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Distributors: Vote Now for your Favorite Supplier and Multi-Line Rep
SPPA
Voting is now open for the annual SPPA Awards. Distributors can vote between now and Jan. 10, 2014 for the favorite Supplier, Factory Rep and Multi-Line Rep. The winners will be announced on Jan. 28 during our membership luncheon held in conjunction with THE Show of the South in Birmingham. Distributors can vote online.
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IMPORTANT SPPA 2014 DATES


Date Event Location
Jan. 10, 2014 Deadline to Vote on SPPA Awards
Jan. 28-29, 2014 THE Show of the South, presented by SPPA Birmingham, Ala.
Sept. 3, 2014 SPPA Louisiana Fall Showcase Baton Rouge, La.
Sept. 4, 2014 SPPA Mississippi Fall Showcase Jackson, Miss.
Sept. 5, 2014 SPPA Alabama Fall Showcase Birmingham, Ala.


For more information on these SPPA events, go to www.sunbeltppa.org.


INDUSTRY NEWS


Pantone picks orchid as the color of 2014
U-T San Diego
Orchid is growing on us: A version of the purple hue is Pantone Inc.’s color of the year for 2014. It follows this year’s pick of emerald green. Officially known as Radiant Orchid, the tropical shade is a color-wheel contrast to green, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, but it’s not the red that would have been a more obvious choice. “It’s a little different, it’s a little off the beaten path, and it’s not a primary color,” she explains. “It’s an invitation to innovation. The purple family offers (an) opportunity to do creative things.”
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What's in the swag bag?
The Times-Picayne
Christmas comes early for some college players in the era of big bowl football. Known as “swag,” bowls typically distribute gift bags to players participating in their post-season games. The bowls cannot exceed $550 in garb and merchandise and schools can throw in another $400. It leaves the players with a little something to remember the game by instead of just the highlight reel.
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5 ecommerce challenges for 2014
Practical Ecommerce
Many ecommerce merchants are enjoying a robust holiday selling season even as some brick-and-mortar stores are seeing relatively flat Christmas sales. To ensure continued growth and success, Internet retailers may want to challenge their businesses to improve in several areas in 2014. Ecommerce and mobile-based ecommerce have grown significantly this year. Cyber Monday ecommerce sales, as an example, reached $1.735 billion originating from desktop and laptop devices, according to comScore.
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Proforma Infinite Marketing Solutions acquires Image Builders Unlimited
Go Print and Promo
Proforma Infinite Marketing Solutions has acquired Image Builders Unlimited, a promotional products company located in East Lansing, Mich. David Szidik, owner of Proforma Infinite Marketing Solutions was assisted by the Proforma Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Team to secure the deal. Terms of the deal were not announced. Szidik began working with Proforma's M&A Team this year to identify opportunities to significantly grow his business. Using Proforma's M&A prospecting tools, Szidik was able to establish relationships with promotional products distributors and print brokers that may be interested in selling, which led to the successful buy-out of Image Builders Unlimited.
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Best lead generation methods to drive sales
Business 2 Community
Ever feel like filing a harassment lawsuit against companies that truly seem to be invading your personal space? Whether it’s ten emails a day, two phone calls a day, or a letter in the mail each week; these forms of lead generation become obnoxious and unwanted extremely quickly. According to Mashable’s Content Editor Lauren Drell, 200 million Americans have signed up for the Do Not Call List, 86 percent of people change the channel or fast forward through television commercials, and 44 percent of direct mail is trashed without ever being opened.
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Gmail to download images by default — affect on ecommerce
Practical Ecommerce
Since Gmail’s new tabbed format launched a few months ago, the response has been both positive and negative — from users as well as email marketers. However, Gmail recently announced another major change: automatically displaying images within the body of all emails without a user selecting the “display images” button.
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Distributors: Vote Now for your Favorite Supplier and Multi-Line Rep
SPPA
Voting is now open for the annual SPPA Awards. Distributors can vote between now and Jan. 10, 2014 for the favorite Supplier, Factory Rep and Multi-Line Rep. Jan. 28 during our membership luncheon held in conjunction with THE Show of the South in Birmingham.

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The complete list of NCAA bowl game swag
Promo Marketing
It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holidays — the start of college football bowl season, a 35-game slate beginning Dec. 21 and stretching almost a week into the new year. And while the games should be killer, they're nothing compared to the swag athletes will receive for participating.

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10 killer promotions from some of the world's best-known brands
Everything PR
Some might say that promotional products such as t-shirts, pens and tote bags aren't made with quality materials — the product's purpose is thrown out the door when cheap products are used to represent a brand. Promo materials don’t have to be super cheap, though.

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Mayday and drones: How Amazon wins and loses at customer service
Business 2 Community
Amazon is ending 2013 on a curious note. Just a few months ago, they wowed customers and garnered praise for their launch of Mayday, an instant video customer service platform embedded in their latest line of Kindle Fires. However, for the past few weeks the Internet won’t let the company downplay CEO Jeff Bezo’s announcement that Amazon might use drones to deliver packages in the future. It’s become enough of a joke that it was even lampooned on The Daily Show and Colbert Report. So what succeeded here? And what failed?
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With 3-D printing, clothing that leaves out the sewing maching
The New York Times
Will the 3-D printer replace the sewing machine as the favored tool of fashion designers? In recent months, 3-D-printed clothes and accessories have shown up on “Project Runway” (a contestant printed belts), the actual runway (the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s 3-D printed collection called Voltage) and on the Neiman Marcus website (which sells 3-D pieces like Bathsheba Grossman’s sculptural stainless-steel orbs).
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    10 killer promotions from some of the world's best-known brands (Everything PR)
The complete list of NCAA bowl game swag (Promo Marketing)
Take action today to protect advertising expenditures and the promotional products industry (SPPA)

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