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Wrapping up at the PPAI expo – – – what a show..!!

25 Jan


One of our great interviews we scored was with Brett Hersh..President of Admints/Zagabor. Just the night prior to the interview, Admints won the very prestigious “Best of the Best” – voted on by all their peers and partners as THE best supplier in our industry. Anyone that has seen Proforma Johnston’s cool line of mint boxes, hand sanitizers, and lip balms knows that we recommend Admints products to most of our best clients….the results speak for themselves.
Here, Brett shows Sean the awards and some of the featured product lines that Admints provides to help Proforma Johnston customers promote their businesses.

We finally wrapped up. We’ve got more excellent products to show you….and we have about 30 more cool products and new ideas we’ve shot…but haven’t put on the blog yet!
It was simply overwhelming..! Soon, we will upload and organize some of the most interesting stuff that we did NOT transmit home from the show, and try to organize it for future reference! For now…if you want to see even MORE stuff we haven’t shown here yet…go right to our youtube channel. Its all there….raw..

However, at the end of the show…we filed the below report as everyone streamed out – a little sore in the feet, but lots of great ideas to bring home.
Here’s how it looked:

Just as promised…after filing that report, we headed over to the “House of Blues” inside the Mandalay Bay.
The entertainment for the evening…the Molly RIngwalds, performed. This video is too long…and doesn’t do it justice…but the band was great and we had a great time!!

Some photos….these alone should tell us to “bring the art department” next year. Also…the photography skills are “first to go” if you catch my drift 🙂

The first rule of going to a party is NOT TO GO too early. So we waited. 🙂

Before too much time went by...Poppy (formerly with Admints) appeared at the party. Now an entrepreneur, she was at her first PPAI Expo as one of "us". Sean likes this picture because his HEAD is missing.

So -- we're not sure we know WHAT this picture is. But we do know that's Cim Loren from Jelfin...the company that puts a BRAND in your HAND. 🙂

So, we stayed out was a great way to wrap up the PPAI Expo 2011

Nightime on the southern strip


Day 4 at PPAI Expo 2011 in Las Vegas. New Products Gallore!

14 Jan

Day 4 at the show was very cool.
After visiting the New Products Pavilion on Wednesday and taking note of some of the coolest looking stuff, we made a list and checked it twice, and set out to go out and see/touch the new items, and find out all the details.

First, we checked in with our partner Sanmar, who warehouses all of our blank apparel to find out what’s new this year:

We stopped in to see Tagmaster…who had a new “car” pen, that has a pull and go action!
Also, some eco-friendly colored pencils in a nice gift set with sharpener:

Our friends at Source Direct lured us to stop in with their new line of “custom” mold silly bands. For meetings or events, with up to 6 custom shapes, this is sure to be a winner. He also pulled a new fun product out of his hat….but is it a hat? or a scrunchy? or a headband? Who knows? Check it out:

We stopped at ETS Express – where we met the actual designer of the new “Aqua” bottle, a really cool new promotional bottle with a breathe-valve and very attractive design:

We stopped into Bentcil, the home of the flexible fun pencil….but for 2011 they have a new line of flat, flexible flashlights. These things were COOL looking….take a look:

We were GOING to pass by “Bepo” and their booth, but Jilly Blundell used her remote control oversize WEEPLE to prevent us from escaping. These little weeples are a basic promotion, but fun and no one ever throws them away. Plus, when someone is so creative, you gotta stop and say hello!

Day 3 – PPAI Expo 2011 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

13 Jan

Day 3:

Another fantastic day at PPAI Expo.
First, in our general session, a fantastic talk by Daniel Pink…author of “A Whole New Mind” and “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”. Very interesting look at how design and empathy are at the center of what adds value to our interactions. Very enlightening – – More about Daniel Pink here:

Then, at 10:30am, it was time for the show floor to open – –
but first, we took a quick sneak peak at the “New Product Pavilion”,
where the leading manufacturers put their latest ideas on display for all to see –
This is super helpful in deciding how to attack the show floor during the day!
Here’s Sean from inside the New Product Pavilion on Wednesday:

by the way, here’s a photo of the product (the magic expanding towel) since you really can’t see it in the video!

The show floor –
WOW. That’s all we can really say.
We found so much to review, so many familiar faces – its great to be part of Proforma and to really get to know all the key suppliers in the business.
We stopped in to see Luigi Vendittelli – of BannerPen.
He’s got a fascinating new series of products coming to market now – – and they are created from PAPER that’s made with NO TREES – the paper is literally made FROM STONE:
Check out Walt as he learns more:

Also – we took some time to talk to our main man Wei Chang with Nissin – – talking about how the trend towards environmentalism is changing the Tote Bag business! Fantastic bags are now available, and really have become the standard, that are made 100% of recycled materials.
Wei does a great job of reminding the folks back home – – the real key is that we keep the whole line IN STOCK.
There really is a Crisis of inventory management going on in our industry, Wei and his group help Proforma Johnston make sure we’re ready to deliver when you, the customer, are ready to order for your event or meeting.
Here’s Sean with Wei from Nissin from the show floor:

Last but certainly not least, we check with with Michael Gould, with Games People Play.
You know, many of our Proforma Johnston clients are non-profits and associations.
Many organizations are always raising funds and trying to create buzz at their events.
These kind of games, readily customizable and available in very low quantity, make a great solution for attracting attention at events, and raising money in a fun way..!
Michael spends a moment describing the signature product here to Sean:

We’ve got lots more scheduled for tomorrow – – so stay tuned.

Day 2 – from the PPAI Expo 2011 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

12 Jan

Today was a great day.
This was the main education day here at the conference, and we met many energizing and enthusiastic people.
Some video snippets below – – for even more detail and in depth coverage you should visit our YouTube Channel at

But, here’s a few highlights:

In this clip, Walt Fales heads up the escalator on the way to the morning educational meetings. First thing in the AM on day 2:

In this clip, Sean prepares for the opening General Session in the South Seas Ballroom in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center – –

In this longer (3 minutes) clip – Walt interviews incentive marketing expert Michelle M. Smith about the critical issue of employee disengagement, and its devastating effect on customer satisfaction and company financial performance:
Michelle Smith is one of the experts that Proforma leverages to deliver employee motivation and recognition programs – –
her session today was filled with thought provoking and alarming research on this critical business issue to our clients:

Tomorrow….The show floor will open, and WE will be there – –
we think you’ll like what we’re going to bring you the rest of the week.
Stay tuned!

From PPAI Expo 2011 in Las Vegas, NV

11 Jan