Of course, throughout the race, attendees got to sample the best in regional wines and spirits. The evening concluded with a dinner at the Prince of Wales Hotel – a staple on the town's scenic main street.
This morning's sessions opened with a keynote Q&A, as Tim Andrews, ASI's president and CEO, interviewed economist Brian Lee Crowley, the managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Focusing on trends within the Canadian economy, Crowley spoke to the impact of changing demographics and how industry firms can take advantage of opportunities in the evolving marketplace. Crowley called Canada's focus on the development and transportation of its natural resources a "tremendous opportunity" for companies selling promotional products in Canada. "Canada is one of the few places in the world that not only has an abundance of natural resources, but also knows how to manage them," Crowley said during this morning's keynote session.
Another highlight of the morning schedule was the presentation of Counselor's Canadian State of the Industry report. The session tabbed the manufacturing, financial, and construction sectors as the strongest for ad specialty sales in Canada; revealed that 65% of Canadian distributors made sales gains last year; and identified e-commerce companies as the greatest threat to businesses going forward. Other key findings included: 83% of distributors identify referrals as their top source for new business; 25% of suppliers believe their most difficult challenge for 2014 will be remaining profitable under pressure to cut prices; and 53% of suppliers expect to increase their marketing spend in 2014.
Remaining sessions at the two-and-a-half-day conference will include strategies for winning deals from Fortune 500 companies, a primer on navigating global shipping and trade issues, and expert advice on how to increase sales through social media. Stay up-to-date on the event by going to www.asicentral.com to see photos and videos, and be sure to check out Thursday's edition of Counselor PromoGram for complete coverage of the ASI Power Summit Canada.
To view a gallery of photos from the ASI Power Summit Canada, click here.