On January 20-21, more than 2,500 distributors traveled to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK, for the Promotional Products Expo. The expo, formerly the Trade Only National Show, is in its 10th year, and featured more than 300 industry suppliers on its show floor.

Along with the trade show experience, the PPExpo featured a series of “Lunch and Learn” seminars led by industry speakers, and the second annual Constant Contact Digital Awards, recognized digital marketing in the promotional products industry. Awards were presented in four categories—Best Email Campaign, Best Use of Social Media, Best Industry Web Site and Best Integrated Digital Marketing Campaign—and celebrated the accomplishments of a number of companies, including Awesome Merchandise, Hashtag Promo, LSi and Revolution Digital.

Event Director David Wilson says, “I am delighted to have been a part of the 10th Promotional Product Expo. The large turnout, the innovation, time and effort suppliers put into the stands, in addition to the excitement and buzz in the halls, meant it was a joy to be part of.

“The appetite for this show is reflected by an excellent rebook for next year. Several suppliers have requested bigger stands and are already discussing new themes and content. There has also been a steady inflow of first time exhibitors, which bodes well for 2017.”


At the end of the show’s first day, more than 600 delegates attended the Promotional Products Distributor magazine-sponsored Annual Awards Dinner, where awards were voted on live. Recipients include:

Supplier Of The Year 2016—Winner: BTC Activewear; 1st runner up: Adproducts.com; 2nd runner up: Pen Warehouse

Distributor Of The Year 2016—Winner: Dowlis Corporate Solutions; 1st runner up: Face2Face; 2nd runner up: AD Merchandise

Industry Unsung Hero—Steve Samuels, for his work to raise money for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Best Place To Work—LSi

Best Free Build Stand At PPExpo 2016—The Carole Group

Best Schell Scheme Stand At PPExpo 2016—Pod Packaging

The PPD Awards Dinner was also the launch platform for the inaugural Industry’s Got Talent contest, which saw finalists Katie Dunsden, Hannah MacGregor and Chet Patel perform live, with Chet Patel voted the winner in a close competition.

Adil Rifai, marketing manager for PPExpo, adds, “This year visitors expressed a 98-percent satisfaction rating as a result of our focus on both visitor and exhibitor experience. It really does demonstrate the premier nature of the show within the industry and all the positive feedback we have received shows the significance of the event in the industry.”

The 11th Promotional Products Expo will be held at the Ricoh Arena on January 25-26, 2017.