PPAI Magazine January 2023

M E D I A . P P A I . O R G 01.23 IN THIS ISSUE Existential Threat Eco-Minded End Users Will REFUSE Wasteful Products p. 34 Retail Style p. 18 Decorating 101 p. 46 PPAI Hall Of Fame p. 60 Perfect Promo p. 100

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4 F rom PPAI Intentional Optimism 8 Feedback Essentials 13 Creative Calendar 14 Good Taste Masters Golf Party 18 In Style Retail Trends 22 Use Case Self-Care Voices 30 Solutions Where To Begin 34 Responsibility An Existential Threat 36 Innovation Make Better Decisions 40 Your Business After The PPAI Expo Must Read 54 Promotional Products Work Weddings Community 78 Buzzworthy 80 Inside PPAI 86 PPPC Communiqué 90 NewMembers 95 Datebook 100 P erfect Promo CONTENTS 01.23 The 2023 PPAI Hall of Fame Inductees Industry legends Carol Aastad, MAS, and Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, have earned their way into the PPAI Hall of Fame, marking the first time two women were inducted in the same class. 60 V O L U M E 4 7 , I S S U E 0 1 NewWorld Order With its acquisition of BrightStores, OrderMyGear is taking a major swing to conquer the online store marketplace. 70 A Beginner's Guide To 4 Common Decoration Methods Use these summaries to help explain to clients how each decoration method works and determine which approach is best for each project. 46 60 46 70 PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 3

Intentional Optimism IT’S QUITE COMMON IN the month of January for everyone in business to be thinking to the year ahead, charting a course for growth, with the knowledge gained from the prior year. Whether at a business or an association like PPAI, folks are mindfully planning for success in the coming year, while at the same time also thinking of how to navigate potential challenges over the next 12 months and beyond. An essential question is how can we really know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been? For that reason alone, it’s critical that each of us in the promotional products industry take a good look at the year that was 2022. Like 2020 and 2021, 2022 was another extraordinary year. After this stretch, it seems we all could use a dose of ordinary, and perhaps the coming year will enable us to settle into a new normalcy. Until then, we should all be proud that we’ve learned to embrace the abnormal and thrive in spite of these once-in-a-generation challenges. Our industry has rocketed out of the once-in-acentury pandemic. Although the official tabulations – including PPAI’s annual Sales Volume Estimate study – are still in progress, many leaders believe 2022 will be recorded as the year we met and exceeded prepandemic revenue volumes. This was a $24.2 billion industry in 2019 that slipped to $19.6 billion in 2020. Think of the progress our industry has achieved in the two years since. Inflation has played a role in the expected revenue growth of the past year, certainly, and we all continue to warily assess its future outlook and impact on our economy and industry. Still, we should celebrate the fact that our industry continued to exceed clients’ expectations, even in a world of choked supply chains, taxed labor pools and tightening budgets in 2022. This past year, in-person events started to approach normalcy as we once knew it to be. However, the unpredictable effects of the pandemic also elevated the value of promo for businesses. Amid the Great Resignation, more companies across the world took measured steps to emphasize culture and recognition as integral aspects of retaining and attracting talent. This should give us all reason to approach 2023 with an intentional sense of caution coupled with optimism. Who can say what the future will hold? We know that nothing is guaranteed, and we’ve certainly all heard the predictions of a recession on the horizon, if we’re not already in one. Just remember, we’ve persevered before, and we will persevere again. One certainty that we all can agree upon is that promotional products are firmly entrenched as part of the fabric of the global economy – universally valued and essential to every brand. This industry has weathered the storms of hard times and sailed briskly ahead through the blue skies of boom times. No matter what 2023 may bring, we’re certain to succeed – together. From PPAI Kevin Walsh, CAS Chair-Elect of the Board Who can say what the future will hold? We know that nothing is guaranteed, and we’ve certainly all heard the predictions of a recession on the horizon, if we’re not already in one. Just remember, we’ve persevered before, and we will persevere again. 01.23 4 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

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PPAI® PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Josh Ellis JoshE@ppai.org DEPUTY EDITOR Rob Phillips RobP@ppai.org SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR James Khattak JamesK@ppai.org NEWS EDITOR Jonny Auping JonnyA@ppai.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kristina Valdez KristinaV@ppai.org Rachel Zoch RachelZ@ppai.org RESEARCHMANAGER Robert Fitzpatrick RobertF@ppai.org ART DIRECTION SPARK Publications SPARKpublications.com 704-844-6080 ADVERTISINGMANAGEMENT ACCOUNT MANAGERS Connie Brazil 972-258-3064 ConnieB@ppai.org Taylor Coward 972-258-3033 TaylorC@ppai.org ADVERTISING CONTACT Amy Weisman 972-258-3080 AmyW@ppai.org PRESIDENT & CEO Dale Denham, MAS+ 888-I-AM-PPAI DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Lindsey Davis 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 BOARD OFFICERS CHAIR OF THE BOARD Dawn Olds, MAS HALO IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays VICE CHAIR, FINANCE SERVICES Andrew Spellman, CAS Therabody BOARDMEMBERS 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 Andrew Spellman Therabody TERMS EXPIRING 2026 Chris Anderson HPG Denise Taschereau Fairware AT-LARGE DIRECTOR TERM EXPIRING 2024 Melissa Ralston, Koozie Group REGIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE DELEGATE TERM EXPIRING 2027 Kara Keister, MAS Social Good Promotions 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 PPAI MAGAZINE: 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 PPAI MAGAZINE: Download a media kit with rates and specs for all PPAI print and digital publications at media.ppai.org, or call 972-258-3019 or email mediasales@ppai.org. WRITE FOR PPAI MAGAZINE: 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 PPAI’s Writer’s Guidelines available at media.ppai.org/submit-content. Promotional Products Association International 6 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

S&S Activewear Reno, Nevada 89506 800-523-2155 toll tree www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 Mission Imprintables San Diego, California 92154 800-480-0800 toll tree www.missionimprintables.com asi# 71781 McCreary’s Tees Phoenix, Arizona 85040 800-541-1141 toll free www.mccrearystees.com asi# 69885 SLC Activewear West Valley City, Utah 84119 888-557-0799 toll free www.slcactivewear.com S&S Activewear Fort Worth, Texas 76137 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 Kati Sportcap & Bag Houston, Texas 77057 800-392-5559 toll free www.katisportcap.com asi# 64140 S&S Activewear Olathe, Kansas 66061 800-523-2155 toIl free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 S&S Activewear Lockport, Illinois 60441 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 S&S Activewear West Chester Township, Ohio 45011 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 S&S Activewear McDonough, Georgia 30253 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 Carolina Made Indian Trail, North Carolina 28079 800-222-1409 toll free www.carolinamade.com asi# 43993 S&S Activewear Pompano Beach, Florida 33069 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 S&S Activewear Robbinsville, New Jersey 08691 800-523-2155 toll free www.ssactivewear.com asi# 84358 S&S Canada Burnaby, British Columbia, V3N 0B2 800-771-1600 toll free en-ca.ssactivewear.com asi# 90703 S&S Canada Calgary, Alberta, T3J 2G2 800-771-1600 toll free en-ca.ssactivewear.com asi# 90703 S&S Canada Woodbridge, Ontario, L4H 4W9 800-771-1600 toll free en-ca.ssactivewear.com asi# 90703 Sportsman Cap & Bag Support Team 913-541-0901 info@headwear.com WHERE TOBUY Tess Hattie Cassie Janet Josie Charlie Daisy COMING SOON SPRING 2023 Come See US At PPAIBooth #5657 1. Elude™ – Patent pending makeup resistant, wicking and breathable sweatband. 2. Evolve™ – Patent pending concealable ponytail opening. 3. Smaller, lightweight visors. 4. Perfectly sized for a woman’s head. 5. Easy, snag-free closures. How We’re Different Why are you only selling to half the population? • Women’s corporate gifts are one of the fastest growing sections of the promotional industry -According to Adco Marketing • Women make up 47% of the US work force and they love baseball caps that are engineered just for them. See our full collection at infinityforher.com

The Message, Not The Medium Following a September PPB column by PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+, responding to a Fast Company article targeting “cheap, disposable conference swag,” Greg Emmer, chief marketing officer of distributer Kaeser & Blair, shared his perspective on the importance of putting the emphasis on the work industry professionals do rather than the tools they use to do it. Reflecting on Greg Emmer’s letter, I will add my firm voice – I will even stomp my foot for emphasis! – to his comments. I, too, am a product of SAAI (Specialty Advertising Association International). My good friend Carl Rosenfeld, board chair, who supervised the merger with the Advertising Specialty Guild, would have been quick to agree, that we have allowed people within the industry, and occasionally our customers, to refer to the products we sell in that manner. It is demeaning to our industry, our customer and ourselves! We don’t see network television touting the benefits of TV advertising as hitting the “boob tube.” Nor newspapers being referred to by their staffers as “wrapping for yesterday’s fish!” Why then should we demean our medium? Margaret Custer Ford, MAS Founder MARCO-Ideas Unlimited Portland, Oregon PPAI 106680, D5 Send feedback on articles in PPAI or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. Feedback PromoTech In the article “All Systems Go: The Distributor Tech Arms Race,” the November issue of PPB magazine shared insight on the technology arms race among the industry’s largest distributors, as well as the tools and resources available for smaller and midsized companies to compete. This is a great article and a great reminder of the opportunities and upsides that technology transformations deliver. JP Hunt Co-founder and President InkSoft and GraphicsFlow Tempe, Arizona Adjusting For Inflation In November, the PPAI Newslink article “Promo Leaders Weigh In On Possible Inflation Relief” featured industry executives’ perspectives on what inflation means for the promotional products industry. I love the optimism! This is so important. My advice: Folks, stay the course, stay focused and ride it out. And look at ways to differentiate. Cliff Quicksell, MAS+ President Cliff Quicksell Associates Walkersville, Maryland Deni studio / Shutterstock.com 01.23 8 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS TO BE UNIVERSALLY VALUED Essentials 01.23 SELF-CARE FOR ME These product picks are all about self-care. Industry pros reveal the products they use, the products they want and the products they would suggest. page 22 CREATIVE CALENDAR p. 13 GOOD TASTE p. 14 IN STYLE p. 18 Kristina Kuptsevich / Shutterstock.com PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 11

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If this calendar is helpful or if you have ideas for ways that we can better provide this information, email the editors at magazine@ppai.org Creative Calendar | Essentials Exceptional Promotions SPECIAL OBSERVANCES CALL FOR Use these special occasions to ignite your imagination for relevant – and distinct – client promotions. Compiled by Kristina Valdez February NATIONAL WEDDINGS MONTH 1 NATIONAL DARK CHOCOLATE DAY 17 NATIONAL CAREGIVERS DAY 22 NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY Product idea: Margarita? Martini? Margtini! This MargTini tumbler combines the best of both worlds, keeping favorite cocktails ice-cold. The MargTini prevents dilution and ensures your beverage of choice stays as fresh as the moment it was poured. Hirsch / PPAI 221823, S10 www.hirschpromo.com March NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH 10 NATIONAL PACK YOUR LUNCH DAY 19 N ATIONAL CHOCOLATE CARAMEL DAY 23 NATIONAL CHIP & DIP DAY Product idea: The chocolate and caramel gift box is perfect for anyone who loves caramel and chocolate. It has eight smooth, creamy caramels in a dark chocolate and sea salt shell. There are also eight milk chocolate pecan turtles with a creamy caramel center. These delicious sweets are packed in a stylish, red magnetic closure gift box, imprinted with your client’s logo in white and tied with a white grosgrain ribbon. Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165, S8 www.mapleridge.com April NATIONAL BRUNCH MONTH 7 NATIONAL BEER DAY 11 NATIONAL PET DAY 23 NATIONAL PICNIC DAY Product idea: This 16-ounce beer can glass candle is already a favorite. Choose clear or amber glass and add a fragrance for winding down or setting a mood. These candles are 100% soy-based wax, and fragrances are paraben-free. Once the candle has been completely burned, wash out the remaining wax and continue to use the container. Numo / PPAI 112597, S9 www.numomfg.com PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 13

Essentials | Good Taste Swing Into Spring With The Masters Plan the perfect golf watch party with these promo products suggested by our own tournament-winningmembers. by Rachel Zoch SLATED FOR THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY during the first full week of April, the Masters Golf Tournament, held at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and televised worldwide, makes a great opportunity to swing into spring with a swanky watch party. Greet your guests in a green jacket and serve up a signature Azalea cocktail (lemon and pineapple juice with vodka and grenadine) to get the party started. Must-have refreshments include pimiento cheese sandwiches and Arnold Palmers (blended iced tea and lemonade), and you can add golf-themed trivia and even a backyard putting contest to the festivities. Stu Mandelbaum, a business development executive with Las Vegas-based distributor Eagle Promotions – and a member of the winning team at the 2022 PPEF Golf Tournament – has attended the Masters Tournament in person. He and his tournament teammate and colleague Ryan Benko, a strategic accounts manager, shared a few suggestions to make your Masters watch party an event to remember: “Cocktails definitely are popular at the Masters, so an insulated beverage holder would be ideal for the long day of watching golf and keeping your drink cold,” Mandelbaum says. 14 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Good Taste | Essentials For those who prefer a canned beverage, he suggests a “Green Jacket” can koozie so everyone’s a winner. For cold or hot beverages, he suggests the 25-oz. powder coated h2go voyager stainless steel thermal bottle featuring a digital print of the course layout of Augusta National as a cool (literally) giveaway. ETS Express / PPAI 135148, S11 www.etsexpress.com Speaking of cool, golf shirts and khakis are perfect attire for this gathering, but in colder climates, your guests might need a little more cover. Mandelbaum and Benko recommend a couple of weatherrelated gifts to wow your attendees: “Kelly green is definitely the predominant color at the Masters,” says Mandelbaum. “A nice embroidered Kelly green windshirt would be a great primary gift for the attendees.” The Holloway Bionic Windshirt, made of a lightweight, wind- and waterresistant polyester, comes in men’s sizes S-3X and 18 colors, including the green shown here. Lined for warmth, it features two front slant pockets and raglan sleeves for ease of movement. Augusta Sportswear Brands / PPAI 187246, S5 www.augustasportswear.com Umbrellas are used by everyone, everywhere, and as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Mandelbaum and Benko suggest a green golf umbrella as another gift option. This Challenger umbrella in hunter/ white (one of five color combos available) features an RPET canopy, durable fiberglass frame, wind vents, a 62-inch arc and the RainAlertz app to help users stay prepared for wet weather. AAA Innovations / PPAI 110972, S4 www.aaainnovations.com When it comes to decorating, green and yellow are the official colors of the tournament, but it’s easy to add a splash of pink with potted azaleas that can also go home with guests. PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 15

“Azaleas are the signature flowers that line Augusta National,” says Mandelbaum, “and a logoed planter with azalea seeds would be a nice gift.” Here are a few other ideas sure to make your Masters “par-tee” a hole in one! Serve up your pimiento cheese sandwiches and other treats on this bamboo Sand Trap Golf Cheese Cutting Board & Tools Set, which features two hidden swing-out drawers containing six stainless steel wine and cheese tools. Picnic Time Family of Brands PPAI 143980, S6 www.picnicpromotions.com Add a sweet treat to your party spread with chocolate golf balls in a brandable jar you can send home with attendees. NC Custom - Home of Chocolate Inn PPAI 111662, S7 / www.chocolateinn.com Essentials | Good Taste You can add golfthemed trivia and even a backyard putting contest to the festivities. PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC: 101273 888.287.7883 www.americanaccents.com Scan for more info! Made & Printed in the USA Quick Turn Arounds Low Minimums 50 PIECE MINIMUMS! WHITE BEVERAGE NAPKINS • Multiple print methods available • 3 ply facial quality material • Free PMS matching • Metallic and neon ink colors oŽered at no extra cost Perfect for almost any event or budget! 16 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Good Taste | Essentials Mix up your Arnold Palmers lickety-split using these handy lemonade and iced tea drink packets. (Spike them with vodka for a John Daly.) Send your guests home with their own custom-printed packets to enjoy later. Midnite Snax PPAI 113793, S3 www.midnitesnax.com Serve your drinks in custom-engraved Mason jars for a nod to Southern style, like this 16-oz. handled jar with deep etching and a threaded top to accommodate an optional lid. Moderne Glass PPAI 112536, S10 www.glassamerica.com PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC: 101273 888.287.7883 www.americanaccents.com Scan for more info! Quick Turn Arounds Low Minimums Printed in the USA 100 PIECE MINIMUMS! COLORED PAPER PLATES • Pad Printed: 1–5 spot colors • Free PMS matching • Available in 7 diŠerent colors • Coated 9” paper plate • Metallic and neon ink colors available at no extra cost PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 17

Essentials | In Style Retail Trends Percolating Into Promo Apparel Faster Than Ever Classic blanks will always be in demand, but it’s easier than ever to provide timely styles. Here are four key trends you need to be aware of for the coming year. by Rachel Zoch PROMO APPAREL STYLES tend to lag behind retail trends, but that’s not a bad thing, as employee apparel and giveaway garments need staying power so they’ll be worn for the long term. That said, the time frame between trends emerging in retail and those same styles making inroads into promo is getting shorter as the industry becomes more nimble and forward-looking. “When I joined this industry seven years ago, it felt like there was a year or two between retail and the promo industry, says Taylor Borst, director of marketing events and PR with Minnesota-based distributor American Solutions for Business. “Now it feels like that time frame has gotten smaller and there’s less turn time.” Although classic blanks will always remain at the heart of promo apparel, she adds, the brands that do a really good job of forecasting and trying to keep up with retail are the ones that will win. Here’s what you need to know about four key retail trends percolating into promo apparel: 1. Y2K/Oversized Styles Loom Large The ’90s nostalgia train is still full steam ahead, so oversized garments, bucket hats, straight-leg pants and other Y2K styles remain popular. This includes heavier fabrics, especially for T-shirts and hoodies. Remember the Hanes Beefy Tee? “It’s back, baby!” says Borst. The classic heavyweight cotton Hanes Beefy Tee features soft U.S.-grown ringspun cotton (some colors cotton/poly blend). Available in 49 colors (grape smash heather shown) and unisex sizes S-6X. S&S Activewear / PPAI 256121, S12 www.ssactivewear.com 18 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

In Style | Essentials 2. Unisex Styling & Sizing On The Rise Hand-in-hand with the oversized trend, buyers are increasingly looking for unisex styles, especially for younger audiences. Benefits of this approach include single SKU ordering, as well as inclusivity for diverse sizes and gender expressions. But keep company culture and the brand’s overall aesthetic in mind when considering this trend. Oversized might be great for a beverage or gaming company, but not a good fit for an accounting firm or dentist’s office aiming for a more traditional, professional look. Go for amodern look with the Unisex Straight Leg Sweat Pant in lightweight cotton/poly blend fleece. “Bella+Canvas does such a nice job of looking at what’s trending in the retail market,” says Borst. “The trend in denim right now is the straight leg, so it makes sense that we’re starting to see the jogger alsomake a transition.” Available in four colors (dark gray heather shown) and unisex sizes XS-2X. BELLA + CANVAS / PPAI 304892, S6 / www.bellacanvas.com 3. Designing For Women First Many promo suppliers are creating fresh, retail-inspired garments specifically for women that don’t have a men’s companion piece. “What I tend to see is that with the younger side of buyers, we’re seeing the bigger skew to unisex, where with the older demographic, you tend to see a lot more women-inspired, women-specific,” says Borst. Brandable women’s wear has come a long way, says Kelly Brown, director of marketing and operations with Michigan-based distributor Green Giftz. “There are pieces I would just wear blank without a logo on them that are very nice.” Especially in the professional or executive space, women want something that looks good and feels good, says Borst. “I look for things that seamlessly fit into my existing wardrobe that I feel really confident in,” she adds. The Mercer+Mettle Women’s Stretch Crepe 3/4-Sleeve Blouse offers a comfortable and stylish corporate casual silhouette different from the standard polo or button-down. Available in five colors (shown in insignia blue) and sizes XS-4X. SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 / www.sanmar.com PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 19

4. Capsule Wardrobing Allows Customization Capsule wardrobing – curating a set of practical, coordinated garments that can be worn interchangeably – is growing in popularity, and it’s a great approach for corporate apparel programs. This way, employees can retain a uniform look while still able to express their own personal style – which helps keep those pieces in active use much longer. Branded apparel should be practical and flexible so that the garments appeal to a broad audience and everyone can make use of them, says Kelli Denes, director of business development with Iowa-based distributor The Vernon Company. “What I love about the way that apparel has really changed for the promo industry is that it’s appealing, and the flexibility to have it fit everyone is great,” she says. “Customization is in every way important in this day and age, and making things personally your own, so I think having corporate apparel that can fit that need is wonderful.” The poly/cotton Mercer+Mettle 1/4-Zip Sweater is part of a collection of mix-and-match pieces for a suite of coordinated apparel. This easy-to-layer unisex essential is designed to complement anyone’s work-life style. Available in three colors (insignia blue shown) and sizes XS-4X. SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 / www.sanmar.com Essentials | In Style Even Burger King has resurrected its classic “Have it your way” commercials – so letting people choose the pieces they like best is a great way to fuel the desire for self-expression as well as enthusiasm for those branded garments. Enabling people to fit in and stand out at the same time is an important employee retention strategy, says Borst. “Personal expression is on the table now more than ever,” she says, “and the more we can align the promo with that, the better. Zoch is an associate editor at PPAI. 20 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

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Essentials | Use Case SELF-CARE For Me These product picks are all about self-care. Industry pros reveal the products they use, the products they want and the products they would suggest. compiled by Kristina Valdez HEATHER MCLEOD VP of Sales Elite Promo Marketing PPAI 608102, D2 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada MCLEOD faithfully uses an oil diffuser. “Self-care is all about taking care of your body and soul, and two of my favorite products take care of both so well. At the start of each day when I enter my office, the first thing I do is turn on my oil diffuser,” she says. This aroma diffuser uses ultrasonic waves to instantly vaporize water and essential oil in the tank, producing a cool, fragrant mist that helps create a calming and relaxing environment for six to eight hours. Whiteridge / PPAI 523471, S5 www.whiteridgeinc.com McLeod wants to try more products with natural ingredients. “I am a big fan of using products that are made with natural ingredients, so I have been wanting to try Gemline’s Beekman 1802 Hand and Body Wash.” she says. McLeod also says she’s looking forward to trying out Raining Rose’s DIY Lip Balm Kit. Treat your hands with love and care with a 12.5-ounce bottle of Honey & Orange Blossom Beekman 1802 Hand and Body Wash. This aromatic blend of honey, rosemary verbena, citrus peel and creamy goat milk melts deep into the skin for maximum moisture and a gentle cleanse – perfect for sensitive skin. Gemline / PPAI 113948, S11 www.gemline.com Kristina Kuptsevich / Shutterstock.com 22 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Use Case | Essentials This lip balm kit creates a unique experience for every user as they design their own lip balm. The 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 McLeod would suggest a blanket and an alarm clock. “If any of my clients came to me looking specifically for self-care products, I would 100% recommend Whiteridge’s Lux Faux Fur Throw Blanket and Ariel’s Sunrise Himalayan Salt Lamp Alarm Clock,” she says. “The Lux Faux Fur Throw Blanket has to be the softest, most plush throw I’ve had the pleasure of snuggling.” “Now if my clients want their self-care techier, the Sunrise Alarm Clock is the perfect fit in my opinion,” says McLeod. Whiteridge / PPAI 523471, S5 www.whiteridgeinc.com Ariel Premium Supply / PPAI 161650, S11 ArielPremium.com KAREN SCARPINO Owner & CEO Green Giftz Grand Rapids, Michigan PPAI 599246, D5 SCARPINO faithfully uses a Bluetooth speaker. “I call it B.C. and A.C. – before COVID and after COVID,” she says. “Let’s face it: Life is different. Before COVID, I didn’t notice the energy required to socialize, network and attend conferences regularly. After COVID, I go to a conference and while I’m happy to be traveling, and engaging in person again, I feel drained very quickly. Stressors are everywhere, and taking time for self-care is essential to recharging. Listening to meditation music, or whatever music fits PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 23

Essentials | Use Case my mood, helps me to decompress and recharge.” This handcrafted eco-friendly speaker is made with natural bamboo wood and is waterproof, so it’s perfect for using in the kitchen, by the pool or in the bathroom. The speaker is quick to connect and easy to use. Simply power on and it’s ready to connect. C-Slide / PPAI 622123, S6 www.webcamcover.com Scarpino wants to try a sunlight therapy lamp. “Michigan winters get awfully grey, and I wonder if this lamp really works to improve spirits,” she says. By mimicking the full spectrum of daylight, the daylight lamp produces the light to energize throughout the dim winter. When the weather is dark or rainy or you’re in a bad mood, it brings the brightness of sunshine and allows you to spend a happy day at home or the office. Nolwenn / PPAI 747582, S3 www.nolwn.com Scarpino would suggest a cleanburning candle. “A candle can really set the mood for relaxation and self-care,” she says. “They are perfect to curl up in a blanket and read a book. If a client’s budget is good enough, I’d recommend a candle and blanket self-care gift set. Our industry has so many nice candle options lately.” This gift set comes with a soy wax candle and an organic lip balm. The all-natural candle is made from soy wax, which burns cleaner and lasts longer than typical paraffin wax candles. The bamboo lid can be engraved with your client’s logo. Active Life Promo / PPAI 436753, S1 www.activelifepromo.com 24 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Use Case | Essentials LINDSEY DAVIS Director of Business Development Irving, Texas PPAI DAVIS faithfully uses hand sanitizer. “My new job has me on the road a lot, so I love having my promo hand sanitizers around to save me from this crazy flu season we are having,” she says. This one-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer has a silicone sleeve for easy carrying. The citrus-scented antibacterial gel kills bacteria, germs and viruses, and the silicone holder with loop easily attaches to purses, laptop cases and backpacks. Evans Manufacturing / PPAI 110747, S10 www.evans-mfg.com Davis wants to try the Theragun Mini from Therabody. “I’ve always wanted to try their products, and this mini option looks really easy to hold and use,” she says. The Theragun mini is a pocketsized partner, giving quality deep muscle treatment with unparalleled portability. Compact but powerful, it’s an agile massage device that can go wherever you do. Therabody / PPAI 794574, S1 www.therabody.com Davis would suggest lip butter. “It’s perfect for this cold, dry weather as we head into winter,” she says, “and it smells amazing.” This lip butter lip balm is made from shea and cocoa butters that are blended to be ultra-moisturizing, nourishing and long-lasting. Inspired by beauty counters, this line of lip balm comes in a clear, oval tube, giving it a sophisticated retail look. Raining Rose / PPAI 232508, S7 www.rainingrosepromos.com PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 27

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IDEAS TO ADVANCE THE MARKETPLACE Voices 01.23 page 36 INNOVATION SOLUTIONS p. 30 RESPONSIBILITY p. 34 MAKE BETTER DECISIONS The keys are knowing when to listen to your gut and how to use data. Your Business Here's how to keep momentum from The PPAI Expo. .p. 40 PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 29

Voices | Solutions Where To Begin Industry pros are quick to share expertise, insights and opinions on all things promo. Amid this batch of answered questions, one distributor explains how those new to the industry should think about their work. compiled by Kristina Valdez Q A Distributor Asks: We all know how much our clients spend to put their brand out there. How many of you wear other brands for free? Do you wear top brand names to just wear it? I will wear a blank product if I can sell it, but I will not wear a logo from a client. It’s too likely to be offputting to another client or prospect, especially if they are in the same industry. Years ago, I sold a large order of Ashworth Vests that way. The one I was wearing was blank. In addition, I will never go to a client using a bag or purse that I cannot sell to them. It does not have to be branded, but when they complement the item and ask where to get it, I want to be able to tell them from me, not send them to a local retail store. Even when specifically going to see a client, I wear what I like and of high quality, and that is not logo T-shirts, quarter zips, etc. I am still old-fashioned and dress like I am going to see a client – professionally, no sneakers, jeans or polo shirts, and certainly not T-shirts, etc. ANNE KLEINMAN President Ad Infinitum Lawrence, New York PPAI 139347, D2 Q A Distributor Asks: When a client pays for a file to be digitized for embroidery, should that client have access to that file since they paid for it? I am a freelance graphic designer, but I’ve never digitized anything personally. We have vendors do that for us. We have files created and the cost figured into the first order they place with the logo. (File creation is free, but there is a small markup on the sell per item to compensate for a slightly higher setup charge.) We keep files locally and in cloud storage for future use. I have many times asked decorators if they can send us the files they’ve created for our clients so we can hang onto them locally before the standard two-year art reorder time limit is up, and I’ve never had one refuse. In six years of working in the industry, I’ve had a client ask for their embroidery files maybe twice or three times. It seems courteous to provide the files, as it’s their logo and they pay for the service. SARAH PALUMBO Sales Assistant HALO Clyde, Ohio PPAI 786073, D3 In six years of working in the industry, I’ve had a client ask for their embroidery files maybe twice or three times. —Sarah Palumbo MJgraphics / Shutterstock.com 30 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Solutions | Voices Q A Distributor Asks: What are some tips you would give to distributors just starting out? Don’t just sell products. Build relationships with your clients. And one thing that probably won’t get said – find yourself a good graphic designer. You’ll be surprised how many clients don’t have usable artwork KEVIN HUBBARD CEO One City Enterprises Las Vegas, Nevada PPAI 807308, D1 Q A Distributor Asks: What’s the farthest you have driven to pick up an order so you didn’t miss an event? Funny you ask. A customer contacted me today wanting something in four days. I would have made $100, and we would have driven 2.5 hours round-trip. We decided to pass. I’m a “yes” person, but I just had a nightmare with two rush orders for a customer. I just couldn’t bear to do it. DEENA KELLY Owner Kelly Promotional Products Franklin, Indiana PPAI 226074, D1 I’ve made several four-plus hour road trips because that was the only way to meet the in-hands date. That said, most of the drama was on me because I took the order knowing there was zero wiggle room for error. Then “surprise,” something happened! Looking back, I probably should have walked away from most of these orders, but I’m a people-pleaser and always seem to be up for the challenge! Will I likely do it again? Probably! BRYANTWILSON Owner Customizzed Promotional Products Wilmington, North Carolina PPAI 671308, D1 Q A Distributor Asks: I have a large client that orders a bulk order and then has them drop-shipped to their remote employees in residential areas. Drop-ship fees have skyrocketed. How can I gently break the news to my client? Regardless of whether it was food or a little water bottle or even a small keychain, I would ask them what the total budget is per person, including shipping. Typically, this brings you back down to about an $8 item and then maybe a $15 ship charge. I’m sure they will understand. And think of how much money it will save without them having to ship everything themselves. KAREN HERZOG President Adco Marketing Larkspur, California PPAI 217279, D5 Don’t just sell products. Build relationships with your clients. —Kevin Hubbard I’ve made several four- plus hour road trips because that was the only way to meet the in- hands date. —Bryant Wilson PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 31

Pretty Vectors / Shutterstock.com Voices | Responsibility An Existential Threat Themovement to fight climate change is leading to newpractices for virtually every industry. Here are seven ways to reduce waste, protecting the planet and your business. by Anne Stone, MAS, CAE WE ARE ALL AWARE OF negative articles focused on our industry and the perception that promo is wasteful. The three Rs of recycling (reduce, reuse, recycle) have been updated to the 5 Rs – refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle. It is the first R, refuse, that I believe presents an existential threat to our industry. PPAI firmly believes that done right, promo is an essential element of every company’s brand. We have made sustainability a key component of our strategic plan and are committed as an association to learn, do and teach. We will learn what we must do to be more sustainable, put it into practice internally and then share best practices with the industry. I take comfort in knowing the promotional products industry is not alone in its journey toward a more sustainable future but am taken aback by how little progress is being made on a global scale. Do you know that only 40% of waste in the United States is recycled, composted or processed through methods not involving landfilling or incineration? There are over 3,000 active landfills in the United States and another 10,000 landfills that are no longer operational. Landfills, which establish the third largest humancaused source of methane, account for 11% of global methane emissions. Besides landfills, much of the waste goes into the ocean. Eight million tons of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans every year. That is the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck into the ocean every minute. Diversion methods provide solutions to the waste problem, but not without presenting their challenges. Much of the problem stems from our linear economy that entails taking, making, consuming and disposing of resources. Ideally, we can evolve to a circular economy that invests in technologies related to material science product design, recycling and manufacturing that leads to zero waste, “closed loop” systems in which resources are not wasted. Another description of this model prioritizes products that are “made to be made again.” There are a variety of environmental, health and social problems relating to air and water pollution, soil contamination, habitat destruction and human rights concerns caused by the most popular methods for discarding waste in the U.S. and globally. Promotional products companies and their clients are also demanding solutions to the myriad problems associated with waste. As Seth Godin stated in The Climate Almanac, systemic 34 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Responsibility | Voices problems demand systemic solutions. Collectively, this is our opportunity to start thinking about promo differently. So, what can we do? • Examine your product line/product selection. There may be opportunities to provide more sustainable products and highlight them to your customers. Reduce the number of single-use items you offer and focus on products that may not be sustainable but will be kept and used for years to come, avoiding the landfills. • Use sustainable packaging. Use packaging that is both recycled and recyclable. Eliminate excessive packaging to minimize the product’s footprint. • Switch to eco-responsible shipping methods and use the lightest possible packaging. • Provide end-oflife solutions to consumers. Consider introducing take-back programs that will allow your customers to return the products to you for reuse or recycling. • Educate your clients. Tell the story about your products and how careful promo selection can elevate the client’s image. • Build a dedicated Green Team to review your internal programs and environmental footprint. Implement an internal waste management program and start working toward publishing your own sustainability score. • Examine your claims. Greenwashing is dangerous business. Avoid making wild claims. It is essential that you back your claims with data. Finally, do not allow perfection to be the enemy of progress. The simple, first steps can be the most important in starting this journey. Stone is the director of member engagement at PPAI. PPAI firmly believes that done right, promo is an essential element of every company’s brand. PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC: 101273 Made & Printed in the USA Quick Turn Arounds Low Minimums www.americanaccents.com | 888.287.7883 Scan for pricing! •Made from renewable resources •White high-density pulpboard •170+ stock shapes available •Custom shapes available •Available in 35/55/80 pt thicknesses •Full color digital imprint 50 piece minimums! PULPBOARD COASTERS PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 35

Voices | Innovation Make Better Decisions The keys are knowing when to listen to your gut and how to use data. by Dale Denham, MAS+ GUT. FEEL. INSTINCT. INTUITION. Whatever term you use, this sense of what must be right, along with your hard work, has likely been a key to your success. Many outstanding entrepreneurs make things happen regardless of whether they leverage data in their decision-making. Jim Barksdale, the former Netscape CEO, once said, “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” In truth, very few entrepreneurs start out with access to data; rather, they have a great idea and commitment to making a vision work. Some continue to let intuition drive their success. They refuse to fail, even forcing round pegs into square holes via the sheer will of their leadership. It doesn’t always have to be that hard. A data-driven culture doesn’t mean the data makes the decisions; your instinct continues to play a very important role. Decisions come from the analysis of data (leveraging your instinct), which leads to a recommendation based on the analysis. Even with the best data, it is possible to misinterpret signals, which often happens to artificial intelligence programs that lack human oversight. AI can outperform humans at many tasks, but it takes a tremendous amount of human input for AI to reach a 36 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Innovation | Voices level where it can operate better than data combined with human input. AI tools can be a part of a data-driven culture, but there are significant problems in trying to use AI alone (not to mention the cost of AI). Human interpretation often overrides AI and is essential to proper datadriven decisions. You don’t need AI to create a data-driven culture. You need to have a commitment to data. Start with the data you have and, especially early, don’t let use of data stifle creativity or entrepreneurial drive; data can enhance both. Many leaders will ignore data when confronted with evidence contradicting their instinct. If the data conflicts with your instinct, do not ignore the data. Explore the reasons for the conflict and you’ll improve your decision regardless of the path you choose, and you might even find you need to improve your data collection. Document what the expected outcome would be if you followed the data as compared to following your intuition. Hold yourself and your team accountable by analyzing the expected outcome versus reality and whether incorporating more insights from data would have produced a better outcome. Data-driven decisions will outperform instinct-only decisions, but they will still not be perfect. While no amount of data guarantees the right decisions will be made, the more data you collect and leverage, the better your decisions will be. People often avoid embarking on a datadriven culture because they don’t know where to start or feel it is too difficult to get meaningful data. You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. In fact, you should start small. Data-driven decisions will outperform instinct-only decisions, but they will still not be perfect. PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC: 101273 888.287.7883 www.americanaccents.com Scan for more info! Made & Printed in the USA Quick Turn Arounds Low Minimums 50 PIECE MINIMUMS! BEVERAGE WRAPS • Digitally Printed with 4-Color Process • Available in white or kraft • Wraps available to fit 8/9 oz & 12-24 oz cups • Printed & shipped preassembled PPAI • JANUARY 2023 • 37

Voices | Innovation Here’s how: 1. Set measurable goals and measure progress. It’s OK to start with whatever is available now and iterate. 2. Review important analytics weekly or monthly at meetings. These include: a. Website analytics. b. Data from your CRM. c. Sales and profitability reports. 3. Survey employees and customers. Let results challenge your instinct. Data should guard against your biases. 4. Document and measure expected outcomes versus reality. 5. Present data in an easy-to-understand format. As you continually share and maybe even require data in most or all team discussions, you will be building a data-driven culture while at the same time building access to more data. You will likely be impressed how discussions get enhanced when you require data to at least be considered. Each success will inspire future improvements as people seek to leverage data. Tie every decision back to data, even if you have very little to go on. Data-driven cultures encourage critical thinking and curiosity. Data-driven cultures can still be highly entrepreneurial and highly agile. And the more you leverage data, the more agile you can be as people learn from each experience. Denham is the president and CEO at PPAI. www.antwerpdiamondsincentives.com 38 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI

Lithiumphoto / Shutterstock.com Voices | Your Business After The PPAI Expo You’ve spent months gearing up for themost important trade show in the industry. Now howdo you keepmomentum fromyour wins in Las Vegas? by Lindsey Davis, MAS DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK THIS WAY? Like an extension of the holiday season, The PPAI Expo has always been a marker on my calendar that signals the end of one year and the start of another. It’s an opportunity to relish time with friends, enjoy a little too much amazing food (and drink) and a reason to put off starting the goals I’ve been mulling over for one more week. So, now that it really feels like 2023, what should you do next, after The PPAI Expo, to make sure you capitalize on the business opportunities you discovered and set the stage for a year of growth? Read Your Notes Take some time to read through your notes from education sessions and meetings. You wrote down some great ideas, but if you never crack that magic notebook open, they are lost. 40 • JANUARY 2023 • PPAI