Keeping up with what’s trending in the promotional product industry rings the cliche of finding a needle in a haystack true.
Every year we head to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo to scope out the latest and greatest from over 1,200 exhibitors with more retail brands surfacing each year.
With a sense of smell to sniff out tchotchkes as strong as a bloodhound sniffs out the smell of humans, here are the top trends we saw this year’s PPAI Expo in Las Vegas that are going to shape this year’s promotional product lineup:
9 promotional product trends you’re about to see all year
- Reusable goods such as stainless steel drinking straws and concrete candle holders that double as reusable home goods like planters.
- Rustic styles using leather or wood materials.
- Wearable lifestyle apparel pushes stuffy corporate styles to the wayside.
- Custom retail packaging.
- Products that are compact, packable, and ready to hit the road.
- Marble patterns and rose gold colors/gradients.
- High-end super soft blankets.
- Alternatively powered outdoor accessories like solar-powered lanterns.
- Multi-element branding on apparel items i.e. heat transfer on top of laser-etching or debossing.
State of the promotional product industry
It was clear to us that apparel suppliers are starting to offer more in-house decoration in order to offer a more turnkey solution than in year’s past. The industry as a whole is consolidating — which cut down the number of suppliers and distributors at PPAI this year.
Companies in our space are adding giving back (also known as social good) strategies to their business models, thanks to the model’s proven high financial returns and positive bottom line impact.
Earlier this year in fact, PPAI announced the strategic partnership between supplier Gemline and lifestyle brand MiiR that echoes this give back trend is taking shape.
What is PPAI?
The industry's largest trade show provides the opportunity to see thousands of promotional products. The PPAI Expo serves as the launch pad for the year, with new events and products every year. This 5-day event includes two days of educational sessions followed by three days of open show floor with products from companies all around the country.
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