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ASI Wins Three National Editorial Excellence Awards

Filed under: Members, News About ASI, Using Ad Specialties

While traveling from ASI Chicago I learned that ASI was named winner of three national American Society of Business Publication Editors awards for editorial excellence.

ASI was selected as a winner among widely-acknowledged publications in the competition, including BusinessWeek, Computerworld, Fortune Small Business and PC Magazine

The ASBPE trade group reviewed more than 2,300 entries nationwide and selected Counselor magazine’s “Apparel Hot Sheet” and “State of the Industry” issue, and Wearables magazine’s “Fashion Trends” feature for their outstanding content.

I’m particularly excited because these awards reflect an emphasis on the integrity of information and educational resources available in our publications to help ASI distributors and suppliers – you – learn about new products and grow their businesses everyday.

The “Fashion Trends” and “Apparel Hot Sheet” sections provide ASI distributors and decorators with new apparel products and trends that they can use to increase sales.  The “State of the Industry” issue from Counselor magazine provides the most comprehensive and trusted annual report about the advertising specialty industry, including top sales markets and best practices, to over 15,000 paying subscribers. 

Advertisers should be proud to be featured in all seven of ASI’s magazines – the most nationally recognized in the industry for editorial quality. 

Congratulations to the editors of these features and to the entire staff at all of our magazines

You can see a complete list of this year’s winners and finalists at www.asbpe.org.

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at youtube.com/timasitv.


From Chicago: Watch Video of 7 Products to Sell

Filed under: Education, Members, News About ASI, Using Ad Specialties

ASI Chicago has been great and I found seven unique products at the show that you can sell to your clients.  See them now in my video, right from the ASI booth.    

Nearly 800 suppliers are here – 200 of them did not exhibit last year and 129 are exhibiting at their first industry show.  So it was hard to decide which products to feature.  Watch now.

The video includes:

  • 100% polyester USA-made cap, from Bodek & Rhodes, asi/40788
  • Customized photo mouse pad, from Digispec, asi/49716
  • Pinwheel business card holder, from PromoBiz USA, asi/79903
  • Baseball cap back pack, from Vacumi, asi/93211
  • Individual lint removers, from 3M, asi/91240
  • Patriotic lighted fan, from Clegg Industries, asi/45450
  • Tradewinds eco-pen, from Bullet Line, asi/42424

Tell me what you think about ASI Chicago and other products you’ve seen this year, or anything else on your mind – post now on the blog or email me anytime, at tim.andrews@asicentral.com

Check out more product videos from ASI Shows this year, at youtube.com/timasitv.


Photos From HOT Party – People, Trends and Products

Filed under: Industry Initiatives, Members, News About ASI

We just wrapped up the HOT party celebrating the first-ever Counselor HOT issue that reveals cool trends and products and the exclusive list of 37 HOT people who are shaking up the marketplace. 

The HOT list was announced last night and honors dynamic people who are leading the way in industry trend-spotting, building a powerhouse organization or developing attention-grabbing new products.

Event photos are at asicentral.com/hotpartyphotos and watch for the official HOT issue coming next month to subscribers of Counselor.

Who’s on the HOT list this year?  They are:

  • Jason Black
  • Kari, Lori & Jodi Caden
  • Dov Charney
  • Larry Cohen
  • Billy Dolan
  • Chuck Fandos
  • Shauna Feldman
  • Brian Fron
  • Jordy Gamson
  • Trevor Gnesin
  • Allison Gower
  • Marc Held
  • Charley Johnson
  • Joyce Johnson-Miller
  • Cindy Jorgensen
  • Memo Kahan
  • Michelle Kajan
  • Trish Karter
  • Dale Kirby
  • Becky Lamken
  • Lon McGowan
  • Terry McGuire
  • Craig Morantz
  • Vera Muzzillo
  • Pam Myers
  • Tim O’Boyle
  • Nadine Panetti & Mark Hobbs
  • Catherine Pilgrim
  • Herb Piller
  • Danny Rosin
  • Ross Silverstein
  • Doug Stayman
  • Lyndsey Tidwell
  • Tom Vann
  • Kathy Vichakchon
  • Rob Watson
  • Mark Ziskind

If you’re a distributor principal and want to subscribe to Counselor, visit asicentral.com/counselor.   

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at youtube.com/timasitv.


ESP Upgrade: New Confirmed Supplier Data and Update Supplier Information Directly

Filed under: Members, News About ASI

I’m excited about our next upgrade for ESP Online today – it provides new confirmed supplier data and pricing for the first time – a powerful measure that ensures we have the best data in the industry and one that will build confidence with your clients and save you time. 

Products that are confirmed by suppliers will be clearly marked in ESP Online with a distinguishing logo and over 2,000 suppliers have already confirmed their entire product lines with ASI to-date.

There’s even more with this release:

Update Information Directly:  Suppliers can confirm, modify and input their product data directly into ESP Online.  They can upload product images, copy products to easily create new entries, and track the status of updates as they are being completed. 

Improved Images:  A new graphics process takes ESP Online’s best-in-class image quality even further, producing 95% of all product images have solid white backgrounds.  The images allow distributors to create professional presentations, impressing clients and prospects and enhancing their own branding.    

Better Searching:  New capabilities allow distributors to find products faster by selecting searches based upon confirmed data status, supplier ratings and new products.  The new products search answers one of the most common end-buyer requests, by returning only products that are new to the industry or new to a supplier within the last six months.

Virtual Samples:  ESP Online’s premium virtual sample tool, powered by TechnologoTM, has also been improved to include new screen designs and a cleaner look and feel.

In addition, for suppliers who are subscribers to ASI CreditConnect, ESP Online now has an automatic log-in option that allows them to log-in to both programs at the same time.  Also, a new media statistics report is available, showing how many exposures a company receives through ESP Online and other ASI media.  

ASI invests over $2.5 million in data collection, quality assurance and self-administered supplier data confirmation tools.  The extensive investment in data collection has ensured that over 3,400 supplier catalogs are current for 2008 and that no catalogs older than 2007 are in ESP Online or any other ASI product or service. 

ESP Online has more than 32,000 users, including 100% of the Counselor® Top 40 DistributorsTM.  It allows distributors to search for nearly every product in the industry from over 3,500 reputable ASI suppliers.  More than 100,000 product and supplier searches are returned in ESP Online each day. 

To learn more about the ESP Online upgrade and for a free demo, visit asicentral.com/esp or email Dave Russo, executive director for distributor services, at drusso@asicentral.com.

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at youtube.com/timasitv.


New ASI ContentBridge – use our education and editorial for success

Filed under: Members, News About ASI

Today we launched ASI ContentBridge – a new product that allows ASI distributors to directly access, integrate and customize all of ASI’s educational and editorial content and product and supplier data into their own business applications. 

This means that distributors can use ASI’s data and information and educational content in their own Websites and business systems.  The pricing information, set-up fees and product images are the same quality data that powers ESP OnlineTM and LogoMall Websites. 

Distributors using ASI ContentBridge will achieve higher operational efficiency and find more time for selling, by eliminating the need to manually incorporate data into purchase orders and other internal processes.  With the most current information available, sales and customer service staff will also be more knowledgeable, leading to increased productivity, cost savings and job satisfaction.

In addition to vital product information, all educational and editorial content produced by ASI will become available digitally – in audio and video formats – to allow distributors to have information at their fingertips about new products, sales strategies and important news from the industry.  ASI spends $1.3 million annually to create and deliver educational content, and one of its initiatives is making that award-winning information available anytime and in any format that a distributor needs.  

When suppliers update their product and pricing information with ASI, it will automatically be forwarded to distributors who are using ASI ContentBridge to feed their Websites and business systems.  In turn, the latest product data will reach distributors and end-buyers faster, increasing sales and saving administrative costs and time. 

Data can either be streamed in real-time from ASI’s servers, or downloaded periodically through a simple interface over the Internet, and ASI will work with each distributor’s information technology team or vendor to customize the service so the data can be used however they wish.

ASI ContentBridge can be used to enhance or build a number of mission-critical business applications, including CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or order management systems.  Applications that track what products sales representatives order most and which suppliers they work with more often, can also be built to better project purchasing trends. 

Companies can also stream education materials, videos and industry news to sales forces through their Intranet or public Website.  As the content becomes available, ASI will also roll out editorial articles, educational videos and multimedia from ASI University and award-winning ASI magazines – including AdvantagesTM, Counselor®, Successful PromotionsTM and Supplier Global ResourceTM.  ASI Supplier Performance Ratings will also become available.

For more information, visit www.asicontentbridge.com, or contact Dan O’Halloran, senior vice president of distributor services for ASI, at dohalloran@asicentral.com

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our trade shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at youtube.com/timasitv.


ASI Radio on the Air – Listen for Hot Topics Weekly

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, Members, News About ASI

Our editorial team hosted our first broadcast of ASI Radio this week on the Internet and the show provided a great way to discuss industry news provided by our seven award-winning magazines.

The show is a great interactive platform for ASI members and industry professionals to connect with each other and our editors in real-time.

This week’s hot topics included the new controversial PhRMA Code that affects promotional products given away by pharmaceutical companies, Joe Haley’s appropriate dress combos for sales professionals and a new trend in apparel for summer concerts from Kathy Huston.

You can listen to the recording of the show and watch video from the studio camera that covered the group live in our studio simultaneously, at www.asicentral.com/radio.

Also, here are some photos of the team of hosts.  In addition to the editors of our seven magazines, the group included Steve Hawk, who decided that he would step out of his role as web designer to take charge of the sound board.  Steve has worked at ASI since 1999 and he did a great job.

Special thanks to our radio show sponsors:  All-In-One, MediaTree and Custom HBC.  Tune in next Tuesday at 10:30 am EST for the next show.

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our trade shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at www.youtube.com/timasitv.