(Editor’s Note: Registration is open for The PPAI Expo 2023. Education sessions kick off with The PPAI Expo Conference on Monday, January 9. Exhibits are open January 10-12.)

It would not be hyperbolic to say that the promotional products industry’s year begins with The PPAI Expo.

Held every January – coming up on its 20th year in Las Vegas and at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center – the longest-running and largest promo trade show is a burst of energy and excitement that propels the industry forward throughout the year. Registration is now open.

The thrill and inspiration are always there, but The PPAI Expo 2023 will further perfect what it offers the industry. And much like Las Vegas itself, it has several new features, services and programs to level up attendees’ show experience.

First Movers Advantage

The PPAI Expo brings tremendous value to those who attend, and those who act quickly can do so for free. PPAI member distributors who register before December 4 pay nothing and have full access to the exhibit hall and conference. The fee for PPAI members who register after December 4 is $49 per person. The fees were first introduced in 2020 and waived at The PPAI Expo 2022.

Qualified non-member distributors may access the exhibits and conference for $99 per person if they register by December 4 and $149 per person if they do so after that date. Members of industry regional associations but not PPAI can receive a code from their regional for half-off the non-member rates.

Suppliers and business services providers who are members but not exhibiting will be charged $500 for access to the exhibit hall, but may attend the PPAI Expo Conference for no additional cost. Non-member, non-exhibiting suppliers are not permitted to attend The PPAI Expo.

Best Foot Forward

Attendees of The PPAI Expo will find Mandalay Bay in the first steps of a $100 million renovation process of its convention space when they arrive in January. While the full project will complete in late 2024, several new aspects of the makeover will be in place by The PPAI Expo 2023.

The hotel and convention center’s investment will ultimately include contemporary meeting spaces, significant upgrades to the facility’s technology and dynamic digital signage.

Guests at The PPAI Expo will notice dramatic upgrades to the main level lobby space. It’s an important part of the show experience, as everyone makes their way through it towards the exhibit hall, education sessions and meetings.

Reflecting Mandalay Bay’s tropics-inspired brand, the remodeled lobby will be brighter and more vibrant. Guests will be able to visit lobby sponsors, view special product displays, partake in pop-up experiences, ask questions at the main information booth and visit the on-site PANTONE store.

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Find Your People

The PPAI Expo is about connections – connections between suppliers and distributors, connections between industry peers and connections with friends and colleagues. PPAI has planned several opportunities for groups within the promo industry to network on the show floor.

On Tuesday, January 10 from 4-5 pm, the annual Women’s Leadership Conference Social – an offshoot of the popular PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference – brings together women working in the promotional products industry. It will be held in the Beer Garden on the show floor, with a cash bar available. Interested guests can add the free-to-attend event while registering for The PPAI Expo.

The industry’s young professionals and its next generation of leaders are invited to join the SPARK Networking Reception on Wednesday, January 11. It will be held from 3-4 pm in the Beer Garden on the show floor. A cash bar is available and interested guests can add the free-to-attend event while registering for The PPAI Expo.

The Technology Leaders Networking Event is 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. It will be held Wednesday, January 11, from 4-5 pm in the Beer Garden on the show floor. There will be a cash bar and sign-up is available during registration for The PPAI Expo.

The Fresh And Fun

Las Vegas is a constantly evolving place. There is always something new that’s just opened or on the horizon. Attendees at the PPAI Expo 2023 will enjoy the show’s fresh features and get a first look at exciting destinations in the city.

Located just off The Strip, Area 15 is an entertainment complex based around several immersive installations. These include Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, Wink World: Portals Into the Infinite, Museum Fiasco and O’KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers, among others. The venue features innovative restaurants, dessert spots and bars as well.

Looking for more traditional fun? Across Las Vegas Boulevard, catty-cornered from Mandalay Bay, is the new, 25,000-square-foot Pinball Hall of Fame. Just over a year old, the museum is the place for pinball enthusiasts, gamers and fans of the eclectic to take in the world’s largest collection of pinball machines and drop a few quarters playing games spanning decades of the art.

Vegas doesn’t sit still. Attendees at The PPAI Expo 2023 will see signs of several exciting developments coming to the city in 2023. Most visible is the MSG Sphere – soon to be the largest spherical structure in the world at 336 feet tall and 516 feet wide – an innovative entertainment venue featuring a 580,000-square-foot exterior LED display. The $1.8 billion facility is set to open later in the year with U2 as its inaugural performers.

Also, 2023 is the year Formula 1 returns to Las Vegas for the first time since 1984. Scheduled for November 18 and running along the Strip in a historic night race, visitors may catch the four-story, 300,000-square-foot paddock building under construction.

The After Party

Along with its trade show, education and networking, The PPAI Expo is a chance to have some fun. And nothing is more fun than PROMOPALOOZA Live from Allegiant Stadium. Hosted by PPAI and SAGE, PROMOPALOOZA is The PPAI Expo’s premier opportunity to let your hair down, visit with friends and explore one of the country’s newest stadiums.

Last year, its first year at Allegiant Stadium, PROMOPALOOZA attracted more than 1,000 attendees. Partygoers enjoyed networking, drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres at the stadium, which had opened its doors for pro football and major events in 2020.

In 2022, revelers got access to the playing field and locker room, enjoyed entertainment from a live DJ and took home souvenirs in the form of hand-rolled logoed cigars. New surprises are in store for 2023.

PROMOPALOOZA Live from Allegiant Stadium will be held Wednesday, January 11 from 6:30-10:00 pm. Tickets are $75 each through January 6. The price increases to $125 each on site.

Surviving Vegas

The PPAI Expo is a marathon, not a sprint. Between the industry-leading trade show floor, extensive education opportunities, numerous chances to network and *gestures broadly at Las Vegas* all of this, show attendees can use some self-care.

Your hotel room can be your own private oasis at the end of a long day walking The PPAI Expo. Through MGM Resorts’ Stay Well program, guests can book special rooms with features and programs that support health and well-being.

  • At The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and the Delano, book a Stay Well room with a chlorine-reducing shower infuser, an air purification system and special, UV light-based cleaning protocols.
  • Guests staying at Luxor can take advantage of its Fresh by Stay Well rooms. These feature the shower infuser, air purification system and special cleaning protocols, along with a calming aromatherapy component.

If recovery calls for some hands-on attention, all of the hotels supporting The PPAI Expo with special room rates for attendees – Delano, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur and Four Seasons – feature spa and fitness facilities. Soak in a hot tub, power down in a steam room, work the kinks out with a massage or just enjoy one of the skin, nail or other treatments these facilities offer.

Need more than a hot stone massage or a mud bath? Call in the big guns. Vegas being Vegas, recovery can come in the form of an in- room IV treatment administered by a registered nurse. Beginning at $200 for a hydration IV, Mobile IV Medics’ customizable service can provide hangover relief and immune system support, as well as cold, flu and food poisoning remedies, among other options.

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