PPAI Magazine March 2023

PPAI Expo 2023 | Must Read Bright and early on the second Monday morning of January, a quick glance at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center hallway offered proof that The PPAI Expo had returned to its dynamic pre-pandemic form. Just off the Las Vegas Strip, attendees flooded into the massive convention center for The PPAI Expo Conference, a day-long slate of education and networking before the show floor opened Tuesday, January 10. Over the next three days, the promotional products industry’s largest and longest-running trade show delivered like only it can – with unmatched energy and opportunities for members to enhance their businesses. “We sent the largest contingent of people from our company ever, and the feedback from all team members – veteran Expo attendees and first-timers – was all extremely positive,” says Mark Graham, president and chief brand officer at Toronto-based industry service provider commonsku. “The industry is ready for great things in 2023 and beyond!” The PPAI Expo 2023 marked the event’s 20th anniversary in Las Vegas. It also represented a resounding return to normalcy after a tumultuous three years for promo. Last year, The PPAI Expo featured scaled-back attendance due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but this year, over 15,000 total industry professionals (including more than 10,000 distributors) traveled to Vegas from 40 countries to browse over 350,000 products. Attendees strolled through 230,000 square feet of booth space inside the convention center, complete with pop-up experiences, the Expo Live interview booth and the always-popular Beer Garden for relaxation, networking or both. “As a past PPAI Board volunteer and longterm member, I absolutely loved experiencing Outgoing PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds, MAS+, takes the stage for opening remarks to kick off The PPAI Expo Conference. 900 Exhibitor Companies The Pop-Up Latte Station sponsored by NC Custom (PPAI 111662, S7) was a hit. PPAI • MARCH 2023 • 55