The day has finally arrived.

At 9:30 a.m., the trade floor will open at The PPAI Expo 2024, the largest and longest-running trade show in the promotional products industry.

Attendees are in for an exhilarating experience, combining inspiration and invaluable connections that await those who fully engage with the event, according to Dale Denham, MAS+, PPAI president and CEO.

“Beyond being the hub for an unmatched array of new products – providing an immersive experience crucial for meeting client needs throughout the year – The PPAI Expo 2024 holds immeasurable value in direct interactions and discussions,” Denham says.

“While the educational offerings during The PPAI Expo Conference have been pivotal in transforming some attendees’ success stories, the true essence of The PPAI Expo lies in the effort one invests throughout the week. Those who reap the most substantial rewards are those who plunge into every discussion and networking opportunity, engaging deeply with members on the show floor, as well as at the events after the show floor closes.”

By The Numbers

The PPAI Expo 2024 trade floor, which covers roughly 1 million square feet in scope, will have more than 2,500 booths and nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies, up from 900 exhibitors last year.

Nearly all 50 suppliers (94%) in the inaugural PPAI 100 will be present and exhibiting on the trade floor at The PPAI Expo 2024. Meanwhile, 90% of the PPAI 100 distributors will also be in attendance, eager to connect with industry peers and establish new business relationships.

  • If last year’s event is any indication, there will be more than 350,000 products available at The PPAI Expo 2024. If you’re looking for the latest in sustainable, made-in-the-USA or first-time exhibitor products, you’ll find them all in one place at the Product Pavilions.

More than 10,000 distributors are also expected to attend the four-day event.

“As the largest exposition of its kind in the world, The PPAI Expo is the center of the promotional universe,” says Kevin Walsh, CAS, current board chair for PPAI and president of Showdown Displays. “A venue and event that is unparalleled in scale while also delivering so much more than just a show – it’s an experience. It’s the absolute ‘can’t miss’ event for industry networking, education, recognition, celebration and fun.”

The Power Of The PPAI Expo

The significance of The PPAI Expo extends far beyond its show floor and educational aspects.

While those elements are crucial, Denham says, it’s the depth of connections fostered both within and beyond the event that truly elevates its importance.

“Attending isn’t just about transactions,” Denham says. “It’s about cultivating relationships that endure long after The PPAI Expo concludes. Countless success stories stem from chance encounters at the Expo, where a single connection forged has rippled into substantial financial gains, sometimes reaching into the six figures.”

However, Denham is quick to mention that attending The PPAI Expo isn’t solely about immediate financial reward. 

“Each interaction holds intrinsic value,” he adds. “The PPAI Expo ensures that decision-makers – the linchpins of valuable connections – are present, fostering opportunities that may address challenges or unearth innovative solutions. For distributors, beyond seeing new and trusted products, The PPAI Expo is where you gain an in-depth understanding of these offerings by engaging directly with exhibitors.”

Networking Opportunities

In addition to the thousands of exhibits, The PPAI Expo 2024 trade show floor will host plenty of networking opportunities.

Promo & Pints – a beer garden located on the show floor – is the ideal location to meet with clients and network with colleagues. Seating is available anytime the show floor is open, and beer and wine will be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to show close.

Promo & Pints will host the Diversity Networking Event on Tuesday, January 16, from 3-4 p.m., bringing together members of the PPAI DEI task force, as well as diverse suppliers and distributors to build connections to help further supplier diversity, DEI and corporate social responsibility in the industry. 

Immediately following that event will be the annual Women’s Leadership Conference Social, an offshoot of the popular PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference.

And then on Wednesday, January 17, from 4-5 p.m., the Technology Leaders Networking Event will take place at Promo & Pints. It’s an opportunity for like-minded promo industry IT professionals, decision-makers and executives who are leading their organizations’ technological health to mingle and discuss the issues relevant to the promo field.

  • PPAI also produces content throughout Expo week, including live interviews with industry experts, compelling TED Talk-style presentations by leading professionals and more.
  • The content airs in multiple locations on-site and is brought to you from the Expo Live studio located right in the middle of the action.

Surprises And Delights

Of course, you never know what kinds of surprises you’ll find at The PPAI Expo.

This year, there will be pop-ups, such as lattes, bagels and ice pops, sprinkled throughout the show floor.

  • SAGE Mobile, the official show planner for The PPAI Expo, will send notifications to let you know the locations and times of the pop-ups.

Also, this year is the debut of PPAI Recharge – a lounge on the show floor where you can pause, power up and unwind.

Indeed, The PPAI Expo is a catalyst, fueling participants with energy and equipping them with the tools, connections and opportunities to craft their most successful year yet.

“The Expo isn’t merely an event,” Denham says. “It’s the chance to experience professional growth and create connections that continue long after the curtains close.”