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ASI Gets the Gold

Filed under: Guest Blog, News About ASI

I recently had the honor of accepting the Gold Award for service on behalf of ASI at the 23rd annual Proforma Convention and Family Reunion in Las Vegas.  This is the second year in a row ASI received this prestigious recognition.

This award, which is voted on by owners, is particularly gratifying because it recognizes the hard work and dedication of over 400 ASI employees who create, develop and support the many business tools and education resources Proforma owners use every day to grow their sales.

I’ve had the privilege of being one of ASI’s contacts for the Proforma organization for more than 15 years, and I’m proud to be a part of the relationship we’ve developed. At the conference, I spoke to many owners who raved about their ASI services and support – and it reminded me of how fortunate I am to be a part of the ASI team.

To read the press release, click here.

Proforma is the second-largest distributor firm in the U.S. and now has more than 1,500 personnel using ESP to help clients with sourcing, idea generation and presentations. Proforma LogoMall sites get close to 1 million hits each month from end-buyers shopping for promotional items and ideas.

Here are a few of the great comments I heard from owners: 

“I could not run my business without ASI or ESP,” said Sherry Novelli of Proforma Cornerstone Concepts. “My ability to source products for my clients and quickly turn those products into an online presentation has been the most invaluable tool for operating my business. I love you guys and the partnership we share.”

“Without ASI and LogoMall, I would not be able to share with our customers such a vast number of available products,” said Sherry Kennedy of Proforma A-Z Specialties. “The office loves ESP because we can search for current pricing or product information and have immediate results.  I cannot tell you how many orders I can attribute to both of these products.”

“My business has benefited tremendously from the many technology tools that ASI offers,” said Luis Ostos of Proforma DCS. “Our clients love the option of being able to do product research on their own time, from anywhere, by using LogoMall. And ESP Web offers my team the same flexibility, at the office or on the road, to research and present to our clients the information they request quickly and professionally.”

Thank you, Proforma owners – we will continue to work hard to bring solutions that drive more promotional sales. And, congratulations to all my colleagues at ASI for the great support you provide our clients each and every day.

– Heather

Heather DiPrato is ASI’s senior VP of distributor services. She can be reached at hdiprato@asicentral.com.

Media Stats Tracks Your ROI

Filed under: Member Benefits, News About ASI

There’s no question advertising is vitally important for any business. (It’s the first name of ASI!) Now, we’re offering a new way for advertisers in our print publications to effectively gauge their advertising ROI through ASI Media Statistics, which tracks results for ESP, LogoMall and print – all in one place.

 It couldn’t be easier. Every month, suppliers can either check their inbox or go online to review a set of comprehensive reports tracking all ASI magazines, catalogs and editorial mentions for advertisers. We’ve been offering similar stats for ESP and LogoMall customers for years, so adding print was the next logical step.

A team here at ASI consolidates all the data from a variety of sources to create a tailored report for each advertiser. In addition, if an advertiser sends us a list of their competitors, we’ll track those ad pages as well, so the advertiser can see just how their company stacks up. It makes strategizing and planning a snap.

To read our press release about this latest service, click here. To review ASI Media Statistics, click here.

ASI offers numerous print advertising opportunities, including our eight catalogs and six magazines: Advantages, Counselor, Successful Promotions, Stitches, Supplier Global Resource and Wearables. It’s worth noting that ASI publications have recently won 35 national editorial awards, including three Jesse H. Neal Awards – considered the Pulitzer Prize of B-to-B journalism.

Let me know what you think is the most effective advertising vehicle by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

P.S.  I can’t help but suggest you ask other magazine publishers to provide equivalent reports, and then – if they can! – compare your ROI from ASI magazines and digital media with any of our competitors.  Hands down, we provide the best ROI you can get – and that’s based on conversations with our advertisers.  If you get reports that show otherwise, drop me an email because I want to know.

Power On To Fall

Filed under: News About ASI, Research

With the dog days waning, it’s hard to think of anything besides a last-gasp vacation and Labor Day barbeque. But I’ve got the perfect way to help you plan strategically for 2011 and beyond, and make those vital people connections: ASI’s 2010 Power Summit.

Registration is open for ASI’s annual gathering of the best minds in the business. This year, we’re meeting November 7-9 at the Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura, Florida. If you’ve already registered but haven’t yet reserved a room, please do so by Tuesday, August 31, since rooms are going fast. Click here for reservations.

 In addition to a slate of activities and the popular speed-networking event, Power Summit 2010 features 20 of the savviest business leaders in the industry. Summit vets will join first-time panelists like Bobby Lehew, Rich Witaszak, Gentry Harrington, William D. Smith Jr., Sandy Gonzalez, Jeff Anderton, Kevin Kearns, Kim Newell, Matt Malone, Larry Zavadil, Chris Blakeslee and Bill Korowitz to share strategies, tips and trends.

 We’re kicking things off with an opening session on the state of the economy – and what businesses can expect heading into 2011. And while nearly everyone experienced a tough time over the last couple of years, some companies completely turned their operations around. Find out how in our “From Bear to Bull” session.

At the end of every summit we ask participants to rate their favorites (and offer valuable feedback), and each year Matthew Cohn’s session with the latest Counselor Power 50 leaders earns top marks. Don’t miss it this year.

We’ll also unveil an update to ASI’s Ad Impressions Study, which continues to be consistently cited on blogs and in trade stories. In a sneak-peek session led by Counselor Senior Writer Dave Vagnoni, you’ll be the first to learn how domestic and international consumers rate the effectiveness of promo products compared to other advertising media like TV, radio and print. It’s great info to have on hand when courting new clients.

So before you head off to the beach one last time, check out the website and cruise through all the Power Summit has to offer. Come November, you’ll be happy you signed on for three days of sun, golf and insight.

Let me know if you’ve attended past Power Summits and what you found most informative by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Lessons on Leadership and Life

Filed under: News About ASI

Anyone who follows the news is familiar with the tarnished image of many CEOs.  Determined to counter the stereotype of out-of-touch executives, entrepreneur Scott Rosen interviewed a number of Philadelphia-area business leaders for a new book called “Wisdom at the Top: Lessons on Leadership and Life from 35 CEOs.” I’m humbled to be included in the collection.

Rosen says he wrote the book to pay homage to “Rocky” stories of CEOs who came up through the ranks, overcame challenges and achieved success.

“The lessons I’ve learned during my career are the same lessons revealed by the CEOs in this book,” says Rosen, himself the CEO of a successful staffing company. “Follow your passions, have the courage to take risks and, whether you’re sweeping the floor, making coffee at Starbucks or running a million-dollar organization, do the best you can and good things will happen.”

That pretty much sums up my own philosophy. In my interview, I talk about growing up in rural Indiana as well as the value of listening, mentoring and fostering a corporate culture based on openness and transparency. As I told Rosen, “If a CEO thinks his job is to spend the day looking at financial statements, something is wrong there.”

All the stories in the book – from CEOs like Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers, and Jill Michal, CEO of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania – offer myriad lessons on everything from leadership to growing market share.

But the true bottom line is that passion, commitment and loyalty are the real golden parachutes.

If you’d like to read the chapter featuring my interview, click here.

Let me know what you think by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Michael J. Fox and Laura Bush Headlining in 2011

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

Like many of you, I grew up watching Michael J. Fox in “Family Ties” and the “Back to the Future” blockbusters. But he’s really earned my respect for the incredible work he’s done since his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. Already, the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has raised an astonishing $196 million.

I’ve followed his efforts closely because it’s an issue dear to my heart. My mother, who died in 2006 at 85, also had Parkinson’s. Like Fox, she never let it slow her determination. Optimism in the face of daunting odds is exactly why we chose Fox to inspire the crowd at our Orlando show this January.

If that wasn’t enough, former First Lady Laura Bush will speak at the ASI show in Dallas in February. And there’s more! ASI’s just-announced 2011 lineup includes comedian Wayne Brady (from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), NFL Super Bowl “Da Bears” great Mike Ditka – and a private bash at hip hop mogul Jay-Z’s Manhattan nightclub.

I’ve saved the best part for last: Every event is free.

We all took a hard hit the last two years, but with indications finally pointing to a recovery,we wanted to deliver an exceptional 2011 lineup to really re-energize everyone who attends our major shows across the U.S. Once again, we’re proving that ASI Shows are the destination for important suppliers, superior education, exciting keynotes and star-studded entertainment.

Here are details and registration links:

  • ASI Orlando: Michael J. Fox keynote, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, Tuesday, January 25 (co-sponsored by Evans Mfg., asi/52840, and Showdown Displays, asi/87188). Also, a brand-new gala at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the newest attraction at Universal Orlando, Monday, January 24. Click here to register.
  •  ASI Dallas: Former First Lady Laura W. Bush keynote, Life in the White House: Reflections from Mrs. Laura W. Bush, Friday, February 18 (Sponsored by Pepco Poms, asi/77280).  Click here to register.
  •  ASI New York: A private bash at hip hop mogul Jay-Z’s nightclub, the 40/40 Club Wednesday, March 23. And the industry’s biggest speed-networking session Thursday, March 24. Click here to register.
  •  ASI San Diego: Emmy award-winning comedian Wayne Brady performs Thursday, May 19.  Click here to register.
  •  ASI Chicago: Local celebrity and football coach Mike Ditka keynote, ACE: Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm, Thursday, July 21 (sponsored by BamBams, asi/38228). Click here to register.

 For more information, click here to read our press release.

Visit www.asishow.com for complete details and to make your hotel reservations. Discounted hotel rates are available through the official ASI show housing bureau, Travel Planners.

Let me know which events you’re planning to attend by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.