Putting it all together

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Collaboration

Many of us can attest to the fact that collaboration in just about any area has benefits almost everywhere, all the time. Despite the fact that the promotional product industry is worth about $20 billion a year, it’s a bit of an undone jigsaw — a lot of people are doing their thing in small groups that don’t get many chances to communicate and connect with each other. That’s why trade shows can be so great: they’re full of the kind of energy and creativity that emanate from an atmosphere in which large numbers of people have convened in the same place with many of the same goals. Trade shows are occasional, however, not the business of every day. We need more.

The development of social media and different tech platforms is helping to bridge that communication and collaboration gap among innovators in the industry. We’re excited about the aims of some of the outfits involved in this movement, and about the potential here. Promokitchen.com consists of a group of industry leaders who have launched a platform for the sole purpose of sharing and collaborating. From their technology articles to their podcasts, they’re sharing great content — including a podcast by Denise on sustainability — and bringing the industry together.

Another site, Commonsku describes itself as “a next generation CRM, order management, and social collaboration tool for the promotional products industry,” and it lets suppliers and distributors connect like never before. We’re really happy to see folks like these surface in the cyber sea to throw us all lifelines and get us on-board together, and 2013 should bring more of them to the surface.

It’s really heartening to think about the powerful ties that Fairware and its colleagues will be able to forge in the near future. We’re hopeful, and we’re working hard to fuel that hope — because that’s the kind of work that’s never wasted.

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