Proforma (PPAI 196835) drew more than 800 industry professionals to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 26-29 for the Cleveland, Ohio-headquartered distributor’s 2018 Convention and Family Reunion. Held this year under “The Steps” theme, the four-day event’s programming challenged the print, promotional products and marketing professionals in attendance to “step up” their success.

Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma, opened the event at the general session. “There is no better event than our convention and family reunion bringing top print and promotional industry professionals from all over the world, under one roof, to network and continue learning and evolving not only within our own industry, but within the business world as it operates on a more global level,” he says. “It’s an event where our amazing owners, supplier partners and support team members come together to exchange ideas, share new products and learn new strategies in helping each other achieve their goals and attain more success.”

New to this year’s convention were sessions on The 12 Week Year, a book written by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington that promotes a mindset of shorter 12-week goals rather than standard annual goals to get better results; the ‘80/20 Rule’ in which attendees learned how to have the most impact with the most impactful clients, and various strategy sessions for sales representatives to upsell and cross-sell products.

Sessions also included presentations from influential Proforma owners such as Fred Albrecht, 25-Million-Dollar Club member and co-owner of Proforma Albrecht & Co. in Milford, Ohio, who gave strategic insight into implementing the 12-week year theory during the general session; Bill Hageman, 10-Million-Dollar Club member and co-owner of Proforma Graphic Services in Columbus, who spoke about embracing ecommerce opportunities not just for owners but for sales representatives as well, and many other featured owners who shared their expertise.

PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, and Public Affairs Director Anne Stone also gave a presentation on strategic foresight presentation that looked to the future of the promotional products industry and highlighted emerging trends to help industry professionals position their businesses to take advantage of or prepare for the disruptions they may bring.

“We would never have a lot of the ideas, energy, opportunities and relationships that allow us to continue to grow without attending convention. We leave reenergized and refocused ready to attack our business plan,” saysid Allison Washburn, co-owner of Full Throttle Marketing powered by Proforma n Bonita Springs, Florida. “Best of all, we know exactly who is going to help us get there. From the support center team to other owners, we leave with the resources and steps to make it happen.”

The convention’s annual awards ceremony recognized owners for their business growth and achievements. During the ceremony, 32 owners were recognized for qualifying for the 2018 Inc. 5000; while 12 businesses, and their 26 owners, were honored for making the list as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America. Additionally, Proforma recognized nine Rising Star Award winners; Phil Yale, owner of Proforma Legacy in Westlake, Ohio, as the Hall of Fame Award winner; 15 Top Supplier Partner Award winners, and 19 Proforma owners as the Best of the Best for making Top Billers status with Fred and Suzette Albrecht, co-owners of Proforma Albrecht & Co. earning the Top Biller title with nearly $30 million in 2017 sales.

The convention wrapped up with a closing luncheon with John Davis, a stunt coordinator and comedian, whose session motivated attendees to take action towards success and delivered takeaways relevant to this year’s theme.