2016 PPAI NALC: Leadership Meets at Technology Hub, Alcatraz Tour Planned at Essent-Sponsored Conference

PPAI NALC Sponsored By Essent LogoLeadership and technology keep coming closer together in the promotional products industry, and now they're going to be in a lock-up together.

The 2016 PPAI North American Leadership Conference sponsored by Essent is August 14-16 in San Francisco, a technology hub of the world. It's also co-locating with the Essent-sponsored PPAI Technology Summit for a second consecutive year.

"Co-locating the NALC and Technology Summit will continue to build bridges that are critical to making us more efficient as a supply chain."

PPAI NALC Workgroup Co-Leader Catherine Graham said the location is allowing organizers to draw on thought leadership in Silicon Valley and at Stanford University to speak to NALC attendees on innovation and technological change.

"Last year was a huge success co-locating NALC and the Tech Summit together and resulted in networking and collaborations that would not have happened otherwise. The overlapping sessions elevated the discussion and really brought the role of technology in business to the forefront. The co-locating will continue to build bridges that are critical to making us more efficient as a supply chain," said Graham, who is also CEO of commonsku and President of RIGHTSLEEVE.

Mrs. Graham also said organizers have arranged a private tour of Alcatraz as a closing-night treat for NALC attendees.

Mrs. Graham revealed those and other details about the 2016 PPAI North American Leadership Conference in the following interview with Platinum NALC and Tech Summit sponsor Essent.

The 2015 PPAI North American Leadership Conference featured another full house with more than a quarter of attendees checking it out for the first time. What has kept the NALC so relevant and fresh as it heads into its 8th year?

PPAI has continued to keep the content fresh year after year, tailoring it to the key issues that are on the minds of leaders in the industry. Given all the changes happening in the industry currently, we are particularly excited about hosting it in San Francisco where we can leverage the local thought leadership in Silicon Valley and Stanford to speak on topics such as innovation and technological change.

The NALC co-located with the PPAI Technology Summit for the first time in 2015 and it apparently worked out well because the conferences are co-locating again in 2016. What are the advantages of literally bringing leadership and technology together like this?

Last year was a huge success co-locating NALC and the Tech Summit together and resulted in networking and collaborations that would not have happened otherwise. The overlapping sessions elevated the discussion and really brought the role of technology in business to the forefront. The co-locating will continue to build bridges that are critical to making us more efficient as a supply chain.

One of the cool things about the NALC (and Tech Summit) is that it moves around to some great destinations – Boston two years ago, Nashville last year – with some built-in opportunities to get some of the local flavor. What should we expect out of San Francisco this year?

We have organized a private tour of Alcatraz for the closing night which will be an experience not to be missed!. We are also taking advantage of the exceptional restaurant scene in San Franciso to create some great dining experiences.

It looks like technology will be an emphasis at the 2016 NALC, with three technology sessions on the final day as it leads into the Tech Summit. Is there a deliberate effort to bring more technology to the NALC and why?

Technology is as a critical component of how we as an industry will remain competitive into the future which makes it a very hot topic with executives. In addition, with the location being San Francisco, it was a perfect fit to leverage the location and have technology be a big focus of the conference.

How is this year’s NALC going to top the previous 7? What’s going to generate the most buzz? What will people be talking about once they get back home?

I think people will be talking about the innovation content and how to bring that back and drive the thinking into their organization. We have Duncan Logan of Rocketspace lined up to speak who is an expert in this space and will bring a very interesting perspective.

The Technology Summit is built by a non-profit organization (PPAI) and volunteers like you, and it’s no small feat. Who deserves shout-outs for all the work they put in? (We’ll start by giving you a shout-out. Thanks, Catherine!)

My co-chair David Nicholson (PCNA) and I have a fantastic work group this year - , Rod Brown (MadetoOrder), Nate Robson (Raining Rose), Bill Petrie (Brandivate), Scott Pearson (Logomark), Jeff Batson (Next Products), Nancy Hoffman (Geiger), Lee Strom (SanMar) and Nikki Stella (Promomarketing). Jonathan Issacson (Gemline) has provided invaluable advice on content and speakers, and the team at PPAI has been amazing - Rachel Robichaud, Bob MacLean, Stacy Riddler and of course Paul Bellantone.



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