PromoStandards (PPAI 816699) held its second annual Technology Summit this week with roughly 200 attendees from more than 75 business service providers, suppliers and distributors.

  • The event was held at the Don CeSar hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
  • Officially kicking off Monday, the Technology Summit ran through Wednesday.
  • Education tracks on industry relevant technology were supplemented with opportunities to network with promo professionals.

This year, PromoStandards introduced two new features to build upon the inaugural event.

  • The education was divided into two different tracks: a Product Development track and a Commercialization track focusing on bringing new products or services to market.
  • Extended Round Table opportunities put professionals in position to take casual networking to the collaboration and idea-sharing phase.

“It was amazing to see the degree of collaboration going on within the tech community at the PromoStandards Tech Summit in Tampa this week,” says Catherine Graham, PromoStandards chair and CEO of commonsku. “A strong call to action was made to drive faster adoption of integration to drive the efficiency of the industry forward faster.”

Technology Tailored Toward Promo

With technology constantly evolving in a way that enables businesses to tailor it specifically for promo purposes, there was plenty of educational content for the PromoStandards Technology Summit to present.

The keynote speakers included:

  • Stephen Reynolds, a data security and privacy lawyer, on “AI and cybersecurity trends.”
  • Andew Larson, director of data science at JobCase, on “Generating Value from Data.”
  • Jana Markowitz, founder of The Collective Mind, on “The Keys to Successful Projects.”

As with many industry events, however, much of the value lies in the ability to connect with peers to discuss shared problems and potential solutions. Industry Technology Round Tables and Dine-around Dinners kept networking going throughout the event.

The event also handed out awards for:

  • Supplier Person of the Year (Beki Ellis, Information Technology at SanMar)
  • Service Provider Person of the Year (Mehmet Buber, Chief Technology Officer at Web Services Pros)
  • Distributor Person of the Year (Erica Griffitt, senior software engineer at Staples Promotional Products)

Shared Goals

Behind the PromoStandards Tech Summit is a mission to eliminate inefficiencies in the promo industry. This is a goal shared by PPAI.

“I’m impressed by the community engagement at this event,” says Dale Denham, president and CEO of PPAI. “PromoStandards is an important member of PPAI and has contributed greatly to the awareness and adoption of integrations, which improves industry efficiency.” 

Indeed, as the promo world keeps pace with evolving landscapes, integration adoption will be an essential growth area that can make all elements of the industry run more smoothly.

“Integration is a crucial part of the promo industry’s digital transformation journey,” says CW Karstens, PPAI’s director of digital transformation. “It reduces friction, saving individuals and businesses hours out of their weeks. PPAI remains focused on that goal.”

PDX and PromoStandards have different approaches, which may reach firms of different sizes and needs, but the efforts are aligned in the goal of improving efficiency. Likewise, industry events like PromoStandards Technology Summit push the industry forward by, among other things, putting great promo minds under one roof.

“The 2024 PromoStandards Tech Summit was a huge success,” says Phillip Gergen, PromoStandards treasurer and chief information officer at Koozie Group. “There were many great sessions with important information for any technologist in the promotional products industry. A successful year two with a larger attendance than year one shows that this event has staying power and will become a staple event on the industry calendar.”