI’s webinars in the coming months focus on several tools, practices and philosophies industry professionals can use to build up their businesses. Webinars this summer equip professionals new to the industry with tips on making the first million dollars in sales, an understanding of the role of promotional products in marketing and advertising and other tools. The schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. All sessions,...
June 05, 2018
Most business-to-business (B2B) buyers—more than 70 percent—wait to contact sellers until late in the sales process, says a study by CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group. The majority of buyers, the study notes, have fully defined their needs before engaging with a B2B sales representative, and almost half have identified specific solutions before reaching out. “The Growing Buyer-Seller Gap: Results of the 2018 Buyer Preferences Study,” based on a global survey of 500 deci...
June 05, 2018
The U.S. Commerce Secretary announced on May 31 that additional tariffs on steel and aluminum would be implemented under the Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 empowers the president to act unilaterally on trade matters in the instance of a national security concern. The tariffs, which went into effect June 1, come on the heels of expired exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the European Union. PPAI is on the record opposing any tariff p...
June 05, 2018
In a 34-28 vote, Canada’s Senate passed an amendment to C-45 that would prohibit companies operating in the cannabis sector from selling promotional items featuring their logos. C-45, the Canadian government’s cannabis bill, would legalize access to marijuana in the country as well as regulate how it is grown, distributed and sold. “There are enormous regulations in terms of marketing cannabis, and at this stage in the game a lot of that is still up in the air,” says Ben Baker, president of dis...
June 05, 2018
In April and May, three industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) and Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) certifications. They join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their profession. Pr...
June 05, 2018
The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) hosted the regional association's annual end user show, Ideas in Bloom, on May 17 at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The show attracted more than 600 attendees from across the region. The show featured two education sessions by Kirby Hasseman, CEO of Coshocton, Ohio, distributor Hasseman Marketing. He presented “Succeeding in the Give First Economy,” a keynote and continental breakfast, and a lunch ...
May 31, 2018
PPB’s Rising Stars program is one of the magazine’s most popular and coveted honors spotlighting the industry’s up-and-coming leaders. This year’s program recognizes 19 individuals selected this week from nearly 90 nominations received from across the promotional products industry. Those who made the list did so based on their accomplishments, demonstrated leadership potential and involvement in the industry. PPB congratulates these honorees: Kristi Catalanotto - Fully Promoted of Mandeville Ja...
May 31, 2018
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has announced that it is acquiring another trade group, the Data & Marketing Association, formerly the Direct Marketing Association. The move was approved today by the board of directors of each organization, subject to formal approval by the voting members of the DMA. The integration is scheduled to be completed by July 1. The combined enterprise brings together national advertisers, advertising agencies, media companies, law firms, consultanci...
May 31, 2018
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) paid a visit to distributor Geiger’s (PPAI 105182) headquarters in Lewiston, Maine. During his time with Geiger, he toured the facility, met with staff and shared his thoughts on Washington. King’s visit began with a look at the solar array the company installed in 2017 and a discussion around the company’s sustainability efforts. As the owner of the largest business solar array in Maine, Geiger generates 100 percent of its annual electricity needs on-sit...
May 31, 2018
The Vernon Company (PPAI 109323) recognized Showdown Displays with the 2017 Supplier of the Year Award during the Newton, Iowa-based distributor’s annual National Sales Meeting last month at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. “Showdown Displays is a terrific partner to The Vernon Company and our account executives,” says Vicki Palm, director of marketing (above, right). “Our sales growth with Showdown over the past few years is indicative of their commitment to our partnership. They alway...
May 31, 2018
PPAI has announced a new Intern Education Program for member companies seeking to cultivate the next generation of promotional professionals and showcase the exciting careers the promotional products industry has to offer. “The PPAI Intern Education Program is a key part of PPAI’s strategic plan to engage its membership in transforming the promotional products industry,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “The industry is growing, and our future success requires recruiting and d...
May 31, 2018
PPAI’s webinars in the coming months focus on several tools, practices and philosophies industry professionals can use to build up their business. Webinars this summer equip professionals new to the industry with tips on making the first million dollars in sales, an understanding of the role of promotional products in marketing and advertising, and other tools for those starting their careers in the industry. The schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to prom...
May 29, 2018
PPAI has named Marsha Londe, owner and CEO of Atlanta, Georgia-based Tango Partners, and Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, CEO of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, creative marketing agency The Scarlett Marketer, as recipients of the 2018 PPAI Woman of Achievement award. The award recognizes individuals who have led the way in the advancement of women in the industry, exhibited outstanding leadership and made significant contributions to the industry and their communities. They constantly strive to go above and...
May 29, 2018
A team from supplier STAHLS’ (PPAI 189660) was behind the scenes at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in April for the televised 2018 NFL Draft. In two minutes or less from the time a player was drafted to when he crossed the stage to shake hands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, STAHLS’ three-person team created a personalized jersey with the player’s name in the team’s font and color, for Goodell to present to the player. This was the seventh consecutive year that STAHLS’ Decorating Fu...