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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

Northern Exposure

Filed under: Travel

Hi again from the PPACanada Show in Toronto!

The second day of Canada’s largest trade show kept its steady pace, much to the delight of exhibitors, all of whom had just one complaint — they didn’t bring enough catalogs.  (Listen to my pod cast with Leslie Oesen, vice president of ASI Canada and expert on the Canadian ad specialties industry, who sat down with me yesterday to discuss trends and changes in the marketplace.)

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside… But Hot at the PPACanada Show!

Filed under: Travel

Hi from Toronto, where — despite the fact that it’s a mind-numbing 10 degrees — everyone is in great spirits here at the PPACanada Show. Even after two major North American Shows this month — ASI Orlando and PPAI Vegas — it’s great to see how psyched everyone is to be at another show and ready to do business.

The show opened yesterday and was packed! The show’s organziers anticipated 3,000 distributors but after talking to many exhibitors — all of whom were already out of catalogs and samples — the consensus is that the show exceeded those numbers.

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Interview with Leslie Oesen

Filed under: Interviews

Leslie Oesen, who has been a prominent member of the Canadian ad specialty indusry for the last 24 years with her husband, Fred, sat down with me during the second day of the PPACanada Show to discuss trends and changes in the marketplace. Leslie and Fred owned Task Force Marketing, a well-known and respected company in the Canadian industry and are now vice presidents of ASI Canada.

 
 Leslie Oesen Interview [2:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup

Interview with Joe Hafner

Filed under: Interviews

Joe Hafner, a pioneer in the Canadian ad specialties market for more than two decades and the owner of the supplier Redi-Medic, sat down with me to discuss trends in the Canadian ad specialty market, the vibrancy of the industry in Canada and his perspective on the shows so far this year, as he exhibited at ASI Orlando, PSI Dusseldorf, PPAI Las Vegas and now PPACanada.

 
 Joe Hafner Interview [3:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup

Interview with Craig Morantz

Filed under: Interviews

Craig Morantz, vice president of Polyconcept North America and the person at the helm of Leed’s Canada, with the six Image awards the company collected last night from PPACanada, including “Supplier of the Year” which the company has won for the last three years. Never at a loss for words or one to shy away from the limelight, Craig hosted a Polyconcept party last night and worked the room like Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion.

 
 Craig Morantz Interview [5:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup

Interview with Mark Bruk

Filed under: Interviews

Mark Bruk, vice president of business development for CFS Promotions For Now, and I chatted at the ASI Canada reception last night regarding his take on the first day of the PPACanada Show. Mark convinced me that I should join him and the other suppliers for a week on the Advantages traveling road show and blog from each different city. He assures me that the stories would be priceless.

 
 Mark Bruk Interview [1:21m]: Play Now | Play in Popup

I Love the Vegas Nightlife (Kind of…)

Filed under: Travel

The industry parties, which seemed to dissipate for a while a few years ago, are back and better than ever. My colleague Christian Brandt, referred to often here at ASI as my “handler” (those of you who know me can empathize with that particular level of Dante’s hell…), were on the circuit, with Christian keeping us on schedule like the maniacal drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket.

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Bright Lights, Big Crowds & High Times in Sin City…

Filed under: Travel

Well, there is no question about it – PPAI’s Las Vegas Show is the event of the year, drawing huge crowds (over 15,800 pre-registered attendees) of visitors and exhibitors taking up what felt like enough space to occupy Texas. Everyone, of course, was in attendance, and the mood was positive, upbeat and productive – even on the last day when exhibitors are surviving on what I call the “ine” diet: pure adrenaline and caffeine.

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