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Two Affordable Products From Vegas

Filed under: ASI Shows, Using Ad Specialties

From Matthew Cohn, vice-chairman of ASI:

Our friends at Marathon Mfg/Prestige Lines (asi/68707) showed off two affordable products at the ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo in Las Vegas that are twists on tried-and-true favorites for your clients:

  • Four-color napkins. Perfect for weddings,corporate events, bat mitzvahs and birthdays. They can be imprinted with almost any image you want, and are a great way to personalize any event you can imagine.
  • Embroidered socks. There are lots of ways to use high-quality socks – any sports team or cheerleading squad will love them. They’re also ideal for parties or sporting events, like a “Sweet 16″ or a big game.

Click here to see my video featuring these items. 

Feel free to reach me anytime at mcohn@asicentral.com.

- Matthew


Inside Look – ESP Image Improvements

Filed under: Guest Blog, Member Benefits

From Candace Hershey, executive director, ESP Online Information Team:

It’s hard to believe fall is here.  But, rest assured, the ESP Online Information Team here at ASI never stops working to improve not only the data in ESP, but also the quality of our images.

Many of you have provided suggestions to improve the overall quality of product data and that feedback has resulted in countless improvements over the past year. 

The following accomplishments represent just a few of the changes we’ve made:

  • Reduced items without pricing by 21%
  • Reduced items without images by 19%
  • Improved supplier training videos on ASICentral.com
  • Improved pages in ACE (All Catalogs Electronically)

We love feedback and strive for perfection.  We want 100% of products in ESP Online
to have images and prices, so we will continue to work hard to get suppliers to provide accurate pricing and quality images. 

If you run across an image or ACE page in ESP Online that isn’t as impressive as it should be, please tell us.  Email the ASI number and the product number to espupdate@asicentral.com, and we’ll take care of it.

We listen, so keep the comments coming.  I’m confident that if you have ESP Online, you have the best business-building tool in the advertising specialty industry and the best product data and image quality available anywhere, hands-down.  Learn more about ESP Online here.

- Candace


More Hot Products from Vegas

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

The ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo in Las Vegas attracted distributors and decorators from 48 states and 12 countries, thanks to cool new products likes the ones featured in my latest hot products video:

Light-up products, including necklaces, toy guns, infinite ice cubes and a light saber from AlightPromos.com, our Counselor HOT Party sponsor (asi/34194).  We had a blast playing with each of these fun items, which are terrific for creating an exciting atmosphere at nightclub events and corporate parties.

Light-up cup, from Envision Marketing Group, a Counselor HOT Party sponsor (asi/52519). This sturdy acrylic cup comes in multiple colors and is a sure bet to brighten up any bash.

Desk Dots, from Dynomighty Design (asi/51169). I use these on my desk to hold an astonishing array of items, from paper clips to a fat stack of business cards. They’re amazingly magnetic and make a really cool corporate gift.

The Can Grip, from Hartleigh Creations, (asi/60104). You can’t beat this handy drink accessory for sporting events and kids parties. It snaps right onto the can to provide a totally tight grip.

New Digitally Printed Umbrella, from Windbrella (asi/97247). With its quick, 48-hour turnaround, this is a perfect product for family reunions and corporate events – your digital photos imprinted right on an umbrella.

You can click here to watch the video.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in Vegas, so post a comment or email me here.  I’m also on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Holiday & Incentives Expo Delivers

Filed under: ASI Shows, Community, News About ASI

We just wrapped up a great show in Las Vegas and I’m happy to report the ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo attracted distributors and decorators from 48 states and 12 countries. Education Day drew more than 500 distributors during the first day of the show.

We designed the expo to accomplish two key things:  help you find the hottest products available to clinch those important fourth-quarter sales, and provide the crème de la crème of industry suppliers.  Suppliers were qualified in advance, and had achieved four- or five-stars in the ASI Supplier Ratings System. 

From what you told me on the show floor, and at great networking events like Counselor magazine’s HOT party at Christian Audigier Nightclub and the Las Vegas Reception, we delivered. 

Here are some supplier comments:

“The traffic has almost been too heavy,” shared Karen Cohen, vice president, All-In-One (asi/34256). “We’ve been having a hard time keeping up with the amount of distributors stopping by. Distributors are asking questions and wanting to learn about the product – there’s very little ‘scan and go.’ ”

“It has been great, it’s been action-packed,” said Bonni Sandy, executive vice president, Dard Products, (asi/48500).  “The distributors are incredibly serious and know the fourth quarter is going to pick up.  We’ve seen good quality distributors, including a lot of the Top 40.”

And here’s what some of the 1,500 distributors said:

“The ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo has been terrific,” said Ross Silverstein, president and CEO, iPROMOTEu (asi/232119).  “This time of year is perfect for a show of this sort.  I’ve met with a number of suppliers that I don’t usually see and I definitely found many new products that I haven’t seen in the past.”

“It’s been absolutely wonderful, some of the best vendors are here,” said Caren Mikesh, owner, Caren Mikesh & Associates Promos (asi/271129).  “Having only suppliers with four or more stars in the ASI Supplier Ratings System is really great.  These are the companies who have good, quality products with good names behind them.”

I also got great feedback on our “Secrets from the Pros: Cash in on the $45 Billion Incentive Market” panel discussion and I hope many of you got to see the amazing musical, The Lion King, which we offered at a special discount price.

You can read the press release here.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in Vegas, so post a comment or email me here.  I’m also on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Cool Products Video and HOT Party Photos

Filed under: ASI Shows, Community, Using Ad Specialties

Direct from the floor of the ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo in Las Vegas – here’s my first cool products video, with seven unique products your clients will love for the all-important fall and holiday selling seasons: 

•  Silicon Drink-Thru Top Mug and Stainless Steel Jean-Style Water Bottle, from Berney-Karp Inc. (asi/40261):  dishwater-safe porcelain mug that’s perfect for coffee and tea lovers and a unique jean-style water bottle kids will go bonkers for. 

•  Bamboo Wine and Cheese Plate, from Aunt Beth’s Cookie Keepers (asi/37465):  hand-crafted, elegant and surprisingly strong.  Perfect for holiday parties.

• Two-Gallon Cooler, from VP Brand (asi/93997):  made in the USA, this hefty cooler with its huge, digitally-printed and four-color label is ideal for those big events.

• Executive Cookie Box with Cookies, from Admints & Zagabor (asi/31516):  stylish and sophisticated and filled with really tasty cookies your clients will devour.

• Water Scope, from Atlantis Time-Line (asi/37385):  this very unusual, incredibly practical Christmas tree watering scope is perfect for the holidays.

• Chromax Titanium Golf Ball, from Vegas Golf (asi/87605):  it wouldn’t be Vegas without some serious glitter, and the sparkly “Vegas Golf Ball” certainly fits the bill.

Click here to watch the video.

And I know they say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but I’m going to share our photos from Counselor magazine’s HOT party at Christian Audigier Nightclub, so click here to see who’s shaking up the industry.  Be sure to turn the music on.

I’d love to hear about your Vegas experiences, so post a comment now or email me here. I’m also on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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We’re Launching a San Diego Show

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

While we’re here at the ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo, I’m announcing some big show news:  ASI is launching a new ASI Show this February in sunny San Diego.  

You voted and we listened, which is why we’re adding this great West Coast location.

After months of strategic review, including analyses of distributor and supplier locations, show attendance trends, penetration levels of show attendance and consultation with the show advisory board, San Diego stood out as the clear choice.  

We also kept in mind two things:  we wanted to avoid interfering with PPAI Expo in January, and the SAAC show in Long Beach in August. 

Here are some very compelling — and perhaps surprising — fast facts about our industry in the San Diego area:

–  California has the largest single concentration of distributors of any state.

–  Half the distributor firms in California don’t currently send a salesperson to a show.

–  California has the largest single concentration of suppliers of any state, and a bit more than half don’t exhibit at a trade show.

–  California has the strongest annualized growth of any state, in terms of distributors and suppliers, over the past five years.  All indications point to the business climate rebounding faster there, versus many other regions.

I’m of course very excited about the new ASI Show San Diego and what we believe it will do to serve West Coast promotional products businesses better.  I look forward to seeing you there, from Wednesday, February 24, through Friday, February 26, 2010.  Education Day will be on Wednesday.       

Perfectly timed to kick-off the first quarter in Southern California, this show is the ideal platform for suppliers to showcase new products and services to thousands of distributors.  Further, it joins a full schedule of ASI Shows, including national events in Orlando, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago.

To read the press release, click here

I’d love to hear your thoughts about our new show, so post a comment now or email me here.  I’m also on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Jay Ostrow Named Executive Director, Distributor Services

Filed under: Community, Members, News About ASI

Today we’re pleased to announce that Jay Ostrow has been named executive director of distributor services.

Jay will continue to be responsible for managing the distributor business for ASI Canada and will now also be responsible for new business development in ASI’s major account division.

He has over 10 years of marketing and sales experience and joined ASI five years ago as an account manager.  He’ll report to Heather DiPrato, vice president of distributor services, whom many of you know. 

He’s really done an impressive job expanding our relationships in the Canadian market and I look forward to having him join the major account division. 

Learn more about Jay in the press release:  click here.

Also serving clients in Canada are Fred and Leslie Oesen, vice presidents of ASI Canada, who are based in Toronto.

Please join me in congratulating Jay and post a comment now.


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