The ASI Show Chicago Posts Strong Attendance

Largest summer ad specialty tradeshow draws nearly 4,300 distributors – Education Day attendance jumps 7%

TREVOSE, PA – July 23, 2009  The ASI Show announced today that its Chicago tradeshow posted strong attendance of nearly 4,300 distributors, with Education Day attracting nearly 900 distributors, up 7% from a year ago.

The ASI Show Chicago, at the McCormick Place Convention Center Tuesday, July 21, through Thursday, July 23, is the industry’s largest show of the summer, delivering more than twice as many distributors than any other Midwest show.

The show featured hundreds of leading suppliers, including 150 new to ASI Chicago and nearly all of the industry’s Top 40; more than 50 free education sessions, and two well-attended keynotes.

Last night, nearly 600 people attended a networking cocktail party and cruise around Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago (cruise sponsored by SnugZ USA, asi/88060; Crystal Gardens Reception sponsored by Corvest: Adva-Lite, asi/32145; Toppers, asi/91530; and It’s All Greek To Me, asi/62960).

In addition, ASI announced the winners of the 2009 Counselor Awards, including the Person of the Year and International Person of the Year.  For the full list of winners and photos from the event, click here.  The annual awards celebrate the brightest talent and business achievements in the advertising specialty industry.  Sponsors of the event included Anvil (asi/36350), Corvest, Crystal D (asi/47759) and Mars Direct (asi/68888).  

(L to R): Matthew Cohn, vice chairman of ASI; Tim Andrews, president and CEO; Norman Cohn, chairman
Business in the booth for
Earthwise Bag Company (asi/51452).

“ASI Chicago kicked off the second-half selling season in a really big way,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI and president of ASI Show. “We’re thrilled with the way suppliers, distributors and decorators have risen to the challenge of a very difficult year, more determined than ever to grab market share and hit the ground running in 2010. We’re heading to Las Vegas next, for the ASI Holiday and Incentives Expo in September.”

Highlights of ASI Show Chicago included:

An exclusive interview with Paul Lage, president and CEO of Norwood, at his first public appearance since BIC Graphic USA (asi/40480) acquired Norwood. Matthew Cohn, vice chairman for ASI, discussed the implications and outcomes of the recent news.
Unique products. Watch a video from the ASI booth, featuring Tim Andrews and products for your clients from exhibiting suppliers: click here to watch.
Keynote with Harry Beckwith, author of “You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself.” One of the world’s premier branding consultants, Beckwith shared valuable insight with over 160 attendees and provided exclusive business tips that have helped Fortune 500 companies.
“The Promo Biz Coach,” Rosalie Marcus. Marcus headlined the Women’s Networking Reception: “Grow Your Network; Grow Your Business,” to share her secrets of networking success.
Celebrate Chicago and ASI Canada receptions. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed opportunities to connect with distributors, suppliers and decorators outside of the show floor.
New Distributor Success Track. The full day of free classes to help new distributors jumpstart their advertising specialty business was attended by about 200 people.  Distributors successfully completing at least three classes received a complimentary copy of the ASI Distributor Success System, a 10 CD education program on step-by-step ways to achieve success selling ad specialties.  The system has a $299 retail value.

Suppliers enjoyed steady traffic and met thousands of distributors during the two exhibition days.

“ASI Chicago has been phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal,” said Carol Constantino, CEO and president of Noteworthy (asi/74360). “We’ve been so incredibly busy. It’s been gangbusters. And as far as the distributors, they’re taking the time and talking to us. They’re asking questions, they’re looking for ideas and they’re really honing in on being able to help their end user and they’re coming to us for those kind of suggestions.”

“ASI Chicago has been an absolutely positive and phenomenal experience,” said Jack Abbate, customer and business solutions, Mars Direct. “I couldn’t expect more. We have distributors who are very interested in our product. They’re not just grabbing samples and catalogs – they’re asking questions.”

Distributors say ASI continues to deliver the proof-positive benefits they need most, at a time when every marketing dollar counts.

“The ASI Show Chicago has been great, as usual,” said Dave Regan, vice president of sales for The Vernon Company (asi/351700), which held a sales meeting at the show. “ASI puts on a fantastic show and they’re always great to us. I’ve done half of the show floor and have more ground to cover. All my expectations for Vernon’s meeting experience have been met.”

“ASI Chicago has been awesome,” said Rick Tomkovich, of Burlington Business Forms (asi/150408). “This is the third year I’ve attended and it’s one of the most enjoyable shows. I always take away new things for my distributorship. When we visit with the suppliers, we always find one or two unique items to take back to our clients.”

Distributors can register for the new ASI Holiday & Incentives Expo in Las Vegas at To exhibit in Las Vegas, suppliers may contact Karen DiTomasso, sales director, at [email protected], or at 800-546-3300..

About ASI 
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest 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 22,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 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

About ASI Show
The ASI Show was created for ASI member distributors and suppliers and attracts more than 30,000 attendees annually. Offering a full education conference, networking opportunities and a manageable one-floor layout, The ASI Show provides a complete trade show experience. The ASI Show has experienced growing attendance since its inception in 1998, and hosts shows in five major cities (Orlando, Dallas, New York, Chicago and Las Vegas). In January 2006, The ASI Show launched the Advantages Roadshow, a traveling show visiting over 70 top cities throughout the country. In addition, the Stitches Roadshow brings embroidery professionals together with suppliers and is being conducted in six cities this year. Visit