DALLAS, TX – February 6, 2014 – President George W. Bush shared the stories behind some of the most personal and defining moments of his presidency during a candid conversation on Thursday before a record-setting crowd of 1,200 at The ASI Show™ in Dallas.
“History will ultimately judge whether I made the right decisions or not,” Bush said about making on-the-spot decisions in the harrowing days after 9/11.
During the one-hour keynote, President Bush answered questions in an interview conducted by Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. Throughout the discussion, the nation’s 43rd president touched on many subjects, including terrorism, crisis management, dealing with criticism, jump-starting the economy, managing a business and painting, his latest hobby. The special presentation took place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on the final day of the promotional products industry’s largest event in the Southwest.
The 67-year-old former Commander in Chief served two terms during the most tumultuous times in recent history, from 9/11 to the Iraq war and global financial crisis. President Bush and his wife Laura, who appeared at ASI’s Dallas show in 2011, live in Dallas, where they recently opened the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
“President Bush was very charming, incredibly smart and extremely gracious,” said Andrews, who is also president of ASI’s sister company, The ASI Show. “The audience was riveted – you could have heard a pin drop. He was also very funny, and put me immediately at ease, telling me just before we went out on stage to have fun.”
ASI’s three-day trade show, which ended Thursday, attracted more than 500 suppliers (including 65 new to Dallas) and over 3,300 distributors from 43 states and seven countries. The 18 distributor sales meetings that took place included Counselor Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), which brought its 125 promotional products sales executives and its management team.
“We held a sales meeting in conjunction with ASI Dallas and brought in our North American sales team,” said Bill Gossman, from Staples Promotional Products. “Ultimately, we’re here to spend time with our key suppliers and to find new products.”
Before the show began, ASI released its latest distributor sales report showing 2013 was the biggest sales year in the history of the promotional products industry, surpassing $20 billion for the first time. Promotional products, also known as ad specialties, are items imprinted with a logo or slogan to market a company, nonprofit organization, achievement or event.
“ASI Dallas has been terrific – with quality education and great networking opportunities,” said Cathy Miller, regional manager of Geiger (asi/202900). “We’re here to reconnect with our valuable production partners, as well as see new products we can bring back to our client base. ASI does a great job of running a quality show.”
Dave Saracino, from BIC Graphic USA (asi/40480) said, “It’s been a good mix of distributors, a good mix of partners, and we couldn’t be more pleased. We couldn’t be happier with the time that the distributors spent with us at our booth and the number of opportunities that we’ve uncovered. I think congratulations to the ASI group as a whole are in order.”
In addition to a presidential appearance, the Dallas show featured an Education Day with 51 classes, with all sessions qualifying for points toward the ASI Certification Program. Following a reception in their honor, four newly certified professionals were recognized in a pinning ceremony by Andrews, ASI Chairman of the Board Norman Cohn and Matthew Cohn, the founder of The ASI Show. ASI recently hit a major milestone, awarding over 1,100 industry certifications through its free Online Learning Center. To date, over 29,000 industry professionals have registered for classes necessary to obtain the industry certification.
On Wednesday, ASI’s products expert, Joe Haley, conducted a live version of his popular “Joe Show,” featuring dozens of cool, new products from nine suppliers. Wednesday night, networking, socializing and mechanical bull riding took center stage at the Gala Celebration at Gilley’s, the honky tonk made famous by the movie “Urban Cowboy.”
Fox News featured ASI on its Tuesday morning broadcast, showcasing the “next generation” of innovative ad specialty items and CBS and the Spanish-language station Telemundo also aired stories on the show. For more coverage of Dallas, including blogs and videos, visit www.asicentral.com and the ASI Show Facebook page.
During the show, distributors also saw demos of the new visual search feature now available in ESP Web and ESP Mobile™, which allows subscribers to upload images to ESP® for an instant scan for similar items in the industry’s largest and most comprehensive product database.
On August 11, ASI returns to Dallas for the Promotions Southwest expo at the state-of-the-art Irving Convention Center. Click here for more info and to register for the show, timed to help distributors prepare for all-important fourth-quarter sales.
Other upcoming 2014 ASI Shows are Long Beach (March 25-27), New York (April 3-4) and Chicago (July 15-17). To learn more about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities for 2014, contact sales VP Karen DiTomasso at [email protected].
About The ASI Show
The ASI Show was created for active ASI member distributors and suppliers, and attracts more distributors than any other industry show, with 20,000 attendees. Offering a full education conference, networking opportunities and a manageable one-floor/one-hall layout, The ASI Show provides a complete trade show experience. In five host cities per year (Orlando, Dallas, Long Beach, New York and Chicago), The ASI Show is ideal for advertising specialty businesses searching for new ideas and new business. Additionally, The ASI Show runs the Advantages Roadshow, the ad specialty industry’s most popular traveling show, and fASIlitate, ASI’s hosted buyer event.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web® is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at www.asicentral.comand on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.