SPARK is THE event for young professionals in the promotional products industry. Young professionals are the largest portion of the workforce in America and this is where you can build your network. Participants will have the opportunity to become engaged, educated, and connected with topics that are specific to the beginning stages of starting a successful career in the promotional products industry.
SPARK 2017 education sessions will focus on leadership development, business management basics, exploring industry topics, and creating an individual plan for each participant’s career in an active and engaging environment while creating a network of industry peers.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
3:30-4:30 pm Check In and Network
Once you’ve checked into your room, come down to the lobby Loft to our welcome networking activity.
4:30-5:30 pm Bike Bar!
We will bike to our general session (please plan comfy clothes and closed toed shoes).
5:30-6:30 pm VIP Access: A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Leadership – MAS 1.0
Join Mike Ligon, founder of HomeVibe, presents this behind-the-scenes look at leadership. If you have a different perspective from those around you, lead from the seat that you’re in. The promotional products arena is shifting, similar to the music industry, and this session will give you some insight into how can you stay relevant in the new market.
6:30-7:30 pm Dynamic Dine Around
Food. Friends. Fun. This active networking session is more than just about trading business cards. Get to know fellow SPARK attendees, collaborate with your peers and start building a stronger foundation.
7:30-8:30 pm Solving Your Biggest Challenges - CAS 1.0
Many of the challenges we face are unique to our generation. Some have found ways to transform those challenges into opportunities. What is the biggest challenge you face in this industry? Join Jody Mello, PPAI Associate Manager for Professional Development, for this session on how small-group collaboration can help solve the toughest issues.
8:30 pm SPARK Denver Exploration
Sponsored by Shepenco
Friday, July 28, 2017
8-8:30 am Optional Morning Workout (pre-registration required)
Join us in the lobby at 8 am to kick off the day with a morning workout. Please wear appropriate apparel for exercising outdoors.
8:30-9:30 am Come grab a coffee and breakfast is on us!
9:30-10:30 am Building A Foundation For Success – MAS 1.0
Join career development expert, Ian Harwick, for a session on building the foundation to success. This session will dive deep into uncharted waters: what success looks like for you, what to aim for throughout your career, how to maximize your network for business, and how to deal with setbacks and move forward to success.
10:30-11 am Business Catch-Up
We know you've got tons of emails to catch up on, so we’ve built in some time with our Business Catch-Up. Rock the productive side or just kick back and take a breather—it’s your call.
11 am-12:30 pm Breakout Scavenger Hunt. (Choose Your Own Adventure.) - CAS 1.5
Explore industry topics in an active breakout session with multi-line rep Mike Eaton that addresses online giants Amazon and Alibaba and how they are affecting our industry; quality over quantity and what that means to you; and how to effectively increase ROI by lowering input and increasing output.
Or, attend the Making Your Mark breakout session led by Mary Ellen Harden, president of supplier company Wall Street Greetings. This session covers the following four topics with small-group discussion and creative brainstorming activities: 1. Negotiating and other things you can’t learn in a textbook 2. Relationships, the key to business success 3. Get yourself in the game so your voice can be heard 4. Feeding your passions: What makes you tick?
12:30-1:30 pm The M Word In Real Life – MAS 1.0
Chris Sinclair, co-founder and VP of Brand Blvd, will challenge the concepts of leadership, coaching and team building, with a specific focus on the young professional experience. In a truly interactive presentation, Sinclair will speak to some universally flawed beliefs and practices, sharing personal experiences and lessons he has learned as a Millennial, a boss and an “accidental expert” on culture.
1:30-2:30 pm Lunch Discussion: Your New Voice - A Panel Discussion With The SPARK Work Group CAS 1.0
Join our SPARK Work Group speakers: John Cudahy, CAS, Jeff Franklin, and Kalie Herron for this session. Young professionals are the leading trendsetters in today’s society and in our industry. We are the future leaders of our market, and without us the organizations we represent cannot succeed. Through this interactive panel with the SPARK work group, you will begin to understand how to have your new voice heard. It is imperative to take the knowledge, networking and connectivity that you learn through this event and translate it into success for the year ahead. Learn ways to open up about who you are as an industry young professional and the direction you would like to see the industry go.
2:30-3 pm Closing Remarks from PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett; Jody Mello and the SPARK Work Group
3-5 pm Optional Community Service Project (pre-registration required)
Join your peers in giving back to our host city by volunteering your time from 3-5 pm on Friday, July 28. We need to make sure we have an accurate head count, so please sign up if you’re interested.
*Schedule is subject to change
Rise above the rest by earning an industry designation. PPAI live education provides opportunities to learn from industry experts while earning credit toward certification. The CAS/MAS listed next to the above sessions indicates both course level and the amount of credit provided. The journey is easy with more opportunities than ever before to earn your designation. For more information, visit the PPAI Certification page.