January 28, 2008
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.
As with the PSI Show in Dusseldorf earlier this month and the PPAI Vegas Show, the prevalent trend is anything and everything green — to the point where if you’re a supplier who doesn’t have eco-friendly items in your line, you’re kind of like the dorky kid at the prom, standing alone in the corner without a dance partner.
PPACanada’s Image Awards were held last night with much fanfare, attracting a standing room-only crowd. The major awards of the evening went to Leed’s Canada, which garnered the “Supplier of the Year” award for the third straight year and Accolade Reaction Promotional Group, which won the “National Distributor of the Year” honor. The Association also honored Kurt Reckzeigel, who recently retired after serving for many years as president, with its Lifetime Acheivement award for his dedication and service. Kurt was lauded with a “This Is Your Life”-type of slideshow presentation which was really quite touching.
From there, it was on to ASI Canada’s cocktail reception, which attracted hundreds of guests (see photos), who had quite the time mingling and getting lots of time with Fred & Leslie, who are quite the celebs here in the Canadian market. They know EVERYONE, and I lost count of the number of times people told me their favorite “Freddy” story. If you haven’t met Fred & Leslie, you should — they know more about the Canadian ad specialty industry than anyone I know and Fred is such a character that he makes me seem like an sedate introvert.
The evening end with a fantastic party at an amazing restaurant called Milagro, in downtown Toronto, hosted by Leed’s Canada, Bullet Line and JournalBooks. As Leed’s Canada won six Gold Awards, in addition to “Supplier of the Year” from PPACanada, the mood was celebratory to say the least (see photos and listen to my pod cast with Craig Morantz, who oversees Leed’s Canada).
Off now to the second day of the show, where — if you’re a night owl like me — you have to love the hangover-friendly show hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to the show being awesome and Toronto being an amazing city, I have to tell you that I really feel at home in a country where the currency is called the “loonie.”
More from the show tomorrow!