Every January, a selected bunch of humans from Rightsleeve head to Las Vegas to attend the PPAI Expo. Basically, it’s the biggest trade show in the promo world. It’s also how we find the newest, most innovative brandable merchandise.

We’ve previously talked about the trends and insights from this year’s show, including self-care items and social enterprises. Now, we’re talking to the humans who went to see what exactly were their favourite products. 


Reba, Account Director

At the show, I was looking for products that I would be proud to sell. It’s also important for me to find companies that are doing social good or taking the environment into consideration while manufacturing.

My major takeaway is that eco-friendly products are becoming more mainstream too, it’s not just small companies trying it.

Nostalgic Games

Not only do I love games, but I also think they’re a unique giveaway that is not often considered. If done well, it’s an item that families will keep in the house for decades and pass on. It’s an item that when used, sparks joy and provides quality time for friends and family.

“Eureka” Kit

This is a rustic feeling kit that comes in a wooden box and includes cards, mints, soap, lip chap and a comb. I love the design and look of each item. Individually or together, they are great items for on the road. The box is also reusable, you can use it after to store small items.


Shruti, Account Manager

This wasn’t my first time at the show, so I had a bit of experience going into it and knowing exactly what to search for. My main goal was to gain new and innovative ideas to share with clients. 
 
I also like to find products that are not a typical promo item, or of cheap quality. It’s all about that retail detail!

 

Custom Timbuk2 Bags

Most definitely a favourite from the show because these bags are just SO COOL. I like that you can customize a high-end, brand name bag. They have a variety of styles that are on trend (and will never go out of style).

Recycled Plastic Throws

These throws look like they are straight out of a magazine. They are beautifully made from recycled materials and just a high-quality item.


Reed, Account Manager

 

I was looking for innovative new products with a focus on environmental sustainability. I’m always sourcing new ideas that I think my clients will love. It was a bonus to see a lot of people focusing on the environment this year.

A general takeaway I had from the show was just how big this industry is and how many awesome creative people and companies are out there!

 

Fifty/Fifty Bottles and Tumblers

These are high quality insulated bottles and food containers. I especially liked the different designs and colour options they had. They also have a variety of cap styles that you can then switch between bottles which I thought was unique!

Magnetic Perpetual Calendar

I love the sleek design of this calendar and think it makes a great high-end gift for a desktop or home office.

Hex Bags

Hex seems like a cool little company with a focus on fashion and art and it comes through in their bags. This one has the great function of a separate shoe compartment.

They had a super cool booth (made to look like an old school van from the ’70s) showing off their line of fashion-forward, retail looking bags.


Lauren, Account Manager

I was looking for well-merchandised booths and retail looking items. I want to offer my clients stuff that excites me, stuff that I would want to buy, and stuff that won’t get thrown out. That ties in well with the general trend I took away from the entire expo, which was sustainability.

Sustainability can mean purchasing eco-friendly products. It can also mean purchasing good quality, functional, slick looking products that people will hang onto forever and ever and ever (aka won’t end up in a landfill).

 

Hemp Tote Bags

Hemp is the up and coming fabric! It’s very environmentally friendly, super sustainable, and right in line with the cannabis trends we’re seeing post-legalization.

Woven Key Chains

A very cool and inexpensive way to use a detailed logo for a keychain. The embroidery just takes things to the next level and makes it feel more personalized and homemade. I mean, just look at it!

Recycled Record Journals

Records are cool, recycling is also cool. This is right on trend with reusing materials and finding more sustainable solutions to creating a product.


Jess, Account Manager

I was blown away by the general movement of manufacturers to more ‘green’ products and production strategies. There are new companies focusing on producing green products and those that are not are slowly expanding their product line.

I’ve seen a shift towards up-cycled products or products that encourage a more sustainable lifestyle. To me, this showed a positive trend in our society moving towards a less wasteful and environmentally-safe lifestyle to keep our planet happy!

Watering Can with Seeds

Think green! This is the cutest set of soil, seeds and a watering can planter. Perfect for your desk or at home use, watch your plant come to life.

Campfire Mug

We love a good campfire mug, but this one puts a new twist on the classic. The carabiner clip is not only your handle but can also clip to your backpack, tool belt or camping gear. There’s nothing better than style and function!

Small Backpacks

I love the trend toward smaller backpacks, with clearly defined and organized spaces. These ones have areas for your cords, water bottle and laptop. 


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