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Get Ready to Shop Till You Drop

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

Pumpkins are on the stoop, which means the holiday season is upon us. The good news for the business community is that forecasters predict slightly higher sales than a year ago. We’ll take it!

In our industry, there’s no better way to jump into the crucial fourth quarter than with the ASI Holiday Preview Tour, which attracted nearly 600 distributors at its first two stops in Los Angeles and Toronto. The next stop on the train to greater sales is Atlanta on October 18, and then Philadelphia on October 26.

For distributors, the one-day tour offers the perfect place to gather fresh marketing ideas for clients, quickly and efficiently. And suppliers can meet hundreds of distributors in a few hours. What other show offers all that?

Each show features leading ad specialty suppliers showcasing their seasonal products along with the hottest ad specialty items for this final quarter. The show takes place in a tabletop setting, with free hot-topic education focused on ways to boost revenue. There’s even a fun networking reception.

And in Philadelphia, Top 40 distributor Proforma (asi/300094) will co-locate a Proforma End User Showcase, giving those end-users an escorted tour of the show floor to discuss their needs with exhibitors.

All distributors are invited to attend the Holiday Preview Tour for free and can register on-site with a business card or pre-register today at http://www.holidaypreviewtour.com/ to receive exclusive exhibitor specials and show updates in advance.

To exhibit, suppliers can call their ASI Show sales rep at 800-546-3300 or contact manager Nick DiNicola directly at ndinicola@asicentral.com

Here’s one last sobering thought: There are only 88 shopping days left till Christmas. Are you ready? Let me know by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


What’s In Your Bag?

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

Once again our industry is tapping into a growing worldwide trend by capitalizing on the plastic bag bans enacted in states as diverse as Alaska, California and North Carolina, and countries like Italy and India.

According to Counselor’s 2011 State of the Industry report, bags accounted for 9.7% of all revenue from the sale of promo products last year, or $1.7 billion. And searches for bags in ESP rose more than 10% in the last year, with more than 10,000 bags from over 800 different suppliers currently available. 

Click here to read our press release about this growing sales phenomenon, which was picked up by nearly 100 media outlets, including MarketWatch, StreetInsider.com, San Francisco Chronicle online and U.S. Politics Today.

California really seems to be on the cutting edge of this trend. The Los Angeles Times reports that a city councilman favors a bag ban that goes even beyond action already taken in other California cities and counties, calling for stores to stop using plastic and paper bags.

There’s no question recyclable bags help reduce the billions of plastic bags circulating around the globe. It’s estimated that if each bag is used multiple times – at least once a week – four or five reusable bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year.

There’s also no question bags make for terrific marketing vehicles. When compared with other promotional products like pens and caps, bags generate the highest number of ad impressions in a month 1,078 for a single bag – because they’re used repeatedly in and out of the office, and the message they carry is seen by significant numbers of people.

Don’t believe me? Next time you’re at the mall, a grocery store or a college campus, take a look at how many bags – and advertisers – you see. I rest my case.

We spoke to distributor Michelle Altobelli of Altobelli Advantage, Inc., who called bags “a functional, usable, ageless item,” and suggests distributors help clients maximize their potential by tying in a marketing program to make it a really worthwhile promotional investment.

What’s in your bag? Let me know by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Log On, Learn and Sell

Filed under: ASI Shows, Members, News About ASI

Our most recent Virtual Trade Show attracted a whopping 1,759 participants – and a ton of great comments. As always, the show featured multimedia demos, free catalogs and tons of top new suppliers. At this all-day virtual event, we had 27 show booths with sales reps and 40 ASI Education and certification programs.

One participant was so impressed with the connections he made that he suggested we host a virtual show every week. Below is a sampling of other comments we received:

  •  Brian from TCMPI: Great tool and a really fun way of doing business – awesome!
  • Heather from Magna-Tel: Great show, we have been busy all day.
  • Vin from Proforma/WTB Enerprises, Inc.: Great exhibit and nice job, look and feel is tremendous.

At the show, participants chatted with each other, viewed docs, catalogs and Webcasts and competed for $17,000 in prizes – all for free and without spending a dime on travel.

The best part is no matter where you are – or how you’re dressed – you can log on and learn, network and sell. And if you missed the virtual event, you can access it on-demand here.

We know the all-day, online events are effective because exhibiting suppliers experience an average 24% increase in ESP searches the day after each show.

Our next Virtual Trade Show is scheduled for February 15, which seems like a long way off when the leaves are still (mostly) green but it’s just five months away. Yeah, there might be snow outside your door by then but with a virtual event, there’s no need to slosh through anything to participate.

And, don’t forget – you can attend classes that are applied to your BASI or MASI certificate right from the virtual show floor.

Let me know what you think of virtual events posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Hop on the Holiday Preview Train

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

The ASI Holiday Preview Tour kicks off its four-city excursion next week with stops in Los Angeles (Sept. 23), Toronto (Sept. 27), Atlanta (Oct. 18) and Philadelphia (Oct. 26).

The full-day schedule features leading ad specialty suppliers showcasing their seasonal products along with their hottest ad specialty items for the all-important fourth quarter  in a tabletop setting, free hot-topic education focused on ways to boost your revenue and a fun networking reception.

Taking part in the ASI Holiday Preview Tour is good business. Free to all distributors, the tour will provide you with new, inspirational marketing ideas for your clients without spending a lot of time away from the office. Plus, just for attending you will be entered to win an iPad (drawing taking place that day) and a two-year lease on a new Mustang.

It can’t get any better than this. Register today at www.holidaypreviewtour.com. Or, call 800-546-3300 with any questions.

To exhibit, suppliers can call their ASI Show sales rep at 800-546-3300 or contact manager Nick DiNicola directly at ndinicola@asicentral.com

I hope to see you next week at the ASI Holiday Preview Tour.

 Karen DiTomasso, VP of sales for The ASI Show


Get Your Avatar On

Filed under: ASI Shows, Community, News About ASI

ASI’s next Virtual Trade Show kicks off Wednesday and there’s still time to register. The show features multimedia demos, free catalogs, tons of top new suppliers, 27 show booths with sales reps and 40 ASI Education and certification programs.

Plus, you can win more than $17,000 in prizes. Click here to register for free for the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ET show.

Altogether, more than 1,500 visited our last virtual show, which generated 1,037 one-to-one chats. In addition, visitors viewed a total of 1,858 documents and 757 webcasts, staying at the show an average of 78.5 minutes – not bad for a free day with no expensive travel.

The best part is no matter where you are – or how you’re dressed – you can log on and learn, network and sell. And if you miss this week’s virtual event, you can access it on-demand later here.

We know the all-day, online events are effective because exhibiting suppliers experience an average 24% increase in ESP searches the day after each show.

And, don’t forget – you can attend classes that are applied to your BASI or MASI certificate right from the virtual show floor.

Let me know what you think of virtual events by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.