ASI Chicago Ends 2011 Show Season on High Note

Distributor attendance up 9%; Suppliers cite quality buying power of attendees

TREVOSE, PA July 21, 2011 – The Advertising Specialty Institute announced today that
ASI Chicago, the final show of the 2011 season, attracted a record number of professionals to its educational offerings and saw significant growth in total attendance for the three-day event.

Distributors escaped record high temperatures outside by discovering hot, new ad specialty products at the largest show of the summer. ASI Chicago took place from Tuesday, July 19, through Thursday, July 21, at McCormick Place and featured 700 exhibitor companies, up 10% from 2010 – including many Counselor Top 40 suppliers.

Total distributor attendance was 4,500 – up 9% from last year – from 1,930 distributor firms.

“It was great to end the 2011 show season with such a robust showing in Chicago,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president of The ASI Show and president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Exhibitors praised the quality and professionalism of distributors, which means we grew attendance without reducing the quality of attendees we attracted.”

Click here for photos from the show, posted on

The industry’s biggest event in the Midwest kicked off Tuesday with a full day of education, sponsored by Fields Mfg. (asi/54100). ASI reported overall 2011 attendance for education was up and that education attendance increased by 25% in Chicago, setting a new record. All education sessions at ASI Chicago qualified for points toward the ASI Certification Program (with 81.5 points available), and 95% of sessions were new.

ASI Education ran a “Take Five Live” campaign, with people working toward their BASI or MASI certifications able to fulfill live course requirements at just one ASI show and complete the rest of their requirements online.

The industry’s movers and shakers attended a new gala at Chicago hot spot Enclave Nightclub  Wednesday night, co-sponsored by Buztronics (asi/42963); California Tattoo (asi/43530); Prime Resources (asi/79530); Price Chopper (asi/79500), SnugZ USA (asi/88060); and Vonco Products (asi/94180).

The night’s nonstop action was immediately followed by Counselor magazine’s annual Hot Party, where ASI named the industry’s hottest trendsetters. The Hot List honors the 35 distributors and suppliers who are shaking up the industry and approaching business in new and unique ways. For a complete listing, click here. The Hot Party was sponsored by AIA Corporation (asi/109480); Promo Signs Direct (asi/79990); Logomark (asi/67866); and Carhartt Workwear & Haws USA Inc. (asi/43861).

In Chicago, ASI also introduced the industry’s latest technological advancement, ASI SmartSales. This new service from ASI, powered by technology from Oracle, is designed to help members increase sales and develop new business. It will also feature great sales reporting and analytics. ASI SmartSales will be available starting in the fourth quarter. For a video demo, click here.

In addition, sports legend Mike Ditka gave the show’s keynote, co-sponsored by BamBams (asi/38228), Express-A-Button (asi/53408) and Showdown Displays (asi/87188). A packed house learned how to “ACE” their bottom line with “Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm” from one of the most motivational figures ever to play and coach in the NFL. Ditka touched on topics ranging from his views on football to how business leaders can motivate their employees, and provided the audience with an extended question-and-answer period. Click here to watch an ASI TV video with reactions from attendees.

Suppliers were thrilled with outcome of the show.

“The show has been wonderful,” said Tom Miller, of Ariel Premium Supply (asi/36730). “We were slammed yesterday and have been talking to a lot of good distributors. The economy is picking up and distributors are excited. We are working on a number of projects. It’s been fun.”

Ben Black from Prime Resources (asi/79530) said, “The show has been fabulous. We have been very busy and I have a number of projects to work on. Distributors have been so responsive and are loving our new product line. ASI Chicago has been just great.”

Distributors said they made amazing product discoveries.

“We love holding a meeting at ASI Chicago,” said Sadie Schlief from American Solutions for Business (asi/120075). “It’s very convenient for all of our salespeople. They can take in the entire show, see a lot of their local reps and take advantage of ASI education – which is absolutely stellar.”

“We are always excited for ASI Chicago,” said Jeff Grippando from WorkflowOne (asi/333647). “This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest events that we attend. The central division of our sales team comes in full force to Chicago every year. And we’re so excited to be out on the exhibit floor to see all the new and innovative products debuting for the fourth quarter.”

Register now for the ASI Holiday Preview shows hitting Los Angeles September 23, Toronto September 27, Atlanta October 18 and Philadelphia October 26. The one-day tabletop event features two hours of education, with show hours 11 a.m.-4 p.m., followed by a closing reception from 4 p.m.-5 p.m.

The 2012 ASI Shows include Orlando (January 16-18), Dallas (February 1-3), San Diego (April 2-4), New York (May 8-10) and Chicago (July 17-19).

To learn more about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities for 2012, contact Karen DiTomasso, vice president of sales, at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest education, media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties. Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 23,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,200 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers. ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit ASI at, and on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.

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