Trade Show Tips for Success in 2017

Wednesday January 18, 2017 | Filed under: ASI Shows, Education

The 2017 show season is in full swing, giving everyone in our industry the chance to show off new products, make deals with new business partners and prepare for a strong year of buying and selling. 

Yes, there’s still a lot of uncertainty in our country, with a new president coming on board and questions over the future of international trade – especially trade with China, where a lot of our products are manufactured. 

But one thing I know for sure is that ASI® will do everything in our power to keep you informed, bring you together and help you grow your business. In fact, ASI Show® is unveiling a new slogan that sums up our trade show goals for the year: Creating Connections. Inspiring Creativity. 

If you’re joining us at our big trade show this week in Orlando (or in Dallas, February 1-3, or Chicago, July 11-13), you’ll notice our new branding. More important, I hope you notice a renewed sense of excitement among our employees. We’ve got a lot to show off this year, and we’re all ready to get down to business. 

Whether you’re attending your first show – or your 100th – below are four tips that should help you take full advantage of every ASI show you attend this year:

  • Take Advantage of ASI Education. This year, there’s no pre-registration required and there are dozens of all-new courses for every level of experience and interest. Browse classes online before the show and pick classes that interest you the most – but be sure to also challenge yourself by picking at least one class in a subject you know nothing about or that maybe even scares you a little. Grab a seat in the new Sparking Ideas & Mastering Niche Markets track, which features energizing 15-minute sessions similar to TED Talks, and take a break at the Meet the Experts Lunch, where you can powwow with colleagues and hear from sponsoring suppliers. 
  • Don’t Just Scan and Go. That’s a rookie move! Actually talk to suppliers and ask them questions. You might be surprised at what you learn. Remember: they want to make sales as much as they want to forge long-lasting business relationships that can benefit you both. As you walk the show floor, I encourage you to stop by as many booths as you can and to check out the new suppliers making their debut at an ASI Show (95 in Orlando alone). Every year, suppliers work hard at brainstorming new product ideas, and this is a chance for distributors to dive deep and find something fresh to offer clients. 
  • Network, Network, Network. Too often, we live in our comfort zone, going the same places with the same people. If you want to grow your business, attend at least one cocktail hour or breakfast on the show floor and introduce yourself to at least 10 new people at our big, casual after-hours parties (renamed the ASI Bash). Bring along plenty of business cards. 
  • Learn About One New ASI Product, Service or Discount. Stop by the ASI Booths and rooms for a demo or a chat with our sales reps and marketing experts. We’re here to help you, whether it’s to walk you through our all-new ESP® platform, which includes the time-saving ESP CRM and Orders, or share some advice on which products, services and discounts will improve efficiency – or save you time and money.

Even if you can’t attend an ASI Show, you can read all about them on our websites at, and our social media pages. You’ll find news stories on classes, interviews with winning companies and a ton of photos (in pic at right, social media expert and ASI Education speaker Marki Lemons gives an impromptu lesson in Facebook livestreaming to a few attendees after her class).

We’re here to help, whether it’s online or in person, at a big show or a regional roadshow. And if you have any questions, suggestions or comments for me, be sure to email me directly at