The PPAI Expo has an established track record of bringing together experts from inside and out for comprehensive, enlightening professional education. The PPAI Expo Conference, running ahead of the PPAI Expo 2023 on January 9, stays on-trend with a lineup of insightful speakers examining subjects promo pros can use to grow and advance their business.

The PPAI Expo Conference brings together several high profile speakers in keynote sessions – such as James Pogue, PhD and Maureen Zappala – as well as numerous breakout sessions attendees can use to tailor their experience to their needs.

The Conference’s breakout sessions are grouped in a series of education tracks important to the promo industry, including DEI/CSR, digital transformation, the Promotional Product Works program and sales and marketing. Attendees looking for the latest trends in business can find sessions exploring how businesses operate in the 2020s.

Breakout Session: Do You Know Me? A Generations Game Connecting People to Product
Speaker: Vicki Ostrom, futurist and trend editor and SanMar

Each generation in the working world – ranging from Millennials, Boomers, Gen Z and Generation X – is shaped by unique influences and inputs. Those differences all play out in the modern workplace. Ostrom emphasizes that it has never been more important to connect in an authentic way – to each other, to our customers, co-workers, and employees. Presented in a Q&A format that will identify the ways technology and economics influence each generation, audience members will come away with actionable information to bridge current trends to product applications.

“After several life-altering years where much of our energy went into making sure our businesses, lives and loved ones were stable and safe, we can now step back into the flow of life and start reconnecting,” says Ostrom. “With the speed of change that has been activated due to advancements in technology and just the simple changes that the passage of time brings to each generation, it’s good to take stock of where we are now after several turbulent years. What kinds of things bring comfort, bring calm, help life function better for ourselves and the people around us? The business case for understanding these fundamental things is that this knowledge can make the difference between success and failure in the increasingly new and altered business landscape of the future.

“In attending this breakout session, I want attendees to walk away with a refreshed understanding of what pressures and joys the customers, employees and coworkers around them are experiencing. Authentic connection is key. Connection, care, communication, community – all of these concepts are important and translate to the products we can offer our customers. It’s just about ‘Do You Know Me?’ – and we can start that journey with understanding the generations around us.”

Breakout Session: Customer Experience – What Does It Mean In The Promotional Products Industry
Speakers: Laura Turner, vice president of customer experience at alphabroder, and Amy McCray, vice president of Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products

It’s never been more important to listen to customers in business. Companies all over the world are finding ways to measure customer satisfaction and take action to improve it. Turner and McCray’s session at the Expo Conference maps the customer journey in the promotional products industry – from concept to delivery – and companies in the field are measuring their customers’ satisfaction and working to improve their experience.

“Amy and I are super excited for the PPAI Expo Conference,” says Turner. “We’ve got an engaging session planned that will leave our attendees with answers to three basic questions about customer experience in the promotional products industry: What is it? Why would a company want to do it? And how should a company start to engage in it?

“As we answer these questions, it will be clear that engaging in customer experience not only as a concept, but also as a business function can be a true differentiator, driving a more loyal client base and increased profits.”

Breakout Session: Unlocking Engagement: Smart Strategies To Create Motivated, High-Performance Connections
Speakers: Kate Alavez, chief operating officer at PromoShop, Inc., and Erin Reilly, CEO of Pop! Promos

Business, particularly business in the promo field, is built on connections. Both in and outside of the office. Alavez and Reilly’s breakout speaks to those putting to those putting together a team for the first time, leading a group they’ve known forever or are just setting out on their career path on building motivation and engagement. The interactive session provides tools and techniques to create zeal and connections, and to track their progress.

“We’ve designed our session to open a dialogue around engagement in the ever-changing workplace and what it takes to build motivation across teams,” says Alavez. “Our goal is to equip audience members with practical tools that are easy to implement and create lasting impact. Finally, we hope to reignite the conversation around joy at work and help our audience members find ways to avoid their burnout by building toward self-actualization in the workplace.”

Breakout Session: Online Marketing Master Class
Speakers: Kirby Hasseman, CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications; Brandon Pecharich, digital media director at PromoCorner; Javier Melendez, national account executive at Walker-Clay, Inc.; and Charity Gibson, national account coordinator for Peerless Umbrella

Online marketing has become an indispensable tool for helping businesses increase their sales and profits. The Conference’s online marketing master class brings together a panel of industry executives who are using it to do exactly that. Their conversation will dig into the benefits of online marketing, needed insights and the steps necessary for it to benefit attendees’ businesses.

Click here for the full lineup of breakout sessions and keynotes at The PPAI Expo Conference.