2014 Vegas PPAI Expo
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2014 Vegas PPAI Expo

For the last 2 years, I have been fortunate enough to get to attend our industries largest trade show in fabulous Las Vegas!  Basically, what this show covers is anything in our industry you could ever want to be exposed to.  It’s 4.5 days long and you can attend as much or as little as you choose.  The first 2 days are “education” days and the last 2.5 days are tradeshow days.  That may seem like a lot, but I think the trade show floor itself is like 12-14 miles of walking or something crazy like that, so 2.5 days of walking is barely enough!

Now, based on the run down of what it’s all about – here is my top ten list of PPAI Vegas 2014!

  1. Lasering apparel.  This has been around for awhile, but is really starting to become something easy to achieve.  It is a really cool process for a subtle look and is great to use for more retail looking piece of apparel.  There was education about it this year as well as new suppliers who are offering it in their book of services.
  2. Vegas Buffets.  We went to one this year and man, oh man.  Pregnant foodie heaven.
  3. Technology Items.  Our industry is taking an amazing turn into the technology world.  From Bluetooth, to mobile charging, to apps, we really can get our hands on pretty much every end of the spectrum of techie nerd items.
  4. COLOR!  One of my favorite suppliers had the color of 2014 as radiant orchid.  Gorgeous.  Most of our suppliers are getting away from just having the blue, black, red, white, silver options in their products.  There are neon’s, jewel tones, and pastels everywhere you look!
  5. Being in Vegas Pregnant.  THAT was an experience in itself.  You are so much more aware of things you don’t want to be aware of when you haven’t had a beer or glass of wine to numb your senses a little bit.
  6. Education on the Age Gap. Listening to a speaker talk about how his 8-year-old grand daughter was really confused when he was talking about a busy signal because she’d never heard one.  SO weird.  I’m old I guess.
  7. Food Gift Booths.  One of the categories of things I think a lot of people forget that we can do is food gifts.  One of the things that is awesome about suppliers who offer food gifts is that they want you to taste their food gifts.  So. Many. Yummy. Chocolates.
  8. Hanging with the Co-Workers OUTSIDE of Work.  I feel super blessed to have some of the coolest co-workers on the planet.  It’s always fun to get out of work mode a bit and just relax and chat about things other than pens, t-shirts and award programs.
  9. Touching and Feeling.  (Keep reading, it will get less weird sounding.)  In this industry, we have endless options of products to get our hands on.  You develop your go-to favorites, but still never get the opportunity to get your hands on their entire product line.  It’s awesome to go through booths and see stuff that looks super dumb online and once you hold it, totally get it and visa versa.
  10. Planning for 2015.  With any good fortune, I will get to attend this show again in 2015.  I expect it will be another completely different experience.  But, each year I attend I get a better idea of where I get the most inspiration and what I find the most useful.

So, that’s a run down of my Vegas experience!  If you want more info on anything I touched on above or some specific examples of new products, shoot me an email and I will fill your head with all sorts of knowledge.

– Shannon Kirby

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