Predictions for the future of the promotional products industry–at least those I gleaned from GroupeSTAHL people who had the opportunity to attend the show in Las Vegas last week–sound extremely positive. Takeaways include:
- “Wow, this place is packed!” There are lines of people waiting to get in every morning and heavy traffic in both our booths. (PPAI management reports 14,000 visitors) (I even have a video from outside the show to prove this, but can’t figure out how to put it in the blog, maybe next time)
- The promotional products industry is alive and kicking and there is a huge interest in GREEN decoration methods for a myriad of GREEN promotional items.
- Bags of all shapes, colors and sizes seemed to be the hottest promotional items for 2010. Hundreds of suppliers were giving out free bags, and even if the bags themselves weren’t GREEN, the concept behind using a reuseable bag instead of paper or plastic is GREEN.
- Giving back to society is IN. The Gildan booth featured a promotion where you could make your own custom t-shirt in the booth, with a fabric marker, write the name of your cause or charity on the T-shirt that was pre-printed with the words “I Support”. Digital photos were taken of you in the shirt and then you had the chance to write your story on why you choose to support this specific charity. Stories will be posted on a website and then Gilden will award $100,000 to the charity behind the best story. See Gilden site for more information, but interesting way to give back, gather names, sell t-shirts and promote your brand at the same time.
- With bags being so IN, people are on the lookout for methods to decorate polypropelyne bags. It’s not as easy as you may think, since these bags normally will melt at temperatures over 280 degrees. You will find the link to Josh Ellsworth’s video on printing bags and other difficult items helpful.
- Full color logos with detailed graphics dominated on sample items, such as reproductions of old advertising posters, retro “travel here” logos, artwork reproductions, photo images and more.
- When in Las Vegas, anything that says Las Vegas was popular. Hopefully this was just a local trend but it does bode well for anybody selling in the tourist industry. People still like kitschy souvenirs.
- Trend of visitors of wanting to take more control over their decorating instead of always outsourcing, but they don’t want to start screen printing. “I don’t want to pay $7.50 per shirt for a name and number anymore.” Who does! Note to PPAI members–get a heat press and do this and many other short run jobs yourself.
- More and more PPAI people realizing that digital transfers is going to be key in getting short run promotional jobs done.
- The changing definition of the word “short run.” It used to be that people wouldn’t even look at orders for less than 50 or 100 pieces. Today, if you’re not able to supply quantities as low as 1 piece, you might not be in business long.
Were you at the PPAI show? I’d like to hear your comments on how you thought the show was. Please share!