PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, was recently in the Pacific Northwest, connecting with industry professionals in the region and attending a series of events hosted by the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA).

On August 28, Bellantone and NWPMA hosted a town hall at McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon, under the heading “Creating Success In An Era Of Transformation.” The next day, he and the regional association held a similar event at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The town halls proved popular with industry members—drawing 28 attendees in Portland and 31 in Seattle.

The town halls were part of NWPMA’s focus on adding value for its membership. Each session was worth one MAS credit; an added professional development opportunity alongside what the association offers at its shows and education webinars.

“Town halls allow us, in the Pacific Northwest, to hear what is happening in other regions,” says Patti Morisset, creative merchandise director at distributor Kaye Smith and NWPMA board president. “As the industry continues to evolve with consolidation of suppliers and distributors, we have to continually be ready to shift with the times in order to survive and continue to serve our clients. Paul’s presentation reinforced PPAI’s values and gave us useful information we can use in connecting with clients. The two points I took to heart, however, were the ideas that we ‘provide product to effect behavior,’ and ‘it’s not your customer’s job to remember you, it’s your job to be unforgettable.’”

Bellantone also held breakfast meetings with a small number of guests each morning ahead of the town halls. He frequently hosts the informal meetings when he travels to a regional association to talk about the challenges, issues and opportunities members are facing on a day-to-day basis, which give him an opportunity to hear from members outside of the presentation.