February 6, 2013
ASI® kicked off its latest show in Dallas Wednesday – the same day we announced the availability of thelatest version of our ESP Mobile™ app.
The Texas show continues through Friday at the Dallas Convention Center, where thousands of distributors and suppliers will conduct business at a faster, more efficient pace than ever before, thanks to tech innovations like the ESP Mobile™ apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
ESP Mobile downloads have already topped 9,000 since launch – and we’re expecting a new surge now that we’ve unveiled over 40 innovative new features, which we’ll demo in Dallas as well as at upcoming shows in Long Beach (March 22-24), New York (May 8-9) and Chicago (July 16-18).
If you haven’t already, give the new mobile app a test drive. Now users can:
-Tap to create virtual samples and generate dynamic on-site sales demos
I’m really looking forward to reactions from users at Dallas, which features some Texas-sized action. Just check out the big way the Omni hotel greeted show participants this week. It’s a great “sign” of the enthusiasm and professionalism we’re encountering everywhere.
In addition to demos, networking and a brand-new Gala Celebration at the world-famous Gilley’s, we’ve got 16 distributor sales meetings taking place here in Dallas.
First thing Wednesday morning I welcomed Counselor Top 40 distributor American Solutions for Business (asi/120075), which brought together upwards of 250 sales reps for their winter conference. As I often do, I asked the audience if anyone was from my home state of Indiana – and found a single Hoosier, as well as someone from N.J., where I now live.
After all-day education (which includes new classes for owners), the show floor is open for business Thursday and Friday. We’ll start off the last day with a free keynote by former Dallas Cowboy and three-time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith, who might be better known in some circles as the 2006 “Dancing with the Stars” winner.
Keep checking www.asicentral.com and our Twitter feed for the latest show news, blogs and videos. And if you’re with us in Dallas, let me know what you’re looking forward to the most by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
And don’t forget – on August 12, ASI returns to Dallas for the inaugural Promotions Southwest show at the state-of-the-art Irving Convention Center. Click here for more info and to register for the new show, timed to help distributors prepare for all-important fourth-quarter sales.
December 5, 2012
ASI® recently announced dozens of technology innovations members will begin benefiting from in a few short weeks. We know you’re excited about what’s ahead because a record number of you tuned into our webinar this week for a sneak peek.
Rob Watson, ASI’s VP of digital user experience, joined me for the big online reveal of incredibly dynamic new features and advancements coming up in ESP Mobile, ESP Websites and ESP Web, designed by our crack tech team to help you work smarter and faster in 2013 and beyond.
If you missed the webinar, here are the highlights:
ESP Mobile™ for iPhone, iPad and Android
ESP Websites™ (now available for suppliers, too)
ESP Websites: All-New Company Stores
ESP Web™: All-New Presentations
Our tech team relied on your feedback for many of these advancements – so keep those ideas and suggestions coming, and get more info by contacting your sales rep or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 19, 2012
Things are happening fast and furious here at ASI Chicago. Wednesday night, we celebrated this year’s Counselor Hot List with a wild party at the downtown hot spot, Crimson Lounge. It’s clear that for the 38 men and women hitting the 2012 list, “the future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades.”
Click here to read all about the star power lighting up the industry. If there’s one thread running through each of their stories, it’s fearlessness. As we learned from this week’s all-day education session with Tony Robbins, true winners have one gear: drive.
Speaking of winners, we kicked off the last day of our three-day Chicago show with a keynote by one of the most successful mayors in our nation’s history – Chicago’s own Richard Daley, considered the nation’s top executive for his deft handling of the machinations of the Windy City during his unprecedented 22-year tenure.
And, continuing ASI’s own winning streak, we just got word that three ASI publications have been recognized for editorial excellence by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) in a stiff competition that included Bloomberg Businessweek and Computerworld.
The winners are:
Gold: Original Research for “State of the Industry”
Bronze: Feature Article for “Behind Bars”
Gold: Front Cover Photo for “The Style Issue”
Silver: Front Cover Photo for “Head of the Class”
Silver: Feature Article Design for “The Color Issue”
Silver: How-To Article for “One Company, 12 Contacts, Big Bucks”
Bronze: How-To Article for “Social Networking Boot Camp”
If that’s not enough, ASI just announced that nearly 2,000 ESP Websites™ are now live, setting an all-time record high for user adoption in the launch of an ASI product.
Launched in May, ESP Websites continue to gain momentum – with thousands more new ESP Websites going live in the weeks ahead. It’s clear the industry has embraced ASI’s latest product offering with gusto.
If you haven’t jumped on the ESP Websites bandwagon yet, click here to climb on board and give your business the online boost it deserves.
We’ve still got a full day of exhibiting left here in Chicago. If you’re at the show, let me know what really caught your eye on the show floor by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
July 18, 2012
ASI, Sourcing City and PSI just announced the joint formation of PromoAlliance, a new international alliance to identify and introduce best practices and market development concepts benefiting the U.S., U.K. and European markets.
We made the announcement on the first exhibit day of ASI Chicago. Joining me were ASI’s new international partners – Alistair Mylchreest, CEO of Sourcing City, which serves the U.K. promotional merchandise industry, and Michael Freter, director of PSI, the international network of the promotional product industry. You may know PSI from attending its trade show in Düsseldorf each January, which routinely attracts upwards of 20,000.
Through this international alliance we’re ushering in a new era of international cooperation in order to further benefit the industry and our members. The overriding goals are to introduce best practices, develop fresh market concepts, explain new marketplaces and foster education.
It’s important to understand that all PromoAlliance founding members are committed to the efficient and effective distribution model of suppliers providing products and services to distributors and distributors serving as the sales channel to buyers of promotional products.
As Alistair put it, “Having three major players working in alliance, sharing ideas and exploring new concepts will create exciting opportunities for all of our customers.”
We believe that by leveraging the strength of all three organizations we can provide greater insights into new markets. To operate most efficiently in today’s worldwide economy, it pays to form a strategic alliance with respected global partners like Sourcing City and PSI – an alliance that aims to improve and expand the international promotional products marketplace.
I entered into this alliance because I firmly believe ASI’s distributors and suppliers will benefit greatly from greater communication between worldwide partners.
Sourcing City, ASI and PSI are in active discussions with other potential PromoAlliance partners, and we’ll keep all our members apprised as things develop.
In the meantime, for more information and to hear the recorded webinar announcement we made from Chicago, visit www.promoalliance.com.
May 31, 2012
Hard to believe, but three short years ago there were only about 2,300 apps available in the Android market. Today, there are over half a million – with 15 billion downloads to date.
This week, ASI® entered the arena, offering ESP Mobile™ for Android free from Google Play to more than 46,000 ESP® users.
ESP Mobile for Android is integrated with ASI’s ESP Web™, where distributors can source and order every ad specialty product in the industry from more than 3,200 suppliers via their Android app, which provides the same business-friendly features as the ESP Mobile iPhone and iPad apps. Now, you can view the latest pricing, see razor-sharp images, check out supplier ratings, request quotes and e-mail clients products on the go, 24/7.
Personally, I’m an iPhone user. My favorite apps – other than ESP Mobile, of course – include OpenTable for restaurant ideas and reservations, which I’ve been using since its 2004 debut on the Web. Today, because of my frequent use for business and pleasure, I’m a designated VIP with 32,200 points, earning 100 points each time I make and complete a reservation.
As a frequent flyer, I’m also a big user of the merged United-Continental app, which lets me check where I want to go, where I’m going and where I’ve been. And no business day is ever complete without my WSJ app – a direct link to my personal newspaper of record.
I’m devoted to these apps because they’re fast, reliable and user-friendly – providing the same critical qualities as ASI’s ESP Mobile apps.
ESP Mobile is currently available for both iPhone and iPad in the Apple App Store. Search for “ESP Mobile +” for iPhone and “ESP Mobile HD” for iPad. For all ASI mobile applications, including our magazines, search for “Advertising Specialty Institute” in the Apple App store.
(Shameless plug: ESP Mobile for Android is only available to authorized distributors of promotional products who are ESP subscribers. To purchase ESP, call your ASI account executive at 1 (800) 546-1350. And if you have any questions, ASI’s product and technical support team will be happy to help at email@example.com).
April 25, 2012
In 1964, the great R&B singer Sam Cooke sang “The Best Things in Life are Free,” live at the Copa. The moon, the stars, flowers in spring – all free. To that list, I’m happy to add a free, extra ESP® license for members subscribed to the ad specialty industry’s largest and most accurate product sourcing tool.
The additional license gives subscribers access to the entire ESP platform – Web, Online and Mobile – allowing users to take advantage of all ESP benefits, including:
Current ESP customers can get their extra, free license by visiting www.asicentral.com/plusone (excluding those with program pricing). New customers are eligible to buy ESP and get their additional license by visiting www.asicentral.com/espweb or by contacting their ASI account executive at 1(800) 546-1350.
And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to download ESP Mobile™ for the iPhone and iPad devices from the Apple App Store. For all you Droidsters, ESP Mobile for Android users will soon be available in the Android Play Store.
Finally, if Sam Cooke put you in the mood for some more good music, check out R. Kelly’s version of the Cooke classic here. It’s free too!
April 20, 2012
I still have the $10 Earth Day T-shirt (my first ad specialty tee!) I helped sell in the quad in 1982 during my first fundraiser as secretary of the Society of Professional Journalists at Ball State University.
I’m still involved in ad specialties and still concerned about doing all I can to help protect the Earth. Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22, and more companies than ever before are using “green” giveaways to promote their commitment to the environment while advertising their brand, product or event.
This year, in what’s become an annual Top 10 list of eco-friendly freebies from ASI®, the theme is products made from renewable resources like bamboo and using manufacturing processes that don’t harm the environment. It’s clear there’s no better way for a company to advertise its brand and its conscience all year long than with logoed giveaways that are biodegradable, all-natural or mercury-free.
To see a Joe Show, photos and descriptions featured on this year’s Top 10 list, click here.
ASI’s Top 10 Eco-Friendly Freebies:
1. Stone paper journal, from Yanlee Trading Co. (asi/98766). An eco-friendly alternative made from actual stone via a bleach-free process, making it recyclable, compostable, smudge-resistant, water-resistant and tear-proof.
2. Eco golf balls, from MVP Gift Bag (asi/68322). Made from recycled golf balls and packaged in boxes made from recycled paper. Comes with pre-addressed pouch so damaged balls can be returned, recycled and replaced by manufacturer.
3. Seeded paper, from Symphony Seed Paper (asi/74930). Honor Earth Day by planting flowers from seeds embedded in paper branded with company logo.
4. Wooden bead Karma bracelets (asi/78140) from Pinnacle Designs. Made from all-natural wood, easy to imprint.
5. Water bottle with carbon filter, from Ad-N-Art (asi/31518). BPA-free, squeezable water bottle with a carbon filter keeps 200 fewer water bottles from the landfill. Filter allows for turning public fountain or spigot water into clean drinking water.
6. Eco-tee, from Royal Apparel (asi/83731). Tee consists of 50% organic cotton and 50% polyester made from recycled water bottles. Imprinted with water-safe inks and made in the USA.
7. Bamboo serving utensils, from Bay State Specialty Co. (asi/38980). Bamboo grows upwards of 6 feet a day without fertilizers or pesticides.
8. Billboard bags, from Landes Inc. (asi/66230). Worried about your used vinyl billboards and banners clogging up landfills? Landes recycles them into attention-grabbing bags.
9. Dog training treats and pad balm, from Solar Advertising (asi/88148). Made from all-natural, organic materials. Tube is biodegradable.
10. Coco-Eco flip-flops, from Neet Feet (asi/73525). Made from recycled rubber and recycled coconut fibers, they’re great for promoting any company associated with the great outdoors.
Let me know what Earth Day product is your current favorite or what your company is doing to promote Earth Day values by posting a comment or e-mailing me. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.