Get Your Decoration On

The Signage + Decoration Pavilion at ASI Chicago offers new opportunities for print providers.

Big Picture

Are you looking to add another profit center to your mix of shop offerings? Promotional-product decoration might be one such addition that can bolster your company’s sales and also serve to broaden your clientele base.

You’re likely already familiar with promotional products – in fact, you probably have more than a few of them on your desk, or perhaps you’ve used them to promote your own business. They’re the products imprinted with the advertiser's name, logo, slogan, or message and given away – think of all those mugs and T-shirts you get at tradeshows, for example. They can be practical, decorative, or simply entertaining, and they’re “evergreen,” often being kept by recipients, and so offering great exposure for the advertiser's message throughout their life cycle.

In 2013, total sales of promotional products (aka “advertising specialties”) reached $20.5 billion, up more than 5 percent from 2012, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI, www.asicentral.com), the national organization serving the promotional-products industry. Continued strong sales are forecast throughout 2014, reports ASI.

To find out more about this possible new addition to your business, you need look no further than the ASI Show taking place July 15-17 in Chicago, and the show’s on-site Signage + Decoration Pavilion hosted by ST Media Group (parent company of The Big Picture).

Situated at McCormick Place, the ASI Show Chicago (www.asishow.com) is the largest ad-specialty event of the summer, typically attracting more than 700 exhibitors and 5000 attendees over the course of the event.

This year’s new Signage + Decoration Pavilion will feature equipment, consumables, software, and supplies related to sign manufacturing, promotional-products decoration, apparel decoration, and wide-format digital printing of graphics. In addition, visitors can also take advantage of special education workshops devoted to expanding or entering new businesses as well as interactive demonstrations on a variety of decorating processes.

“We’re excited to be partnering with ASI to bring this new pavilion to life,” says Tedd Swormstedt, president, ST Media Group International. “ASI’s 50-plus year history in the advertising-specialty market and ST’s 100-plus years serving the signage, decoration, and graphics markets make for a very powerful combination. We see tremendous synergies between our core markets and a great opportunity to help professionals in both of our audiences discover new opportunities and possibilities.” Official media sponsors of the new pavilion are ST Media’s The Big Picture, Screen Printing, and Signs of the Times magazines, along with ASI’s Wearables and Stitches magazines.
Hands-on instruction, demonstrations, and educational sessions will be an integral part of the ASI Show Chicago.

Here are just a few of the sessions that are available to attendees:

• “The Essentials of Ad-Specialty Sales,” by David Blaise: Understand and speak the language of promotional-products professionals.

• “CorelDraw: Create Dynamic Design Effects,” by Jay Busselle Design: Professional text effects; specific design techniques to add visual value; power clipping, and other special effects; the Cut-Out Lab; special effects in Photo Paint. (Busselle is also offering an introductory CorelDraw course during the show.)

• “Increase Your Decorated-Apparel Sales,” by James Lamb, Sawgrass Technologies: How to position products and services to capture the interest of your customer; key methods to raising the perceived value of your offerings; how to analyze clients and tailor sales pitches to them; and more.

• “Screen Printing 101 – How to Start (or Improve) Your Own T-Shirt Business,” by Terry Combs, Workhorse Products: A three-hour session that hits on the costs of getting started, necessary equipment and supplies, film output and screen exposure, and more.

On the show’s first day, attendees can experience a free, half-day (9 a.m. to noon) educational session, presented by Stephen M. R. Covey, titled “Selling at the Speed of Trust.” Covey’s presentation will be followed by a networking luncheon, “Meet the Experts,” in which a panel of 13 speakers, industry experts, and distribution representatives will discuss current promotional-product topics. And on July 17, prior to the show’s opening bell, keynote speaker Erik Wahl – the author of the book, Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius – will present “The Art of Vision and Leadership: Awaken Your Creativity.” For the full slate of educational opportunities, along with detailed descriptions, go to the ASI Show website (www.asishow.com).

The exhibit hall will be open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on July 16 and 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on July 17. To pre-register for the show, visit: www.stmediagroup.com/sdpavilion.

Pavilion Exhibitors
Exhibitors in this year’s new Signage + Decoration Pavilion will include (as of May 1):

Atlas Screen Supply 791
Budget-Inks 974
Canon Solutions America 575
Douthitt 576
Earl Mich 981
FastSigns 477
Foshan Autowin 374
Franmar Chemical 381
Gemini 675
Graphics One 774
Innovative Digital Systems 875
Kapco 574
Lawson Screen and Digital 979
LogoJet 778
Magnum Magnetics 475
Marabu 877
RhinoTech 480
Ricoma International 787
S&K Manufacturing 975
ShopWorks 578
Vastex 886
Workhorse Products 581




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