Showtime in Chicago
Effective April 23, the show's opening day, Rob Whitman will begin his term as PSDA board president, a position most recently occupied by IBF president and COO Tressa McLaughlin. In addition to serving on the board of directors for the last five years, Whitman is president of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania-based distributor Innovative Print & Media Group Inc.
Helping distributors find solutions to grow their business has always been one of PSDA's core missions. According to Whitman, this starts at the show level. For 2014, PSDA turned to Smart Advantage, a marketing and management consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The firm conducted a blind study surveying existing PSDA members as well as prospects and nonmembers to learn what attracts them to an event. The answer? Product diversification-an area that Whitman intends to address.
"PSDA has traditionally been a forms, labels and tags association and, obviously, distributors are taking a product portfolio to the marketplace that now includes a lot more services in the marketing suite," he remarked. "My focus as president will be to try to diversify the product portfolio that we offer to the distributors and provide education and networking opportunities, along with connectivity to manufacturers so that they can have a greater representation of suppliers and services that they take to customers."
Once again, attendees can take advantage of the Expo's solution zones, where top industry leaders will deliver educational presentations on: marketing and technology; packaging and direct mail; signage, display and wide format; and promotional products. (Visit www.distributorsolutions.org for the complete schedule.) This year PSDA welcomes 18 new exhibitors, two of which are:
- Four51, a leader in B2B technology and services delivering web-to-print and e-commerce capabilities.
- Regency Business Solutions, a top supplier of office supplies, furniture, paper shredding, Keurig coffee brewers and supplies, certified e-waste management and toner replenishment.
Another change to the 2014 Expo centers on location. The association has opted to hold the two-day event at Hyatt Regency Chicago, the official conference hotel. Several issues were behind the decision.