Tag Archives: logowear

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Visiting the annual PPPC promotions tradeshow in Toronto.

Thanks to the generosity of the promo experts at Universal Links Inc.  http://universallinksinc.com/  I was able to attend the PPPC National Convention 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre yesterday, accompanied by my trusty side-kick and photographer, Gabriella Luchetta. PromoCan/PPPC presented their annual tradeshow featuring the newest trends in the promotions and corporate incentives business (like these wacky pens above), and I wanted to share the sights and sounds with my readers…so come walk the aisles with Gabriella and me on this virtual tour.DSC08039Everything and anything you can stick a corporate logo on is featured here. Coffee mugs, coasters, stickers, pens, apparel, frisbees, decals…all shapes and sizes are available. Companies like Universal Links source merchandise like these then offer to their clients (known as end-users) who distribute to their customers as give-aways or special promotions and corporate gifts. Gabs and I saw so many cool things we’d like to be given as “gifts”…..DSC08062 DSC08064 DSC08066We had a lot of fun with the folks in the Soft Stuff Creations booth hugging teddy bears, I even tried to hug the hunky “booth babe” manning the display but I just made him laugh…LOL!20160129_130558 DSC08073 DSC08074Of course, we went straight to all the chocolate promotions like the Taylor-Grant booth below where Gabs chowed down on samples and I made do with just looking at the yummy catalogue (I really MUST lose some lbs).DSC08080There’s always lots of fun squishy stress relievers…here are some of our favourites:DSC08093 DSC08177 DSC08180Gabriella found this cute froggy (below) which she promptly pulled apart… it’s actually a memory stick/USB as are those other cute characters behind.File 2016-01-29, 4 57 23 PMGreat to meet Karen (below) from Martini Promotions who showed us some funky sparkly apparel and reversible totes.File 2016-01-29, 4 58 24 PMDSC08148Suddenly, Gabriella and I were stopped in our tracks when we spied this stunning grey wrap jacket. Are you kiddin’ me? This is a promo item? So stylish and feels like a baby cashmere goat….wow, who made it?DSC08111DSC08109Founder and President of Redwood Classics, Kathy Cheng (below) came over and introduced herself…and then told us the story of her family business that makes high-quality apparel here in Canada. DSC08119DSC08122Kathy showed us one of the unique items that are made from re-purposed overstock like this 3M umbrella – its materials have been made into this cute cushion (below), creating a stylish functional and fashion-fwd promo gift for the company. This saves unused products going into landfill and allows companies to “re-gift”. Brilliant!DSC08115We were so engaged and inspired by her family’s story that I promised Kathy I would do a special feature blog on Redwood Classics later and interview her once she has recovered from the long hours of the tradeshow so stay tuned.

Lots more groovy products like these watches, custom labelled bottles of wine…wow!DSC08147 DSC08099 DSC08163For fans of “Caddyshack” the movie, you can even find sassy gopher golfclub covers….LOLDSC08135And here’s one of my favourite booths showcasing sparkly, glowing lights on all their products.

Thanks again to Universal Links Inc and the folks at PromoCan/PPPC who hosted the show. Bravo all of you!

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Walk the aisles of INCENTIVEWORKS Trade Show with me!

Every  August, the Canadian meetings, events and hospitality industries get together for their “high holiday” known as INCENTIVEWORKS, hosted by Meetings Canada in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Each year, I find myself amongst sales and marketing folks from across the country and around the world, representing hotels, caterers, spas, airlines, resorts and meeting venues as well as incentives companies (these are the folks who create all those logo’d merchandise or give-aways companies use to spread their brand i.d.). And I must say, this year was THE best show in a number of years. Fabulous, super tasty food samples courtesy of celebrity chefs and chi-chi poo-poo caterers and restaurants were the star attractions this year – over the past several years, all we got were dessert samples or chocolates & candies so after a couple of hours of trade show floor-walking, you’d get one hell of a sugar headache. But this year…damn! we enjoyed menu samples of meat, seafood, more meat and crisp fresh salads. Bravo, Incentiveworks exhibitors…you listened to our pleas and hit it outta the park! (all available weblinks for exhibitors at end of blog)

Accompanied by my trusty social media safari guide and photographer, Gabriella Luchetta, I first stopped in on old friend Chef Massimo who oversees several leading kitchens in the Niagara region as well as being a best selling cookbook author (although I’m “domestically challenged” I’ve actually been able to make some of his awesome recipes). Yummmm, he served such deelish and healthful treats yesterday (below)

First on my tasting hit-list was Chef Massimo, who oversees several leading kitchens in the Niagara region, who served  up deelish and healthful treats

DSC09727Next stop, Halifax! So I’ve never been able to stomach scallops before…had them once many years ago and they made me so ill. Probably undercooked, I do remember they were quite slimey. So I was a bit nervous when I was offered fresh scallops from the always-cheery Halifax reps. But oh my, the fragrance coming up from the frypan..mmmm. I couldn’t resist and I am so pleased I indulged….they were amazing. (below)

DSC09776 DSC09803 DSC09801Across the aisle was Chef Events Culinary Entertainment (below) and their great big firetruck converted into a food truck – the food was spectacular. Even their vegetarian offering, stuffed mushroom caps, was awesome.

DSC09755 DSC09750Great to see Sheena Wood of Simply the Best catering and events (below) who also fed us well with tasty hors d’oeuvres.DSC09819Next, Modus Ristorante of Toronto offered delicate prosciutto wraps and salsa salad spoons. (I really wish these blogs offered “scratch and taste” links for you to enjoy this with me…LOL)

DSC09822Here’s Nota Bene, who teased my tastebuds with crunchy salmon sandwiches and risotto balls…

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DSC09883…and Oro spoiled us all with these artful nibblies (below). Is your mouth watering yet?

DSC09896 DSC09905My Yorkville neighbours, Mistura, caught my eye and my mouth, too, with these treats (below)

DSC09920 DSC09917I was suddenly attracted to a bright shiny thing across the aisle…..oooh, a man, a god even! Caesar’s Casino Windsor really knows how to attract attention and I was like a moth to a flame. After posing with my golden boy, I enjoyed their hospitality and Gabriella and I watched their mixologist craft a cocktail brew fit for an emperor.
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DSC09943 DSC09960Belly dancing anyone? The Berber Lounge booth (below) looked lush and exotic…and so was the mint tea, thank you.

DSC09959 DSC09996Gabriella and I took some time out for a little wacky fun playing with some silly props (below) and Instagramming our pics out for the vendor. We both won selfie sticks for our efforts (poor Gabs got home to find hers didn’t work so I guess I owe her mine as a thank you for working so hard)

Photo 2015-08-19, 1 17 22 PMThen it was over to Ripley’s Aquarium booth for a quick dip where we became shark bait!

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Photo 2015-08-19, 2 07 11 PMOkay, back to business ladies! The Welcome to Regina booth served up sweet cupcake pops (below)….DSC00154….and a big howdy to the cowgirls from Tucson, AZ (below). Thanks for the packs of cactus jellies, too.DSC00248The charming Montreal booth hosts were distributing a custom cola so both Gabs and I now have old school bottles of the elixir du Montreal.

DSC00023We strolled past the stunning Barbados booth where the lady looked a bit lonely but oh so pretty sitting in front of that giant seaside mural. Then Gabs and I listened to some great contemporary violin courtesy of this pretty, talented musician (below).

DSC00276 DSC09708Here’s Mike D’Urzo! I love this guy, one of the most charming and talented magicians and corporate entertainers in da biz. He always has a smile for everyone and his illusions are quite unbelievable…I’ve given up trying to figure out all the tricks and prestidigitation (my BIG word of the day!!).

DSC00200You can tell by the ridiculous grin on my face how thrilled I was to personally meet one of my favourite Canadian artists – Andrew King. Andrew was the special guest of the Ottawa booth where he was painting live during the show. His work is imaginative, colourful and full of life and humour….check it his currently available work via this link: http://bit.ly/1K9PLS0

DSC00039While in Ottawa (!) we enjoyed some fresh brewed tea, courtesy of Andrew Horsfield of the Lord Elgin Hotel (below). Mr. H. gave Gabs and me shiny red thermos mugs with a tea infuser inside, too. Thanks…we both really needed these.

DSC00054Daniel and Nicole (below) from the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, BC were 2 of the friendliest reps we met. Guess that west coast vibe works even way up north, eh? Thank you for your hospitality and I definitely hope to drop in soon to see just how wonderful Osoyoos is for myself.

DSC00133Time for more food and drinkies…..

DSC00145 DSC00166…and even more drinkies over at the Shangri La Hotel booth, this time, tho, it was refreshing Morocan iced tea infused with mint and passionfruit. Aaaaaah.

DSC00158 DSC00160We met this cool guy, Stuart Brown of TSE – no, not the Toronto Stock Exchange – he’s actually from The Scotch Experience! He does special Scotch tastings and pairings…and he “paired” his samples here with dark chocolate truffles. Gabs and I left with our chubby little hands full of ’em, too. LOL!

DSC00184Sue Williamson (below) welcomed us to the Kempenfelt Conference Centre (Barrie, ON) booth. I can’t believe I haven’t visited this wonderful property yet. Gonna have to change that real soon.

DSC00002Alain Paquette and Alain Stoopen of Smash Events were offering samples of a very smooth Mexican liquor that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks, amigos, all hail the agave!

DSC00224 DSC00225I got the need…the need for speed! Woohoo, I got to hang with Maverick at the Top Swag/BrandBlvd. booth and even scored some aviator specs and dogtags. Remember those day back when Tom Cruise was such a stud? Here I am in the “danger zone” with my cardboard cut-out Tommy boy.

DSC00066 DSC00073OMG, it’s Shaun the Sheep…or not. Here we are at the Icebreaker booth (below), doing the feely-touchy with the stylish clothing made from NZ merino wool. I scored a pair of soft fuzzy socks for Gabs, too.

DSC00094 DSC00102Time for another chocolate break, this time courtesy of Succulent Chocolates and Sweets. Hand-painted custom chockies, giant logo’d bars, all sorts of sweeties and treats (below).

DSC00188 DSC00189Uncommon Canada had the cutest give-aways…blue, white or grey baby seal keychains with eyes that lit up when you pressed a wee button on their backs as well as making little seal bark sounds. Cute fluffy polar bears, too.

DSC00120Gabriella got into the selfie thing and tooks some great pics in this mirror. Photo 2015-08-19, 2 08 43 PMOkay, time for a nice rest so I sat down in the FOS Design Centre booth and enjoyed the stunning furniture and decorations. I felt like Joan Collins in Dynasty…gimme those damned padded shoulders! I was joined on the silver couch byAnna Rinomata, their event designer. Don’t we look simply maaahvelous?!DSC00202 DSC00209Almost time to say goodbye…just a few more snapshots of a great Incentiveworks. Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour. I encourage you to check out the websites listed below for information on these exhibitors.

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www.incentiveworksshow.com

Vendor weblinks:

www.massimocapra.com

www.chefevents.ca

www.simplythebestevents.ca

www.modusristorante.com

www.notabenerestaurant.com

www.orarestaurant.com

www.mistura.ca

www.lordelgin.ca

www.caesarswindsor.com

www.watermarkbeachresort.com

www.uncommoncanada.com

www.berberlounge.ca

www.thescotchexperience.com

www.kempenfelt.com

www.brandblvd.ca

www.fosdecor.com

http://www.succulentchocolates.com/

www.icebreaker.com