Promotional products industry professionals gathered in Toronto from February 9-13 at the annual PPPC National Convention, an event that brings the industry together to learn, celebrate, and network. It's always highly anticipated and this year was another great one for the books! Botanical PaperWorks was proud to attend as we have for the past seven years, but this year was extra special as CEO, Heidi Reimer-Epp was welcomed as the incoming chair of the association. Here’s a recap of some of our favorite moments: The Professional Development Sessions Renee Bazile-Jones kicked off the sessions on Day 1 with an interesting and informative presentation about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Some key takeaways included recognizing the many dimensions of diversity and how you can leverage the full potential of all the people in your organization to elevate your business. Lorne Ordel, President of Sales Dynamics Inc. then gave the crowd some key insights about running a promotional products agency for over 40 years by sharing his story and advice. Bryson Sask followed from Key Innovations Inc. as he demonstrated the Science & Psychology of Promotional Products which had the group thinking about the impact promotions can have and how to illustrate that to clients. After breaking for lunch, Chala Dincoy led an eye-opening session about sharpening your positioning, finding the right vertical, solving problems, and out of the box outreach. Alan Chippindale then closed out the day leading an intimate discussion about some key aspects of the business side of things. The next day started with teddy bears on the session tables and we knew we were in for a treat! Lorne Kotzer of Soft Stuff Creations talked about misconceptions in toy safety and had the group thinking more critically about safety concerns and liability issues in the promotional product industry. Chala Dincoy then took the stage again and got everyone in the room talking about elevator pitches and how to define your position to leave a lasting impression on buyers. Terie Craig, Neil Piitz, and Camille Tjalsma then closed out the sessions on Day 2 with a presentation about making the industry great again. Sadly for us, duty called and we had to set up our booth so we missed this one but from what we heard, the room was full and it was a great presentation. The Networking Party The evening of Day 2 featured The Misprints at the networking party hosted at the Marriott. They had everyone dancing up a storm as amazing snacks and drinks were served so that everyone had a chance to kick-back, connect, and have some fun. A special highlight for our team was also the creative balloon makers that created a custom-made bee for us which ended up being in a huge hit at our save the bees photo booth. Ribbon Cutting On the first show day, we arrived nice and early so that Heidi Reimer-Epp could take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the event and officially open the show floor. Our Buzzing Booth Booth 310 was all abuzz as we invited people to learn about seed paper promotional products as well as have some fun posing for photos to help save the bees. Our dirt display caught the attention of passersby and they loved how it illustrated the essence of our plantable products. We may have had the dirtiest booth there, but we were also one of the most fun! Thanks to everyone who was willing to get silly and take a bee photo, we'll be donating over $100 to fund Canadian bee health research! (See all the bee photos here) The Image Awards The 2017 PPPC Image Awards recognized countless achievements in the industry and highlighted the best of the best who participated in the annual competition. A wonderful dinner was served, beverages were flowing, and the energy in the room was truly represented on stage as teams got to celebrate their hard work. We were especially thrilled to see our fellow Winnipegers at Shippam honored with a Distributor of the Year Award! Heidi Reimer-Epp Welcomed as Incoming Chair It’s been quite a journey since Heidi first represented Botanical PaperWorks at the 2012 PPPC National Convention and since then she had immersed herself in the industry, built valuable relationships, and learned as much as she could about the industry by serving on the board for four years. A new chapter is on the horizon and Heidi is deeply honored and excited to be a part of what’s next for the association as the Chair of the Board for 2018-19. The VIP Reception Later in the week, the PPPC hosted a VIP reception to recognize the achievements of key members of the industry. The newly minted CAS and MAS recipients were celebrated and awarded a beautiful watch. Paul Bellantone of the PPAI team recognized PPPC's outgoing chair of the Board Iain Walker by presenting him with cowboy boots, a Dallas-based PPAI tradition for as long as anyone can remember. Iain returned the honor to PPAI's chair Dale Denham with artwork of a Canada goose. Client Day On the last day of the show, we had a blast handing out Herb Seed Paper Sprouter Kits which were a huge hit. So much so that we even ran out by 1 pm! Both clients and distributors loved the idea of a complete planting kit (pot, soil and herb seed paper) and were excited to learn more about plantable products for their businesses. All in all, the show was a success and the Botanical PaperWorks team had a truly great time being part of it all. We can't wait to see what's in store for next year and look forward to building on the valued relationships we have made with those who visited our booth! Learn more about how you can incorporate eco-friendly seed paper into your next corporate promotion by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading our full Seed Paper Promotions Catalog.