Industry Tradeshow Wrap-up

18 Jan Posted by in Swag Projects | Comments
Industry Tradeshow Wrap-up

Last week, we flew off to Las Vegas to attend the largest industry show out there: The PPAI Expo! It’s a gathering of about 1,500 vendors/suppliers showcasing their lines and informing us, the distributors, of everything and anything new for 2011. Although I’m pretty hard to please, I go every year expecting to be blown away with something new that just knocks my socks off. I’m not sure I had that epic moment where I said THIS has to be my very first self-promo ever but, there were some pretty cool new things out there.

Here are a few of my findings:

  • Drinkware. Drinkware. Drinkware. I was a little disappointed to see so many suppliers selling the same stuff at so many different price points. The biggest offense: the popular acrylic tumbler w/ straw, for example, had one original supplier with a second one that picked up the line last year. Now, it seems like everyone has them and the prices range from $2.99 all the way up to $6.99. Sure, they come in many different color & style variations but, at this point, I think that it’s total overkill. I’ll stick with the main vendor I’ve been using since they debuted; they have them at a competitive price and have offered consistent service time and time again. Just a heads up, the one that is out there for as low as $2.99 is a similar model but definitely took some cut backs in the quality department.
  • Another huge trend seemed to be Post-It flags.  Everything from pens to miniature books and monitor strips that doubled as bookmarks were rocking the colorful flags. These seem to be so hot that some are even sold out already!
  • My favorite part of the show was definitely the use of glitter and holographics; just about everything was blinged out! There were tons of great tote bags, cosmetic bags and cooler totes featuring eye catching designs. Dare to be different? Try branding mugs with rhinestone rims; sparkly glitter-covered mini notebooks; shiny, glitter filled bouncy balls and lip balms with psychedelic labels. Sometimes, I wish I could put our logo on everything!

There were a few other mention-worthy sightings, as well. Something as simple as bottled water has gotten a complete upgrade this year: 3-D labels, chic bottle designs, colorful tops & an array of different imprint methods. ThinkGeek also made an appearance at thePPAIShow this year, showing off their line of quirky business gifts available with your logo, one being a keyboard shirt that you can actually play. Unique, sure, but the price points are a bit on the high side. I’m hoping they revamp with some cool new stuff that is a bit more budget-friendly.


In short, we have a million new catalogs coming in over the next few weeks and are delighted to write about them, post ’em and tweet ’em everyday to keep you informed. What am I up to? Well these days, my biggest challenge is deciding what products Swagmatic will order with our own logo on them!

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