Category Archives: Tradeshows

DC’s Tarr attends PPAI Women’s Leadership

Vice President of Sales for DistributorCentral, Tiffany Tarr, CAS attended the 2016 PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, this past June. She spent two and a half days of learning and connecting with nearly 160 attendees.

“The 2016 Women’s Leadership was one of the most memorable events I’ve attended in a while.  This event creates a unique environment for women to learn from each other.  I think women have a unique experience. Being a working mom and wife, it’s easy to sometimes feel like you are drowning in a sea of endless deadlines, piles of emails and hours of driving back and forth to sports events.  This event allows us to all learn from each other and create a support system of other strong professional industry women,” said Tarr.

“The 2016 programming provided amazing content.  Each speaker brought real life experience and tools that I’m able to directly apply into my professional and personal life.” She added, “that in addition to creating lasting friendships, is why Women’s Leadership is a must attend conference!”

Get the MOST from your Service Providers

For those of you that are putting together your game plan for the PPAI Expo next week, be sure to take some time to reflect on the services for which you rely on Industry Service Providers.

It’s very likely that you may be using only a FEW available features, when a service provider may have a COMPLETE solution that can allow you to run you business from anywhere.

Start by making a list of the technical issues or pain points that you are looking to resolve, or a “wish list” of the tools that would help you to conduct business more efficiently.

Coming home from the show with tangible solutions to these issues will provide you a true sense of accomplishment.

Most often at tradeshows, Service Providers are lumped together in one aisle awaiting your visit. While they don’t have the flashiest, newest promotional item to impress your clients with, they do have valuable tools that can alleviate your biggest stressors.  A simple conversation may help you uncover ways to free up resources and time. Service providers exist for this very reason; they provide you the benefits of a full-time staff at a fraction of the price.

Do you really think that a “Technology Company” hasn’t made any new advances since you signed up X many years ago? If you haven’t checked in with your service provider since signing up for an account with them, you are missing out on the critical advances that are continually being made.

It’s the job of Service Providers to keep your business relevant and on track with continually evolving technology and support. No small or medium sized business can afford to fall behind with technology trends. Rather than being stressed about technology, small business owners such as yourselves have these tools readily available and often times for FREE.

Have a website? Is it responsive? If you do not even know what that means, it’s time to talk to your website provider.

Take advantage of meeting with the people that you rarely see. January’s brandivate marketing article Tradeshow Maximization talks about being mindful of your time on the show floor.

Step into your service providers’ booths and ask them to do a quick overview of the services you use and show them the list of your pain points. Making a personal connection on the show floor can be a big advantage. Most likely the high-level operations (a.k.a. technical gurus) are there and can offer valuable insight and might even decide to take on your project personally.

Set up follow up meetings on the spot so that you come home to standing appointments on your schedule. Hold yourself accountable for keeping these meetings afterward so that your pre-show planning efforts come full-circle to make your 2016 more successful and more efficient.

To help you get started with your list here are the top 5 reasons to visit with Industry Service Provider, DistributorCentral.

Top 5 reasons to visit the DistributorCentral Booth (#4661)

5. Brush up on the PRESENTATION TOOLS available that allow you to easily share product ideas with your customers.

4. Order ARTWORK SERVICES directly through your DC account.

3. Learn how to create and host COMPANY STORES for your top customers.

2. Download and take a tour of the DC APP for when you are on the go.

1. Demo our new responsive website builder and create a new MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE on the show floor.

*BONUS REASON: Happy Hour on Tuesday, Jan 12th at 3:00 pm, Booth 4661*

For more information view DistributorCentral’s 2016 Distributor Tools Brochure

Stephanie Protz, CAS | Marketing Director

Tradeshow Maximization

After the merriment of the holidays comes a harsh reality: trade show season. The first major show of 2016 (ASI Orlando) finished yesterday and the “granddaddy of them all,” PPAI Expo starts on Sunday. Throughout the remainder of the winter are numerous regional shows, the TOM Shows, and finishing with Expo East in March. As a distributor attending trade shows, are you doing the right preparation to get the most out of shows you attend?

This is not your typical “wear comfortable shoes” or “drink plenty of fluids” trade show post. Rather, here key strategies to focus before, during, and after the show to maximize your investment:

Before the Show

  • Know exactly what you want to achieve at the show. Going to a show hoping to see “new ideas” is a quick way to minimize the impact a show can have on your sales year. Instead, look for specific products to solve specific challenges for specific clients. In other words, be specific.
  • Plan your booth visits and organize them as “must see” and “want to see.” There are many time vampires at trade shows; so by prioritizing your booth visits, you can assure yourself that you will see the most important suppliers and service providers.
  • Attend education sessions. At almost every show there is free education to help you grow your business. View the available sessions online and attend the ones you feel will have the most impact on your business.

At the Show

  • Be laser focused on what you want to accomplish. There will be countless opportunities to socialize outside the show hours. Work your plan and avoid the casual chatter that can derail that plan.
  • Stop waiting in line at crowded booths. If a booth you have on your target list is jam packed, move on. Waiting in line for even five minutes is a complete waste of your most valuable asset – time. Instead, go to the next booth on your list and make a note to come back to the busy booth later.
  • Carry as little as possible. Dragging around 28 pounds of catalogs won’t do your back any favors and will only serve to slow you down. Ask exhibitors to scan your badge and to send you the catalogs you feel you need.
  • Leverage technology. If you see a great idea, use your smartphone or tablet to take a picture. Then, so you remember why you took the photo in the first place, send it to yourself as an email attachment with a few notes so you can draw it back to a specific client project.

After the Show

  • Implement select key learnings from education sessions. Trying to take in and apply all the information you learned at education sessions is like drinking from a fire hose. It’s far better to take one or two ideas that will truly and positively impact your business over the following three months.
  • Follow up with your clients. This one is both obvious and overlooked at the same time. Far too often distributors try to follow up with all their clients the day they get back from a show. Plan to follow up with a few a day until you’ve communicated with each and every one.
  • Follow up with exhibitors. Similar to following up with your clients, get with exhibitors after the show to ensure you receive the samples or information you need to add value to your clients. With their hectic travel schedules, they will appreciate a friendly reminder.

Taking some time to plan your time at a trade show can dramatically improve the quality of the information you receive while you are there. If you don’t institute – and execute – a strategy before, during, and after the show, your ROI will vary greatly.

Have a great show!

Bill Petrie

About brandivate

Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products distributorships. In 2014, he launched brandivate – the first executive outsourcing company solely focused on helping small and medium sized promotional products enterprises responsibly grow their business.

A featured speaker at numerous industry events, a serial creator of content marketing, Vice President for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), and PromoKitchen chef, Bill has extensive experience coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.


IRVING, Tex., (February 5, 2015) – Quinn Flags won the silver award in the 2015 Suppliers Achievement Award Competition sponsored by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Fifty-five Gold and Silver winners were recognized at the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception held January 13, 2015 at the House of Blues in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas.

Winners of PPAI Suppliers Achievement Award are honored for their superiority in craftsmanship, graphic arts, creativity, innovation and service. These winners were selected by a panel of industry professionals along with independent, print, marketing and advertising professionals.

 “PPAI is pleased to recognize Quinn Flags with the distinguished Suppliers Achievement Award,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO at PPAI. “Through its leadership and commitment to superior service, creativity, craftsmanship and innovation, Quinn Flags is leading our industry with a broad offering of products and decorating solutions that deliver impactful promotional messaging in the most powerful way.”

Quinn Flags was presented a silver award for the 2015 PPAI Suppliers Achievement Award in the category of Most Creative Product Entry. For more information about the PPAI awards program visit or contact the PPAI Awards and Recognition department at

About Quinn Flags

Since 1994, Quinn Flags, a family owned business, has been manufacturing custom flags, banners, trade show/POP displays, pennants, windsocks, and more through the promotional product industry. Our Top 3 Products are: Outdoor Flags, Portable Half Drop Banners, and Car Flags. Quinn Flags specializes in quick-turnaround for a variety of imprinted products. We make small stick flags up to large stadium banners for professional sporting venues. We passionately run our business and assist customers with integrity, offering quality products with complete professionalism. We are proud to be serving all of our distributors and their clients. Our goal is your success. For a quick quote please email or call us at 1-800-353-2468. Our most popular products can be seen at

EMT Releases New Speed Contemporary Key Tag Product Line

EMT Releases New Speed Contemporary Key Tag Product Line
Production Time is six working days, with a four working day rush service available.
November 4, 2014
9:00am Eastern Daylight Time

Indianapolis, IN- EMT, the 2013 & 2014 Distributor’s Choice for Jewelry, Emblems & Patches announced a new contemporary key tag line that will add four new key tags to the EMT product line. These new key tags are perfect for the following applications/industries: Real Estate, Automotive, Parties and Special Events, Tradeshow giveaways, Patriotic events, and Corporate Gifts.

“The inspiration behind the designs is when a classic promotional product turns contemporary,” said Kristy Tantillo, EMT Marketing Manager. “EMT President, Steve Weinstein went to great lengths to select the right product designs for the current market. We’re ecstatic to add these new products; The six-day standard production time, lustrous nickel finish with a split key ring attachment, and double two-sided imprint options for the circular-shaped key tags are just bonuses.”

EMT is now offering samples of the new key tags with your shipper #. For more information, please visit:

Product Specifications:

  • Rectangular SPKRC imprint area (1 3/4″ x 3/4″)
  • Circle SPKRO imprint area(1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″)
  • Circle-shaped key tag may be imprinted on one or both sides,
    the same or different imprints
  • Full color imprint with poly dome
  • Lustrous nickel finish with split key ring attachment
  • Production time 6 working days
  • 4 working day rush service available

About EMT

EMT is a supplier of emblematic and other promotional products. For more information, visit or contact Kristy Tantillo at (317) 803-2400. A copy of EMT’s catalog can be downloaded from the same website, or contact EMT by email or phone for a hard copy.

Tiffany Tarr receives PPB Magazine honors

Tiffany TarThere’s a Rising Star within DistributorCentral.

Tiffany Tar, Vice President of Sales, was one of 12 up-and-coming industry pros selected as one of PPB Magazine’s Rising Stars. The annual recognition program seeks out and spotlights the promotional product industry’s budding leaders for achievement within their companies, industry and community involvement, strong initiative and leadership potential.

PPB started the program in 2010 with an inaugural selection of Rising Stars and since that time the program has become one of the most sought-after recognitions in the industry. More than 50 nominations were received for this year’s award.

Tiffany has been with DistributorCentral since 2007. Here’s what DC President Jason Nokes had to say about Tiffany as part of the Rising Star nomination process: “Tiffany was the first member of our sales staff who took the tie to dig into what she would be selling. She learned how the software worked, figured out how it could benefit our customers and actually used the software to build websites, process orders and search before she ever pitched her first customer. Under her guidance, sales have skyrocketed during her career at DC. We believe we have yet to see the full impact of Tiffany’s efforts in this industry.”

The Rising Star awards were presented during recognition ceremonies at the recent PPAI North American Leadership Conference in Boston. More information about Tiffany and each of this year’s honorees is included in PPB’s August print and online issues.

DistributorCentral Enables Technologo Virtual Sampling

LONG BEACH, Cal. (August 6) – Two cutting-edge web technology-oriented service providers are making virtual sample functionality available to over 10,000 websites within the promotional products industry.
As part of a promotional offering, virtual sampling capabilities as provided by Technologo are being integrated into all websites as hosted by DistributorCentral, the industry’s only free and open centralized product database. Technologo provides unique and advanced virtual sample technology allowing real-time presentation of logos and messaging on products regardless of shape, color, texture or imprinting.

Announcement of the collaborative initiative was made this week in Long Beach at the annual Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) Show.

“Technologo’s virtual sampling tools fit seamlessly into DC-hosted websites of both suppliers and distributors,” said Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral. “We’re confident our customers who rely on DC for website hosting will quickly discover the numerous benefits and increased sales associated with the ability to create online virtual samples for their respective customers.”

From August 11 thru September 8, DC-hosted URL addresses will be enabled to use Technologo virtual sample tools at no charge. Those who opt to subscribe to Technologo services during that four-week timeframe will receive another month of virtual samples capabilities at no charge.

Mike Betts, President of Technologo, said the integration of an enhanced virtual samples tool into DistributorCentral’s website platforms will allow suppliers and distributors to “test drive” a premium virtual tool.

DC Integrates Technologo Virtual Sampling Technology

“DC-hosted website users will be able to experience the capabilities of realistic virtual samples in real time,” Betts said. “Technologo makes it easier to set up personalized presentation materials for their clients, who in turn are in a better position to make purchase decisions.”

For more information about Technologo’s virtual sample technology being available on DistributorCentral, visit

DC @ PPAI Expo 2013

It is that time of year again, the PPAI tradeshow is around the corner! January 16th, 17th, and 18th are the show dates this year in Las Vegas.

DistributorCentral will be at booth # 1160 this year. Come by to ask any questions or chat with us about what is new at DC!

Here are some of our other Supplier Booths:



Company Booth
Leed’s 1635 | 2815
Norwood Promotional Products 3229
SanMar 6715 | 6723 | 6815
Bullet 1623
TradeNet Publishing Co. 1035

Get the full list here…


Upcoming Tradeshows

1/5/2013 12:00 AM ASI—Orlando, FL
1/14/2013 12:00 AM PPAI Expo 2013

Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV
1/21/2013 12:00 AM Advantages Roadshow—Boston, MA

1/22/2013 12:00 AM Advantages Roadshow—Long Island, NY

1/23/2013 12:00 AM Advantages Roadshow—Secaucus, NJ

1/24/2013 12:00 AM Advantages Roadshow—Philadelphia, PA

1/25/2013 12:00 AM Advantages Roadshow—Baltimore, MD

Upcomming 2012 TradeShows and Expos Through September

Here is a list of some of the upcoming trade shows and expos that you might find interesting or would like to attend with links to the details.

  • May 24th, Thursday NEPPA Showcase in Manchester, NH.  Information found here.
  • June 3rd – 6th, Atlantic City, NJ.  Click Here for details.
  • July 19th, Tuesday at McCormick Place in Chicago.
  • August 7th, at Long Beach, California.  Click Here for details.
  • August 15th, Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel and Conference Center, Murfreesboro, TN.  Click Here for more information.
  • August 22nd, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.  Click Here for more information.
  • August 28th, at the Sheraton in Downtown Phoenix, AZ.  Click Here for more details.
  • August 30th, Kings Island Conference Center.  Click Here for more details.
  • September 11th, at Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlboro, MA.  Click Here for details.
  • September 13th, at Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville, MD.  Click Here for details.
  • September 18th in Chesapeake,  VA and the 20th in Richmond, VA.  Click Here for more details.