Top 12 (or so) Products, Trends, and Sightings from PPAI 2016
Top Products, Trends, and Sightings from PPAI 2016
A couple of weeks ago about 18 members of the Stran team packed our bags for Las Vegas. It was a whirlwind trip including some late nights and a redeye flight home, but in-between the craziness that is Las Vegas we spent two whole days walking the floor of the annual PPAI trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Each January PPAI puts on the largest show of the season where all of the companies that supply products and services to the promotional products industry showcase their latest and greatest.
Upon returning to Boston I surveyed the team for their favorite products and biggest trends that they saw. Below is a sampling of the responses that I got. It looks that Stran is leading the industry once again as we’ve already been pitching many of these trends to our clients. With that, here are some of our favorites from this year’s PPAI show:
While the idea of mints are nothing new, this is a totally fun way to really push the branding. Design your own custom shaped mint and put them into a variety of different sleeves, tins, and boxes or go with fully customized packaging. Pricing can range from $2-6 per package depending on what you choose.
Dye Sublimation is HOT! And one of the more interesting uses of dye sublimation that we saw was to decorate socks. Dye sublimation actually penetrates the material it is being applied to, so unlike screen prints, transfers, or embroidery you cannot feel the decoration. It becomes part of the material and gives you full coverage.
Now here’s a totally unique idea for an event. Distribute customized ebooks. Choose from many popular titles across any genre and add-in custom pages with information relevant to your company, the event, or the guest. Distribute virtually and only pay for the books redeemed. Endless possibilities.
Bottle Armor! It sounds pretty serious and it is. We first saw this product as a kickstarter campaign in the fall and thought it was a perfect product for the promotional industry. Low and behold it made its way into the new product showcase this year. There are a couple of different versions but the basic idea is that a glass bottle can be placed inside to a) keep the drink cold and b) protect it from accidentally dropping and breaking. Price points range depending on how insulated the armor is but the good news is that there’s an option for everyone’s budget.
Here’s a unique and fun idea for awards. Mini branded guitar awards. Select you favorite guitar – choose a Strat, a PRS or a Gretsch… Each guitar is 1/4 scale (10 inches tall). You can also place the guitar in a shadow box for a larger hanging recognition.
We saw a couple of vendors with these great attachments for your running sneakers. It attaches to the heal of your shoe and have different flashing settings produced by LED light. Perfect for road races, fitness programs, or other outdoor events. A great and inexpensive item.
Indirect embroidery provides you the quality of embroidery with a whole host of benefits that traditional embroidery just can’t accommodate. With indirect embroidery the decoration is being created separate from the product. This allows for the ability to apply the embroidery in locations that direct embroidery cannot as well as on products previously not available for embroidery. You can also achieve greater detail with the use of sublimation on your indirect embroidery pieces. Another benefit to going with indirect embroidery is that you do not have to apply to decoration at the time of creating the embroidery piece which means that you can reduce the risk of obsolescence with your apparel inventory. This is a method that has to be seen to understand its true value.
The wireless charger has started to become popular in the android retail market and now you can easily brand these wireless chargers with your company logo. And you don’t have to worry about some people having iPhones because this item can still be used as a wired charger too.
If you haven’t noticed we love lightbulbs. Usually we just love the symbolism but here’s a truly unique promotional product. A lightbulb shaped similar to an incandescent bulb but made from LED lights and able to be branded. We’re always a fan of items that remain on ones desk and this is a one of a kind item for the desk.
Keeping along the lines of LED lighting. Another item perfect for tradeshow giveaways is the USB reading light. We came across a couple of different models and price points. Simply plug in and instant reading or work light.
PPAI takes place immediately following CES (the Consumer Electronics Show). Two of the biggest trend at CES this year were drones and VR Glasses. Sure enough both were found at PPAI this year and while I could’ve posted both I went with the VR glasses as there were many different versions being showcased. These are just fun and there are a ton of apps and videos out there these days to enjoy this bleeding edge technology.
These 3D logo signs were pretty cool. They are super lightweight and made from very durable EVA foam. These could be perfect for bars, restaurants, and any kind of venue. Some were made into clocks as well.
Ok so what’s so exciting about a pen? Well these “Dream Pens” can have custom clips made to match your logo or other branding. Its a definitely a new twist on one of the most basic of promotional products.
So as we have been talking about for the last year or so, personalization is one of the biggest trends in our industry. Being able to make that one to one connection with your employees, customers, clients, or partners has value far beyond the cost to make the connection. This leather luggage tag is debossed with a logo on one side and personalized on the back side with the person’s contact information. All you need is a .csv file with all of the data. Its as easy as that.
I think that’s enough to digest in one blog post. We’d love to know what you think about some of these ideas. So leave us a note below with some feedback.