Sonic Promos’ Madi Evens Wins Rising Star Award

A picture of Madi Evens. Next to her, the CPPA logo and text: "2023 Rising Star. Madi Evens. Sonic Promos."

Gaithersburg, MD— February 14, 2023 — The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) awarded Sonic Promos’ Brand Manager Madi Evens its 2023 Rising Star Award. This award is presented to an up-and-coming promotional professional who brings new ideas, dedication and enthusiasm to both their company and the industry. Rising Star nominees must be employed in the promotional products industry five years or less from the date of nomination. Madi Evens grew up in Branchburg, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with a degree in Advertising, concentrating on business. She joined Sonic Promos in 2021 as a sales assistant, moving to the DC Metro area in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since joining Sonic Promos, Evens has proven invaluable as a dedicated member of the in-office team. She assists two of Sonic’s senior sales reps and maintains her own client relationships as well. Her favorite client project put her on-site in Florida to assist with an event activation. The client wanted to enhance their annual conference by allowing employees to “shop” for branded gear. Sonic worked with our apparel and decorating partners to create a “Fit Kit” that allowed employees to participate in a live personal-shopping experience. During the event, Evens and the Sonic team helped each recipient choose their individual style, size and color before placing their order. In response to being named the 2023 Rising Star, Evens says “I am so thankful and grateful for this award. It is really nice to know that my hard work has been recognized by others.” The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association is the DC-Baltimore metro area’s regional membership organization for promotional products professionals. It is a regional affiliate of the PPAI. The Peake Awards mark their annual celebration of exemplary people and projects within the promotional industry. Sonic Promos was founded in 1997 and is an award-winning branded product agency based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Sonic Promos provides brand marketing and engagement services for Enterprise Level organizations. In addition to branded merch, they design and support projects such as new client/staff onboarding, sales and lead generation, recognition, kitting & fulfillment, online company stores, on-site event engagement, product activations and corporate uniform programs.   ###   For more information, press only: Mallory Scott   For more information on Madi Evens   For more information on Sonic Promos: 301.869.7800

Sonic Promos’ Jay Shaplin Inducted into Hall of Fame

Jay Shaplin's headshot. Text next to him: CPPA logo, 2023 Hall of Fame. Sonic Promos.

Gaithersburg, MD— February 9, 2023 — The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) inducted Sonic Promos’ Senior Branding and Vendor Relations Manager Jay Shaplin into the CPPA Hall of Fame. The CPPA Hall of Fame was founded in 2007. When presenting the award, Jeff Franklin said, “The Hall of Fame recognizes those who exemplify what it means to be an ambassador for the industry and for their professional peers and for the community.” Jay Shaplin graduated from Millersville University in 1990 with a degree in Art but he entered the industry long before that. At 7 he was helping his mother in her T-Shirt Shop with the irons-ons for shirts. At 16 he worked as a screen maker and cleaner for a local screenprinter. After graduation, he continued to work in the industry from printer to promotional products distributor. Since then he’s worked in a variety of roles, including gained his Master Advertising Specialist certification and owned his own promotional products business for a decade until joining Sonic Promos in 2016. Shaplin’s client base is diverse and multinational. His attention to detail and creative solutions have made him a trusted vendor to all who work with him. He also regularly volunteers and attends events that the CPPA, Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), and Promo Products Industry Association (PPAI) organize for industry professionals. The president of Sonic Promos, Seth Weiner, says “Sonic has been privileged to witness the efforts of an extraordinary career in promo that we continue to see and we hope will continue to keep going. In addition to being one of the most educated and insightful members of this industry Jay operates the right way. His consistent effort resonates with our team and our clients, along with his contributions within our company…Jay is a great teammate and a tremendous representative of Sonic outside of the office.” The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association is the DC-Baltimore metro area’s regional membership organization for promotional products professionals. It is a regional affiliate of the PPAI. The Hall of Fame is not awarded every year and the nominating process is thorough. Those who win are highly regarded in their field and celebrated by their industry peers. Sonic Promos was founded in 1997 and is an award-winning branded product agency based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. ### For more information, press only: Mallory Scott For more information on Jay Shaplin For more information on Sonic Promos: 301.869.7800

What’s a Promo Product Expo Like?

Collage of different pictures taken at the PPAI Expo in Vegas. Text says: "What's a Promo Products Expo Like"

Written by Lisa Sanders Imagine pinning all your week’s plans on boarding a Southwest flight right after the holidays when 11,000 flights were canceled. It was a gamble, sure, but we were headed to Las Vegas, so it felt on theme. Jay and I were on our way to the annual Promotional Products Expo! One (thankfully) smooth flight and a taxi ride later we were taking it all in from the MGM Mandalay Bay. It was only 7 PM, but I was ready to check-in and pass out! At 6:00 AM on the dot the next morning, I was in line at the coffee shop that would become my second home for the week. Coffee acquired, I headed back up to properly re-start this month-of-a-day and plan out my education track! Around 8 AM, Jay and I snagged our badges and another round of coffee, and we were off to the races to find a seat at the Kickoff Keynotes. The first speaker was former NASA engineer, Maureen Zappala, who spoke on imposter syndrome and how to combat it. The second speaker was Dr. James Pogue, who spoke on engagingly on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Both were highly engaging and talented speakers who left me with a sense of purpose for my day and burgeoning pride in my new industry. Whilst we were sitting in ballrooms all day Monday, the vendors were busily setting up their wares – and set. up. they. did. The Mandalay Bay convention center was packed edge to edge with supplier tents and tables, Jay and I looked at each other with determination and set to work! “Listen, you can’t talk to everyone. There just isn’t time. We have to come up with a strategy of attack and stick to it. We must make it to aisle 3,000 by the end of today or we have no hope of finishing tomorrow.” -Jay, the grizzled veteran to Lisa, the industry ingénue. I had no idea just how right this advice would turn out to be. There were sellers of bags, apparel, pins, hats, and more! I was drawn like a moth to the light, chatting with new and known vendors alike, networking and learning about products new to me. A favorite unexpected treat was all the demonstrations of decoration methods and the on-the-spot spec samples that were being created while we watched. Laser engraving, pad printing, screen printing, and debossing. It is one thing to read about these methods, but a different experience entirely to take part. By the end of the day, we had talked, we had power walked, we had skipped lunch, and we still had to quit 500 booths before our goal. On day two, I knew my mission: Eat all the samples. Wait…no, that’s not what Jay told me to do, but that’s what I did. Highlight of the day was The Dirty Cookie Company’s cookie shotglass with coconut coffee. Magnifique! The real mission of the day was: Talk fast, look faster, and keep it moving. We made great time working our way through the larger booths quickly and soon found ourselves in the new product pavilion. I treated it as a bit of a scavenger hunt. Did I spot that item on the show floor at its booth? Could I name the vendor without reading the sign? For the most part, I had already documented the new and noteworthy items. We closed out the day with a steak sample from Meats by Linz and headed to our rooms to get ready for the Knoss Experience later that afternoon. It wasn’t all work and no play – I tagged along with Jay to a Promo Kitchen mixer at the House of Blues where I met some interesting people and photobombed as much as possible. The Outliers Ball at RiRa Irish Pub where I got to put some faces to emails. We even got a sneak preview of Knoss’ new line at their suite event with EMT, who showered us in Promo AF swag. Talking apparel and learning about their design process made my fashion designer heart go pitter patter, I can’t wait to see what they launch in the spring! The PPAI Expo was a lot but in all the right ways. I learned so much about the industry. I networked and met so many people. In our increasingly virtual experience, it’s crucial to find ways to make those human connections. I saw and touched so many products! I came away with creative inspiration and the motivation to find the right client for the really amazing items I saw. I also came away with a new friendship and heightened appreciation for his depth of knowledge: thank you Jay for mentoring me along this week and not letting me get lost! We’re featuring items that Lisa and Jay saw at the Promo Expo all week! Follow us on our social media pages to see more: Instagram LinkedIn Facebook  

Recommended by Wirecutter, Branded by Sonic Promos: Travel Essentials

When it comes to promo products, especially tech items, it can be hard to know what works and what doesn’t. We always want to bring you high quality items that last but even we know there’s a lot of noise out there!  One of the many ways we promote quality items is to check in with Wirecutter! Wirecutter is THE trusted name for product reviews. If you haven’t checked it out, we can’t recommend it enough. Recently, Wirecutter published an article about the gadgets they bring on every trip. Travel tech is a hot item category inside and outside of the promo world. If you’re looking to brand some high quality travel gadgets, we can help! We have many of the same items or similar items that Wirecutter recommended in their article. Check out some of the items we can brand from the article: The Anker PowerPort III 3-Port 65W Wall Charger. The Allocacoc USB PowerCube Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Apple AirTag