Expo East Brings New, Stimulating Education Opportunities To Atlantic City

Expo East is coming to the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on June 3-5. Produced by PPAI® in partnership with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), Expo East is the Northeast’s largest promotional products trade show and will feature a day of professional development and education sessions, followed by two days of PPAI’s award-winning show production featuring more than 300 exhibitors from across the country.

The education programming at Expo East will feature 30 free sessions touching on almost every aspect of the promotional products industry, and this year includes panel discussions, show floor education and an open forum to learn more about where the industry is headed.

New for 2019, Expo East is featuring two author book signings. Community activist and corporate coach Lena Cohen is taking part in her first Expo East and will be signing her book EQ And You on Monday after her session from 2:15 – 2:45 pm in the third-floor foyer. Her session and book are about emotional intelligence in the workplace. Diane Ciotta, corporate trainer, will be speaking about the sales process on the show floor stage on Tuesday afternoon, but on Monday from 5:15 – 5:45 pm, she will be signing her book Shut-up & Sell on active listening in the sales process.

Other highlights of the Expo East 2019 education program include:

Connections Corner, back again by popular demand, will be held Monday in the third-floor foyer. These roundtable discussions explore website design, incentive and recognition programs, video marketing and more.

The last one of the day, held 3:30 – 4 p., will feature Boad Chair Brittany David, MAS, and Immediate Past-Chair Dale Denham, MAS+, for a Q&A on strategic foresight, where the industry is headed and anything members want you to know from the PPAI board’s perspective. 

Expo East is bringing education to the show floor again on Tuesday. Along with Ciotta’s session, the show floor stage will feature sessions with corporate trainers Johnny Campbell and Vince DiCecco, and industry expert Cliff Quicksell, Jr., MAS+.

• On Monday morning, eight PPAI staff members will give attendees the ultimate tour of Association membership.

Julie Kwan, PPAI manager of diversity and learning engagement, is presenting two sessions on diversity and inclusion on Monday: Hire Right With Behavior-Based Interviewing and Embrace Diversity To Grow Your Business.

For more details on what’s in store at Expo East, visit expoeast.ppai.org.


PPAI Awarded SAAC’s Regional Association Management Contract

In February, PPAI and the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) announced that they had entered into an agreement for PPAI to provide the regional association with management services. SAAC will continue to work under the stewardship of its board of directors and will maintain autonomy and a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit status as a professional trade association. A dedicated PPAI representative, Account Executive Jennifer Bingham, will serve as SAAC’s executive director and will be supported by additional staff resources.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with PPAI as our chosen association management company,” says SAAC Board President Rhett Todd. “The level of support PPAI will provide is much more robust than that of a standard association management company. They are on the forefront of legislative and regulatory matters, and we believe working together in California will not only be beneficial for SAAC members but will ultimately help pioneer initiatives that will positively affect the industry at large.”

Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO, adds, “PPAI is committed to investing resources and time to serve the promotional product industry at every level, specifically the regional community. We continue to explore ways to support the unique culture of each regional association and their members. The opportunity to serve SAAC as an association manager and a partner, in many ways, is no doubt unprecedented in our industry. I believe it is an exciting time to bring more opportunities to both SAAC and PPAI members in the region.”

PPAI and SAAC operate under separate missions designed to serve the promotional products industry at the international and regional levels, respectively. This shared vision and natural alignment strengthens the presence of SAAC in the region, while creating more opportunities for SAAC and PPAI members.

“This is a tremendous win for both SAAC and PPAI,” says Bill Petrie, Regional Association Council (RAC) board president. “PPAI has been both communicative to and transparent with the RAC board during the evolution of this agreement and we are thrilled about the possibilities it holds. PPAI has long been supportive of the regional community and the fact that they’ve been chosen to serve as the association management company for SAAC only serves to underscore that commitment.”


PPAI Welcomes Jennifer Bingham As Account Executive

In February, Jennifer Bingham joined PPAI to serve on the Association’s regional relations team as executive director for SAAC in PPAI’s new management agreement with the regional association. Bingham brings a background in event management and a history in the promotional products industry to her new role.

PPB spoke with Bingham to learn more about this newest member of the Association’s staff.

PPB What was your professional history prior to joining the association?

Jennifer Bingham: I spent five years working for event management organizations in a variety of different capacities. I had the opportunity to travel internationally for a number of programs and oversee events affiliated with two Super Bowls, while also gaining experience in digital marketing. I was introduced to the promotional products industry when I took the event and tradeshow manager position with SAGE. I’m grateful that my time with SAGE allowed me to gain insight into so many different aspects of the industry. My role enabled me to work closely with several regional associations, suppliers, distributors and multi-line reps, while also collaborating internally with every department. And most recently, to keep life interesting, my husband and I moved to Oklahoma for two years where we bought into the family RV business.

Bingham: The new partnership between PPAI and SAAC is one that I genuinely believe will bring numerous benefits to members of both organizations. When I learned of this opportunity, I knew with absolute certainty that this would be the perfect fit. It will allow me to use my previous experiences, knowledge and love of a challenge to optimize this unprecedented venture.

PPB What are your initial objectives for the position?

Bingham: We’re hitting the ground running! In addition to getting acquainted to the new SAAC board and the discovery process of coming on as their new association management company, my goal is to find efficient ways to leverage PPAI’s resources and team of 80 in a way that best benefits both organizations.

PPB Outside of PPAI, what are your interests?

Bingham: My husband and I have two young children, Emily, four, and Brooks, one, and we love time spent with them. Weekends, whether hot or cold, typically involve something going on the grill and time with friends and family. Come football season, we can usually be found in Stillwater, Oklahoma, cheering on our [Oklahoma State University] Cowboys.


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.