“If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back.” I’m not sure if this is an ancient proverb, a quote from Abraham Lincoln or a simply a statement made by actor Sam Waterston on Law & Order (which is what Google says), but there is so much truth to this phrase. 

PPAI is moving forward in a new strategic relationship to strengthen our industry with last month’s announcement of the partnership between PPAI, SAGE and Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC). As PPAI’s chair-elect, my excitement around this partnership can be summed up in three words: collaboration, diversity and opportunities.

If you missed the announcement, PPPC members will receive access to powerful tech solutions through SAGE, plus trade show opportunities, education, networking, business savings benefits and legislative initiatives through PPAI. The complimentary subscriptions and memberships were activated for PPPC members on July 1. 

PPAI is the world’s largest not-for-profit association serving the promotional products industry. SAGE is the leading technology provider to the promotional products industry, and PPPC has been the industry leader in Canada for more than 60 years. This announcement creates a multi-stakeholder partnership that will help build the arsenal of resources for PPAI members and our Canadian neighbors, allowing for an even more strategic approach to development, helping us all become stronger and more successful collectively and individually. I am eager to see movement around building and strengthening partnerships between the organizations and our members. The collaboration will expand our reach in the promotional products space and the mindshare will benefit our industry. 

I often hear members say that our industry needs to be more diverse. Diversity does not just come in the form of gender, ethnicity and age. It comes from different experiences, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Getting to work more closely with PPPC and its members will be a huge win for all of us in this arena.

As a PPAI member you may be thinking, “What’s it in for me?” or “Why should I care?” There’s a huge buzz around the term “going global.” Love it or hate it, the internet has brought businesses around the world together with a simple click. To further bridge that global gap, how about starting in our own backyard? There is so much room for collaboration and partnership within North America, yet until this point we have operated somewhat independently. The new partnership will allow us to work together more cohesively and will strengthen the North American supplier/distributor partnerships and member network, which in turn will strengthen our industry as a whole. This news may not affect your business at all, or it might bring you new opportunities and more member value. I say dive in and embrace it, and see what happens. 

The stronger your partners are, the stronger your organization will become. 

Brittany David, CAS, is vice president of sales at SnugZ USA. She will become PPAI Chair in January 2019. Reach her at brittany@snugzusa.com.