A provocateur with a purpose dazzled an enthusiastic crowd with an artful mix of paint and business advice on the final day of a three-day trade show hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Erik Wahl, a best-selling business author who believes creativity is the new corporate capital, helped suppliers, distributors, line reps and decorators tap their inner artist during a free-wheeling keynote Thursday that ended when Wahl put the finishing touches on a painting he later gave away on the trade show floor.
“Erik’s keynote was awesome,” said Linda Panksy, from PIP Printing. “So inspirational. I’m going to think differently now – he made me realize that I need to get out of the box.” Jeff Alsey, from the Forms Outlet said: “I loved this keynote. I’m glad I invested the time to come down here and invest in my business.”
The keynote was one of many highlights of The ASI Show™ held Tuesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 27 and attended by more than 1,800 distributors, including sales stars from Million-Dollar Roundtable companies such as Geiger, Brown & Bigelow, Jack Nadel and iPROMOTEu. The show floor was buzzing with 280 exhibitors, including 93 new to Long Beach, showcasing the hottest promotional products of 2014.
“We are very impressed with the show,” said Paul Herzbrum, from BND Corporation. “We met a nice variety of suppliers – good solid companies we know and new guys showcasing fresh ideas for us to add to our product mix. We are leaving with many new initiatives that will help us build our business and that’s what attending a trade show is all about.”
“The show has been really great! The quality of attendees is very good,” said Katharina Pieper, BamBams. “We have been able to talk in detail with distributors and are being asked for quotes and are getting valuable leads. We are already committed to all The ASI Shows next year, and we will be in New York next week.”
The networking started Monday at the ASI Long Beach Invitational, sponsored by SanMar and held at the award-winning Trump National Golf Course. ASI’s invitation-only hosted buyer event, fASIlitate, also kicked off on Monday with a reception at the Long Beach Hyatt, followed by a full day of productive, one-on-one meetings between leading distributors and some of the industry’s most sought after suppliers.
“fASIlitate is absolutely fabulous,” said Tonia Allen Gould from TagSource. “It’s a great use of time. I’m sitting down with vendors one-on-one and it’s a very rewarding experience. I would definitely recommend it.”
Tuesday’s Education Conference kicked off with a free lunch session, “Sales Success Made Simple: Manage Your Time and Achieve Your Goals,” followed by an afternoon devoted to sales, marketing and social media sessions. Education power sessions were also held Wednesday. All classes qualified for points toward the ASI Certification Program. To date, over 29,000 industry professionals have registered for classes necessary to obtain the industry certification through ASI’s free Online Learning Center.
Wednesday, ASI’s products expert, Joe Haley, conducted a live version of his popular “Joe Show,f eaturing dozens of cool, new products from leading suppliers. Wednesday night was devoted to nonstop socializing at the ASI Gala Celebration at Gladstone’s, a Southern California restaurant landmark, with sweeping views of the Queen Mary ocean liner and a live band. Brighter Promotions sponsored the special evening out.
“I’m really happy with the unique combination of our invitation-only fASIlitate event with one of the ASI Shows, and the feedback for both events was positive and encouraging for next year,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president of The ASI Show and president and chief executive officer of ASI.
For more coverage of ASI Long Beach, visit www.asicentral.com and the ASI Show Facebook page.