Last week was the big PPAI (Promotional Products International Association) annual trade show in Las Vegas and boy was I dreading it. I haven’t been in five years and it’s a really huge, monster of a show. Chachkees, hats, and polo shirts as far as the eye can see. I mean, let’s be honest—have there really been such huge strides in the manufacturing of the polo shirt and pen that I need to spend several days in Las Vegas away from my family touching, feeling and talking about them?  Of course not.

As it had been so long since my last attendance, I felt obligated to go. Also, having recently joined a new company, it was actually somewhat important that I attend as it would be my one and only opportunity to meet my new colleagues many of which lived in various parts of the country. So that was the end of that debate. Off I went. And boy was I glad I did.

It didn’t take long for me to remember the actual point of attending the industry trade show: Connecting and reconnecting with PEOPLE. A reminder that as much as the internet has rocked our world (and in many cases, not for the better), we are in a people business. Our products are designed for people. Our buyers are people. Our manufacturers are people. Trade shows are about PEOPLE. Something my Google maps or Starbucks finder will ever be able to take the place of.

Tradeshows represent an endless array of possibilities that are easy to forget when staring into the face of them. Things like seeing suppliers you never get to see. Like my buddy Dave who I haven’t talked to in years. (This is quite typical of what can happen.) We shoot the shit for a few minutes and he says some random thing that will remind me of what he does and why we’ve done so much business together. That comment or notion will trigger something in me to call a handful of people who I think might benefit from what Dave is selling. And so on and so forth. And suddenly, the trip has paid off. In that instant, it’s been a catalyst for some very well needed inspiration.

It’s running into friendly competitors and checking in. Learning about how everyone else is fairing. Celebrating. commiserating. Whatever.

For me, there was another very important element where this show was concerned; the rare opportunity to meet my new co-workers. Several months ago I joined PromoShop, the premiere agency when it comes to sales of promotional and marketing products and services. Thanks to a great company lunch meeting, I was given the chance to learn more about how I made this decision and more importantly, why we are so successful.

If you don’t know, PromoShop is so much more than just another “your logo on anything” company. We are truly a marketing agency with so much more to offer. This company has a creative and art department that would rival any Madison Avenue ad agency. To add fuel to the fire, our service is unparalleled. In the end it’s all about giving the customer the best possible service experience they’re ever had. PromoShop represents the best of the best and it’s a thrill to be a part of their team. If there is such a thing, they are the Yankees of the industry.

So if you ever need anything; whether it’s two dozen hats with your logo or a full-blown, nationwide, point of purchase marketing program, call me, e-mail me or tweet me. Exploit my near twenty years of experience and the machine that is PromoShop.

Beyond all that, I did see some really cool polo shirts.

Twitter: @CustomMerchGuru
Cell: (818) 535-6293



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