PPAI Expo 2023: Our highlights and insights

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PPAI Expo 2023: Our highlights and insights


PPAI Expo 2023, which took place in Las Vegas from Jan 9-12, was an incredible event. It wasn’t just its seemingly endless potential to network across nearly a million square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. It wasn’t just that its attendee levels were almost back up to pre-pandemic strengths. Its atmosphere, of optimism, warmth, and ambition, was electric. 


After a couple of years of keeping each other at arm’s length, it was nice to shake hands, pat each other on the back, and share a few laughs. But being in such close proximity also allowed honest opinions to be exchanged about just how ready the industry is for change.

Life after the pandemic: the state of the industry


Like most industries, the pandemic hit promotional products companies and decorators hard. Suppliers and distributors were also impacted, but less severely: 


Fast forward to now, and the annual survey collected by third-party research firm Relevant Insights on behalf of PPAI estimates that industry sales volume is now more than $25 billion – an increase of at least 13.1% over 2021.


“But the big issue is the industry hasn’t moved with the times,” one attendee commented. “The need for change is there, we’ve all felt it, especially over the last couple of years, but people always find reasons in their comfort zones. We still have clients who place orders via fax! The amount of lost time and sales we’ve all become comfortable with is mind-blowing and needs to stop.”


The recovery the promotions product industry has experienced is heartening to see. Companies showcasing their tens of thousands of promotional products were full of good news and optimism, but frustration was bubbling underneath the surface of every company we spoke to. We came away with one main question: With so much demand for change, why is the industry standing still?

What we heard vs. our solutions



Nine out of ten businesses we spoke to had one main thing on their minds when talking to us about the benefits of Brikl: what’s the damage?


In the custom and promotional space, we’d be silly not to acknowledge the considerable upfront cost typically involved in digitizing operations. That’s why our commitment to your success is that we only make money once you do. (Talk to us about this!).


When managed properly with Brikl experts, setting up online stores and company stores is the most powerful strategic move a business can take to mitigate threats in a new and volatile world. Many promotional companies, suppliers, and distributors are already taking advantage of automation – go one step further and gain a competitive edge with Brikl.

Evangelism and Commitment


“We see the value in using a better online store platform. Brikl would save us so much time operationally, and we know it would drive sales. But getting our sales reps to change systems when customers are already set up on them will take some education.”


Switching tools is often a cross-departmental effort that impacts every employee in big and small ways. But let’s keep it simple: the benefits of moving to a platform that you know would automate most of your daily workload would only free your staff up to do bigger and better things.

digital-transformation-at PPAI-
Jason Reinhardt, Brikl's CCO, talking about digital transformation at PPAI Live


What sales rep, CFO, CEO, COO, or anyone else in your organization wouldn’t want to make more money and increase customer satisfaction, all while having more time on their hands?

We're not just a technology platform but your technology partners through and through. A platform is faceless and functional, whereas a partnership is human and comes with personal investment and commitment. We're experts in the market, in our technology, and in the potential that both hold for scaling and skyrocketing your business. We love combining the sincere empathy, affection, and straight-talking honesty of a mom-and-pop business with next-generation tools unlike any in existence today".



Despite knowing that driving sales and saving time literally equals money, many promotional businesses at PPAI told us an age-old tale. People within their organizations have become dependent on platforms that require coding, manual input, and working across multiple systems to do one job. But there are hidden costs to this:


  1. Resource wastage
  2. Employee frustration
  3. Limited growth
  4. Challenges in elevating customer experience


Brikl supplants familiarity by making the platform as easy to use as possible. Try offsetting familiarity with comfort through drag-and-drop and create branded live catalogs, online stores, company stores, and more in minutes.


Sometimes the devil is what you know. Step into the light!

Three Brikl features that shocked people at PPAI Expo 2023.


Recent price increases call for manual updates across all your products. Right? Wrong. Brikl’s supplier integrations automatically pull in all updated prices straight from your supplier.



One executive at PPAI called our one-click custom reports the “coolest thing” he’d seen at the event. Why? Take a look for yourself. 



Recent price increases call for manual updates across all your products. Right? Wrong. Brikl’s supplier integrations automatically pull in all updated prices straight from your supplier.


Wrapping up


Digital automation is an undertaking that requires continued focus on the end objective to succeed, but once implemented, it will deliver consistent results and agility that will protect you well into the future.



In general, organizations can expect digital transformation to impact their business in several ways, including:


  • Reducing costs by 10%
  • Increasing productivity by 11%
  • Increasing business growth by 10%* 

* Research from Avanade’s survey


These figures will only increase over time as insight-powered strategy, employee comfort, increased revenue, and time savings pave the way toward your success. 


See what life after PPAI could look like for you. Book your demo now.

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