Archive for January, 2012
Unfortunately, not everyone was able to make the hugely popular Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Show in Orlando, which took place January 16 – January 18. Attendees watched a thrilling debate between journalist Bill O’Reilly and author James Carville, learned skills and information during educational seminars, and most importantly were introduced to exciting, new promotional items.
Couldn’t travel to Florida for the show? No need to fret — ASI has posted some of the show’s highlights on its YouTube page!
In this episode of “The Joe Show,” Joe Haley showcases some stand-out new products from the ASI Show in Orlando. We love the new items, which include wallet readers, golf kits, and more. Check out all of Joe’s favorite products in the video below:
My favorite? The Smencil Co.’s scented pens and pencils are great. Not only will their aroma attract customers, but they’re also made from recycled newspapers — how eco-friendly!
What are your preferred items from the ASI Orlando Show?
Did you know that the advertising specialty industry has grown for eight straight quarters? That’s based on distributor sales research released earlier this week by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).
According to an ASI press release, total industry sales amounted to $18.5 billion in 2011, a growth of 6.2% from 2010. In the fourth-quarter of 2011 alone, sales increased by 6.5%, making it the biggest increase since the year’s first-quarter.
The research provides some reassurance in a time of economic uncertainty. According to Timothy M. Andrews, ASI President and CEO, “This latest ASI sales survey proves the ad specialty industry continues a strong rebound begun two years ago on the heels of the worst economic downturn in recent history.” Distributors are looking forward to a successful 2012 for what Andrews calls “a recession-proof industry.”
Let’s look at some of the most noteworthy statistics:
- 85% of major distributors reported an increase in sales, as did 70% of distributors overall
- The fourth quarter of 2011 was particularly successful for distributors; more than 50% saw an increase in sales
- Over 75% of distributors are optimistic about sales growth in 2012
Do you think ASI’s research is accurate? Share your comments below!
Are you a promotional items company that’s located in the Northeast? If so, you’re in luck! Everyone’s favorite magazine, Advantages, comes to life in New York tomorrow, Tuesday, January 24.
According to a statement by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the Advantages Roadshow began yesterday in Boston, Massachusetts, and will continue traveling throughout the Northeast through the end of the week. Tomorrow’s event will take place on Long Island. Then the show will travel to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland before jetting off to the West coast.
Why should distributors consider attending? Attendees will enjoy sales-boosting workshops, one-on-one time with some of the industry’s best suppliers, networking opportunities, and the chance to win a two-year lease on a Mustang convertible! Interested in registering? Click here to register today for free.
On Tuesday, Counselor magazine, an Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) publication, announced the winners of the 2012 Counselor Distributor Choice Awards. Awards were distributed to the promotional item industry’s best-performing suppliers as determined by distributors across North America.
According to an ASI press release, Hub Pen, a supplier in Massachusetts, was chosen as Supplier of the Year. “This year’s Supplier of the Year has stayed strong and true to its core mission since 1954, when it was founded by Frank Fleming, who once tirelessly assembled pens by hand,” said ASI president and CEO Timothy M. Andrews. “Today, Hub Pen is a true industry leader, rated by distributors as the very best.”
The ceremony took place during ASI Orlando, the largest promotional items event on the East Coast. And while Hub Pen took home the top prize, more than 250 other highly valued suppliers were also honored. ASI reports that “Winners are selected based upon real votes and data from ASI’s Supplier Performance Ratings.”
Want your company to be considered next year? It’s not easy — to be a finalist, ASI suppliers must have an average rating of no less than four out of five stars by at least 40 distributors. Additionally, to be considered, a company must have reports on at least 100 transactions.
Couldn’t make it out to Orlando, Florida for the 2012 Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Show? Not to worry — the folks at ASI continue to regularly post content on the organization’s YouTube page! Today, ASI’s Chris Ruvo interviewed Mark Graham from Rightsleeve, a promotional design agency, following his ASI Show educational seminar. The topic? Low-cost (or free) ways to build your business.
Graham’s got three tips for how to keep costs low while growing your business:
Most within the promotional items industry already have a Facebook page, but are you using it correctly? “People who mine that social graph are really able to get huge rewards,” said Graham. It’s a powerful business tool.
2. End user shows
An end-user show, at which end users are invited in to view new and upcoming lines, can be hosted for free. Hold a show in your office; not only does everybody get a sneak-peek at the new items, but it’s also a great networking opportunity!
3. Make people smile
Simply put, people buy from people they like. Showcase your company’s personality and culture, and give people a reason to smile, and it will go a long, long way.
Check out the entire video below:
Counselor magazine recently featured a piece entitled “Everything Old is New Again.” And it’s true — style, trends, and fads have proven cyclical over the past 40 to 50 years. The article got me thinking: Do I use any items or dress in any styles that were popular in the 50s, 60s or 80s?
According to Counselor magazine, there are several “iconic apparel items” that were hot but then not, and are once again chic. One example is the t-shirt. The magazine reports that the image “of James Dean in a white T-shirt and leather jacket … solidified his place forever in American fashion lore.” Perhaps I’m biased because I’m a James Dean fan, but his famous look is one I try to achieve often. It’s true, then, that promotional t-shirts have and probably always will cool.
Another item that’s recently seen a revival is Wayfarer-style sunglasses. Originally manufactured in the 1950s, the style was popular through the 1960s. They reappeared in the 1980s and again in the mid-2000s. The promotional sunglasses are still worn by many today!
Other products have seen their ups and downs, too; Counselor lists leg warmers, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, and fedora hats. What products and trends do you think will see a resurgence in 2012?
It’s almost impossible to run and operate a successful online business without also updating a connected Twitter account. Twitter, arguably the most successful social networking service and microblogging platform, helps brands gain exposure, communicate with customers, and gain new clients. Imagine being able to hear directly from one of the social networking platform’s co-founders? Promotional items suppliers and distributors got the chance today, thanks to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).
This morning, everyone’s favorite radio personalities got to speak with Biz Stone, one of the founding fathers of Twitter. Did you miss this morning’s interview? No worries at all; you can access an archived version of ASI Internet Radio’s conversation with Stone here.
Check out the exclusive interview today!
As those within the promotional items industry know, the PPAI Expo takes place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendees have reported back on new, unique products, a keynote by Captain Mark Kelly and Jeffery Zaslow, and much more. Another big take-home point came from Jason Sadler of iwearyourshirt.com. Sadler spoke to distributors about using social media to grow their businesses.
According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), Sadler and his coworkers spend their days “spreading the company’s message through a variety of social media outlets, including viral videos, Facebook, Twitter and an online TV show.” But what might come as a surprise is what Sadler says not to do: “Too many people use outlets like Twitter for sales or marketing messages,” he says. “That doesn’t work.”
So then, what does work in social media? According to Sadler, companies should focus on highlighting their personal side. He offered the following tips:
1. When it comes to making connections, focus on quality rather than quantity.
“If you have 20 followers on Twitter, you’re kicking ass,” Sadler said. “Those are 20 real people you can establish relationships with.”
2. Create interesting content
On Facebook, for example, users love seeing photos. But rather than showing a boring stock photo of a product, post an image of your product in use.
3. Derive inspiration from other sites
Social networking is difficult to master, so it’s smart to browse the Web for inspiration. The more you search around, the more inspired you’ll be. Plus, staying on top of social media trends will help you remain ahead of the curve.
Today is the final day of the PPAI Expo. What have you learned while attending the huge trade show event?
Today marks day two of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. And while many distributors and suppliers head out to the annual event, some are unfortunately unable to make it. Let’s face it: Not everyone can afford to travel to Vegas, especially in the current down economy. And even those who can spare the extra cash for a flight may run into problems considering the high cost of accommodation, food, and other expenses.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) wants everyone to be able to participate, regardless of location. That’s why today it’s announced its ASI Virtual Trade Show! The February 15 event promises to bring all the best parts of a live trade show straight to your PC.
Best of all, distributors can attend the ASI Virtual Trade Show for free. According to a statement released by ASI, those who register for the digital trade show will see product demonstrations and receive samples from some of the industry’s top suppliers, live chat about exciting new promotional products, and learn more about the ASI Certification Program. Attendees can also look forward to access to the latest catalogues, networking opportunities, and more.
One past participant, Paula Forgione, told ASI that last year’s online show was “really well done. I love the format. It was just like walking through a tradeshow. I could see suppliers and ask questions.” With such glowing reviews and free registration, what have you got to lose? Click here to learn more about the ASI Virtual Trade Show and to register today!