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Expo Education and Training Opportunities

Become an Expo Presenter and Share Your Knowledge

We are seeking proposals from individuals at retailer companies, supplier companies, and other related businesses to present educational seminars at the 2024 International Personalization & Awards Expo. This is your valuable opportunity to be a thought leader in the industry, network with attendees, and showcase your business.

Submit Your Speaker Proposal by June 16

Purchase 2023 International Expo Session Recordings 


Invest in your business’s future when you purchase valuable resources and how-to videos from the 2023 International Expo trade show.

You can download the complete set of education sessions or choose the individual sessions that are right for you. You’ll create a lasting library of resources that you and your team can refer to at your convenience.

Purchase Recordings

Planning for the 2024 International Expo is underway!

In the meantime, we invite you to explore the topics discussed during this year's expo.



Tuesday, February 7

Automating Processes Using Non-Industry Tools

7:30-9:00 AM

Shana Kayne Beach, CRS, Chase Street Accessories & Engraving
Session Code 101

While many of the industry business process automation services are more than sufficient, some businesses may be interested in creating their own custom solutions. Smaller businesses, in particular, may be looking for a few tweaks to improve efficiency without the budget to purchase a full suite of tools. The current trends in low-code and no-code automation tools have opened up many options for non-programmers to build their own software solutions. While these tools are not built specifically for the personalization industry, they offer many opportunities to integrate with existing workflows. All it takes is a little curiosity and willingness to embrace technology. Shana will walk through the gradual, iterative approach and methods she uses to identify opportunities for automation, discover/learn the best tool for the job, and test whether it actually benefits the team or not.
0.15 CEUs Business

101+ Tips for an Engraving Shop

7:30-9:00 AM

Fred Schwartz, Quality One Engravers Inc.
Session Code 102

Join us for an overview of many tips, tricks, safety, and efficiency for any engraving shop. Covering material handling, standards, tools of the trade, efficient usage, software, very useful charts and much more.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Step By Step Layout Design

7:30-9:00 AM

Megan Raymond, Raymond's Trophy & Awards
Session Code 103

Ever wonder what sets some designs above the rest? Learn how to keep your company's designs consistent, yet also creative for your client's needs. Follow the guide demonstrated in this session which is created to streamline your company's creative process.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Gaining Freedom - Escaping the Owner's Trap and Growing the Value of your Business

9:30-11:00 AM

Lori Moen, CEPA, Catalyst Group ECR
Session Code 111

During this workshop you will assess if you are in the Owner's trap of your business and how to get out it.  You will then be in a position to grow the value of your company by making the intangible assets of your company tangible. All while delivering the ultimate freedom for a Business Owner - having a business that is valuable - de-risked and ready for the future opportunities. Come ready to work on your business and have actionable plans to take with you.
0.15 CEUs Business

Marketing for the Busy Decorator

9:30-11:00 AM

Desiree Colonna, Inkwell Designers®
Session Code 112

With over 25 years of web design and marketing experience, 5 companies under her name, and a roster of clients which include American Express, Jack Daniels, Salesforce, Mercedes Benz, and Budweiser, Desiree Colonna can help you bring in more clients through your web presence. In this session, she will cover how knowing who your customer truly is can help you set the foundation for the rest of your online presence. From Etsy to Facebook to Shopify to a WordPress site, knowing who you're having conversations with online with help you boost your sales. In the class, you will also receive your bonus Ideal Customer Avatar Workbook to fill out which will help guide your process along the way.
0.15 CEUs Marketing/Sales

CorelDRAW for ALL

9:30-11:00 AM

Randy Allen, CRS, Engraving Concepts
Session Code 113

CorelDRAW for ALL will review the fundamentals of the different types of artwork and how that relates to equipment such as laser engraving and UV printing.  Additionally, this session will introduce tools that help with editing artwork and we'll interactively field questions and challenges that involve CorelDRAW with an emphasis on laser engraving and UV printing.
0.15 CEUs Technical

How to Build it Bigger and Better

12:30-2:00 PM

Pamela Deats-Connaly, Custom Built Awards
Session Code 121

This session will show a different perspective of our industry. Sharing what worked for a retailer business along with how to grow and do it where you are growing in size and profit margin. Don't be afraid of the unknown, STOP saying "what if" and start saying..... Let's do this.
0.15 CEUs Business

How to Start and Grow a Laser Business

12:30-2:00 PM

David Stevens, Trotec Laser
Session Code 122

This presentation will cover how to start or grow a laser business and maximize the return on a laser investment. Attendees will gain a basic understanding of how lasers work, see examples of items they can make and sell using a laser, and learn about the ways a laser can boost efficiency and increase the value of finished goods all while learning some tips and tricks along the way.
0.15 CEUs Business

CorelDraw Draw Faster and Better: Hot Keys, Macros and More

12:30-2:00 PM

Doug Green, Express Yourself
Session Code 123

Join us for a variety of hands-on examples that include how to set up your workspace to let CorelDRAW work the best for you. Walk away knowing all the Hot Keys (shortcut keys) that come with CorelDRAW while also learning how to make your own. Get your questions answered about how to find and create your macros for your particular needs and learn more tips and tricks to expand your ability.
0.15 CEUs Technical

The DREAM BIG MODEL for Growing and Exiting Your Business & Building Wealth

2:30-4:00 PM

Allen DAngelo, Terrence Dunn, Transformation Acquisitions, LLC
Session Code 131

Today, like no other time in our lives we face unprecedented opportunities to grow, energize others and build wealth throughout businesses by leading with vision and values. In this session, you will learn the five ways to grow to greatness by expanding your vision and values. You’ll discover how looking through the eyes of an investor and potential buyer of your company will sharpen your approaches in business in amazing new ways.  In addition, you’ll learn the ten steps for planning for exiting the business for maximizing your personal wealth.
0.15 CEUs Business

Attaining and Sustaining Success in the Personalization Industry: A Panel Discussion

2:30-4:00 PM

Mike Dean, Epilog Laser
Session Code 132

If those in the personalization industry have learned one thing over the past three years it’s that they must be able to adapt to an ever-changing business climate. Join us for a panel discussion with some of today’s industry leaders focusing on best practices for marketing your personalization business, incorporating new technologies, navigating supply chain challenges, acquiring and retaining employees, and much more. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions before the discussion as well as participate in a live Q+A session. You don’t want to miss this valuable opportunity to learn from industry peers the do’s and don’ts of building a thriving personalization business.
0.15 CEUs Business

UV Printer and Laser = Peanut Butter and Jelly

2:30-4:00 PM

Desiree Colonna, Inkwell Designers®
Session Code 133

Having a UV Printer and Laser is like having a Ferrari with a tankful of gas. All you need are the keys to get to 100 mph within seconds. Knowing what to make for your target audience and how to make it will take you farther, faster. Desiree will go over non-traditional types of printing which includes wine bottles, candles, earrings, and more, and how she built a 6-figure business in just 2 years with her UV printer and laser.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Step By Step Laser Engraving Photographs

4:30-6:00 PM

Marc Stipo, Next Level Laser Training
Session Code 141

Join this session and learn the step by step process of laser engraving a photograph. Start with how to properly interpret and manipulate photographs, then most importantly, what to look for in a photograph with learning the settings of a laser to ensure a proper engrave. Walk away with a new found confidence in engraving!
0.15 CEUs Technical

Learn Sandcarving and the Possibilities

4:30-6:00 PM

Liz Haas, Billy Willis, Rayzist Photomask
Session Code 142

This class will cover everything from the basics of sandcarving through intermediate skills. Sandcarving provides a wide range of products with multiple possibilities from beautiful etched to color filled items for a fabulous high-end appearance. Learn proper blasting techniques and the right photoresist film to use for various materials.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Roundtable Discussions

4:30-6:00 PM

Mike Westbrook, Mile High Laser Engraving; Sam Varn, CRM, Awards4U; Pam Deats-Connaly, Custom Built Awards; Keith Baldwin, Spikes Trophies
Session Code 143

Pull your seat up to a table and join engaging conversations with your colleagues. The Roundtable Discussion is intended to provide you with direct access to industry experts. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share ideas on a trending topic that impacts your business.
There are four round table discussions that will explore:
- Business Life Cycle & Exit Strategy
- Marketing & Social Media
- Selecting, Welcoming & Developing Employees
- Workflow Development & Production

Our moderators are geared up to share their best practices and provide you with tangible steps that you can execute right away into your day-to-day operations.
0.15 CEUs Business

Wednesday, February 8

Retention is the New Acquisition

7:30-8:30 AM

Eddie Hill, CRM, Award Masters Inc.
Session Code 201

Retention IS the new Acquisition! In today’s economy, we must strive to keep our current customers and minimize our churn. This class will teach you how to effectively minimize lost customers, maximize the customers that stay with you, and win back customers who moved on. All three of these things will massively affect your bottom line.
0.1 CEUs Marketing/Sales

Why Diversifying Your Services Will Help You Grow

7:30-8:30 AM

Desiree Colonna, Inkwell Designers
Session Code 202

This session will go against everything you've been told about finding a niche but in a good way. Find out how I diversified my business to include UV printing, embossing, laser engraving, white toner printing, and more, and how it saved a retailer business during the pandemic. See how to build your business to be recession-proof well into the future and beyond.
0.1 CEUs Business

Basics of Signage Design

7:30-8:30 AM

Trevor Wanamaker, Maker Experiment LLC
Session Code 203

From children’s bedrooms to Fortune 500 Business Offices, signage is present in our everyday lives. This session will demonstrate the basics of design, provide details on materials and adhesives, and provide actual signage case studies for how to work with clients.
0.1 CEUs Technical

It Just Takes a Slight Pivot to Grow

9:00-10:00 AM

Session Code 211

Growth is not an outlandish change. Growth comes from small little changes that add up over time and equate to sustained growth year over year. Whether it is a product, process, or people pivoting your business can be the difference from closing the doors to growth over the years. Little adjustments to the way you think can change your perspective on your business and how you can meet your goals. Just because this is the way you have always done something does not mean that is the way if should be done.
0.1 CEUs Business

How to Leverage and Automate Processes with Non-Industry Software: A Panel Discussion

9:00-10:00 AM

Shana Kayne Beach, CRS, Chase Street Accessories & Engraving
Niels Norby, NetSoft Studio
Sam Varn, CRM, Awards4U
Mike Westbrook, Mile High Laser Engraving

Facilitator: Dan Bencsik, Buxmont Awards & Engraving Services
Session Code 212

Join a distinguished group of panelists for a discussion on how to bring your business to the next level using automation tools. Discover how to improve your business operations that will help you prepare for today’s challenges. This panel discussion is designed specifically for business owners and their staff to ask questions and learn from real examples how to develop these tools.
0.1 CEUs Business

How to Know your Actual Cost and How to Get the Right Return

9:00-10:00 AM

Gordon Grabill, AwardsMart
Session Code 213

Within this session you will learn about all the variable and fixed costs associated with being an independent business owner. Using this knowledge, will give you a better understanding of the costs of operating a business while building a foundation upon which to determine how to be a viable business operator in the long term. The Goal: To make money with your business!
0.1 CEUs Business

Thursday, February 9

How would Sherlock Holmes Hire?

7:30-9:00 AM

Nelson Scott, SEA Consulting
Session Code 301

Sherlock Holmes. Inspector Morse. Miss Marple. As an interviewer, you have more in common with characters from classic detective fiction, film, and television than you may realize. Both detectives and interviewers are seeking evidence. Who committed murder most foul? Which candidate is the most suitable for the job? Discover how investigative techniques are similar to best hiring practices.
0.15 CEUs Business

Let's Get Growing - A Simple Methodology on Business Life Cycles

7:30-9:00 AM

Mike Westbrook, Mile High Laser Engraving
Session Code 302

Join this session to learn what to expect in the life cycles of your business with simple growth strategies to help you move through each cycle successfully. It all starts with understanding your business life cycles, where a business is at in the cycle, and what can be expected in each cycle. Learn simple and cheap strategies to grow your business through each business cycle. Walk away with learning how to turn your sales machine on and increase calls coming into your business using Google's free and paid tools as a bonus.
0.15 CEUs Marketing/Sales

Deep Etch: Markets & Techniques

7:30-9:00 AM

Darin Jones, Peter Norman, IKONICS Imaging
Session Code 303

Master the hands-on advanced techniques that give you the leverage and expertise to reach new customers and retain existing ones by offering them more unique outcomes. You'll learn what it means to use optimal artwork for multi-stage carving, converting photographs to professional halftones, deep carving, how to work on compound/curved surfaces, and more!
0.15 CEUs Technical

Benefits of the Simple Act of Working ON Your Business

9:30-10:30 AM

Aaron Montgomery, Our Success Group
Session Code 311

Discover 5 key ingredients and how to develop those keys into a comprehensive plan that will guide you to success. This is not the spiral-bound glossy business plan you take to a bank to get a loan. This is the nitty-gritty details of what will make your business tick and how you will take over the world - or whatever your aspirations are for your business. As a 22-year veteran of the industry, Aaron's passion is to motivate product decorators to develop a foundation to start and grow quickly. This class will cover everything from the nuts and bolts of starting your business to finding the right markets for sales instead of just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. We will also cover the fundamentals that make a strong business foundation.
0.1 CEUs Business

Apparel Decoration: Secrets Every Laser Owner Should Know

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Mark Merola, Stahls'
Session Code 312

If you are looking to expand the capabilities of your laser, then you cannot afford to miss this session. Adding apparel decoration to your business can be a game changer, but it is important to have the right tools and tricks at your fingertips. In this class, we will review the secrets to making apparel decoration a profitable avenue without breaking the bank.
0.1 CEUs Business

CorelDraw for Sublimation

9:30-10:30 AM

Jared Truman, JDS Industries
Session Code 313

Learn how to utilize CorelDraw for the sublimation process! We will start with a blank page and go through every step in order to create a wonderful design with spot-on colors!
0.1 CEUs Technical



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Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300

Chicago, IL 60631
(Fax) 847.375.6480

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