How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Most people dread the in-person job interview. Even the thought of an interview is enough to throw some into a tailspin of anxiety. What do you wear? What do you bring? How do you answer those tough questions? We at PromoPlacement completely understand and are here to help. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to prepare yourself for the interview.

Research The Organization

The very first thing you want to do in preparation is to research the company you will be interviewing with. Check out the company’s website. Read the “About Us” section and get a feel for who they are, what they are about, and when they were founded. Find something that speaks to you that you can slip into conversation.

Talk to someone who already works there or find someone on LinkedIn who is currently working in the position you will be interviewing for. See how they describe the position and find something you like about it. This will help you speak more to what the hiring manager may be looking for.

Package Your Positives

Go into the interview with a game plan. Select 2-4 key points about your experience and background that you want to make very clear to the interviewer. Reiterate these often. These points should tie into both the business goals of the company and the hiring goals of the hiring manager. They should be specific and spell out exactly why you are the right person for the job.

Package Your Negatives

Many candidates have some shortcoming or weakness within their career history. Maybe you have had a 3-month gap in employment or maybe your formal management experience is lacking. Whatever the issue is, be prepared to address it. Plan out in advance how you are going to explain it should it come up in the interview. It’s best to keep it brief. Explain it and move on to the next topic.

What To Wear

Keep it neutral and conservative. If you are wearing a dress, be conscience about the length, color, and cut. Be sure you stay professional top to bottom. If you are wearing a suit, be sure the jacket and pants match as well as the shoes. If you are instructed that the office is “business casual” be mindful. Still dress professionally, this may mean not wearing a full suit, but rather wearing a button down with dress pants. Remember you are trying to impress.

Remember to dress for the job you want not the job you have. Even if you are interviewing for a customer service job behind a desk and a phone, you still want upward mobility and the best way to ensure that is to show them right off the bat that you’re a professional.

What To Bring

Bring extra copies of your resume in some type of folder to keep them clean and neat. Bring a notepad or professional binder and a pen. Keep everything neat and professional. Read our “11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview” blog post for more details.

First Impressions

Sit up straight. Manage how you react to the interviewer and do your best to keep positive facial expressions. Remember that your first impression starts when you walk through the door, so be friendly to everyone you see and meet. Make it clear that you’re actively listening to your interviewer by keeping good eye contact.

Keep Responses Simple

Be sure not to over share. No one needs to hear your life story in an interview and no one wants to hear you ramble on about the family dog. Keep your answers short and concise. Speak clearly and with meaning. You don’t need to use big words in your interview. Just speak to what you know and be yourself.

Always Ask Questions

Every interview ends with “Do you have any questions?” Always have questions. The number one question we recommend to our candidates is “Do you have any doubts about me taking this job?” This is where you can understand where they feel you may fall short and you get the chance to ease their doubts.  Other questions you can ask is “What do you expect of someone within the first 90 days of taking this position?” or “What are the next steps?”. Never ask about compensation, benefits, or PTO in the first interview. Those details will clarify themselves later in the process.

Send A “Thank You”

Send a “thank you” note or email to the person you interviewed with. Be sure to include why you want the position and why you feel you would be an asset to their company. This can make you stand out from all other candidates because this is the one step most people forget. I’ve seen it make the difference between getting the job or not.

The in-person job interview doesn’t have to be stressful or nerve wrecking.  Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Believe in yourself and prepare diligently and you’ll stand out from the pack.

10 Tips To Help You Win Every Negotiation

Possessing strong negotiating skills can make a big difference in your career. It can help you earn more money, achieve a higher status, and reach your business goals.

Despite the myriad of benefits, very few people are good negotiators. Why is this the case? Well, many people are too worried about being pushy to embrace a strong negotiating stance. However, negotiating is nothing to be afraid of; when it is done well, it doesn’t come off as pushy at all.

Although strong negotiating skills are not something that most people are born with, these skills can definitely be learned and developed over time. All that is required to improve your skills is an understanding of the basics and the courage to practice in real-life situations.

In a nutshell, negotiating is about protecting the value that you provide to others.  Think of negotiating as…

  1. a simple process to follow
  2. a thoughtful interaction with other people
  3. a way to determine even better solutions.

Follow the 10 tips below, and you will master the basics and be well on your way to becoming a negotiating powerhouse.

Do your homework.

  • Research the topic and think through your options before you initiate the discussion.

Clearly define your goals.

  • Prior to the discussion, make sure you are clear on what you want as well as your “walk-away” point (the minimum outcome you’re willing to accept).

Determine the best timing for the discussion.

  • You’ll want to plan enough time for the discussion and to hold it when all parties are relaxed and not emotional.

Ask for what you want.

  • Don’t be afraid to explain your needs and what you’d like the outcome to be. However, be sure to do so calmly and in a non-confrontational tone of voice.

See the situation from all angles. 

  • Try to understand where the other person is coming from; try asking them to tell you about their needs and key concerns.

Listen, listen, and listen some more.

  • Spend more time listening than talking during the discussion.

Find a creative solution.

  • Think win/win, not that someone must walk away a winner and the other a loser. There’s nothing wrong with working together to determine creative ways to meet the needs of both parties.

Remain calm and avoid getting emotional.

  • The more emotional you become, the more clouded your thinking will be.

Avoid finger-pointing.

  • Focus on the issues, not on personalities. Be pleasant and never make it personal.

Remember that there will always be a tomorrow.

  • If the discussion heads in a negative direction and tempers flare, it’s okay to recommend picking up the discussion on another day after everyone has an opportunity to take a step back, relax, and think.

Don’t be afraid, embrace the process, and start practicing your negotiating skills today!

The 7 Pillars of Job Satisfaction

Whether you absolutely love your current job or you are actively looking for a new one, you need to know how to evaluate it correctly. These seven factors determine how well your job fits your life plans and how much you enjoy your work.

Favorite skills

  • What activity, interest, or hobby do you love spending time doing? If money were no object, how would you choose to spend your time?

Most important values

  • What kind of work is the best fit with your character or your code of ethics? What is most important to you? Is there a particular cause or mission you’d like to work towards?

Areas of fascination

  • What fields have always interested you? Where is your passion? Follow that and success will most likely follow you.

Favorite people to work with

  • What kind of people do you like to work with or spend time with? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you prefer to be a part of a team or an independent contributor?

Preferred working conditions

  • What is your favorite work environment? Do you enjoy working with a strict deadline or a more laissez faire pace in the office?

Responsibility and compensation

  • How much responsibility and importance are you willing to accept? The idea that more responsibility leads to a higher compensation isn’t true in all cases. However, it’s a useful indicator of the salary range you can expect.

Ideal place to live and work

  • Where do you love to spend your life? Are you a city-dweller or do you prefer a mountain retreat?

Evaluating your current role using these seven factors will tell you a lot about where you are in your career. Wherever you find yourself, our team of career experts will always be here to coach, guide, and ensure that you’re getting the absolute best career opportunities available.

 

Credit: What Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter’s Workbook

Promotional Product Job Interview Questions: Sales Representative Edition

Most job interviews are a challenging experience for everyone involved.

The candidate is nervous and on edge. Most candidate’s greatest fear about a job interview is that they’ll be open, honest, their best self will shine through, and they still won’t get the job. To hedge against this, most rehearse their answers to standard interview questions. At best, this process results in stiff, inauthentic answers, at worst, some answers are flat out lies.

The success or failure of most job interviews come down how much the interviewer prepared for the interview ahead of time. The biggest mistake a hiring manager can make is to come unprepared and simply take a candidate’s answer at face value. We all know that talk is cheap and it’s up to you, the interviewer, to get to the truth.

Canned Responses and A Wasted Hour

Here are 5 very common traditional interview questions that you’ve probably asked or been asked many times.

  • What are your greatest strengths or weaknesses?
  • What did you enjoy most/least about your last position?
  • Describe the best boss you’ve ever had.
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • How would your coworkers or supervisor describe you?

9 out of 10 times these questions get you absolutely nowhere. You’ll learn nothing new about your candidate and be no closer to discovering what they would be like as a co-worker. Candidates have prepared and rehearsed these answers to death. The canned answers are designed to make the candidate look great and tell the interviewer what they want to hear. As a result, the interviewer and the candidate part ways knowing very little new, honest information about each other.

How can you be expected to make the very expensive of decision of hiring a new employee with such murky information?

Behavior-Based Interviewing

The solution to this predicament is behavior-based questions. These questions are built on the philosophy that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Traditional interview question: “How do you handle stress?”

Behavior-based interviewing question: “Tell me about a time you had to perform a task or project under a lot of stress?”

20 Terrific Interview Questions for Sales Representatives

  1. “Tell me about a time when a client came to you with a problem. What did you do?”
  2. “Tell me about a presentation that you made to upper management. What was it about? How did it go?”
  3. “Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see/do things your way.”
  4. “Describe a situation where you had to collect information by asking many people a lot of questions.”
  5. “Describe a time when you facilitated a creative solution to a problem in the workplace.”
  6. “Describe a time when you took personal accountability for a conflict and initiated contact with a client/coworker to explain your actions.”
  7. “Tell me about a time you felt you needed to be assertive in order to get what you felt you or your team deserved or needed.”
  8. “Give me an example of a time you effectively used your people skills to solve a customer problem.”
  9. “Tell me about a major project you recently completed. How did you set project goals and monitor your progress?”
  10. “Tell me about a time when you used your interpersonal skills to build a network of contacts to reach goals.”
  11. “Describe a time where your patience in gathering information paid off.”
  12. “Describe a time where you took the initiative to act rather than waiting to be told what to do.”
  13. “Describe for me a situation when you had to build and maintain a new relationship in order to accomplish a business goal.”
  14. “Give me an example of a time when you were a good listener.”
  15. “Give me an example of a time when you had to juggle several important activities and projects in a limited amount of time. Did you stay on top of all of them? How?”
  16. “All jobs have unpleasant tasks. Tell me about the most unpleasant tasks you were required to do at work. Were you successful in getting it done? Why or why not?”
  17. ‘Tell me about a big project you had to plan for work.”
  18. “Describe the most significant presentation you have had to complete.”
  19. “Give me an example of an important goal you have had and how you went about achieving it.”
  20. “Tell me about the greatest business risk you have taken.”

The job interview process and the result gained from it are greatly improved when hiring firms move from the tired, old interview questions to behavior-based interview questions.  The answers that come from behavior-based questions give the candidate a chance to truly reveal who they are, what they’ve done in the past, and what they can contribute to the hiring firm.  With this knowledge, hiring firms can make quality decisions that reduce ramp up time, improve retention, and increase their chances of making a great hire!

The State of the Promotional Products Talent Market | 2018

Finding great people is always a challenge. However, your odds of finding and hiring great candidates are significantly increased if you have a firm understanding of the talent pool that is available to you. In other words, knowledge is power.

Our team of sourcers and recruiters have hundreds of conversations with hiring managers and job candidates every week. To provide managers and candidates with a better understanding of the promotional products talent market, we’ve tracked these conversations over the past 12 months. The results of our analysis have provided the insights below.

If you’re planning to grow your firm and add to your team in 2018, here’s what the promotional products talent market has in store for you:

 

DISTRIBUTORS

Executive-Level

  • Within the distributor-side of our industry, executive-level job candidates are not available in the same abundance as they were last year. Many long-term promotional products industry professionals have retired or left the industry. Distributor executives continue to be challenged with ownership changes, private equity involvement, lack of movement within the C-Suite, and rapidly aging skill sets.
  • Equilibrium

Management

  • Experienced distributor managers find themselves with fewer opportunities than in the past. Over the years, many growing mid-tier firms expanded their management team but are hesitant to add new six-figure salaries due to concerns about future growth. Supply chain and international sourcing managers are the only group in high demand. Many distributor principals are taking a “wait and see” approach regarding economic and trade changes. Hiring of distributor managers will remain slow until firms are more certain of what the future holds.
  • Supply exceeds demand

Marketing

  • Both marketing managers and marketing support reps are in higher demand than they were in 2017. Distributor principals have embraced social media and email marketing to increase their business with end-users. Still behind with regards to cutting edge data-based marketing, distributor firms are sticking with what has worked in the past. Many firms are hiring email marketing professionals from outside of the industry. Creative marketing managers with graphic design skills are in strong demand.
  • Demand exceeds supply

Sales

  • The talent market for distributor-side sales reps contains two very different markets. Demand has been (and always will be) very strong among distributorships with a commission compensation structure. The reason for this is simple economics. Demand for sales reps with firms using a salary plus bonus compensation structure is growing, as well. These firms have fine-tuned their boutique-style business model and are investing in new sales people with promotional products experience. The time has never better for experienced reps who wish to move from a commission model to a salary plus model.
  • Commission compensation structure – Demand exceeds supply
  • Salary plus bonus compensation structure – Equilibrium

Customer Service

  • Distributors, large and small, are having a difficult time fully staffing their customer service teams. An increased customer-focus within many distributorships has put these job candidates at a premium. The growth of many distributorships with a commission compensation structure also adds to the demand for these candidates. Experienced, knowledgeable customer service people are very valuable in today’s talent market.
  • Demand exceeds supply

Vendor Relations/Sourcing/Merchandising

  • Vendor relations, sourcing, and merchandising professionals are highly sought after on the distributor side. There just aren’t a lot of job candidates who have strong experience in this area. Those candidates who do have experience in this area are highly concentrated in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
  • Demand exceeds supply

 

SUPPLIERS

Executive-Level

  • Despite the high number of mergers and acquisitions on the supplier-side of our industry, executive-level candidates aren’t in high supply. Many of them are kept on board during mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, their backgrounds and experience make a transition outside of the industry far more likely than their distributor-side counterparts. Several firms are looking to expand or make changes to their executive team in 2018. True innovators, candidates who are embracing the large-scale changes coming to our industry, are in particularly high demand.
  • Demand exceeds supply

Management

  • At the management-level, there are more many more opportunities than in 2017. We’ve seen a lot of movement at the Vice President and General Manager-level over the past six months. Supplier management roles are no longer jobs for life, as they have been in the past. Suppliers are taking chances by hiring younger, forward-thinking National Account Managers and Sales Operations Managers for roles at the management-level.
  • Demand exceeds supply

Marketing

  • Suppliers have continued to embrace marketing, as an important differentiator. Over the last 18 months, more and more suppliers are putting their money where their mouth is and investing in marketing talent. Most firms have seen these investments and new hires pay off. Despite the high demand, candidates who understand the promotional products industry and the trends of modern marketing are very rare. Suppliers in need have had to reach outside of the industry to hire young, savvy marketing talent.
  • Demand far exceeds supply

Sales

  • The traditional game of supplier sales rep musical chairs has slowed down over the last 18 months. In general, sales reps are staying put longer. Additionally, there’s a significant pool of experienced sales reps who are underserved by their current supplier.
  • Supply exceeds demand

Customer Service

  • While not suffering the same sharp shortage as distributors, suppliers are adding staff to their customer service teams. An increased customer-focus that has brought on these new positions. Distributor sales reps are placing more and more importance (as are end-users) on communication, responsiveness, and results from suppliers. A customer service rep makes it easy for distributors to do business with suppliers. They are, also, few and far between.
  • Demand exceeds supply

Sourcing/Merchandising/Purchasing

  • Sourcing, merchandising, and purchasing professionals are in even higher demand than they are on the distributor side. There is a significant shortage of experienced job candidates for these positions. It’s a real challenge for the suppliers looking to squeeze savings out of a more efficient supply chain. Suppliers have had to look outside the promotional products space to get the needed talent for these roles.
  • Demand exceeds supply

 

RELOCATION

Geography continues to play an over-sized role in the promotional products talent market. Supplier and distributor firms are slow to accept the need for relocation allowances. This number is growing but remains small compared to similar industries. Candidates in the center of the country hesitate to move to higher CPI cities on the coasts. Remote employment opportunities continue to grow in our industry.  Technology has made staying connected and activity tracking much easier.

 

What are your growth and hiring plans for the rest of 2018?

PromoPlacement has the insight, network, and expertise to ensure that your team is made up of the best our industry has to offer. Contact our team today to discuss your business goals!

“Active” vs. “Passive” Hiring

In 2016, LinkedIn found that 36% of the talent market is actively searching for a new role. This includes those that are currently unemployed, underemployed, and unhappy in their current role. These people are often referred to as “active candidates” because they will actively seek out your firm and apply for a position. Active candidates have read over your job board, done their research, and determined that they are interested in what you have to offer.

From a talent acquisition standpoint, relying on job postings to grow your team can be effective. Active candidates are likely to see or hear about your opportunity. That 25% of the talent market will come to you. The challenge is that you’re certain to miss out on the vast majority of industry talent.

So how do you attract the interest of the remaining 75% of the workforce to increase the odds of finding the most qualified individual?

The answer is in your process. It is important to realize that you cannot treat the “passive candidate” the same as someone who actively sought you out. Passive candidates are typically successful and content in their current role. They need to be shown why working for you is better than what they have now. You will need to sell the role, the opportunity, and your company to generate interest.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Recruited candidates don’t know much about the job opening you have and tend to not be invested in the interview and application process.
  • It is unlikely that this type of candidate will be willing to take several hours off from their current job to come do lengthy interviews with you before hearing specific details about the role.
  • Passive candidates are often available for a longer period of time because they aren’t testing the job market. Once you engage with a passive candidate you should still move with a sense of urgency to keep their interest in your role.

To combat these issues, there are a few things that you can do. When reaching out to someone you have found that could be a fit, you need to use a bit of salesmanship.

 

CHANGES

  • Give them a job description, tell them about the company and explain why their experience is a match for your organization. The more personal it is the more likely you will receive a response.
  • When you do get a response, it is a good idea to start off with a shorter phone interview. This allows you to explain the role, sell the benefits of your organization and spark their interest.
  • This is the point where you can ask for a survey or application to be completed if necessary. Never try to get someone to put forth a great deal of effort before you’ve generated interest in the role. You will likely be ignored.
  • You can ask for an in-person interview after this step. Make sure that you don’t drag the process out too long or you run the risk of being seen as a waste of time.

The takeaway from this isn’t to change the process of interviewing entirely, but rather to restructure the steps to maximize your response rate. Keep in mind what the recruitment process looks like to both active and passive candidates. This will help you to better connect with candidates, expand your pool of potential hires, and increase your likelihood of hiring the most qualified person!

11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview

11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview

11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview

Job interviews are stressful. Unfortunately, nothing can change that. There’s a lot on the line. However, you can minimize the stress of interview day by being prepared. A big part of that preparation is having everything you could potentially need for the interview. Bring these 11 essential items with you to your interview to reduce your stress and maximize your chances of landing the job!

A few copies of your resume

  • Odds are your potential employer already has a copy of your resume in digital form. However, you may be interviewing with multiple people or might be asked for a hard copy during the course of the interview. Have several copies ready to hand out and you won’t have to worry about it coming up.
  • PRO TIP: Go to a print shop and have your resume printed out on nice paper. It’s cheap and will take about 10 minutes. It makes for a much better presentation than if you just run a few copies off your home printer.

A folder or bag

  • You’ll need something to keep your paper and notes in. I recommend a padfolio because it allows for paper storage and easy note taking. Whatever item you select for this purpose keep it clean, organized, and professional.

A pen and notepad

  • Taking notes during your interview is a must. It shows that you’re engaged, diligent, and actively listening. Make sure that your pen works and that your notepad clean and crisp. Keep these items simple. Your bobble head pen won’t be cute, it will be a distraction.

Some prepared responses

  • Read our blog post on tough interview questions. Make sure that you’ve written out answers to each of them and any others that you think might come up. Now, don’t read these responses during your interview, but keep them in a side folder in case you need to review them before your interview.

Some prepared questions

  • Much like your notes on responses listed above, you need to prepare questions for your interviewer. Nothing looks worse than when an interviewer wraps up an hour-long conversation with “So, what questions do you have for me?” and your response is “Um, nothing really.” Prepare insightful questions that display your understanding of the role and the business.

Job description

  • You should already be very familiar with the job description. It can be helpful when preparing responses and questions. Bring it with you if you have a particular question about the role or just in case you need to review it last minute to get in the zone.

The interview details

  • Bring MapQuest directions. Don’t laugh! Detours, accidents, and road construction are everyday occurrences. Best practice here is to drive to the interview location the day or evening before so that you can be sure you know where you’re going. Have your interviewers contact information handy in case something comes up.

Turned off cell phone

  • If you need to bring your phone turn it off. The best option is just to leave it in your car. If you’re bringing the other items on this list with you, you won’t need it.

Grooming essentials

  • Bring whatever you’ll need to spruce yourself up the last minute. Could be a hairbrush, comb, or lint roller for your suit. The more confident you are about your appearance, the more confident you’ll come across in the interview.

Mints or gum

  • There’s nothing wrong with freshening up at the last minute. No one likes coffee breath. However, don’t chew gum or mints during your interview. It’s distracting and unprofessional.

Bottle of water

  • Many offices will offer visitors water or coffee on arrival. Don’t rely on that. Bring your own small bottle of water. Few things are worse than trying to sell yourself for a job and struggling with a tickle in your throat the whole time.

Use this list when preparing for your next job interview. You’ll be ready for anything an employer can throw at you and will be significantly more confident when speaking with them.

Did we miss anything? What item are you always sure to bring on a job interview?

Two Offers, One Choice

Searching for a new job is always stressful, but it can be even more stressful when trying to pick between multiple offers. You’re faced with making a decision between two companies, two compensation plans, and two career paths. Needless to say, it can be daunting.

Compensation should never be the lone deciding factor when choosing between offers. It’s really more about what’s best for the individual on a personal level. To pick between multiple offers, you really have to consider what is most important to you. Here are a few top things to consider when comparing offers:

 

COMPENSATION

This is typically the very first thing that people ask. We all have basic human needs and want to ensure that wherever we go that these basic needs will be met. One thing to consider is that benefits are actually part of your pay. I recall calculating this issue for myself at one point, when deciding whether or not to accept a new opportunity.

My position at the time paid $12,000 more per year than the new offer, but they did not contribute to employee health plans. The new offer paid 100% of all healthcare costs, which amounted to a value of $10,000, and had significantly lower copays. The new offer also doubled the amount of PTO I’d receive in a year. This leveled the playing field between the two options, as I determined pay was in reality equal once taxes and healthcare costs were factored in.

 

WORK-LIFE BALANCE

You have your work life and you have your personal life. They rarely overlap but your job is really intended to support your personal life. When picking between two offers, take into consideration the workload expectations. I had a coworker at a former company that left an employer because of poor work life balance.

She was really into spending time with her young son and very dedicated to the triathlons she regularly competed in. She took a $45,000 pay cut to go elsewhere. The catalyst was being chastised by her boss “only” working 40 hours a week (her coworkers were putting in close to 70 hours) even though her work was complete. Her boss told her “You give your son love, you give your races love, why don’t you give us any love?”

It was then that she decided her family and her races were more important than the money. She is much happier now that she is in a place where she can be flexible with her schedule and take time off as needed.

 

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

We are all looking for that sense of fulfillment and progress in our lives. When we enter the workforce, we have big ideas of where we would eventually like to be. Finding a place that will help you sharpen your skills and develop new ones to help you move forward is invaluable.

Take a look at how each offer could help you on your desired path.

  • Does it make logical sense in helping you reach your long-term goals?
  • Does the company promote from within?

One way to check is by taking a look at the company’s LinkedIn page and seeing how long employees stay with the organization and if they’ve had title changes throughout their tenure. You could also ask your interviewers where they see the company heading and if new opportunities will be created as the company grows.

 

SUMMARY

Comparing two job offers is a challenge in self-knowledge. What matters the most to you? Flexibility or opportunity for promotions? Low co-pays or casual Fridays? Performance bonuses or a high salary? There are too many variables to measure and track. Analyze them as best you can and go with your gut. At the end of the day, the only person who really knows what best for you is you.

Your PPAI Expo Networking Guide

Your PPAI Expo Networking Guide

The PPAI Expo is an event largely built around the products in our industry. There will be thousands of new products, specials, and closeouts lining the 7 miles of booths. With so much to see it’s highly recommended that you go into the show with a plan of what booths you need to hit and which products you need to learn about.

Having a pre-show plan in place will allow for plenty of time to take advantage of the real value provided by the PPAI Expo: NETWORKING. Over 12,000 promotional product industry professionals will be managing the booths, walking the floor, and pulling the levers at the slots. No one can connect with everyone, but stick to our PPAI Expo Networking Guide and you’ll optimize your networking time in Las Vegas.

Starbucks

Outside of the food court, the Starbucks that sits along the walkway to the Expo is the closest place to get a coffee or a bite to eat. It tends to be hectic but will be littered with fellow promotional product industry professionals from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening.

Border Grill

The Border Grill is the closest restaurant to the show floor. It’s moderately priced, perfect for a mid-day margarita, and will be slammed by the lunch crowd. It’s a great place to grab a bit with old friends or talk about that new RFP opportunity with your favorite supplier.

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge is located on the casino floor of the Mandalay Bay and is the ideal spot to have an after-show cocktail.

eyecandy

eyecandy is in the center of the casino floor and, though a bit loud, is a very popular spot with industry folks. The small club has no cover charge. It’ll usually kick off around 10:00 and stays open until 1:00.

House of Blues

The House of Blues is at the Mandalay Bay end of the long (and expensive) walkway that connects Mandalay with the Luxor. The music and food are great. If you have to entertain a large group or want to treat your sales team, the House of Blues the place to go.

Shark Reef Aquarium

The entrance to the Shark Reef Aquarium is just to the left of the food court. It’s really the only major attraction close to the show floor. The aquarium is beautiful and can be the perfect, quiet break from the craziness of the show floor. Tickets are $25, but who can put a price on a little relaxation.

Cirque du Soleil

The Las Vegas nightlife presents a great opportunity for industry managers and team leaders to initiate some group bonding. Seeing a Las Vegas show is the perfect group activity and there’s no show better than Cirque du Soleil. It’s a bit

pricey with cheap tickets ranging from $40 to $70 depending on the show, but there’s just something about seeing a grown man bend himself into a pretzel that makes your stretch sales goals for 2018 seem much more attainable.

Regardless of where you spend your time at the PPAI Expo you will have a great time. It’s a wonderful show and you’ll be surrounded by all of the great people who make our industry. Have a blast!

Are you exhibiting at the PPAI EXPO or will you be walking the floor and checking out the new products? Read our top tips for success at our industry’s largest trade show!