UPIC Upgrades and Buyer Education Top ’05 PPAI Agenda

By Jan 19, 2005

(Las Vegas, NV)—Two “hot topics” top the Promotional Products Association International agenda this year: enhancements to the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code) Directory and a major push to educate the end buyer on the value of using a distributor.

“The more the [end buyer] knows about the value of the medium of promotional products, the better we’ll be able to create a larger slice of the pie for distributors and suppliers,” Danny Sirmon, the new chairman of the PPAI board, said at the PPAI Expo, which ended last Friday in Las Vegas.

A task force is working to determine topics, speakers and locations for education programs. The effort includes educating the distributor on how to effectively market themselves to end buyers as consultants and marketing professionals, not just sales people.

Some 60 sessions are planned for this year’s Motivation Show, to be held Sept. 27-29 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Sirmon said. Many of the sessions will be held in the PPAI booth on the show floor.

As for UPIC, Sirmon said that a new feature, Smart Credit, is expected to launch this spring as part of the program’s credit services. The new feature will offer users the ability to pull credit information on any of the 12-14 million credit active businesses in the U.S., an upgrade from the current ability to pull credit information on suppliers and distributors. And, beginning last week via a partnership with DistributorCentral, users will have free access to DistributorCentral’s database of supplier products, images, specifications and pricing, through the UPIC Directory.

The UPIC Directory, free to suppliers, distributors and associate members, houses detailed information on 24,000 companies in the industry.