PPB December 2021

A PPAI Publication » ecember 2021 D Fashion-Forward Drinkware For Today’s Lifestyles P. 34 Ready For Takeoff? The Travel Market Is Back P. 42 How To Set 2022 Sales In Motion NowP. 52 Honoring Peter Hirsch, MAS: PPAI Humanitarian Award Winner P. 60 For The Love Of Promo: PPAI’s Latest Consumer Research P. 62 Countdown To The An attendee guide to the most important show in decades—returning to Las Vegas, January 10-13, 2022. P. 24

Everything you need at your fingertips. The Official Show Planner for The Take all the features of SAGE Online and SAGE Web with you wherever you go! go.sageworld.com/mobile

4 Perspectives We’re Stronger Together. Join Us. 8 Feedback 11 INNOVATE 12 Question Trouble With An Incomplete P.O. 14 Eye On Apparel Road Warriors 33 GROW 34 Editor's Picks Drinkware 42 Market To Market Travel 52 Sales Plan Your Work, Then Work Your Plan 54 Marketing The Client’s Lifetime Value 59 THINK 60 Profile Peter Hirsch, MAS 69 Fast Forward A&W Restaurants Rolls Out High-End Merch Collection 75 CONNECT 76 Close Up Quinn Bui, Raining Rose 80 PPPC Communiqué 83 Inside PPAI 87 New Members 93 Datebook 98 The Creative Calendar Ezhevika / Viktor Chursin / Shutterstock.com 24COUNTDOWN TO THE PPAI EXPO An attendee guide to the industry’s largest and longest-running show—and the most important one in decades—returning to Las Vegas, January 10-13, 2022. By Africa Studio / Entrieri / In Green / Mind Pixell / ONYXprj / prapann / Shutterstock.com 62FOR THE LOVE OF PROMO PPAI’s 2021 Consumer Study Report reveals the importance of promotional products in consumers’ lives. contents Promotional Products Business The Official Business Monthly of Promotional Products Association International DECEMBER 2021 | DECEMBER 2021 | 3

The industry will once again reunite at The PPAI Expo in January to carve a new pathway for the future, together, as community. Join us to celebrate our collective struggles and our triumphs. perspectives Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Chair Of The Board We’re Stronger Together. Join Us. Like 2020, 2021 has not been kind to any of us. This year has challenged our industry, its businesses, its practitioners and its end buyers in ways that we’ve never experienced before. The year has fueled political and philosophical divisions, which have played out uniquely in the business world. We’ve witnessed rebounds followed by chaos and stunning loss of life worldwide. And yet, this year we have witnessed immense bravery, compassion and resilience within ourselves and throughout our industry. This year, we continued to push for new ways not simply to recover, but also to reinvent. This year, we stretched and evolved the industry, businesses and people in myriad ways to help us all not only survive but thrive in the upcoming new year. No, 2022 won’t be a fresh start for the industry in the traditional sense; rather, it’s a continuation through strife. Yet, despite all the setbacks, we remain optimistic as we begin again by placing our faith in people, relationships and community to find a way forward together. After all, this is an industry built on community, and with this sense of community in mind, we lean on each other to find new pathways to be successful. Each of you is on your own journey, but we are also on a journey together. The industry will once again reunite at The PPAI Expo in January to carve a new pathway for the future, together, as community. Join us to celebrate our collective struggles and our triumphs. Join us to celebrate your industry colleagues who have endured with you. Join us in the next evolution of PPAI. With this final column, I bid you farewell as Board chair, but it’s important for you to know that I leave this office in better hands than my own. While this experience has been more than I expected, I will forever treasure it deeply. I wish to thank the PPAI staff for their resilience, professionalism and dedication to our Association’s vision and mission. They are unsung heroes who have endured so much over the past 21 months, especially EVP Bob McLean who filled a critical role for PPAI when we needed himmost. I also wish to thank the board members whose intelligence, experience and character shined through reliably and aided our journey. Finally, we look to the future through our new president and CEO, Dale Denham, MAS+, and his leadership. Few board chairs anticipate leading an executive search process—I certainly didn’t—and yet it’s an incredible honor and responsibility to foster the leadership that will usher in a new era for PPAI. I look back with pride and look forward with optimism, knowing that overcoming what seems to be impossible is indeed possible. The coming year will bring familiar and new challenges, but thankfully our retooled understanding of normal has trained us to sustain continuous change and toughened us to emerge stronger and wiser. As my friend and PPAI’s general counsel, Cory Halliburton, often closes his emails—Onward. Upward. Together. 4 | DECEMBER 2021 |

PRESIDENT/CEO Dale Denham, MAS+ 888-I-AM-PPAI Executive Vice President Robert I. McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM 972-258-3085 BobM@ppai.org VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Alan Peterson 972-258-3048 AlanP@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Brigitte Rousseau, CPA, MBA BrigitteR@ppai.org 972-258-3083 DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Paul Elfstrom 972-258-3071 PaulE@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, EDUCATION AND MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Anne Stone, CAE 972-258-3041 AnneS@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Keith Vincent 972-258-3040 KeithV@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP SERVICES Natalie Clark 972-258-3032 NatalieC@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS/EDITOR Tina Berres Filipski 972-258-3084 TinaF@ppai.org NEWS EDITOR James Khattak 972-258-3052 JamesK@ppai.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Danielle Renda DanielleR@ppai.org Kristina Valdez 972-258-3094 KristinaV@ppai.org ART DIRECTION SPARK Publications SPARKpublications.com 704-844-6080 ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND EXPOSITIONS Ellen Tucker, CAE 972-258-3095 EllenT@ppai.org SALES MANAGER AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS Melissa Massey 972-258-3029 MelissaM@ppai.org MAJOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Brandon Dunaway 972-258-3090 BrandonD@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGER Connie Brazil 972-258-3064 ConnieB@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGER Hollady Farison 972-258-3020 HalladyF@ppai.org ADVERTISING CONTACT Mimi Duong 972-258-3025 MimiD@ppai.org BOARD OFFICERS CHAIR OF THE BOARD Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. toddp@quality-resource.com IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Ira Neaman, MAS Vantage Apparel ira@vantageapparel.com CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD Dawn Olds, MAS HALO dawn.olds@halo.com VICE CHAIR OF FINANCE Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays kwalsh@signzoneinc.com BOARD MEMBERS TERMS EXPIRING 2022 Norm Hullinger, CAS BELLA+CANVAS Norm.Hullinger @bellacanvas.com Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. toddp@quality-resource.com TERMS EXPIRING 2023 R. Renée Jones, MAS+ A Creative Touch rj@acreativetouchinc.com David Nicholson Polyconcept NA DNicholson@pcna.com TERMS EXPIRING 2024 Dawn Olds, MAS HALO dawn.olds@halo.com Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays kwalsh@signzoneinc.com TERMS EXPIRING 2025 Noah Lapine Lapine Associates, Inc. nlapine@lapineinc.com Andrew Spellman Therabody andrew.spellman @therabodycorp.com AT-LARGE DIRECTOR TERM EXPIRING 2022 Vera Muzzillo, CAS Proforma vmuzzillo@proforma.com REGIONAL ASSOCIATION COUNCIL DELEGATE TERM EXPIRING 2023 Lindsey Davis, MAS Raining Rose, Inc. ldavis@rainingrose.com EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE Mark Abels, MAS, Selco; Rama Beerfas, MAS, Lev Promotions; Keny Coonce, Specialty Incentives, Inc.; Mike Emoff, Shumsky; Karen Foy, CAS, Gorman Foy, Inc.; Stephanie Friedman, City Paper; Charity Gibson, Peerless Umbrella; Richard S. Greene, MAS, HALO; Brian Jolin, MAS, Jolin Promo; Eileen Lucky, CAS, Koozie Group; Carmen Murphey, MAS, SAGE; Dawn Ruler, MAS, Geiger; Chris Stumpf, MAS, Stumpies Marketing; Angela Taylor, AIM Smarter LLC.; Board Liaison: Andrew Spellman, Therabody PPAI HEADQUARTERS 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038-3526 Phone: 888-IAM-PPAI (426-7724) www.ppai.org, pubs.ppai.org READER RESOURCES SUBSCRIBE TO PPB: Subscribe online at pubs.ppai.org or send your name, title, company name and mailing address, along with phone and fax, to PPB Subscriptions, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. Or phone in your subscription to 972-258-3019. Include payment with your order. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted, along with checks. Additional member subscriptions are $58 for PPAI member companies (U.S.), $70 (Canada and Mexico) and $75 (international). Nonmember subscriptions are $72 (U.S.), $82 (Canada and Mexico) and $92 (international). Please allow four to six weeks for start of subscription. ADVERTISE IN PPB: Download a media kit with rates and specs for all PPAI print and digital publications at pubs.ppai.org, or call 972-258-3019 or e-mail mediasales@ppai.org. WRITE FOR PPB: The magazine regularly accepts articles from both professional writers and industry experts—like yourself. Find out everything you need to know about submitting an article or an idea by reading PPB’s Writer’s Guidelines available at pubs.ppai.org/submit-content. 6 | DECEMBER 2021 |

Contact Us: customer@customcrest.com or 1-800-234-5740 ASI 47971 PPAI 113674 SAGE 50836 UPIC CUSTOMCR Your #1 Choice for over 60 years! These products are intended for use by individuals 16 years of age or older. Plastic Tumbler StadiumCup WineCup Highball Glass Wine Glass Mixing Glass CoffeeMug Search: CPI - Custom Crest *Contact Customer Service for Pricing* DRINKWARE

feedback Send feedback on articles in PPB or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. Making The Best Of A Bad Situation The November issue of PPB shared a distributor’s question regarding how best to handle a new customer who took the artwork the distributor had produced and used another vendor for their project. Several industry professionals shared their advice and experiences handling similar situations. That happened to me a few years ago. I went to the screen printer and threatened to sue him for using our artwork. We agreed and they ended up donating the 500 shirts and paid us for our artwork. The customer also came back to me knowing that what they did was not legit and that I could have also sued them. They were grateful for the free shirts, and I snagged the rest of both their wearable and ad specialty business. Additionally, if they wanted to use the same artwork we generated, we had them pay for the artwork. Considering it was a U.S. government facility and ignorant about ordering from an ad specialty company, and me being a small business, they quickly apologized and we became instant friends. CAROL HARTWIG Account Executive Promotional Solutions Ransomville, New York Acquisition Points To What The Online Future May Look Like In November, PPB Newslink reported that distributor Custom Ink acquired Swag.com, a promotional products distributor and “gifting-as-a-service” platform provider. Observers have noted that the acquisition better positions Custom Ink as a digital player in the corporate gifting market. Speed kills and so does data. Smart move by Custom Ink; when you can acquire an online platform with some relevancy, it is impossible to lose. Just ask Discount Mugs after they acquired Branders, or ePromo after they snagged Motivators. Of course, there are many more. Online data lists are the new "sales list" that people valued so much in the last century. This is the tip of the online acquisition iceberg in our industry—buckle up. JIM FRANKLYN Vice President of Business Development Swag Promo Atlanta, Georgia PPAI 562712, D5 Georg Shutte 8 | DECEMBER 2021 | INNOVATE

INNOVATE All Dressed Up And Everywhere To Go Corporate travel still has a ways to go to reach pre-pandemic levels, but it’s certainly on the rise, and business travelers are even more eager to hit the road and reconnect with clients, colleagues, partners and end users, both near and far. As business travelers adjust, promotional products can help them to feel more comfortable and better prepared. page 14 Countdown To The PPAI Expo An attendee guide to the industry’s largest and longestrunning show—and the most important one in decades— returning to Las Vegas, January 10-13, 2022. page 24 12QUESTION: TROUBLE WITH AN INCOMPLETE P.O. Ljupco Smokovski / vaalaa / Shutterstock.com. | DECEMBER 2021 | 11

Smart7 / Viorel Simaj / Shutterstock.com compiled by Danielle Renda Trouble With An Incomplete P.O. The supplier gave my inventory to another customer because they said my purchase order was incomplete. Do I have a right to be upset, or is there a way I could have better prepared? Q A Distributor Asks: I recently placed a large purchase order with a supplier for barware, and the P.O. clearly stated that the art would be delivered in about two weeks and the ship-to location was to be determined, as we were waiting for the client to confirm on a location. When the art was ready, we sent it to the supplier and were told, “Sorry, we gave the inventory to someone else as your P.O. was incomplete, so we did not process your order. We cannot hold stock for incomplete orders.” I was floored. I currently have five other items for this same client from five other suppliers. Do I need to confirm with each one that they are indeed “saving” me the inventory that is on my P.O.? Not many vendors are allocating inventory when a P.O. is received right now. They also aren’t likely to, until not only the art and ship to are received, but also the proof approval as well. I suggest to always call them, and on the rare occasion they say they will hold your inventory, make sure that you get it in writing and attach it to your order when you submit it. JESSICA MINARD Account Coordinator and Finance Manager Red Promotions Bellevue, Washington PPAI 385713, D1 I am a major supplier of glassware to the industry. I work with many great, well-known suppliers who decorate and, I assure you, things have changed. Industry suppliers are not getting the inventory they need as their orders are not always being filled complete. I also guarantee, it’s going to get a bit worse for some. For the last year, I have been warning distributors to find key drinkware suppliers who will be getting product and work with them to ensure they are in the loop. Forget EQP, forget your deals, forget about holding stock. Get a current inventory and educate your customers as to what is going on in the category, and send in orders complete with dates, art, etc., then have a great sales year! Orders are being processed, product is being shipped, but you’re going to have to think differently and restructure your approach to “be in the game.” And your customers will have to plan and be ready to commit to the order when you present. Yes, things have changed for them, too! Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just trying to help. GUY M. ACHTZEHN President The Marketing & Sales Group York, Pennsylvania As a distributor, I’ve had too many “orders” that started off with incomplete information like this that just never materialized, especially in this climate of evaporating budgets and canceled events. I would (and have) offered to put down at least a 12 | DECEMBER 2021 | INNOVATE

partial payment upfront to hold the inventory as long as I was confident in the client and the order. RAMA BEERFAS, MAS, CPSM Owner Lev Promotions San Diego, California PPAI 218331, D1 I don’t know what the supplier’s terms are, but most suppliers have some sort of disclaimer to the effect of “incomplete P.O.s will not be processed,” and they usually give instructions as to what constitutes a “complete P.O.” If you expect inventory to be held without providing a complete P.O., I would, at least, make a phone call. AARON SALTZMAN CEO Silver Line Promotions Southfield, Michigan PPAI 787299, D2 I made a post about a similar situation a few weeks ago as a supplier and almost 60 people responded to not hold stock and to require a deposit for any stock holds. Another 20 or so private-messaged me, advising against any stock holds. I’d definitely suggest checking with your other suppliers on orders with a similar situation. JUSTIN LACKMAN National Sales Manager AdNArt - CNIJ - Fantasia Champlain, New York PPAI 132744, S4 I think it’s time to change your process. We never, ever submit a P.O. without print-ready, vectored, approved artwork. This goes for screenprinting, embroidery and hardgoods. Artwork is the first thing we get approved and out of the way before moving forward in the order/P.O. process. KELLIE HERNANDEZ Director of Sales and Operations Dragonfly Apparel & Branding Segin, Texas PPAI 717380, D1 Q A Supplier Asks: When you’re exhibiting at a trade show, what do you use to stack all of your promotional products so they’re not all flat on the table, and where do you find it? Just use boxes or plastic totes of different sizes and put them under the tablecloth or have smaller pieces of fabric draped over them. That way, you have different elevations on the table. It works great and it’s unusual, and it makes you different from everybody else. I’ve also used different sized baskets and put groups of items that either look good together or go together, depending on the event. So, I may have made a USA-made basket, I may have a golf basket, I may have a pink basket for breast cancer awareness, etc. This also helps to keep people from taking your samples. My self-promos are then usually laid out on the table, so it’s obvious that those are for them to take. THERESA DECOURSEY ZIDE Owner-Operator ManaTee Promotions Rockledge, Florida PPAI 719572, D1 You couldmake some really great-looking displays just out of crates from the dollar store. LORI TRAFFORD CEO iPROMOTEu/ Chesapeake Promotion Corporation Regina, Saskatchewan PPAI 642288, D2 When I worked on the supplier side and as a rep, I used cardboard risers and got black, non-wrinkle material that was large/oversized enough to cover the risers withmaterial to spare. For smaller items, I used a large, hard-sided artist case and lined the inside withmaterial, and attached the samples to this material. These cases would stand on the table, open, at about a 45-degree angle. When the show is done, just close the case and walk away. MARCUS J. COHEN, MAS CEO Tropical Promotions and Recognition, a division of Global MultiResources, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, Florida Do You Have An Answer? A Distributor Asks: Fellow distributors, what are some of the steps that you have taken to grow your business from a sales standpoint? Even if you’re not an owner, what has been the most effective way of growing your book of business? Is it phone-based cold calling, in-person cold calling, networking, etc. I know referrals are very important, of course, but what else, besides that, has proven most effective for you? Email your response(s) to Question@ppai.org for the chance to be featured in a future issue of PPB. Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB. | DECEMBER 2021 | 13 INNOVATE

Road Wa r r i o r s by Danielle Renda All Dressed Up And As businesses continue to ramp up their operations and the travel industry works to recover, people are growing more comfortable taking trips, for work but more so for pleasure. Though international travel isn’t estimated to make a full recovery until 2025, according to the U.S. Travel Association and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), domestic travel in the U.S. has returned to pre-pandemic levels, reports VOA News. With millions more Americans on the move for various reasons, brands have a renewed opportunity to promote their messaging through wearables designed to withstand the wear and tear of travel. But even despite the renewed efforts to boost travel as a whole, there’s some areas that remain deeply impacted by the recent pandemic, and that includes business travel. In 2019, preceding the pandemic year, Americans took 1.3 million domestic business trips each day, totaling 464 million trips for the year, according to GBTA and Statistica. This same year, U.S. businesses spent $357.9 billion Everywhere To Go Corporate travel still has a ways to go to reach prepandemic levels, but it’s certainly on the rise, and business travelers are even more eager to hit the road and reconnect with clients, colleagues, partners and end users, both near and far. As business travelers adjust, promotional products can help them to feel more comfortable and better prepared. 14 | DECEMBER 2021 | INNOVATE

on corporate travel, the World Travel & Tourism Council reports, accounting for nearly a third (30 percent) of total U.S. travel spend. In 2020, these numbers changed drastically. U.S. business travel saw a 40-percent decline, amounting to 185 million business trips throughout the year and totaling slightly over 510,000 trips each day. U.S. business travel spending fell 30.5 percent to $109.4 billion, and it accounted for 16 percent of total travel spend; nearly half of the 2019 figure. But the economy is resilient and people are ready to get back to business and life as usual. A workforce of road warriors spanning myriad professions, from sales representatives, traveling nurses and consultants, to flight attendants, truck drivers and event managers, need to be mobile to do their jobs. Despite the declines in corporate travel, the global travel industry, as a whole, was estimated to have grown 21 percent this year to $842 billion, writes Reuters, up from $694 billion last year, and after experiencing a 52-percent decline due to COVID-19. It’s a big feat, but the corporate travel industry and the professionals that make it all possible, are working hard at recovery; a revival that, GBTA reports, entails drops in business travel that were 10 times greater than the declines that followed both the September 11, 2001, terrorist Grab ’N Go For The Road Business travelers need a way to pack their items safely and bring them along conveniently, especially those who keep a laptop and other tech items handy. The OGIO Commuter Transfer Pack, available in blacktop and tarmac gray (shown), is 16.9-inches high by 11.2-inches wide and offers a host of amenities. Made from a durable fabric—1680D polyester face-coated PU—it features a large main compartment, a padded laptop/tablet compartment and a front pocket for smaller gadgets. Zippered side pockets with fabric gussets allow for storage of additional valuables and water bottles, and it also features ergonomic, adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back panel with a hidden passport pocket. SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 / www.sanmar.com | DECEMBER 2021 | 15 INNOVATE

attacks, and the economic recession in 2008. Business travelers are also eager to become more mobile again, and to meet face-to-face with industry leaders, peers and decision-makers. A survey of 3,850 business travelers (specified as those who travel for business three or more times a year) from the U.S., Canada and 30 other countries worldwide, conducted by Wakefield Research and business software company Sap Concur, and published this past May, found that 96 percent are willing to travel for work over the next 12 months, and roughly two-thirds (65 percent) say they are “very willing.” Likewise, another survey released in April by Chubb and commissioned by market research firm Dynata, “Time To Fly: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Present and Future of Business Travel,” of 2,100 respondents across 16 countries, found that 84 percent of business travelers say they “cannot wait” to travel again for work, while 80 percent said they personally missed it. The survey also found that respondents are twice as likely to be more comfortable traveling for work than for pleasure, citing the importance of business to their livelihood as a key reason. Even with (temporary) travel cuts and some lingering precautions around corporate travel, promotional products and wearables can play a strategic role in welcoming employees back to traveling for work. High-quality, plush and easywear apparel products can help to make travelers more comfortable with the overall experience, while durable backpacks, totes and other wearable bags can better prepare them for working on the road. Gifting or offering employees first-rate products that are designed to accommodate travel specifically, is an extension of thanks for their willingness to go above and beyond for their company or role—and for hitting the ground running at a time when it’s needed most. By offering carefully curated wearables to business travelers, brands can contribute to the “return to normal” while also creating a personalized experience for them, and strategically working to make these travelers their loyal customers. Read on for top choices in promotional products wearables for today’s re-emerging business travelers. Road Wa r r i o r s Great to pair with the Presence Leggings is the Manduka-branded Enlightened Tee. With a flattering fit that’s easywear, the tee reaches to mid-hip length for added coverage. It’s made from a fabric blend of 50-percent polyester and 50-percent rayon, and it’s both highly breathable and fast-drying. Available in women’s sizes XS-XL in white and black (shown). Stark Enterprises, Inc. PPAI 521359, S2 www.starkpremium.com The best-selling Mandukabranded Presence Legging is highly breathable, fast-drying and comfortable; the perfect pair for long flights and trips on the road. Sustainably made from a blend of 77-percent nylon and 23-percent spandex, the leggings have a highrise fit and feature a Powermesh waistband, which is designed to hold the wearer in while allowing free movement. Available in women’s sizes XS-XL in new grey, dark sapphire, black, bloom, henna and dark deep sea (shown). Stark Enterprises, Inc. / PPAI 521359, S2 www.starkpremium.com 16 | DECEMBER 2021 | INNOVATE

Whether taking to the skies or hitting the road, a high-quality vest can make a big difference in terms of comfort, convenience and brand representation—and the Synthetic Vest offers all three. It’s fully customizable, which includes style—various options are available, such as rain, down and puffy jacket styles; color—choose from any color imaginable, and add-on details, such as a zippered, left chest pocket and adjustable hood. Windproof and water-resistant, the vest packs into its own integrated stuff sack, which includes a carabiner clip-in loop. Choose from standard or recycled polyester insulation, and ultra-slim, slim, regular, full and ultra-full fit, and a short, regular or long length. Available in sizes XXS-5XL. Hexa|Custom / PPAI 767010, S1 www.hexacustom.com The OGIO Commuter Woven Shirt is stylish, functional and incredibly versatile, and will get lots of wear from business travelers and commuters alike. Made from a tri-blend of 56-percent cotton, 38-percent polyester and sixpercent polyester, the 3.8-ounce shirt features an open collar, a mitered-woven label, an angled shoulder yoke with back seaming and button-through sleeve plackets. Available in XS-4XL in blacktop, gear gray heather, white and metal blue heather (shown). SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 www.sanmar.com Another travel-worthy option is the Concrete Jungle Tote, a multipurpose bag that seamlessly transitions from day to nightwear. Made from black faux Saffiano leather, this three-in-one tote, brief and clutch can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop, along with personal items such as a wallet, cell phone and cosmetics. Featuring chrome metal accents and extra-long handles, wearers have the option to hand-carry the tote or swing it over their shoulder. The wristlet, which can be used as a clutch or accessory bag, conveniently slides into an external pocket. Available in black. Spector & Co. / PPAI 168328, S9 www.spectorandco.com Road Wa r r i o r s | DECEMBER 2021 | 19 INNOVATE

The Pack-N-Go Pullover, made from 100-percent Softex™ polyester, is both wind- and waterproof, and it conveniently packs into its own front pouch pocket with a zipper closure, which can then be attached to a backpack, handbag, luggage or key ring with a self-fabric loop. It’s also lightweight and breathable, with details that allow for ventilation, such as underarm grommets and a zipper at the neck. Available in unisex sizes, XS-5XL, in 16 colors, shown in navy, white and red. For a more true-tosize fit, it’s recommended to size down one or two sizes. Charles River Apparel / PPAI 111644, S10 www.charlesriverapparel.com It always makes long (and short) trips more enjoyable when there’s a warm and cozy pullover within reach. Part of J. America’s new unisex Ripple Collection, the Ripple Fleece Snap Pullover is a 8.25-ounce, midweight fleece jacket, which features double-needle stitching throughout, twill tape on the back neck, an air-spun fleece yoke and collar, and a metal snap placket. Made from a blend of 55-percent cotton and 45-percent polyester knit ottoman fleece, with a horizontal stripe texture throughout the fabric, additional details include a set-on pouch pocket, two-bytwo-inch rib cuffs and waistband, and a tearaway label. Available in unisex sizes S-3XL in black, oxford and navy (shown). J. America / PPAI 351699, S1 / www.jamericablanks.com An eco-friendly option, the Grace Flow Cardigan is a supersoft cardigan that can be worn at home, in the office and when traveling. Made from a tri-blend of 45-percent recycled polyester, 45-percent polyester and 10-percent elastane, the heather jersey cardigan is moisture-wicking for all-day wear, and features an open front, a self-goods fold over front placket, neck and cuffs, and set-in sleeves. Part of Vantage Apparel’s Earthwise Collection, each Grace Flow Cardigan keeps seven post-consumer plastic bottles from winding up in the world’s oceans and landfills. Available in women’s sizes XS-3XL in onyx and silver (shown). Vantage Apparel / PPAI 113235, S10 / www.vantageapparel.com Road Wa r r i o r s 20 | DECEMBER 2021 | INNOVATE

Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB. What To Look ForWhen Choosing Apparel For Business Travel When professionals need to pack and go, they want to grab wearables that promise to hold up against the strains of travel. Some of the qualities to consider in apparel and wearables are: This Embroidered Grab-N-Go Travel Blanket is something that recipients will surely use and appreciate throughout their many trips, drives and excursions. Made from ultra-plush, sheared microfiber polyester Tahoe fleece, this 36-inchby-58-inch blanket features a matching color binding edge finish, and conveniently packs inside of a 13.5-inch-by-10inch bag, which is designed to slide onto retractable luggage handles. Include an embroidered imprint of your brand name or logo, or add recipients’ names onto the blanket for added personalization. Available in gray and navy (shown). Terry Town / PPAI 230911, S7 / www.terrytown.com When employees and company leaders alike are making their way to meetings and events, offer them an additional way to protect themselves with the Pro-Tec Gaiter. Made from a super soft blend of 45-percent Repreve-recycled polyester, 45-percent polyester and 10-percent elastane, this ecofriendly gaiter is moisture-wicking and has stretch binding at the top hem. Ear loops help to keep the gaiter secure. Also part of Vansport’s Earthwise Collection, it’s available in onesize-fits-most in cobalt, ocean, silver and onyx (shown). Vantage Apparel / PPAI 113235, S10 / www.vantageapparel.com • Fabric that is wrinkleresistant, odor-resistant and/or moisture-wicking, offers UPF protection and/or is fast-drying and machine-washable • Multifunctional bags, such as backpacks with separate compartments for a laptop and other electronics • Convenience: when flying or using public transportation, for example, wireless, noise-canceling headphones can make the trip more enjoyable • Durability, such as belts that won’t fold or crack when they’re packed inside of luggage Sources: Small Business - Chron, Tortuga, PickVisa | DECEMBER 2021 | 21 INNOVATE

Countdown To The By Tina Berres Filip Ezhevika / Viktor Chursin / Shutterstock.com FEATURE | The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview 24 | DECEMBER 2021 |

It’s back! After a year’s hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions, The PPAI Expo is returning in person to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, starting with The PPAI Expo Conference on January 10 and the opening of the trade-show floor on January 11-13, 2022, with more than 900 exhibiting companies and tens of thousands of products on display. PPAI organizers have been working for months to plan a show that not only provides a healthy, safe and comfortable environment for all in attendance but a show experience that reinforces the many reasons why The PPAI Expo is the place where the industry meets and engages every year. “It’s important for our community to come together,” says Alan Peterson, vice president of business development at PPAI. “It has been way too long without this significant event that has over half-amillion gross square feet and thousands of products. People who want to get back to business and set themselves up for the future need to be at this event.” Peterson says he’s heard from both attendees and exhibitors about the significant events they are planning around this show. “It’s potentially going to be the most important The PPAI Expo in the past 20 years,” he says. “It may not be the largest—but it will be two-to-three times larger than any other industry in-person show—and it will be the most important one for those who want to do business. That is paramount, and The PPAI Expo will start off the year in a great way.” For decades, The PPAI Expo has been the catalyst for industry businesses to kick off sales andmake the business connections that fuel their success. “In our industry, there’s nothing more important than touching and feeling products—that’s one of the reasons promotional products work,” says Ellen Tucker, CAE, director of business development and expositions. “Our products are tangible, and we need to experience that hands-on feeling. That’s why we need to be on-site and in person.” She recalls being at in-person event recently and hearing someone say, “virtual is an extension of the handshake—it is not the handshake.” “Virtual has had its place and has been so important to the survival of businesses over the past year and a half,” she says. “But we need to get back to the physical handshake because there’s no better way to start a connection than in person.” Peterson adds, “We believe the show is going to be extremely strong. While it will look a little different around health and safety, it’s still going to be massive with the number of product pavilions, the number of sponsors, the number of large distributors doing on-site meetings and events, and the investment that PPAI is making in new opportunities to further enhance the experience. We’ve seen exhibitor and attendee interest continuing to build. I’m confident it’s going to be a wildly successful show.” What’s New At The PPAI Expo 2022 Largest In-Person Show In 2022. “We’re having the largest Expo in the industry,” says Peterson. “It’s been almost two years since we’ve been able to get together as an industry, see products and have those significant, in-person encounters. While not new historically, The PPAI Expo 2022 is new in this ‘new world’ we are all now in, and we’re doing everything we possibly can to enhance this experience. I fully believe this is going to be the most important PPAI Expo in several decades.” The PPAI Expo Conference. Planning The PPAI Expo 2022 was an opportunity to reexamine and adjust almost every aspect of the show, and attendees will see some welcome changes and additions. One significant addition is The PPAI Expo Conference on Monday, January 10—a full day of curated education sessions presented by speakers inside and outside of the industry. The Conference was designed to maximize attendees’ time and allow them to focus on learning in a single day, instead of scattering sessions throughout the week. Promopalooza: The Expo Party, Hosted By PPAI and SAGE. Get tickets early for what is sure to be the most social-post-worthy special event of the year. Promopalooza brings show attendees together on Wednesday, January 12 from 6:30-10 pm at the spectacular Allegiant Stadium for an evening of tasty eats and drinks, with plenty of opportunity for networking, dancing and simply taking it all in at one of the Vegas Strip’s newest landmarks. This extraordinary venue also offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas in all of Vegas. It will undoubtedly be the best welcome-backto-in-person-events party of the year. The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview | FEATURE | DECEMBER 2021 | 25

Mandalay Bay Upgrades. When attendees return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, where the show has been held since 2003, they’ll notice significant renovations. Among the upgrades, the cobblestone flooring in the walkway between the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the convention center has been replaced with a smooth surface that’s easier on the feet and in April, the hotel completed the final phase of its resort-wide renovations on all 3,209 guestrooms and suites as part of a six-year, $100 million project. This summer, the adjacent Luxor completed upgrades on 1,715 standard rooms in the Pyramid and the Mandalay Bay has transitioned to a Cat6 internet infrastructure, which will enhance the internet experience for attendees and exhibitors alike. What’s New At The PPAI Expo 2022 The Venue With the health and safety of attendees, exhibitors, vendors and PPAI staff being the No. 1 priority for PPAI show management, facility protocols were a key consideration. Mandalay Bay Convention Center has been awarded the GBAC STAR facility accreditation by Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry, meaning that the facility maintains a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the coronavirus. It also adheres to proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and other practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease using highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response. Additionally, the entire Mandalay Bay resort, including the exhibit halls, is equipped with an extremely efficient ventilation system that provides 12 full air exchanges per hour and is equivalent to the standard found in hospitals and other medical venues. Additionally, the PPAI Expo show rules regarding health and safety precautions will remain fluid and based upon local and federal laws, and Mandalay Bay rules and regulations. The latest on these can be found at expo.ppai.org/healthpitality. FEATURE | The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview 26 | DECEMBER 2021 |

The Education The PPAI Education Conference kicks off on January 10 with an 8:45 amwelcome and the 9 am general session, "Breakthrough Thinking For Breakthrough Sales," with speaker, author and veteran hospitality industry executive Simon T. Bailey. It’s followed by a second general session panel discussion, “Leading Through Adversity,” facilitated by PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+. The third general session, a panel discussion, “Building A Framework For Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In The Workplace,” is moderated by Johanna Gottlieb, HALO VP of sales, Midwest. Sixteen additional breakout sessions are offered throughout the day on topics including marketing campaigns, the new economy and tech tips to increase efficiency, so attendees can tailor education to their specific needs. The Conference is free to PPAI members and $99 for PPAI associates and nonmembers. Most sessions are 60 minutes and include CAS or MAS credits. Browse the full schedule with times and speaker bios at expo.ppai.org/schedule. The Exhibits Seeing new products, visiting exhibit booths and walking the trade-show floor is the No. 1 reason why attendees say they are eager to come back to The PPAI Expo, according to the results of a recent PPAI PromoPolls. Sixty percent of respondents said they will be at The PPAI Expo for the show itself, 20 percent said they are coming because it’s the industry’s homecoming, 18 percent are looking forward to networking and after-hours events with colleagues. Returning to an in-person trade show after participating virtually in the PPAI Expo Direct-2-You in January 2021 means adjustments for some industry exhibitors. With the ongoing supply issues and fewer employees in some cases, some companies are choosing to ease back into in-person exhibits with smaller booths that they can stock and staff more easily. As a result, the footprint of The PPAI Expo 2022 will be slightly reduced compared with 2020, but the number of exhibiting companies is closing in on 1,000, meaning the ratio of exhibitors to distributors is expected to be comparable to past years’ shows. Even with the smaller footprint, The PPAI Expo 2022 will encompass a halfmillion gross square feet of exhibit space at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and promises the exceptional combination of innovative products, creative ideas and reliable resources that attendees have come to expect from this show. Exhibits open on Tuesday, January 11 with the Product Pavilion Sneak Peek from 8-9 am in Hall F, adjacent to aisle 500. From there, attendees can stop by the brand. pavilion in aisles 500-900 for the latest in branded and incentive products, and see decorating equipment in action at DECORATE in aisles 5100-5300 for what’s trending in screen printing, embroidery and digital technology for decorating promotional products. The Product Pavilion in Bayside F, adjacent to aisle 500, will be where attendees can quickly find curated collections of products by category including New Products, Green Products, Made In The USA Products, Healthpitality Products and 1st-Time Exhibitors Products. Simon T. Bailey The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview | FEATURE | DECEMBER 2021 | 27

The Events The PPAI Expo is the place to do business—both on the show floor and off. Attendees say one of the top reasons they come to the show is for the networking and to be part of a tight-knit promotional products community that helps breed business success. Five events are planned at the upcoming show; some require tickets or advance notice, so check it out at expo.ppai.org/experience/events. Tickets can be purchased when registering for The PPAI Expo. ▶ PPEF Glen Holt And Fran Ford Memorial Golf Tournament Monday, January 10, 7:30 am - 2:30 pm, Bali Hai Golf Club Pre-registration is required. Email: SaraB@ppai.org ▶ Chair’s Leadership Dinner Monday, January 10, 6 - 9:30 pm, Mandalay Bay Ballroom J PPAI’s Icon Awards presentations include Hall of Fame, Distinguished Service Award, H. Ted Olson Humanitarian award and PPAI Promotional Product Pioneers awards. Ticket required. Advance tickets: PPAI members $150, PPAI associates $175 ▶Women’s Leadership Conference Networking Event Tuesday, January 11, 4 - 5 pm, Beer Garden on the trade-show floor Pre-registration required. Free, cash bar. ▶ SPARK Networking Event Wednesday, January 12, 4 - 5 pm, Beer Garden on the trade-show floor Pre-registration required. Free, cash bar. ▶ Technology Leaders Networking Event Wednesday, January 12, 4 - 5 pm, Beer Garden on the trade-show floor Pre-registration required. Free, cash bar. ▶ Promopalooza: The Expo Party, Hosted By PPAI and SAGE Wednesday, January 12, 6:30 - 10 pm, Live from Allegiant Stadium, 3333 Al Davis Way, Las Vegas Ticket required. For prices, see expo.ppai.org/experience/events Prepare To Get The Most From The Show As show veterans will agree, working The PPAI Expo effectively and efficiently requires planning and preparation—and comfy shoes. “Plan ahead as you have in the past,” says Tucker. “The show is still the largest in the industry by two or three times, so make the most of your days. Look at the schedule ahead of time. Know where you want to go and who you want to visit. Make appointments to see your suppliers.” For help in creating a walk list for the show, download SAGE Mobile, the official show-planning app of The PPAI Expo. This app allows users to find the most efficient show-floor routes, view an interactive floor plan, connect with FEATURE | The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview 28 | DECEMBER 2021 |

fellow attendees in real-time, add notes and photos, and search by product categories to make the most of their time on the floor. Users can also expedite badge pickup using SAGE Mobile to locate their registration. Then, go to the Quick Print area to scan and print the badge. Download the app at www. sageworld.com/sage-mobile-expo. The Schedule At A Glance ▶ Sunday, January 9 8 am – 5 pm Exhibitor Move-In ▶ Monday, January 10 7:30 am – 5 pm Registration 7:30 am – 2:30 pm PPEF Glen Holt and Fran Ford Memorial Golf Tournament (pre-registration required) 8 am – 5 pm Exhibitor Move-In 8:30 am – 5:30 pm PPAI Expo Conference 6 – 10:30 pm Chair’s Leadership Dinner (ticket required) ▶ Tuesday, January 11 8 – 9 am Product Pavilion Sneak Peek 9 am – 5 pm brand. and Product Pavilions open 9:30 am – 5 pm Exhibits open 4 – 5 pm Women’s Leadership Conference Networking Event (preregistration required) ▶Wednesday, January 12 9 am – 5 pm Product Pavilions open 9:30 – 5 pm Exhibits open 3 – 4 pm SPARK and Technology Leaders Networking Event (preregistration required) 6:30 – 10 pm Promopalooza: The Expo Party, Hosted By PPAI and SAGE, live from Allegiant Stadium (ticket required) ▶ Thursday, January 13 9 am – 2 pm Product Pavilions open 9:30 – 2 pm Exhibits open The Expectations: "What Do You Want Most From The PPAI Expo?" PPB asked distributors across the industry to weigh in on what they are looking forward to most about returning to The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas next month. The anticipation and excitement in their responses confirmed that the industry is primed to reconvene in person at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite suppliers in person, touching and feeling new products and garments, meeting new suppliers, connecting with old friends, the excitement of the show floor and the ideas I will take away from the show. Linda Mellin Owner American Printing & Promotions Chino California I have missed the Expo and look forward to returning. My company is in a rural area, so I don’t have reps coming by or [regional association] meetings to attend. The networking and education offered at Expo recharges my passion, energy and focus. Seeing all of the new products and trends keeps me on top of what’s new, and keeps me relevant and an asset to my clients. The business that results from sharing what I see on the floor with my established clients sparks their interest and provides touchpoints for new clients as well. Attending the Expo helps to complete our annual business plan. C’mon Expo! Debbie Mangano, MAS Owner We Promote You Port Angeles, Washington As an industry focused on the tactile sense, I ammost looking forward to seeing products in person. After more than a year of virtual shows, it will be great to reconnect with suppliers and other distributors alike, while supporting the live events/trade-show industry—a key vertical often served by our very industry. And of course, I also look forward to drastically increasing my daily step count and the abundant delicious eats Vegas has to offer. Ryan S. Feigenblatt, MBA, MAS Founder and President The Boca Ratonian Boca Raton, Florida It’s my first time going to The PPAI Expo since I joined my dad in the business four years ago. I am so excited to connect with colleagues and suppliers and see the unusual and hard to find. I have a few agency clients who ask me to find unique items from time to time. Megan McWeeney Sales Partner Geiger Milford, Connecticut [I’m looking forward to] promotional products made in the USA. My top account, a major pipeline company, has adopted a policy of buying products made in our country. In 2021, my 49th year in the industry, for the first time most of my sales will be of products made in USA. It’s also my best year ever! Paul Sharpe Owner Sharpe Impressions Plymouth Michigan The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview | FEATURE | DECEMBER 2021 | 29

I’m super excited to reconnect with my out-of-state suppliers who I haven’t seen in two years, and to thank suppliers that helped us survive and thrive during the pandemic. They turned on a dime to provide face masks, sanitizer, etc. I’d like to shake their hands. Tomi Campbell President 8554MyLogo.com Houston, Texas I’m looking forward to getting back to normal. Getting back to long walks past an absurdly overcrowded Starbucks to get to the show floor. Getting back to walking 10 miles a day on carpeted concrete, in hopes that I’ll find that one “what’s cool” item for a client back home that I really want to stand out. Getting back to seeing, touching and feeling products, even if I have to apply insane amounts of hand sanitizer to do so. Getting back to spending endless hours in casinos, bars and restaurants to make and foster industry connections. Getting back to seeing my peers—no, my friends, that I’ve missed incredibly over the past two years. If I’d have known on January 16, 2020, that the world would be flipping upside down and coming to a standstill a mere two months later, I might have looked and listened a little harder. I might have been a little more patient with long lines at booths and overpriced food court restaurants. I might have shaken hands and hugged necks a little longer with my friends. But I’m looking forward to making up for all of that very soon. Chris Clark, MAS Founder Radius Marketing Solutions Perry, Georgia I am looking forward to tired feet because I want to see everything that is offered. I want to be well informed for my clients. Lori Lechner Kasberg Owner Promotional Concepts Unlimited, LLC Columbus, Ohio This event was my first introduction to this industry and was the catalyst for my decision to join the party. There is no replacement for personal interaction with people who I rely on to support my growing business, and with the opportunity to learn and grow from the people I meet. This will be a celebration for all who attend, and also a lot of fun. Scott Cappel, MAS President Sorento Mesa Promo San Diego, California Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB. Be A Part Of This Industry Homecoming: Register Today Find all the details about The PPAI Expo, including hotel and airline discounts, the full schedule and the registration link at expo.ppai.org. Re-experience All That’s The PPAI Expo—Virtually For those who can’t make it to The PPAI Expo, and also for those who attend the show but want a second chance to visit with exhibitors and see new products, PPAI will again produce Expo Direct-2-You, a virtual show experience coming to a computer near you. “Historically, Expo has been on the calendar and the place where everyone goes. This year is a little different,” says Peterson. “People are making personal choices that might be budget-related or health-related and we understand that and are prepared for that, both in terms of making attendees comfortable on-site and offering an alternative if health, safety and travel concerns keep them from attending.” He adds that Expo Direct2-You also gives an opportunity to attendees and those who can’t attend to stay engaged in the industry, especially for industry workers who typically wouldn’t attend the show to participate in the February virtual event. Mark your calendar to login on February 22-24, 2022, for two days of virtual exhibits, online education and creative networking events. Be notified when registration opens for this one-of-a-kind experience by submitting the interest form at expo.ppai.org/direct-2you-experience. FEATURE | The PPAI Expo 2022 Preview 30 | DECEMBER 2021 |