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4 More Hot Products – Video

Filed under: ASI Shows

On the final day of the ASI Show Chicago I found four more products that your clients will love.  They’re useful, well-made and inventive, and they include:

  • Foldable plastic step-stool, from Hit Promotional Products, asi/61125.  Great to keep in the car or in the house, it’s sturdy plastic design is something like I’ve never seen.
  • Designer single potholder and market tote, from Built NY, asi/42422.  These crisp and colorful neoprene products are some of the best on the market.
  • Heat-sensitive recycled pencil, from Shepenco, asi/86850.  This pencil reveals your logo or message when you rub it, using the heat from your hands!  A must-see.

Click here to watch the video, and other products we featured during the first day of the show.

Chicago Attendance Strong, Education Day up 7%

Filed under: ASI Shows

The ASI Show in Chicago just ended and the numbers are in:  we attracted nearly 4,300 distributors, with Education Day attracting nearly 900 distributors, up 7% from a year ago.  From the 50 free education sessions to the two well-attended keynotes, attendees found their time at the show very productive.

Learn what they had to say, along with important highlights, in the press release: click here.

Chicago Hot Products Video

Filed under: ASI Shows, Industry Initiatives, News About ASI

The ASI Show in Chicago ends later today and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed doing business in the Windy City, which has really come into its own as one of the most vibrant and sophisticated cities in the world to have a great time and have industry events.

One of my favorite things to do at any show is check out the hottest new products and here in Chicago cleverness was abound.  

Click here to watch my video with a few of my picks, including:

  • Musical coffee mug, from Hallmark Business Solutions, asi/59087.  This mug is a cool, customizable product that plays any music you
    choose at the touch of a button.  Great for theme parties or events.
  • Collapsible water bottle, from Jayline, asi/63253.  Perfect for travel.  When you’re finished, collapse and tuck this FDA-approved mug into a backpack or purse.  Re-use whenever you want.    
  • Alligator leather pen, from Logomark, asi/67866.  A beautifully embossed, high-end incentive gift that’s reasonably priced and ideal for executives.  Topped off with exceptional packaging.
  • LED cap, from Panther Vision, asi/75825.  I love this cap, which lights up in front, making it a wonderful asset for those late-night walks or shadowy areas in your home.
  • Custom M&Ms, from Mars Direct Inc., asi/68888.  Tuesday night at the Counselor Awards we gave
    out boxed gifts of M&Ms, individually imprinted with an image of my face and also Matthew Cohn’s.  They were a huge hit.  Tasty and fun.  You can imprint anything on the candy, including words, symbols, logos, and faces. 
  • Colorful biodegradable confetti, from American Greenwood, asi/35500.  It looks like traditional, festive confetti, but instead of littering the ground, this biodegradable confetti actually includes 12 varieties of wildflower seed.  Imprint your message, celebrate, and then plant a garden.  Neat.

Also, when the business day ended yesterday, we continued meeting and greeting on a truly spectacular evening cruise around Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago, sponsored by SnugZ USA, asi/88060. 

It’s on to the final few hours and if you’re here, hopefully we’ll see each other on the floor.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in Chicago, so post a comment now or email me here.  

Counselor Awards Honors Distributor Salespeople

Filed under: ASI Shows, Members, News About ASI

Every year I stand on stage at a fabulous venue during an ASI Show and look out on a black-tie crowd ready for our annual Counselor Awards and I feel exactly the same way:  thrilled.

The awards recognize the best and the brightest in our industry – the outstanding individuals and companies really making their mark.Which is why in choosing the highly-anticipated Person of the Year award we made an extraordinary decision in a nod to a more challenging year:  rather than select just one individual, why not honor a group of individuals that’s having the biggest impact in these times? 

Those people are our distributor salespeople and our 2009 Person of the Year is “The Distributor Salesperson” – every blockbuster distributor rep at every distributorship in our industry. 

Distributor salespeople are making the most significant impact on the market by approaching business in a unique way in these challenging economic times and we highlighted these ten qualities at the ceremony that successful reps exemplify in their work everyday:  tenacious, sincere, charismatic, passionate, resilient, empathetic, consultative, creative, organized and loyal. 

The other big winners of the 2009 Counselor Awards are:

  • International Person of the Year -Bonni Shevin-Sandy, president, Dard Products (asi/48500)
  • Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year – Derek Block, president and CEO, Touchstone (asi/345631)   
  • Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year – Eric Levin, president, Jetline, (asi/63344) 
  • Distributor Woman of Distinction – Laura Forbes, president, Zebra Marketing (asi/365683)
  • Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award – Linda McCabe, president, Incentive Gallery (asi/230734)
  • Supplier Family Business of the Year – Blue Generation (asi/40653) 
  • Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Moore, senior vice president of sales, Molenaar (asi/71980)

We also revealed the Top 40 Distributors and Top 40 Suppliers rankings – the largest companies in the industry based upon 2008 revenue.  And the Counselor Product Design Awards winners were recognized for their innovations in cutting-edge product design and functionality.  

To see more photos from the awards event, visit asicentral.com/counselorawards.  To view the complete Top 40 Distributors and Top 40 Suppliers rankings, visit www.stateoftheindustry.com.  

New Email Marketing Tool for Distributors

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

Today we’re launching a new, easy-to-use email marketing tool that allows distributors to quickly create and send email marketing messages and promotions to customers with the click of a button.

The latest ASI distributor benefit was unveiled on our first day of ASI Show Chicago.

Read all about it in the press release, by clicking here.

ASI chose RatePoint, Inc., a leading provider of user-friendly, Web-based communication tools, to provide the program to ASI distributor members.  RatePoint is providing the program at a substantial savings, exclusively for ASI distributor members. 

I’m especially pleased with this powerful marketing tool because it costs about the same as the price of lunch, and you can choose from over 100 ready-made templates or can create a custom template. 

The new program includes:

  • Ability to easily upload contacts from nearly any application
  • Industry-leading message delivery rate (CAN-SPAM compliant)
  • Detailed reporting and tracking of messages
  • Over 100 free, customizable email templates
  • Free, unlimited customer support

Additional features include customer feedback tools that allow your clients to easily provide testimonials and feedback that distributors can use to promote their Website and LogoMall site, and at no extra charge. 

The new email marketing tool is available immediately, with a 30-day free trial for distributors with no further obligation.

This latest distributor member benefit joins more than 12 other member savings programs from ASI, including discounts on UPS® shipping, group health insurance options, office supplies at OfficeMax®, credit card processing and digital artwork services.

To check it out, visit asicentral.com/ratepointFor more information, contact Dale Denham, senior vice president, at dale.denham@asicentral.com.

I’d love to know what you think.  Post a comment on the blog or email me here.

ASI Enhances ASI ContentBridge Platform

Filed under: Industry Initiatives, Member Benefits, News About ASI, Using Ad Specialties

When someone like Dave Regan, vice president of sales at Counselor Top 40 Distributor The Vernon Company (asi/351700), gives a product a thumbs up, you can bet it’s worth a look.

Dave recently told us that ASI’s newly-enhanced ASI ContentBridge platform, which allows distributors to build customized websites and use all of ASI’s product data and education content to stream into their own systems, has helped Vernon boost their online presence and improve operations. 

Jack Nadel International (asi/279600), also a Top 40 distributor, recommended the service’s versatility.  Craig Nadel, president, calls ASI ContentBridge “great for our company.”

See their full comments and learn what the buzz is about in the press release – click here.

ASI ContentBridge is now more powerful, faster and easier.  It makes order management a snap – because ASI does all the hard work using our enhanced data stream – and you can also showcase more products and make changes in near real-time.

The service offers the same quality data that powers ESP Online and LogoMall websites and includes information such as pricing, set-up fees, product images and supplier ratings. 

Also – a real benefit for suppliers – when suppliers update their product and pricing information with ASI, it’s automatically forwarded to distributors with ASI ContentBridge to feed their websites and business systems.  In turn, the latest product data reaches distributors and end-buyers faster.

The bottom line is that larger distributors using ASI ContentBridge are growing their business and improving their customer service with fewer errors.

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

Tell me how ASI ContentBridge is helping your business and post now, or email me here.

Serious About Education with New ASI Distributor Success System

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, Member Benefits, News About ASI

ASI is serious about education, as is evident from the $1.3 million we invest each year in ASI Education – live seminars, webcasts and videos, magazine content, digital newsletters, an online learning center and, now, our new ASI Distributor Success System.

Our new learn-as-you-go series includes an introductory DVD and ten 30-minute lessons on CDs, along with a workbook and motivational flash cards.  The best part is you can use it when you want, where you want – at home, in the car, on a PDA or through a smart phone.  

The program is part of ASI’s generous ASI member benefits program, and is shipped free to new ASI distributor members.  Distributors attending three education classes during the New Distributor Success Track at the ASI Show in Chicago on Tuesday, July 21, will receive a complimentary copy.

It’s also available electronically to all ASI members, by clicking here.   

You’ll recognize some of the faces in the series, as it’s led by ASI executives, and supplemented with interviews from successful distributors, top suppliers and industry experts.

Let me know what you think of the series and post a comment now.

See you in Chicago! 

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