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PPAI Expo 2014 Marks 5-Year High in Attendee and Exhibitor Numbers
The PPAI Expo, the 53rd-largest trade show in the U.S. (Trade Show Executive Gold 100, 2012), held January 13-17, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, generated growth in both attendee and exhibitor participation. At a million square feet of exhibition and education space, The PPAI Expo is the largest single gathering of suppliers, decorators, technology providers and distributors in the industry dedicated to showcasing new, green and Made in America products, decorating technology, motivational strategies, professional development and leadership and global access to the promotional products marketplace.

The PPAI Expo attracted a five-year high of nearly 11,500 attendees from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 34 countries, representing the fourth consecutive year of growth. Professional development and education session attendance also experienced significant increases. In fact, Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh's general session had one of the largest crowds ever measured with an overflow attendance of more than double the previous year.

"The PPAI Expo is widely recognized as the premier event in the promotional products industry," says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. "More than just the industry's largest, longest running and most successful trade show, it is the annual convention where tens of thousands of industry professionals come for professional development, volunteer leadership, networking, product sourcing, market growing and relationship building. The 2014 Expo met the mark and delivered an exceptional experience. Attendees and exhibitors displayed an enthusiasm and optimism that I believe will propel our industry forward in 2014."

"The PPAI Expo 2014 was the best in the last five years," said Darel Cook, PPAI's director of exhibitions. "With overall attendance up, standing-room only sessions, the most highly attended PPAI and SAGE Power Of Two party and the strong energy and buzz generated by the attendees, it was a great way to kick off the year."

This year, significant growth was generated through an increase in promotional products suppliers, decorators and distributors, as well as the co-location of the Recognition Professionals International conference with PPAI's brand. pavilion, a showcase of innovative products from well-known brands and newcomers alike. With the additional growth, exhibit and education space totaled more than 1,100,000 square feet, more than 1,400 exhibiting companies in more than 3,250 booths.

The business- and community-building focus of The PPAI Expo was punctuated by Tony Hsieh's keynote address where he explained the Zappos model of creating community, co-learning and collisions. The Zappos model is based on a commitment to accelerate collisions between co-workers and their communities through organic growth generated as a result of strategic design, location and traffic flow-promoting interaction, collaboration and commerce. Based on the Zappos.com creating "collisionable" hours formula, The PPAI Expo week generated more than 800,000 collisions in over a million square feet at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The general session and keynote line-up also included remarks from The Mark of a Leader's CEO & Chief Storyteller Doug Keeley; Valorie Burton discussed how to be better, not bitter; and Mark Graham of RIGHTSLEEVE and Bobby Lehew of Robyn Promotions walked the audience through the three important models to consider in business and how to market a business to not merely survive turbulent times but to stay alive and thrive.

As the promotional products industry's leading professional development and advocacy organization, PPAI launched 'Product Safety Aware', a program designed to enhance an industry-wide commitment and culture where companies are not only aware of product safety but are leading the discussion at every level in the promotional products channel.

More than 120 professional development and certification sessions drew standing-room-only attendance to education tracks highlighting business management, product responsibility, marketing, sales and service and technology.

During The PPAI Expo, PPAI awards and recognition events honored the most progressive, cutting-edge advancements, accomplishments, milestones, innovations and campaigns in the promotional products industry:

* The PPAI Awards Presentation and Reception recognized more than 160 companies and individuals with Suppliers Achievement, Pyramid, Image, Technology and Supplier Star awards.

* The PPAI Chairman's Leadership Dinner recognized, Don Lafferre as the 2014 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Schenker, MAS, as the recipient of the 2014 PPAI Distinguished Service Award and Peter Geiger as the recipient of the 2014 H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award.

The PPAI Expo 2015 will be held Sunday through Thursday, January 11-15, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas; the SAGE Show will take place, April 23-25, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas and Expo East will be held May 19-21, 2014, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The events attract 16,000 attendees and participants from all 50 states and countries from around the world and the events showcase the latest products, services, innovations, trends and insights and professional development and more business-building opportunities than any other industry events. For more information, visit The PPAI Expo, SAGE Show and EXPO East websites.

About PPAI
Founded in 1903, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is the world's largest and oldest not-for-profit association for the $18.5 billion promotional products industry, which comprises 33,841 businesses, a workforce of 498,853 professionals and more than 10,600 corporate members. PPAI represents the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocates on its behalf. PPAI operates the industry's largest trade show, (The PPAI Expo is held each January); leading promotional products safety and compliance program, more than 50-year-old professional development and certification program; industry trade journals and periodicals; and is the developer of UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry's only free identification system and universal company database. The multi-billion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company's name, logo or message. For more information, visit www.PPAI.org.


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