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Happy Holidays

Filed under: Members

As we prepare for our annual Thanksgiving traditions with family, friends and business associates, I’d like to take a moment to wish you the best this holiday season. 

I value your relationship with ASI, and look forward to many conversations ahead through email, at ASI Shows and on this blog about the direction of our industry and how we can work together. 

While celebrating the many reasons to be thankful, let’s also keep in mind people and families that could use our help. 

At ASI, we’ve volunteered to work with the American Red Cross and its Adopt-A-Family program again this year to buy and deliver gifts to families who would otherwise not have them.  So far, 17 teams – representing a large percentage of our staff – volunteered to help.  We’re also collecting food and supplies for the Boy Scouts’ annual effort to provide necessities to those living at homeless shelters.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.  Feel free to email me anytime, about most anything, at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.   

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PowerPoint of Ad Specialties Study (With Video) for Your Use

Filed under: Education, Research

Readers have been asking me for a presentation with the results of the advertising specialties effectiveness study from ASI that they can use for training their sales staff. 

The PowerPoint presentation that introduced the study at the ASI Power Summit is now available online, and it includes 12 videos of objections you may receive from end-buyers and how to overcome them.

Here’s what to do:

  • Click here.   If a box opens asking you to either open, save, or cancel, select open to view it immediately.
  • Use your keyboard’s right-arrow key to advance the slides, and when you get to the pages that have videos, wait a few seconds and then they’ll play automatically.
  • If the videos don’t play, click here for a second version, which includes links to the videos themselves that you can click on.  Select save to download it, and then open it from your desktop.  If you have problems, email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com and we’ll send you the presentation.

Key findings from the study include:

  • 84% of people remember advertisers on products they receive.
  • 42% of respondents had a more favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving the item.
  • Nearly one quarter, or 24%, said they are more likely to do business with the advertiser on the items they receive.

You can download a PDF copy of the study at asicentral.com/study (reproduce it anywhere, but credit Advertising Specialty Institute as the source).  An exclusive ASI Education webinar is also available anytime online by clicking here, and at ASI Show in Orlando we’ll be providing more results of the study to sales reps who register for the exclusive Million-Dollar Sales Summit

Also, click here for the  press release announcing the results of the study, and I encourage you to forward it to your local press, customers and prospects.  

Tell me what you think anytime – post a comment now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com

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Changes to ’09 Shows All About You – Make Dollars Count

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

During the past few months, we’ve been reviewing our operations at ASI Show to determine what we need to do for you and for the industry in the face of an uncertain 2009.  Now, more than ever, it will be important to make every marketing dollar we spend, and that we ask you to spend, count.

Instead of accepting that 2009 will be a down year and there’s nothing we can do about it, we’ve decided to invest more to make sure we attract distributors — ones you want — to each of the five ASI Shows and that they’re fully engaged with you during the entire show, 24×7.

Beginning with Orlando, the first show of the year and the largest on the East Coast, here’s what we’ve done:

  • Growing attendance.  ASI Orlando and ASI Dallas pre-registration are both up about 10% from this time last year and continue to build.  While lots can happen in two months, we’re confident our marketing is providing compelling reasons to attend.  We’ve scheduled Tony Robbins as our keynote in Orlando, simplified rules around some of our distributor incentive programs, added valued-priced hotels and announced an Orlando fashion show to hold attendees until the end of the first exhibition day.
  • Attracting the right distributors.  Rather than just quantity, we’re using our internal information on distributor quality — creditworthiness from ASI CreditConnect and salesperson affiliations — to make sure we’re focusing on the right people and that they’re choosing ASI Orlando and ASI Dallas over early 2009 alternatives.  We’ve added staff at ASI to work with national distributor networks, as well as smaller, faster-growing distributors, to host national and regional sales meetings at ASI Shows.  We’ve already confirmed 40 meetings for 2009 shows – 14 in Orlando alone, and in Dallas one distributor is bringing more than 300 salespeople.
  • Delivering exclusive distributors.  Our research shows that, based on our incentive and marketing programs, we expect that more than 90% of ASI Show attendees in 2009 won’t participate in any other industry event (including PPAI Expo) and more salespeople from Top 40 companies will attend our shows than any other collection.
  • New information on the distributors you meet.  In addition to the typical contact information on distributors you scan in your booth, we’re adding additional information, including the ASI CreditConnect risk level (to help you assess creditworthiness), job function and title, and how long the attendee’s firm has been an ASI member.
  •  More ways for you to interact with distributors.  We’re putting in place “24×7 Networking” — coming up with ways you can get to know distributors and introduce them to your products and unique capabilities during the shows, and also outside normal show hours.  You’ll hear more about this as each show draws near, but here’s an example:  Suppliers who exhibit at all five ASI Shows will now receive complimentary tickets to the gala event at every show, giving you several more hours to socialize and get to know your customers and prospects — at no cost to you.
  •  Easier to do business with ASI Show.  For 2009, we’ve simplified doing business with us and created comprehensive marketing material with key facts about every show to help you make exhibition decisions.  All exhibitor manuals, show and education registration, and hotel websites are open months earlier than ever before, and we’re eliminating half the show-related deadlines so you can keep things straight (and so can we!).  We’re also holding 2009 pricing for 2010 through mid-February 2009, giving you more opportunities to make plans for 2010 without financial penalty.
  • Relevant education for suppliers and distributors.  We’ve overhauled education, creating a special all-day session to prepare new distributors to more effectively work with you and adding an invitation-only education track for people who do at least $1 million a year in sales.  Exclusively for suppliers, we’ve added “Supplier Clinics” designed to provide specific, actionable examples of how to manage your business in a challenging and changing environment.  The sessions are free, and they’re scheduled during times you aren’t setting up or staffing your booth.
  •  Marketing opportunities that use technology.  We’re replacing the Show Daily paper with a HUGE video display outside the exhibit hall of every show.  This new initiative will give you a low-cost way to advertise your products and show specials via video, driving traffic and education in an innovative, eye-catching way.  (Your Show account executive can provide details.)  ASI Radio, our 30-minute weekly web-based industry show, will be broadcast at every ASI Show in 2009, providing an opportunity to reach distributors who are listening to the show with your marketing message through sponsorships and, if your news is truly worthy, editorial coverage.
  • New registration area.  Instead of the familiar red and black ASI Show you’ve come to expect, we’ve adopted new individual branding for each of the five shows, and upgraded the technology used in the registration area.  As a supplier, you will be able to receive your credentials more quickly, be able to make last-minute changes yourself at kiosks, and get onto the floor quickly on setup day.  For distributors, the new registration area is not only brighter and more accessible, we’ve designed it to be faster with shorter lines so people can get to the show faster.

We’re committed to creating a selling environment that works for you and that provides a clear, superior return on your trade show investment.  I’m proud of the changes we’re planning, the early response from distributors and suppliers, and the excitement that’s building among major distributors to co-locate their sales gatherings with ASI in 2009 and beyond.

Please let me know anything else we can do to make your show experience better.  My personal email address is tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For general information about ASI Shows, or to register, visit asishow.com or call 1-877-274-7469 (ASI-SHOW). 

I look forward to seeing you at a show in 2009.

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Video About Incentivizing Top Reps

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, News About ASI

Keeping sales reps motivated to reach peak performance is a challenge for nearly every industry company and is a hot topic among peers and in our publications. 

On the final day of our ASI Power Summit we featured a panelist session about this – ‘What Motivates Me”: Incentivizing Top Reps’- with industry experts, top reps and successful executives who manage them all discussing what truly motivates these hard-driving salespeople to perform again and again.

Watch a video providing some key action items and ideas that surfaced that you can apply at your company to improve performance and retain the best reps including:

  • Hiring millenials and interns and providing motivating training for them.
  • Recruiting new reps from the pharma and real estate industries.
  • Provide service levels that aren’t just product-focused, but also service-focused. 

It’s all in the video – watch now.

During the session, we laid out the most effective compensation methods for top performers, explored key retention strategies and learned about the leadership styles that work best for motivating – and retaining – this elite group.  Panelists included Pat Cavanaugh, of Cavanaugh Marketing Network; Dan Welborne, of WorkflowOne; Greg Muzzillo, of Proforma; Ira Neaman, from Vantage Apparel; and myself as the moderator.

Watch for more information from these sessions in upcoming issues of Counselor magazine and our other magazines.

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  Also, you can see pictures from the ASI Power Summit at www.asicentral.com/powersummit.

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ASI Power Summit Video of Distributor-Supplier Roundtable, New Power 50

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, News About ASI

 At the ASI Power Summit we just announced the third annual Counselor Power 50 ranking of the most influential leaders in the advertising specialty industry. 

You might be surprised who’s near the top of the list – especially since there are 13 newcomers – and can find out who’s on the complete ranking at asicentral.com/power50.  Check out an upcoming issue of Counselor for stories behind these dynamic movers and shakers and knowledge you can use for your business.

Also, watch a video with ideas and action items that emerged from the “Distributor & Supplier Roundtable” session, an open discussion focusing on issues affecting distributors, suppliers and end-buyers, including:

  • Views on putting prices in printed catalogs
  • Whether order sizes are going up or down and price increases
  • What level distributors and suppliers feel they’re knowledgeable about compliance (90% of distributors said they’re not)

To watch the video with perhaps surprising results to these questions, click here.

In addition, check out photos from the ASI Power Summit anytime, at asicentral.com/powersummit.  Tell me what you think – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.

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New Study Reveals Value of Ad Specialties – From ASI Power Summit

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, News About ASI, Research, Using Ad Specialties

The second ASI Power Summit – a meeting of nearly 200 top leaders from our industry is underway and it’s already proving to be interactive and provocative in its first full day.

Last night we heard from Jack Teague – this year’s Counselor Person of the Year and pictured right – in an exclusive on-stage interview during the opening dinner.  He shared his views and concerns about the industry, including:

  • The need for more suppliers to become certified in safety and compliance.  Right now, about 50% aren’t certified, which is important in an industry where 60-70% of products are imported from overseas.
  • We collectively agree that the industry is large, but then how do we continue to improve upon value so that we’re not selling to the same clients over and over? 
  • The fourth quarter will be challenging for us, and market share has been a little soft for us now.  But, this is a soft spot in the economy, and we go through the best of times and worst of times.

Also, in a special session today we released exclusive results from ASI’s new advertising specialties effectiveness study that compares the amount of impressions for various advertising specialties against other forms of advertising – beneficial information for distributors to use to educate end-buyers and to encourage them to invest in ad specialties.

In the study, ASI found that:

  • 84% of people remember advertisers on products they receive.
  • 42% of respondents had a MORE favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving the item.
  • Nearly one quarter, or 24%, said they are MORE likely to do business with the advertiser on the items they receive.

You can learn more findings from this research in the study, located at asicentral.com/study, or in the press release, posted at asicentral.com/pressroom, and I encourage you to forward the links to your customers and prospects.   

Watch the blog for more information and useful business advice and tips from the sessions over the next couple days of the ASI Power Summit. 

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  Visit youtube.com/timasitv for products from our trade shows.

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