ZOOMcatalog LAUNCHES ZOOMacademy
With fresh, customizable marketing materials added by promotional product suppliers daily, digital marketing has never been easier.
BOULDER, COLORADO (May 20 , 2020) – ZOOMcatalog today announced the launch of ZOOMacademy, an educational platform designed for Promotional Product professionals, which will be available at no cost to the entire industry. The ZOOMacademy will include straight forward, in-depth, and on-demand courses focused on digital marketing and sales. Individuals who complete courses in the academy can also earn credit towards their PPAI certification.
The first three courses available in the ZOOMacademy focus on building a communication plan during the pandemic, becoming a remote promotional product company, and an introduction to branding. Students of the academy will decide what classes will be released next, which may include how to transition catalogs from print to digital, how to use objectives to grow your business and a complete reference guide for industry professionals.
“The ZOOMacademy is a platform we have been planning for a long time. With extensive experience in technology, sales, marketing, and the promotional product industry, we have an opportunity to share our knowledge and help others in the industry grow.” Said co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Bryony Zasman. “In response to recent events, we decided to expedite the completion and launch of the ZOOMacademy. During these unprecedented times, people in the industry find themselves with more time on their hands and are looking for ways to build their skills and prepare themselves for success once business returns to the new normal”.
In addition to the library of courses, the ZOOMacademy also includes a talent pool. Industry professionals are invited to submit their resume and create a profile. The talent pool will be accessible to companies in the industry that are seeking new team members.
“If we can help one person find their next role, that’s a win for us.” Said Head of Design, Alex Hughes.
To access the ZOOMacademy and talent pool, visit www.academy.zoomcatalog.com.
ZOOMcatalog is a leading technology provider in the promotional product industry, helping companies customize and share powerful digital marketing materials. Suppliers add fresh catalogs, flyers, and more to ZOOMcatalog daily, which distributors can use in digital sales and marketing initiatives.
To learn more about ZOOMcatalog visit www.zoomcatalog.com.
AAkron Line Begins Production of Face Shields
Akron, NY – April 29, 2020 – Top 40 promotional product supplier and manufacturer, AAkron Line, announced today they have begun manufacturing face shields, after waiting nearly a full month for proper certification from the federal government. The new face shields will be immediately available to state and federal first responders while being available to promotional distributors next week.
“We immediately began to look at the whole spectrum of PPE products to see where and how we could use our manufacturing expertise to help in the COVID-19 fight. We have also seen first-hand numerous products that are available with no certification or documentation so we felt very strongly that whatever we did had to be done to the highest standards” says Devin Piscitelli, CEO & Co-owner of AAkron Line.
AAkron’s face shield is a FDA Listed Device and has passed ANSI testing. The test conducted and passed are ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015-Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices – Full Requirement , and ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015-Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices – Droplets and Splashes.
The face shields have an elastic band for flexible fit, a crystal clear shield and are foam padded for comfort. The company will sell the face shields with the option of imprinting or they can be purchased blank.
These face shields are the second item AAkron Line has introduced in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last week the company introduced their new Face Mask Ear Saver. The ear saver is also Made in the USA of a latex-free, thermoplastic rubber which allows elastic bands of the face mask to be comfortably hooked together to prevent rubbing behind the ears.
About AAkron Line
AAkron Line is a family-owned and operated supplier that entered the promotional products industry in 1967. Over the decades, the company has won several Supplier Star and Merit Awards for service and innovation. Currently, their product line includes over 750 different items. Domestically manufactured products include stadium cups, sports bottles, pencils, rulers, yardsticks, key chains, bracelets, hand fans and much more. To view AAkron Line’s full product offerings, visit www.aakronline.com.
Dear PPAI Members:
One of the most important things an association does for its members is advocacy. This is at the core of every industry association, including yours. In both good times and bad, PPAI focuses on informing influential, targeted audiences on the power of promotional products and the businesses and stories that make up the industry.
In recent years, our efforts on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and with the GET IN TOUCH! advertising campaign have paid great dividends. Most federal and state legislators are well aware of the promotional products industry. There is also significant awareness of our industry's relevance in the advertising and marketing communities. Complementing the awareness driven by the GET IN TOUCH! campaign are the multi-million-dollar marketing campaign tools members are encouraged to use in their own marketing efforts. These robust advocacy efforts continue today and are the focus of this update.
This year, as I mentioned in a previous update, we've had to cancel our annual Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) and our in-person visits to D.C. Instead, next week we will embark on a virtual L.E.A.D.—L.E.A.D. From Home—one that every member can participate in. Personally, I will miss seeing those of you who would have joined us in D.C., but the current situation leaves us with no other options.
We urge all of you to join us in thanking your members of Congress for their support of small businesses. Encourage them to continue to give you the tools and resources you need to keep your doors open and your employees paid because small businesses will be the backbone of this country's economic recovery.
Here's how to participate in this year's L.E.A.D. From Home:
Our hope is that these messages will keep our industry top of mind in Congress and help to ensure a brighter future for the industry that has been so good to all of us.
The GET IN TOUCH! campaign, which was recently updated, can also be used without leaving your home. It is the perfect way to keep your brand and messaging in front of your customers. The campaign is even more important now as you work to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. Get the buyer outreach toolkit, and take advantage of the thought-provoking images, engaging videos, new research-based infographics and more. In fact, many members are currently working with our staff to customize their own branded broadcast-ready video spots that were created as part of the campaign. To get your customized video spot, reach out to Get In Touch! program manager, Kim Todora at KimT@ppai.org.
Finally, I want to update you on some of the organizational changes we've had to make here at PPAI. As I committed to you in March, our primary goals during this period of COVID-19 uncertainty are twofold. First, to make sure we continue to provide essential services to members and the promotional products industry and marketplace. Second, to make the necessary business decisions to ensure that there is a strong and relevant trade association in place to help you recover and rebuild when the business constraints of the pandemic are eased, if not lifted.
PPAI is a lagging indicator of our industry's business climate, specifically as it relates to membership recruitment and retention, whereby reported sales volume determines the dues payable to the Association. Membership dues account for about 50 percent of the Association's total revenue. The other half of our revenue—and the driver behind most of our profitability—involves trade shows, live events, conferences, advertising, sponsorships and registrations fees. So how will the pandemic impact PPAI in the short- and long-term?
We expect member companies will continue to experience an annual decline in sales which will adversely affect the dues revenue we collect. On top of that, to the extent that I can reasonably foresee the future, those other revenue sources will suffer significant declines through 2020, somewhat predictably through 2021 and quite possibly beyond that. We just do not know, but, pursuant to our strategic plan, we strive to see as far as possible into the future to best gauge the business climate for our members, the industry and the Association. In any event, for the first time since I joined PPAI over 20 years ago, normal Association operations will face significant losses.
As a result, I, like so many of you, have implemented staffing, salary and benefit reductions to help PPAI manage through this challenging economic time. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, PPAI was not eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program which might have assisted us in mitigating staff cuts. These actions are never easy, nor should they be. And they were not taken without deep concern and late nights of worry for our internal colleagues who have worked diligently to help make PPAI the Mark of a Professional.
In addition to staff cuts, we've also made changes to the structure of the business with the consolidation of departments and management. All of this was advanced with a mandate to retain the essential products and services you are promised as part of your membership in PPAI.
My goal in all of this is to manage and restructure PPAI, your Association, to reflect current realities and likely scenarios we will all face in the near and foreseeable future.
As I communicated to the PPAI team, we have no crystal ball to tell us when the economic constraints of the pandemic will end or when our businesses will recover. But, I remain positive—the constraints will end and our businesses will recover. Even then, industry events will likely be reduced in size and profitability for the foreseeable future.
As we regroup and reposition the Association for a post-coronavirus future, you have my commitment that the leadership team—and a smaller, leaner, restructured and reimagined PPAI—will work tirelessly to make thoughtful decisions to maximize the value of your membership.
Our challenges are real and pressing, both as an association and an industry of professionals. But, our resolve is as intense as ever. And, this Association will move forward as the Mark of a Professional to serve you and the promotional products industry in this most challenging of times to ensure promotional products and our associated businesses continue to be a cost-effective and powerful marketing media.
In my next update I'll share the latest on The PPAI Expo. So, stay tuned and stay healthy.
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PPAI Presents 30 CAS, MAS Certifications In March; Waives Fees During Health Crisis
In March, 30 industry professionals earned their Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) and Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certifications. PPAI is also taking steps to expand certification opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions it has brought to the industry. Beginning April 1 and running through June 30, PPAI has waived the Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certificate and CAS and MAS certification application fees for Association members and reduced pricing for Associates by 50 percent.
AAkron Line Increases Production Capacity on Made in USA Products
AKRON, NY, March 2, 2020 - AAkron Line, a top 40 promotional products supplier, announced today they have increased production capacity by 50% in their molding department. This supports increasing demand for Made in USA products.
“Increasing our production capacity allows us to ramp up production on our 350 Made in USA products,” says Danielle Robillard, President, and Co-Owner of AAkron Line. “We want to make certain distributors have options to fit their clients’ needs as imported product inventory becomes limited. By increasing production on our domestically made products we are able to offer them readily available alternatives.”
AAkron Line’s Made in USA line accounts for over 75% of units sold annually, which recognizes them as a notable leader in the promotional products industry. The company has two manufacturing facilities; one in Akron, New York and the other in Bakewell, Tennessee.
The company’s roots are in their Made in USA products; manufacturing rulers and yardsticks when the business started in 1967. Now, over 50 years later, AAkron’s manufacturing capabilities have expanded to include pencil manufacturing, blow molding, and injection molding.
In 2017, the company built a new 16,000 square-foot, state of the art, molding facility in New York. Further adding to the company’s molding operations, they expanded their existing 12,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse in New York, adding another 9,000 square-feet to it. AAkron Line will continue to look for manufacturing opportunities, bringing products in-house when possible.
The company has a 2020 Made in USA e-catalog, which can be found at www.aakronline.com.
AAkron Line is a family-owned and operated supplier that entered the promotional products industry in 1967. Over the decades, the company has won several Supplier Star and Merit Awards for service and innovation. Currently, their product line includes over 750 different items. Domestically manufactured products include stadium cups, sports bottles, pencils, rulers, yardsticks, key chains, bracelets, hand fans and much more. A large variety of Made in USA products belong to the company’s popular Mood product line, which offers unique products that change color with heat, cold liquids, cold temperatures, sunlight or water. To view AAkron Line’s full product offerings, visit www.aakronline.com.
Coming this Month (February 2020 )!! CAAMP Connect - The CAAMP Podcast discussing member benefits, upcoming events, and industry topics!
What would you like to know about CAAMP? Please e-mail us at Info@caampers.org.
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SPARK · July 15-17, 2020 · San Antonio, TX
Become A Change Agent In The Promo Industry
Do you know what the next generation of business professionals want? No, it isn't more avocado toast. It's a chance to make a real difference in their careers. PPAI's SARK Conference, which is being held July 15-17 in San Antonio, Texas, was purpose-built to help young professionals achieve that goal.
SPARK Conference's targeted education will focus on innovation and the path to becoming a change agent within this industry. With hundreds of networking opportunities and some heart-warming community activism, PPAI's SPARK Conference will turn today's young professionals into tomorrow's industry leaders. The best part? The high-quality content, coupled with the low cost of attendance, makes it the perfect investment in your company's future. Here are the experts presenting in San Antonio.
CEO, Hub Promotional Group and Seasoned Promo Professional
Professor, Founder & Consultant
Barbara J. Burder iZone,
University of Rochester
Dr. David Vequist
Fortune 500 Company Exec.
Network With Industry Peers
Create Long-Term Business Relationships
SPARK provides a unique experience that matches young professionals' values. If you, or someone in your office, could benefit from some hands-on workshops, then act now. SPARK Conference has sold out every year. Register below or check out the itinerary here.
Register Now For SPARK 2020
July 15-17, 2020 · San Antonio, TX
$495 for PPAI Members · $645 for PPAI Associates
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USMCA Now Law In The U.S.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been in place since 1994 and represents approximately $1.2 trillion in trade among the three countries.
Read more USMCA
New Bill Threatens Independent Contractor Status Nationwide
Newly proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would effectively ban independent contractor classifications under federal labor law. H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, amends the National Labor Relations Act to establish a new definition of employees that expressly eliminates independent contractors in the U.S. The new legislation makes a broad presumption that all workers in the U.S. are employees unless each requirement of a newly established "ABC" test can be met.
FROM OUR 2020 PRESIDENT
CAAMP Members, I would like to say thank you as your 2020 President. This is an honor that is not going to be taken lightly. We have so many exciting new changes coming for 2020 and a Board that is ready to get to work making this year fantastic for all. Please reach out to me or anyone on the board as needed. Lets make 2020 CAAMP shows, CAAMPFires, and industry events the best yet!
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