Tag Archives: Company News

31Jan/19

Why the 2019 PPAI Expo in Las Vegas Was a Must-Attend Event!

2019 PPAI Expo Recap

2019 PPAI Expo2019 PPAI ExpoWe are home from the PPAI Expo and wow – we saw so much, learned even more, and had a great time connecting with old and new friends!  It was great to attend the 2019 PPAI Expo with our whole team because there is so much to take in and we were able to have three sets of eyes.  Also, having three people let us be very organized about what we saw, learned, and visited!  Every year at the PPAI Expo is a great experience and 2019 certainly did not disappoint.

 

 

Preparing for Year Ahead with the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI ExpoWe love that the PPAI Expo is at the beginning of the year because it allows us to see the latest and greatest products while our clients are preparing marketing strategies for the year ahead.  We have projects on the horizon for clients and, knowing that, we were able to connect the right products with the coming projects.  

 

 

 

What We Saw at the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI Expo 2019 PPAI ExpoTech promotional products have been popular for a while and this year was no exception.  Wireless chargers for phones are all the rage.  They are easy to brand and everyone needs a phone charger.  The upside of a promotional wireless phone charger is that it will likely be used often so your brand will constantly be in front of whoever receives your promotional product.  Additionally, we saw some cool octopus-style charging cords that can charge multiple devices, of different kinds (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.), at once.

 

 

Our Takeaways from the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI ExpoThe best part about the 2019 PPAI Expo is not necessarily the event itself, but all that we learn and take home to our clients.  We are most excited about a movement in our industry called PromoCares.  With PromoCares, all of our clients have access to supplies in our industry that give back to others in some way.  If you’ve read our blog before, you know that we believe strongly in not just connecting the dots for our clients but serving the community in which we live and leveraging the power of our clients to support organizations that give back. 

We cannot wait to share all that we learned at the conference with our clients.  If you are planning your 2019 marketing calendar or are ready to plan your next promotional products campaign, we at Connect the Dots would love to meet with you. We would be happy to share with you about the latest and greatest products in our industry and how you can utilize promotional products to promote your business and encourage brand loyalty.

07Jan/19

2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI EXPOIt’s the beginning of a new year and that also means it is PPAI Expo time!  The entire Connect the Dots team – Karie, Marcie, & Kim – is headed to the 2019 PPAI Expo and we couldn’t be more excited to attend.  We have been attending this event for a long time for a good reason – its the biggest and best event in the promotional products industry.  PPAI describes what to expect at the 2019 PPAI Expo, “The PPAI Expo is the premier trade show for the promotional products industry. It’s the longest-running, best-attended, biggest event of the year. It takes place January 13-17, 2019 in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re in the promotional products industry, come experience extraordinary at The PPAI Expo…Serving as the yearly launch pad for both suppliers and distributors, The PPAI Expo brings more than 12,000 distributors from nearly 4,000 companies together under one roof for the five-day event. The PPAI Expo features more than 1,200 exhibiting companies showcasing tens of thousands of promotional products in nearly a million square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the fifth largest convention center in the U.S.”


What Connect the Dots Will Be Doing at the 2019 PPAI Expo

There is so much to see and learn at the PPAI Expo every year.  And, not only that, but we get to network with industry peers, catch up with old friends, and just have a great time!  We will also be taking classes because trends, regulations, products, product safety, and industry standards change every year.  We love to learn about the latest and greatest products or marketing tools so that we can bring those ideas back to our clients.

How the 2019 PPAI Expo Will Prepare Us for the Year Ahead

2019 PPAI ExpoAt the 2019 PPAI Expo we will be meeting with vendors and other industry peers.  It is a time of negotiating the best prices on the best products for our clients. But, another important topic we will be discussing this year is the potential new tariffs that may dramatically impact the promotional products industry.  The proposed increase would change the tariff rate from 20% to 25% – a huge change. If the tariff increase is enacted, it is highly likely that prices will go significantly for promotional products which will certainly impact our customers.  The deadline is in March so there will likely be a lot of strategy discussion for various potential scenarios.  We can’t wait to learn, discuss, and have fun at the 2019 PPAI Expo!  We will be sharing a recap of the experience once we return.  In the meantime, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

06Dec/18

Connect the Dots Works with SRP Vets & PC Links to Provide ‘Cookies for Troops’

Connect the Dots Works with Local Arizona Charitable Organization to Provide “Cookies for Troops”

Connect the Dots Cookies for TroopsAt Connect the Dots, we believe it is important to give back to our community and those that serve our community and nation.  We were so thrilled to participate in “Cookies for Troops,” which is an annual holiday cookie drive for our troops.  The holidays are a time for gathering with friends and family but many of our service men and women will be spending the holidays overseas, apart from their friends and family.  They do so in service to our country and by sending them a holiday care package it is a small way to say thank you for their dedicated service and send a little holiday cheer their way!

Working Together with PC Links & SRP Vets to Organize “Cookies for Troops”

Connect the Dots Cookies for TroopsIn partnership with PC Links and SRP Vets, we gathered and packaged homemade cookies to send to service men and women overseas.  Not only is the the collection of, packaging, and transportation of the cookies to troops organized but, if there are specific service members that participants or donators know, cookies can be sent directly to them!

Thanking U.S. Service Men & Women Overseas with “Cookies for Troops”

On December 3rd, we gathered with SRP Vets and other volunteers to fill 44 boxes with homemade cookies, holiday cards, and other essentials.  The packages were shipped out December 3rd and 4th to the dedicated service men and women overseas for whom we are so thankful!

Some More Pictures from the Fun Event:

Connect the Dots Cookies for Troops Connect the Dots Cookies for Troops Connect the Dots Cookies for Troops

THANKS TO PC Links and SRP Vets FOR PUTTING TOGETHER “COOKIES FOR TROOPS!”

03Dec/18

WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact Awards

WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact Awards

WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact AwardsDecember is a month filled with celebration, gathering with friends and colleagues old and new,  looking back on the previous year, and looking forward to the year to come.  This week Connect the Dots Promotions has the honor of hosting the WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact Awards. WBEC-West is a regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a coalition of corporations, WBEs and regionally focused women’s business organizations. We are so proud to be a part of this organization and are thrilled to be hosting this year’s Winter Celebration & Impact Awards.

Giving Back to Diaper Bank of Central Arizona

WBEC-West Diaper Bank of Central ArizonaAt Connect the Dots, we strongly believe in giving back to the community in which we live and are so happy that the event has partnered with Diaper Bank of Central Arizona to gather diapers for those in need.  So, if you are attending the event and would like to donate, please donate packs of child or adult diapers that are new or unopened/unused.  Also, there is an urgent need for size 6 diapers.  

WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact Awards Recipient: Karie Cowden!

WBEC-West Karie CowdenIn addition to having a great time at the event, we are thrilled to announce that Connect the Dots’ very own owner, Karie Cowden, will be the recipient of the WBEC-West Impact Award which recognizes the work Karie has done for WBEC-West and the WBE Community.  Wow, what a tremendous honor!

Celebrate with Entertainment from DanceMotion: The North Pole Flamingo

WBEC-West Dance Motion North Pole FlamingoLast but not least, the WBEC-West Winter Celebration & Impact Awards will be filled with fun, food, and holiday cheer that will be enhanced by DanceMotion. DanceMotion is one of the Valley’s premiere youth dance companies and they will be presenting a performance from their show, North Pole Flamingo! This is sure to be great entertainment you will not want to miss!

08Oct/18

WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference

WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference LikeThe WBEC West Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference is always a favorite event to attend of ours at Connect the Dots Promotions.  The 2018 event was the 15th Annual Conference and it did not disappoint, but first, a little background.  The WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference is designed to provide attendees with ‘the resources needed to build sustainable relationships with procurement and supplier diversity professionals in order to grow your business to the next level of success.’  

What was the WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference Like?

Once you sat down at the table there was everything needed for a delicious meal.  Each table had to nominate a chef and a sous chef and then the table worked together to make three different pasta dishes.  Not only did we have a blast at our own table but it was fun to see what others came up with at their tables and just how creative everyone was!  We loved this idea and think it would be a great option for corporate outings to build community and foster teamwork.

What We Learned at the WBEC West Conference

WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference LikeWe had opportunities to attend workshops on how to stand out with corporations.  We also attended a fashion show with other WBE’s.  On the last day of the conference, we had one-on-one meetings with corporates.  We hope that our impression was positive and look forward to seeing what opportunities may come from these more intimate one-on-one meetings.

Final Thoughts on the WBEC 15th Annual Strategic Procurement Opportunity Conference

As always, the 2018 WBEC-West Conference was fun, informative, and full of opportunities to grow your business.  We love seeing other women do what they do best, learn from their experiences and knowledge, and encourage each other on the path to growing our businesses. All-in-all, Connect the Dots Promotions was there to connect to with other WBEs (Women Business Enterprises and to do what we love – grow our network and CONNECT THE DOTS!

27Sep/18

8 Fun School Spirit Promotional Products to Show Your School Pride!

Get in the School Spirit with Promotional Products!

We all love to root for our favorite home team, represent our alma mater with pride, or show off our school colors!  Being a part of a school community is fun but the fun can be further enhanced with school spirit promotional items.  Whether you are preparing for ‘back-to-school,’ have a school spirit shop, a big homecoming game, athletic events, academic events, or just want to represent your school with pride every day, there are a wide array of promotional products that will excellently represent your school spirit.

Give Consumers What They Want & Foster School Loyalty with Promotional Products

School spirit promotional products never go out of style.  And, even if there are extras you can always give them away as a gesture of goodwill or reward for an achievement, or you could sell them in your school spirit shop! PPAI points out that smart young consumers (high school and college students, for example) are eager to be on trend while representing their school spirit during their school years and as alumni as well, “With more than 20 million students roaming U.S. college campuses this fall, building brand loyalty among them seems as easy as a course in underwater basketweaving. But the tastes and opinions of these savvy young consumers are as diverse as their backgrounds, so campaigns need to be thoughtful, targeted and on trend…Tote bags and backpacks, including inexpensive drawstring bags, are popular as well, she says. “Totes are used to carry stuff at events; backpacks are given out at orientation to carry books and laptops; drawstring bags are used to advertise events.” Rounding out the top three for Larick’s clients are portable drinkware options. “Disposable water bottles are being banned on many campuses we work with,” she says. “Students often carry water bottles and thermal coffee mugs around campus.” School spirit continues to live on for many alumni, particularly those who participated in campus organizations such as sports teams, fraternities and sororities.”  Custom school spirit promotional products will show off your school pride in style, provide traveling marketing opportunities for more people to learn about your school, serve many helpful purposes, and ultimately – they are a lot of fun!  

8 Fun School Spirit Promotional Products
  1. Drawstring Bag
      • Every kid can use a drawstring bag to tote their gym clothes, shoes, books, or other items!
  1. Cups or Tumblers
      • Everyone in the family will love having a custom school spirit cup or tumbler!
  1. Sports Ball
      • Whether you opt to customize a football, basketball, soccer ball, baseball or volleyball – custom school balls are great gifts! Give them to school athletic team members, students or families!
  1. Pens & Pencils
      • Pens and pencils are necessary school writing tools. They are also some of the most inexpensive promotional products! These budget-friendly school spirit promotional products are a great choice!
  1. Notebooks
      • Jot down class notes in style or just have a handy notebook at the ready with a custom logo notebook.
  1. Lanyards
      • Most schools today require student ID cards or badge.  A custom logo lanyard is not only spreading school spirit but a helpful accessory to promote school security!
  1. Hats
      • Hats are a staple in the promotional product industry, and for good reason – everybody loves a great hat!  It is the easiest and most convenient way to represent your favorite school while also keeping the sun out of your eyes!
  1. Stadium Seats or Cushions
      • Cheering on your school team can sometimes last hours but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable!  Sit on a customized school spirit stadium seat or cushion!

Connect the Dots Can Customize Your School Spirit Promotional Products!

At Connect the Dots Promotions, we recently had the opportunity to work with Scottsdale Christian Academy on their school spirit promotional products and we can’t wait to see them in action at their 2018 Homecoming football game! Go team go!

29Aug/18

10th Annual UMOM Walk to End Homelessness

Participating in the 10th Annual UMOM Walk to End Homelessness

UMOM New Day CenterAt Connect the Dots, we are all about creating a community of connection.  We love our clients and we love our community so any time we can bring them together in one way or another is a total win in our books.  A community of connection pulls everyone together for a more impactful outcome.  And, because we love our community and our clients, we are so proud to sponsor the 10th Annual UMOM Walk to End Homelessness.  We have volunteered with UMOM for many years and are proud to support this great organization in any way that we can.  And, not only will be participating in the event but we are going to be sponsoring a team in an effort to break a Guinness World Record!  

How You Can Be a Part of a Guinness World Record

UMOM Walk to End HomelessnessWe want as many people as possible to participate in the UMOM Walk to End Homelessness because we will be breaking the Guinness World Record for the Largest Thong Sandal Race. The current record is 1,346 participants and this year we will break that record at the Phoenix Zoo!  And, because we work to create a community of connection, one of our Connect the Dots Promotions Clients, McCarthy Building Co., has donated flip-flops for the event for teams to wear. We love when we can bring clients together and also support the community and make an effort to end homelessness!  

About the 10th Annual UMOM Walk to End Homelessness

UMOM Walk to End HomelessnessThe UMOM Walk to End Homelessness is a 1K race at the Phoenix Zoo that raises money and awareness for families, single women, and youth experiencing homelessness.  You can choose to participate in the event as an individual, as part of a team, or as a sponsor!

The UMOM Walk is September 22nd, 2018 at the Phoenix Zoo

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 

Phoenix Zoo

455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

6:00 A.M. – Registration & Activities/Food Vendors Open

7:00 A.M. – Walk Begins

9:00 A.M. – Event Ends/Zoo Open to Event Attendees and the Public

Tickets – Each ticket includes a commemorative t-shirt and flip-flops and all-day access to the Phoenix Zoo on the day of the event

21Aug/18

Connect the Dots Promotions Has a New Office!

A New Office for Connect the Dots Promotions!

Arizona Promotional ProductsAt Connect the Dots Promotions, it is our priority to constantly look for ways to better serve our clients.  We want to provide our clients with the best experience and service and help them foster a community of connection in whatever industry in which they find themselves.  We recently moved to a new office location because we believe it will allow us to better serve our clients, and their promotional products needs, in every way possible!

 

Friendly Faces at Our New Arizona Promotional Products Office

Arizona Promotional ProductsWhile we may be in an exciting new office space, you will still walk in and see the same friendly faces of Connect the Dots! Karie Cowden is always ready to get creative and find new and unique ways to market your business, reward employees, or thank customers.  Also, if you need a little help thinking outside the box, just hop in our office hammock and let the inspiration strike! And, Marcie is always hard at work to make sure everything is on track for our clients!  Teamwork makes the dream work and our team is hard at work to make our client’s dreams work!

Work Hard & Be Nice to People

Arizona Promotional ProductsAt Connect the Dots Promotions, it is our mission to create a community of connection and to help our clients do the same.  We believe the best way to achieve that is always through hard work and positive attitude.  We have this little reminder in our kitchen to help us always stay focused on what is most important. You will always succeed when you work hard and are nice to people! 

Come Say Hi & See Our New Office

If we haven’t had a chance to meet in a while, or you just want to check out the new digs, we would love for you to come to our new office and say hi!  We will be happy to show you around the new office and help you with any of your promotional product needs!

Connect the Dots Promotions New Office:
3141 E. Beardsley Road, Suite 135 Phoenix, AZ 85050