Exclusive Meeting Events (PPAI 532363) has brought on industry veteran Eric Johnson, MAS, as its director of distributor development.

A New Role

Johnson joined the Tampa-area business service provider to work with distributor salespeople to understand their opportunities and goals and help them build their businesses via one-on-one suite room meetings.

“In this position, I will be able to learn what distributors are doing and how EME can help them achieve even greater success,” Johnson says. “Since I won’t be focused on one product line or one company, I can give distributors a broader and higher-level vantage point on the industry and how learning about all the presenters at the event can help them build their businesses. It is going to be exciting having these new conversations and being of service in a new way.”

Industry Background

Johnson’s background includes 29 years at supplier Halls & Company (PPAI 111778, S6) as a second-generation owner along with his sisters and other family members. Beginning in sales, he was promoted to vice president of sales and development, where he was responsible for all sales functions, including trade shows, customer relationships, marketing plans and budgets.

Additionally, Johnson worked with customer service in day-to-day operations and training, where he built relationships with customers. He was also involved in many aspects of production and process improvement decision-making. At the end of 2021, Halls & Company sold the business to the third generation of ownership, giving Johnson an opportunity to start a new chapter in his career.

Johnson is an active volunteer both in and outside the promotional products industry.

  • He has served on the boards of the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals and the Arizona Promotional Products Association regional associations, rising to board president at UMAPP and being named Volunteer of the Year by AzPPA.
  • He has volunteered on PPAI’s education, suppliers, professional development and leadership advisory committees and served on various PPAI task forces.
  • He has served on the Champlin, Minnesota Planning Commission for four years and has been elected to the Champlin City Council three times.

EME’s Perspective

“Eric has been part of the EME family for more than a decade as a participating supplier, and he has been an integral part of our success throughout the years as we continued to grow and develop new areas in our events,” says Lauren Fox, EME vice president. “By understanding the EME culture and being an active participant for 10 years, he has experienced first-hand the power of EME, the quality of our audience and the success stories we achieve.

“He understands EME’s strengths, from the strict distributor attendee vetting process to supplier ROI success. Eric has tremendous industry knowledge and understanding. He has been my first sounding board to discuss what new avenues EME could pursue. As director of distributor development, Eric can move EME forward with technology advancements, social media and other platforms not currently used.”