PPB November 2022

Quiet Quitters How To Save Them P. 20 PPW Expo Recap The Start Of Something Big P. 24 Premium Products What People REALLY Want P. 30 Incentive Programs The Key To Motivation P. 60 ALL SYSTEMS GO

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4 Perspectives What’s Working? 8 Feedback 11 INNOVATE 12 Question Mic On 14 Eye On Apparel Accessories 20 Management The Quiet Quitting Phenomenon 29 GROW 30 Editor's Picks Premiums & Incentives 38 Promotional Products Work Health Care 51 THINK 52 Fast Forward Are You Guilty Of Greenwashing? 56 Five Minutes With Brandon Bell, President, ETS Express 58 Viewpoint Sparking Brilliance 67 CONNECT 68 Close Up Nick Lateur 72 PPPC Communiqué 64th NATCON 75 New Members Spotlight: Stacy Stahl, Owner, Sweeter Cards 83 Inside PPAI Tom Goos, MAS, To Rejoin PPAI Board Of Directors 91 Datebook 96 Creative Calendar THE START OF SOMETHING BIG The success of PPAI’s inaugural Promotional Products Work Expo points to an exciting future for one of the Association’s key initiatives to elevate our industry. 44 ALL SYSTEMS GO The largest distributors in promotional products are dueling in a technology arms race. But there are paths for small and mid-size companies to compete on the defining battleground of the industry’s future. THE PPB GUIDE TO INCENTIVE PROGRAMS Incentive programs benefit everyone. Companies and organizations that use incentive and gift programs experience improved employee performance and increased brand loyalty. 24 60 contents Promotional Products Business The Official Business Monthly of Promotional Products Association International NOVEMBER 2022 | NOVEMBER 2022 | 3

Dale Denham, MAS+ President & CEO perspectives Here to Help In this column last month, I told you about our exciting new hires who are transforming PPAI. What I didn’t tell you was how hard it was to find some of those people. Like many of you, we were having trouble recruiting talent this year despite significant effort. Before long, it just made sense to hire help for hiring help. Luckily we didn’t have to look hard for the resource, and contracted with Affinity HR Group, a PPAI business services member. They have significantly improved our ability to find and hire the right staff. Business services members like Affinity are incredibly important to PPAI and represent huge value to their fellow members. Distributors and suppliers recognize one another as partners. But what about your potential industry partners outside of those distributor/supplier relationships? Every PPAI member should be leveraging the community of PPAI business services providers who are dedicated to this industry. You can find solutions that fit your needs at PPAI.org/ businessserviceslist. I’ll give you another example. As the cover story of this issue of PPB details, large distributors use technology as a competitive differentiator – it’s one of the reasons some distributors choose to join a distributor network in the first place. But every company in our industry should have technology systems that fit their needs. In at least one key way, PPAI did not. We needed to replace our outdated financial systems, so we purchased NetSuite from PPAI business services member Oracle NetSuite. The transition has put our accounting team in a much better place going forward, and we didn’t have to look far to find the help we needed. With some noteworthy exceptions, most PPAI business services members provide tech solutions. The Association’s financial and order management needs are different than most members. Although NetSuite works well for us, it is not right for every promo company. Fortunately, the business services members represent a wealth of options. Many distributors use SAGE order management, included with your PPAI membership. Yet there are solutions that meet different needs, such as commonsku, Distributor Central, Essent and more. For those with complex integration or implementation needs, firms such as eXtendtech, Virtuace, Web Services Pro and others will be a better fit. Company stores and ecommerce continue to grow in importance to our industry. Using a PPAI business services member makes the process much simpler and far more cost effective. Business services partners such as SAGE, Order My Gear, BrightStores, CompanyPromoStore and others can help. Likewise, staff augmentation and outsourcing has become very normal for most suppliers and is gaining traction with distributors. This category once focused on perfecting vector artwork, but can now handle complex order entry and follow up. Firms like Artwork Services do more than artwork, and others have joined the outsourcing model, such as Office Beacon, Delegate CX and more. We even have a growing list of business services members focused on meeting your compliance and sustainability goals. From logistics solutions, to marketing, consulting and many other needs, PPAI business services members should be your first stop when you are looking to solve a problem in this industry. If you don’t see a solution listed and need assistance, contact your PPAI membership services team. And of course, join us in January at The PPAI Expo, where most of these business service firms will be in one place, along with so many industry suppliers. The mission of PPAI is to be the voice and force to advance the promotional marketplace for the benefit of our community. PPAI business services members play a critical role in helping us do that. I have no doubt they can help you fulfill your organization’s mission, too. You can find solutions that fit your needs at PPAI.org/ businessserviceslist. 4 | NOVEMBER 2022 |

PRESIDENT & CEO Dale Denham, MAS+ 888-I-AM-PPAI EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Robert I. McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Alan Peterson DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Brigitte Rousseau, CPA, MBA VICE PRESIDENT, REVENUE AND EXPOSITIONS Ellen Tucker, CAE DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Paul Elfstrom DIRECTOR OF MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Anne Stone, CAE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Keith Vincent PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Josh Ellis 972-258-3028 JoshE@ppai.org NEWS EDITORS James Khattak 972-258-3052 JamesK@ppai.org Jonny Auping 972-258-3044 JonnyA@ppai.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kristina Valdez 972-258-3094 KristinaV@ppai.org Rachel Zoch 972-258-3063 RachelZ@ppai.org ART DIRECTION SPARK Publications SPARKpublications.com 704-844-6080 ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT SALES MANAGER AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS Melissa Massey 972-258-3029 MelissaM@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGERS Connie Brazil 972-258-3064 ConnieB@ppai.org Taylor Coward 972-258-3033 TaylorC@ppai.org ADVERTISING CONTACT Mimi Duong 972-258-3025 MimiD@ppai.org BOARD OFFICERS CHAIR OF THE BOARD Dawn Olds, MAS HALO IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays VICE CHAIR, FINANCE SERVICES Andrew Spellman, CAS Therabody BOARD MEMBERS TERMS EXPIRING 2023 R. Renée Jones, MAS+ A Creative Touch David Nicholson Polyconcept NA TERMS EXPIRING 2024 Dawn Olds, MAS HALO Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays TERMS EXPIRING 2025 Noah Lapine Lapine Associates, Inc. Andrew Spellman Therabody TERMS EXPIRING 2026 Chris Anderson HPG Denise Taschereau Fairware AT-LARGE DIRECTOR TERM EXPIRING 2024 Melissa Ralston, Koozie Group 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. REGIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE DELEGATE TERM EXPIRING 2027 Kara Keister, MAS Social Good Promotions 6 | NOVEMBER 2022 |

feedback Send feedback on articles in PPB or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. What’s In A Word? In September, PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+, shared his response to a national article advocating for the end of “cheap conference swag” on sustainability grounds. Sustainability is a noble goal and promotional products are increasingly positioned to be an eco-friendly marketing choice. Consumers just need the right education. Several industry professionals responded with their own comments on Denham’s perspective and the article. Excellent response. One supplier data point here in support of what Dale eloquently shared – the trends we are seeing in headwear continue toward high design standards with a retail look and feel for products regardless of price point. The incentives in our industry are well-aligned because they make us create better products and designs to ensure they are used and worn by consumers. In the last few years our business has focused on exceptional quality of design and form, along with more sustainable product options including joining the Better Cotton Initiative and integrating recycled fabrics like Repreve into our stock and custom products. BEN ROBERTS Head of Marketing Outdoor Cap Bentonville, Arkansas PPAI 213485, S10 Ever since SAAI (Specialty Advertising Association International) changed its name to PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) I have time and again voiced my objection to putting the emphasis on the tools we use rather than the work we do. Suppliers are in the “promotional products” business – not the creative people that work with their clients to build employee recognition programs, customer loyalty programs, prenatal care kits, etc. As an industry we have collectively allowed people within the industry and our customers to apply negative terms like “swag” to the tools we use and virtually every demeaning term applied to us is about the “products” – never the work! GREG EMMER Chief Operating Officer Kaeser & Blair Batavia, Ohio PPAI 103148, D12 I read the negative article about “cheap, disposable conference swag” and I could not help but think that your suggestion that we communicate with our clients and use our knowledge, experience and skills to guide them is really the only thoughtful and logical course of action. Because my ”real job” is the planning and production of meetings and events, I approach branded promos as another element of the overall meeting project. And because my clients expect me to provide ideas that connect and relate to the theme of their meeting, I take the opportunity to make suggestions about the branded pieces that they should consider – and explain why. I point out how they can select items that are sustainable or tie into their corporate social responsibility initiatives – I guess you could describe it as a big-picture approach. It’s a bit like a large jigsaw puzzle with many pieces, some of which can fit into more than one slot and still be an overall good fit. If COVID gave us anything positive, it is the opportunity to redefine the reason and purpose of what we do and how we choose to do it. From the meetings and events that companies host to the gifts they give attendees, the landscape was essentially cleared, allowing for careful, precise and conscientious planning. So I agree, let’s educate and communicate and make good decisions. GLENNA FULKS, MS Owner Kite Meeting Management Piqua, Ohio PPAI 733403, D1 8 | NOVEMBER 2022 | INNOVATE


INNOVATE 20MANAGEMENT THE QUIET QUITTING PHENOMENON 12QUESTION MIC ON Add An Extra Touch With Thoughtful Promo Accessories Accessories like bags, hats and jewelry can play an important role in promoting a brand. PPW Expo Recap page 24 page 14 | NOVEMBER 2022 | 11

Mic On What topic would you present to a group of business owners and salespeople? QA Distributor Asks: I am a part of a business networking group in my area. In my group, we have a financial planner, Realtor, personal insurance rep, a Mary Kay rep, a digital marketing agent, a hotel manager and other local business owners. Since I know most of you have been in the business longer than I have, what topic would you do a presentation on, to a group of business owners and salespeople? Have you considered showing how promo items are great connectors and relationship builders while everyone is remote? Discuss the power of using promo items in a dimensional mailer or campaign. Staying in touch with employees and customers right now can be key to keeping customers. ABIGAIL TIEFENTHALER President Sweetspot Strategies, Inc. Aiken, South Carolina PPAI 184315, D1 I found that interaction with the group keeps them focused. When we were meeting in person, I played promotional products bingo. I would ask questions about our industry with the answers on the bingo card. Then when someone got a bingo, I had a bag of random sample items they could choose a gift from. Make sure everyone wins. It’s a huge success every time I’ve done it. You create the bingo cards onmyfreebingocards.com. KIMBERLY KRAMER Owner YourLookLogos.com Lincoln Park, Michigan PPAI 599833, D1 I just didmy presentation last week, probably my fifth or sixth over the past several years. I concentrated on how COVID-19 has changed the products I am currently selling. I also reviewed current case studies of recent orders, what kind of customer and howwe were able to provide a solution for their needs. I think people/ members can relate to actual case studies. Remember, “facts tell but stories sell.” You will likely want to focus on the type of customers you are looking for. Meanwhile, if this is your first presentation in the group, I would highly recommend you give a brief background of your experience and why your fellow members will want to refer business to you. You need to build up the “know, like and trust” before members will feel comfortable referring business your way. Good luck! JEFFERY WASSERSTROM Owner JAW Enterprises Dublin, Ohio PPAI 255304, D2 I’ve been in a [networking] group for about five years and have presented about 15 times. Two of my favorites were about employee recognition/retention and travel relating to different travel scenarios like day, family or weekend trips. I try to make my presentations interactive and give advance notice of what I would like from them. For example, I’ll ask five things about their own travel experience that are easy to respond to within one minute. I also try to incorporate as many members/categories in my presentation as possible to show how great we can partner up. HOLLY SCHOTZ Brand Consultant All Wrapped Up Columbia, Maryland PPAI 762024, D1 compiled by Kristina Valdez “Remember, ‘facts tell but stories sell.’ Youwill likely want to focus on the type of customers you are looking for.” 12 | NOVEMBER 2022 | INNOVATE

Q A Distributor Asks: I just got an order in, and on every one of the whistles, the supplier’s website is screenprinted on it. I haven’t had this happen before, except on samples. Usually, there’s just an item number. What do y’all think about this? Any product that is classified as a child’s product or anything that can be seen as a child’s product is required to have tracking numbers. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules regarding selling products for children. Even if your client is not giving the product out to children, if it is something that looks like a toy, i.e. your whistle, the labeling regulations apply. SUSAN HYSEN Client Success Executive Summit Group, LLC Silver Spring, Maryland PPAI 364377, D10 I think it’s part of child safety compliance. The numbers below it are probably the manufacturing lot. They’re required to test the materials of each lot and provide tracking info on certain items. ALLISON STIVERS Owner Stellar Customs LLC Houston, Texas PPAI 762024, D1 Do You Have An Answer? A Distributor Asks: How would you react to a notice from a client that they acquired a product sourcing account and will do their purchasing internally? A Distributor Asks: I’d love to hear your experience of joining/belonging to your local chamber of commerce. Has it been helpful for meeting new clients? Any other thoughts on the experience? Email your response(s) to Question@ppai.org for the chance to be featured in a future issue of PPB. Valdez is an associate editor at PPAI. “It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules regarding selling products for children. Even if your client is not giving the product out to children, if it is something that looks like a toy, i.e. your whistle, the labeling regulations apply.” PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC:101273 www.americanaccents.com 888.287.7883 ECO-FRIENDLY PLA COLD PLASTIC CUPS ѭMultiple print methods available ѭ '5. (JWYN ܪ JI Compostable ѭMade from PLA plastic ѭ25 piece minimums ѭNo extra cost for 1 side, 2 side, or wrap imprint ѭMade & printed in the USA WE’VE REDUCED PRICES! We havemultiple sizes and print methods to choose from! PERFECT FOR... ѭ 2ZXNH KJXYN[FQX ѭ 'WJ\JWNJX ѭ 7JXYFZWFSYX ѭ 7JHJUYNTSX ѭ FSI RTWJ | NOVEMBER 2022 | 13 INNOVATE

Accesso r i es by Rachel Zoch Add An Extra Touch With Thoughtful Promo Accessories Accessories like bags, hats and jewelry can play an important role in promoting a brand. Find out what accessory products and styles are trending now to provide added flair as well as promo potential. Of the $22 billion spent in 2021 on promotional products, apparel was the most popular product category, comprising more than 27% of the market. T-shirts may be the foundation of promotional apparel, but accessories can play an important role in promoting a brand, and items like bags, bracelets and hats also present significant and growing promo opportunities. Pieces such as insignia pins or custom scarves can be added as a finishing touch to an outfit, and branded hats and tote bags provide added style as well as functionality. These accessories also may be used every day, unlike garments that must be washed. Here, we explore what’s trending in five accessory categories with the help of suppliers who specialize in those product types. 14 | NOVEMBER 2022 | INNOVATE

Scarves: Wrap It Up Oversized statement scarves became popular this spring, but as summer turned to fall, more women are opting for smaller kerchief-style scarves tied in the hair or around the neck. Custom neckwear provider Buffalo Bay has recently created several scarves measuring 21 inches square in response to this demand, says Christine Isphording, a sales associate and customer service agent with the North Carolina-based supplier. School colors and symbols are always popular, she adds, but colorful patterns are also trending – swirly motifs in particular. Custom Scarves are available from Buffalo Bay in silk and polyester and in a variety of weaves, sizes and styles. Decorate using digital print or wet dye method with custom designs developed by their in-house team of artists, like the college fight song music and lyrics shown here. Buffalo Bay / PPAI 111547, S4 / www.buffalobay.com Need a bigger canvas? This Sublimated Pashmina provides nearly 2,000 square inches to feature a brand’s colors, logo and more with edge-to-edge printing. The 100% polyester garment measures 27x70 inches. Terry Town / PPAI 230911, S10 / www.terrytown.com Bags: Carry It All In Style The texture trend is strong for bags this year, with fuzzy, fringed and woven materials proving popular. While neutrals and nature-inspired hues are also favored, metallic and shiny styles that play on Y2K nostalgia remain in demand. New-Jersey-based supplier LATICO Leathers specializes in luxury bags, and many of their products feature artisan leather work with hand-knotting, hand-weaving, macrame and lacing. “Our assortment features luxe leather collections featuring a variety of textures and specialty treatments, such as lamb bubble, antique distressed, metallic distressed, printed hair-on leather and Italian foil prints,” says Lainie Schreiber, national sales director with LATICO. “The next big thing for us is all about fringe.” She points to sustainability, utility and versatility as characteristics consumers are increasingly looking for, and she expects that demand will increase for sling bags, medium organizer bags and sustainable bags in the coming months. In general, bigger is better when it comes to totes, whether it’s on the runway or the sidewalk. The versatile All Day Tote is available in small, medium and large, dozens of colors and a variety of materials and textures, including burlap, denim, neoprene (shown here in metallic rose gold), clear vinyl and velvet. The large size provides over 1,500 square inches of space inside and a 10x8.5-inch imprint area on the outside. Numo / PPAI 112597, S9 / www.numomfg.com | NOVEMBER 2022 | 15 INNOVATE

Eyewear: Sunglasses And More Just as chunky heels and oversized totes and coats are in, big, bold eyewear is everywhere, with designers and fashionistas favoring funky, ’70s-inspired shapes. Statement sunglasses can be a conversation starter, too – a great way to build wordof-mouth into a promo pair. Look for frame styles like cat-eye, butterfly and bug-eye and sunglasses in pastel or white frames that contrast with the dark lenses. Trendy statement eyewear can turn heads, but the classics never go out of style. Aviators are having a moment, too, thanks to highprofile appearances on famous faces ranging from President Biden to TomCruise returning as the one and only Maverick. Another eyewear option is decidedly more indoor-minded. We’re all spending more screen time than we’d like to admit, and many people are trying lenses with blue-blocking filters to reduce eye strain. Try a little texture with the woven Neela Crossbody bag, handcrafted of 100% full-grain leather by artisans in South America and India. The fabriclined interior features two open pockets and a zip pocket for easy organization, and it can be carried via the attached handles or the detachable strap with woven and knotted details. Available in gray (shown), black and cognac (brown). LATICO Leathers / PPAI 133445, S3 / laticoleathers.com Add an extra thoughtful touch with a Folding Purse Hanger featuring your full-color custom emblem. The hidden hook unfolds from a recessed track so the hanger can be stored compactly in the bag. When unfolded, it hangs the bag securely from any flat surface. Presentation box included. EMT / PPAI 110810, S4 www.emteasy.com Accesso r i es These AWS Blue Light Blocking Glasses With Pouch can help anyone look stylish on their next Zoom meeting while also protecting their eyes. The black-framed glasses come in a gray woven pouch, and both can be imprinted with standard silk-screen colors. Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, S13 / www.hitpromo.net These Classic Ladies Sunglasses feature an oversized cream butterfly-style frame ready for imprint on the temple, plus contrasting dark brown lenses that provide 100% UV protection. Fields Manufacturing / PPAI 111951, S8 / www.fieldsmfg.com 16 | NOVEMBER 2022 | INNOVATE

Jewelry: Tell Your Story With Sparkle Jewelry is a huge – and hugely personal – category, encompassing everything from lapel pins to bracelets to belt buckles. A savvy product choice here can become a favorite and often-worn item for the recipient. Elle magazine’s Kevin LeBlanc says bangle bracelets, especially stacked, are “back – in a major way.” Marie Claire style director Sara Holzman also mentions bangles, charms, chunky chains and flower motifs as jewelry trends to watch. It’s important to tell a story with promo jewelry, says Monique Nigorizawa-Salvatier, director of sales and marketing with California-based supplier Pinnacle Designs. Stackable bracelets, on trend again this year, are a great way to do that. Use clever packaging and messaging to communicate your theme and tell your story, adds Nigorizawa-Salvatier. “It doesn’t matter what product, but the backer card helps to push the story to an action, follow, like or buy,” she says. When it comes to charms, including larger baubles like zipper pulls or even luggage tags, Nigorizawa-Salvatier says people love miniature replicas of food, objects, characters, landmarks – you name it. “This can put you back in a memory or place by seeing that one product in replica form,” she says. “They can be key tags, ornaments, zipper pulls or a statue.” This Adjustable Wire Bracelet With Two Charms includes one round, faceted jewel charm and one custom 1-inch charm to customize with the desired logo or message. “Whatever we’re seeing in the retail world, the promotional world can put their spin on,” says Nigorizawa-Salvatier. Available in a variety of metal finishes (shown in silverplate) and jewel colors (shown in red). Pinnacle Designs / PPAI 112704, S6 / www.pinnacledesigns.com Layering necklaces is also on-trend, and this Slogan Charm Necklace can be a fun way for a brand with a catchy tagline or well-known slogan. The custom cut-out charm comes on a matching 24-inch chain and is available in gold (shown), silver or copper finish. CNIJ Inc. / PPAI 132744, S4 / www.cnij.com Hats, Gloves And Shoes: Get Covered Head To Toe “You can never have enough hats, gloves and shoes,” as fictional fashion editor Patsy Stone said on Absolutely Fabulous in the ’90s, a decade having a big style nostalgia moment. While her advice was meant as a punchline on the show, hats and gloves – and yes, even shoes! – definitely have a place in promo. Speaking of the ’90s, bucket hats and knit hats beanies are back. Interestingly, high-fashion runways have seen the knit headwear trend expand to include balaclavas for both men and women. Of course, coastal grandmother straw hats and billed caps, whether baseball or dad-style, aren’t going anywhere, so those are great go-to styles for almost any promo program. See next month’s issue for a deep dive into headwear trends, but here’s a classic dad cap to keep in mind: A timeless accessory with tons of promo potential, the Garment Washed Dad Cap is an unstructured cap made of washed cotton twill. Decorate the front with an eye-catching patch and adjust to fit with the tuck strap with slide closure in back. Available in 34 colors (shown in Kelly green). Outdoor Cap Co. Inc. / PPAI 213485, S10 / www.outdoorcap.com | NOVEMBER 2022 | 17 INNOVATE

Impact Offering your customers more than merch just makes “cents” By not diversifying your offering, you hit a ceiling fast. And you force your customers into working with multiple vendors. Be the distributor that sells both promo and print. Navitor is your wholesale trade printer that lets you offer everything from business cards to large signage, folders to labels, plus all the merch in between. Increase your profit margins and broaden your product offering. Visit Navitor.com today to get started.

When it comes to gloves, most promo products are all about functionality over fashion – and touch-screen compatibility is an absolute must. Custom shoes are easier to come by than ever and growing in popularity, both for individuals and the in the promo space. Jump on this trend – literally – with customized sneakers, clogs, slippers and more. Check out the Oasis Touch Screen Gloves. These lightweight and warm stretch fit gloves are touch-screen compatible and feature an antimicrobial treatment that inactivates pathogens and reduces contamination risk. Available in black (shown) or gray, sizes S-L. Stormtech USA Inc. / PPAI 260245, S4 www.stormtechperformance.com SOCK101 offers about two dozen custom shoe options, from flip-flops to work boots. Their most popular style, the Scoots Shoe, is a riff on the classic canvas sneaker, made of sustainable/ recycled material and ready for all-over imprint. Each pair comes poly-bagged with the option to upgrade to a custom box. Available in a wide range of sizes: “Basically we can do a kids’ 10 to a men’s 15,” says Anna Mosakowski, SOCK11 COO. SOCK101 / PPAI 625402, S6 www.sock101.com Zoch is an associate editor at PPAI. ¾ ¾ #955 Valoy Desk Calendar Value Stick™ Self-Adhesive Below EQP Sale 150 pieces & up $.76(C) 24 sq. inches of custom ad copy at no additional charge! ! "# $ % Custom Under Datepad Ad Custom Back Ad Custom Top Front Ad | NOVEMBER 2022 | 19 INNOVATE

The Quiet Quitting Phenomenon If employees don’t seem to be working as hard as they once did, it may not be your imagination. Here’s what’s happening, and some ways to rectify the situation with disengaged team members. by Paige McCallister “Quiet quitting” started as a TikTok video describing how one employee was finding work-life balance by changing how they approached their job without actually quitting. The now-viral video has generated numerous articles and news stories, many with different takes on what quiet quitting actually means. There are numerous theories as to what’s going on in a trend that one recent Gallup poll says defines at least half of the U.S. workforce, including a fair share within the promotional products industry. 1Employees are setting boundaries. The initial TikTok video defined “quiet quitting” as employees doing their jobs – nomore, no less. They are good employees who do their work satisfactorily and maybe even above satisfactory. They work their scheduled hours, complete their job duties, fulfill work demands, attend meetings, andmeet their goals and numbers. However, they do not domore than what is necessary tomeet those expectations. For them it’s about setting boundaries and not getting caught up in the unacceptable conditions some workplaces demand. 2This is the next phase of The Great Resignation. An estimated 48 million employees quit their jobs in 2021 due to various reasons: repercussions from the pandemic; wanting or Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com 20 | NOVEMBER 2022 | INNOVATE

needing to spendmore time with family; looking for personal or professional growth opportunities; choosing to switch careers or start their own business; or searching for more flexibility, remote work, higher pay and/or better benefits. The trend has not ended in 2022, withmore than 4 million people resigning their jobs eachmonth so far. 3These employees are disengaged. Some define the trend as employees being disengaged at work, meaning they come in late and leave early, have numerous absences, work slowly, lack interest in work, are easily distracted, do not communicate and produce minimal or unacceptable results. According to Gallup, 18% of the workforce is actively disengaged as compared to 32%who are actively engaged. The significant drop in engagement post-pandemic, especially for those that are younger than 35, is primarily due to the lack of having someone at work to care about them and their development, especially from their manager. They cite a lack of opportunities to learn and grow, and the lack of a clear understanding of what is expected of them, especially in remote or hybrid work arrangements. To back this up, the Harvard Business Review analyzed several surveys and responses about employee engagement and found that the managers who were the most “willing to go the extra mile” for their employees had 62% of their employees giving extra effort on the job while only 3% are quietly quitting. Actions to Consider If “quiet quitting” is impacting your workplace, there are some actions to take and things to consider. • Review job descriptions and work expectations. What do you really need your employees to do? What are you paying them to do? What did you hire them to do? Ensure employees know the expectations but also that you are not expecting more than what they were hired to do. • Review compensation. Pay employees fairly for the job you want and need them to do. While not everything comes down tomoney, compensation and benefits are a motivating factor behind employee commitment and engagement. Recent market factors have increased pay ranges and inflation has increased employee pay needs. • Develop effective communication and ways to connect. The evolving needs of both company and employee, along with changing workplace arrangements, mean that ways employees and managers communicate need to change. Whether holding regular meetings (virtual or in-person) or frequent touchbase conversations or regular performance management conversations, employees need to knowwhat is expected of them, how their contribution is valued and that their concerns are being heard. • Encourage employees to learn and grow inside and outside the company. Along with offering employees opportunities to develop within the company and their roles, consider also encouraging employees to pursue personal interests. Bring in outside resources during work or give them time off to take classes or give them a stipend to pay for outside courses. • Avoid “quiet firing.” This may be happening when employees are denied raises, development opportunities or time off. Or perhaps they face intended or unintended bias. Whatever the situation, if employers are not giving employees what they need to thrive at work, then employees will not give the extra effort companies may want. • Encourage trust between employees andmanagers. The HBR article cited above outlines the importance of trust in the employee-manager relationship and suggested ways managers can create trust with their employees tomake them feel valued so they are more engaged and therefore less likely to quietly quit: have a positive relationship, show consistency and have expertise in the role. A Final Thought Not every employee will have the 24/7 commitment that owners and executives need tomake the business successful – nor should they be expected to. In fact, if you expect employees to hustle and do more to help grow your business, they may realize they can put in the same effort to grow their own business pursuing their passion while creating the work-life balance they want. McAllister is a contributor for Affinity HR Group, Inc., PPAI’s affiliated human resources partner, which specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations, including PPAI and its member companies. www.affinityHRgroup.com. According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, managers who are themost “willing to go the extramile” for their employees have 62%of their employees giving extra effort on the jobwhile only 3%are quietly quitting. | NOVEMBER 2022 | 21 INNOVATE

The success of PPAI’s inaugural Promotional Products Work Expo points to an exciting future for one of the Association’s key initiatives to elevate our industry. by James Khattak PPAI held its fall Promotional Products Work (PPW) Expo in September, drawing hundreds of industry distributors and their clients to be inspired by the promotional merchandise on display and learn how to leverage those products for a wide range of campaigns and needs. The Show Experience The product of months of planning – including a test run of the event in May and a public introduction to the platform in August – PPW Expo launched on September 29. Participants enjoyed an innovative, virtual event that provided a client-safe environment for collaboration and exploration. A demand-driven event, PPW Expo was developed in collaboration with PPAI members serving on the Association’s Promotional Products Work workgroup. “The Promotional Products Work Expo was really well thought out and executed,” said Kara Keister, MBA, MAS, “promise keeper” at Social Good Promotions and a newly appointed PPAI Board member. “The content was relevant, well produced and did an excellent job of highlighting why working with a distributor helps elevate and protect an end user’s brand. I am excited to be joining the PPAI Board as this time and am looking forward to seeing how this online end user experience progresses!” Product pavilions at PPWExpo featuredmore than 200 products from nearly 40 suppliers. Products were carefully chosen and displayed by product type, feature and use rather than in the typical “booth” format. In addition to product exploration opportunities, PPW FEATURE | PPW Expo 24 | NOVEMBER 2022 |

Expo featured a 30-minute, productpacked program called Trends in Promo. Professionally produced, it featured segments on unboxing, customization and personalization, retail brands, sustainability, employee gifts and technology. In addition, several educational programs covered topics such as Prop 65, product safety and supply chain challenges, all of which were appropriate for buyers and encouraged collaboration with distributors to navigate the challenges that these issues sometimes present. “The Trends in Promo video was really fun and energetic, but more importantly, I loved the different Product Pavilions,” says Emily Codner, senior manager, affiliate services, at iPROMOTEu. “They were clean and organized and helped trigger some new ideas as we begin to delve into the gifting and recognition season.” The PPW Expo Strategy PPW Expo is one part of an overall buyer outreach initiative designed to deliver on PPAI’s vision to make promotional products essential to every brand. PPAI has also announced plans to offer two Promotional Products Work Expos in 2023 – one in the spring and one in the fall. “I’m extremely proud of the team and what they accomplished with this event,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, president and CEO of PPAI. “Creative ideas, solid planning and execution made this a unique and valuable experience. Now we will build upon the experience, making next year’s events even better as we continue to elevate promo.” Lindsey Davis, MAS, PPAI’s manager of Promotional Products Work, says, “We are so happy with the event we were able to put into the market. Our members seem to have really embraced it. I believe we have the blueprint for future Promotional Products Work Expos.” What We Saw On The ‘Show Floor’ The best business gifts are products that customers have always wanted and never knew they needed. That’s where promotional merchandise steps in. These items are innovative, unique and definitely useful, and products we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves. And in that process, promotional products become essential elements of the brands that offer them. This is one of the key takeaways of PPW Expo. PPW Expo’s product pavilion showcased many of these coveted items, and PPAI Media was on the scene to check them out. This revolutionary lip kit goes beyond the typical by creating a unique experience for each and every user as they design their own lip balm. This kit includes everything needed to make five lip balm tins: ingredients (natural beeswax pellets, sunflower oil, peppermint essential oil and vanilla flavoring), utensils (plastic beaker, pipette and spatulas), empty lip balm tins and instructions. Raining Rose / PPAI 232508, S7 www.rainingrosepromos.com The HeatBank is a nine-hour rechargeable hand warmer that keeps you warm while also functioning as a power bank to keep your devices charged. With dual-sided heating, this power bank has six different settings. Recipients can stay warm and connected with this product. Compass Industries / PPAI 110923, S6 www.compasspromos.com PPW Expo | FEATURE | NOVEMBER 2022 | 25

Great for camping, tailgates and backyard gatherings, this travelfriendly seat delivers a smooth rocking motion on any surface, anywhere. Supported by a sturdy, powder-coated steel tubing frame, the padded armrests and mesh backrest provide additional comfort. Its easy-fold technology makes opening and closing the chair a breeze and protects fingers from getting pinched. And when it’s time to pack up, its integrated carry handle means no wrestling to fit it in a bag. Koozie Group / PPAI 114187, S13 / www.kooziegroup.com This 20-quart hard-sided Orca cooler can hold 18 cans. It has integrated insulation for maximum cold retention and freshness of your stowed items for up to 200 hours. The extendable flex-grip handles allow for comfortable solo or tandem carrying. There’s also a cargo net attachment for added storage and an easy-flow drainage spout with a lid gasket to ensure a perfect seal. Made in the USA. Ball Pro Promotional Group / PPAI 112763, S8 / www.ballpro.com The SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker delivers the clearest possible sound with deep, powerful bass wherever life takes you. With its silicone body, powder-coated steel grille and utility loop, the speaker is versatile and rugged enough for all your adventures. It doesn’t matter whether SoundLink Flex is standing upright, hanging or flat on its back, its technology automatically detects its orientation and ensures optimal sound in any position. Incentive Concepts / PPAI 212912, S10 / www.incentiveconcepts.com This attractive Bistro French Press waves goodbye to wasteful paper filters, single-use capsules and other add-ons for good. All recipients need to brew brilliant coffee that’s bursting with flavor is hot water and coarsely ground beans. The French press is a supremely stylish, simple and streamlined coffee-brewing system. It’s quick, too – in a matter of minutes coffee is ready, and the plunger prevents any grounds from escaping. Hirsch Gift / PPAI 221823, S10 / www.hirschgift.com FEATURE | PPW Expo 26 | NOVEMBER 2022 |

QCommission: The Sales Commission Software Your Business Needs Automate your sales compensation plan, including .! 1.%(3 !(+(38 2$# .,,(22(.-2ɫ Integrates with Excel, QuickBooks, SalesForce, Sage Intacct, and many more. ʲ 7"$++$-3 23 %% 3. 6.1* 6(3'ɯ 5$18 / 3($-3 -# 3'.1.4&' .- $7/+ (-(-& 3'$ 2823$,ɰlz ʞ (2 (++$1ɬ 6-$1ɸ 1$ 3(5$ 1*$3(-& (1$"3.1ɬ (++$1ʳ2 /$"( +38 1.#4"32 -"ɫ Calculate and track gross profit by comparing invoice amounts to item cost, bills or purchase order amount. Calculate commissions based sales revenue or gross profit. Pay commissions at time of invoicing, at time of payment, or when job is complete. Calculate incentives as often as you want. Job Profitability Report including commissions expense. Avoid costly errors caused by manual calculations. Automate complex sales comp plans and include job profitability-based commissions. Scan this QR code to get more information about QCommission for the Promotional Products Industry! www.qcommission.com Clear and easy to understand dashboard and reports that your sales comp manager and sales people can use to understand what's being paid and why they are being paid at a very detailed level.

GROW page 44 30EDITOR'S PICKS PREMIUMS & INCENTIVES 38PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS WORK HEALTH CARE All Systems Go The largest distributors in promotional products are dueling in a technology arms race. But there are paths for small and mid-size companies to compete on the defining battleground of the industry’s future. | NOVEMBER 2022 | 29

Pr emi ums & I ncen t i ves by Kristina Valdez Work Perks In the age of “quiet quitting,” connecting with disengaged employees is a top priority. Business leaders and HR professionals are scrambling for ways to excite and motivate their workforce. But research shows only awe-inspiring incentives will do the trick. Talk of “quiet quitting” is everywhere (including in this issue of PPB – see PaigeMcCallister’sManagement column on page 20.) On TikTok, the hashtag #quietquitting has over 100million views, and there’s evenmerch now, like farewell cards for coworkers that say, “Youmade working here tolerable.” Quiet quitters aren’t actually leaving their jobs – yet. They’re just completely disengaged and burned out. Before the pandemic, global engagement and subjective wellbeing was rising steadily. But now, it’s plateaued. Global workers are simply “living for the weekend.” A recent Gallup report on the State of the Global Workplace found that only 21% of employees are engaged 30 | NOVEMBER 2022 | GROW

at work and only 33%of employees say they are thriving in their overall well-being. Most employees would say their work is not meaningful, their lives aren’t going well or they aren’t hopeful about their future. SinceMarch 2020, many people have decided to leave their jobs. In themonth of February 2022, at least 4.4million Americans quit their jobs, according to Zippia. In every singlemonth of 2021, an average of 4millionworkers left their jobs. For the workers who stayed, they’ve decided to pull back – doing only what’s necessary to collect a paycheck. The “workplace” has forever changed. In 2019, only about 6%of American employees workedmainly from home. Today, remote/hybridwork is commonplace. In 2021, a Gallup report found that 45%of all workers and 67%of white-collar workers continued towork fromhome at least part-time. And if they’re denied the opportunity towork their desired number of days remotely, they’ll take a pay cut (7%) or look for another job (23%), an Incentive Research Foundation survey says. When it comes to remote work, most managers and employees worry about isolation, communication challenges and reduced idea exchange. Only five of the 424managers who responded to an IRF survey said they have no concerns regarding remote work. Incentive programs offer a solution to bothmanagers andworkers – not only to eliminate the disadvantages of working remotely, but to also promote a culture that brings the workforce together. Be sure to check out this issue's guide to helping clients set up exciting incentive plans that will motivate employees to do their best work, starting on page 24. Thomas Rector, CEOof Indiana-based distributor ScreenBroidery, says clients want something with meaning. “They have recognized the recipients are tired of receiving gifts because they feel like the giver ‘has’ to give one. Recipients want items to connect either with a personal touch or unexpectedness. Our customers’ gifts vary, depending on the gift’s purpose, but in general, brand-named productsmatter and clever productsmatter.” Camaraderie, trust and appreciation can be clearly communicated through incentives. According to the IRF, incentive programs can change people’s thinking, behavior or decision-making. With incentives, it’s possible to encourage behaviors like collaboration and to convert quiet quitters. “Electronics seem to garner themost attention,” says John Crisci, president of California-based distributor Global Gifting. “Chargers, Bluetooth Premiums & Incentives With a refined fit and ultramodern materials, the Bose Frame sunglasses are sure to stand out. The exclusive Bose Open Ear Audio technologies produce sound unexpected from sunglasses. It’s a jawdropping experience that leaves recipients free to engage with the world around, all while discreetly listening to music. The battery life lasts up to five-and-a-half hours. There’s an advanced mic system for crystal-clear calls and Bluetooth control for music. Beacon Promotions / PPAI 113702, S10 / www.beaconpromotions.com This Swiss-made Maverick Small will compliment any recipient. It has a stainlesssteel case and scratchresistant sapphire crystal. There’s a screw-in case back and a unidirectional rotating bezel with count-up scale. It’s water resistant to 100 meters. Victorinox Swiss Army PPAI 113873, S8 www.VSACorporate.com | NOVEMBER 2022 | 31 GROW

Pr emi ums & I ncen t i ves speakers and headphones, etc, are definitely popular choices. People also love getting gifts that are customized. Something that we offer is a customNike shoe experience where it gives you the ability to design a pair of shoes. Again, anything brand-name is always a highly sought-after gift.” Companies rely on incentive programs to highlight the intangible benefits of work like mentorship and peer recognition. “The gifts matter, but why our customers are giving the gifts matter more,” Rector says. “We build features into our customers’ web stores that allow them to submit a note that our fulfillment team will hand write. We also have video upload features where we can add personal videos and messages to any product. Those personal touches from a recipient’s CEO, supervisor or colleague makes people feel important and appreciated. We then add well thought-out products to the message to rise above the expectations.” Most U.S. businesses are already spending significantly on incentive programs. According to IRF’s marketplace study, 92% of companies with revenues of $5 million or more use at least one form of non-cash incentive program. Sales incentives account for the largest share of total non-cash incentive spending (30%), followed by employee incentives (23%), customer loyalty incentives (18%), channel/distributor incentives (14%) and corporate gifting (14%). “We recognize that brands can also be known and havemeaning even if they are not global. We will source products locally. Almost every town or area has a well-known candle shop, candymanufacturer, leather producer or recycled product manufacturer. Those small-town shops are brands that are known in a company’s town and have a story to tell," says Rector. "Our team reaches out and works with these local makers to craft special projects for our customers. We’ve gone as far to create customboard games, brandedmacaroons, and handbags made fromour customers old billboards.” A great promo product demonstrates a client’s commitment and care. But the most rewarding form of recognition is always a human connection, like one-on-one appreciation from a direct manager. These incentive work perks are what a disengaged workforce is craving, and promo pros can deliver. A sleek central charging hub, the three-in-one wireless charging stand lets recipients charge each one of their main devices easily and conveniently. With a dedicated spot for every device, you can take the guesswork out of wireless charging. Just place your device, and charging begins on contact. The 15W charging speed means any smartphone will charge fast. It’s the perfect way to charge all devices at one time. National Vendor Promotions / PPAI 572142, S5 / www.natvenpromos.com The small-scale Petite Tabletop Fire offers warmth, looks great in any outdoor space and creates a retreat in any backyard. Recipients can watch the flame dance behind the windproof glass with your client’s frosted logo design glowing through the reflection. This product is easy to use; simply add bioethanol fuel (not included) or citronella and light the wick. When full, the fire pit will burn for two to three hours, and won’t give off any smoke, soot or ash. Gemline / PPAI 113948, S11 / www.gemline.com 32 | NOVEMBER 2022 | GROW