|DALLAS, TX – February 5, 2015 – Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman told suppliers and distributors at the ASI Show® Dallas on Thursday their chief job in life should be to play to win.
“People get fired for not knowing their assignments in the real world,” said Aikman, a three-time Super Bowl winner who is now an Emmy-nominated FOX sportscaster. “My job as quarterback was to do whatever it takes to win… My life has really been based on being around really successful people. I’ve always bet on smart people, and I’ve never been wrong.”
Even his first season with the Dallas Cowboys, when the team won only a single game, taught him a valuable lesson. “It served me well later in life,” said Aikman. “I never forgot how hard it is to win. I never forgot what it was like to lose a game.”
Aikman’s appearance was a highlight of ASI Show Dallas, hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI). His nearly one-hour Q&A with ASI president and chief executive officer Timothy M. Andrews drew an audience of nearly 600.
“The Troy Aikman keynote was excellent,” said Philip Brindley, of Positive Promotions (asi/297370). “He had a lot of good information to share, and he was actually pretty funny. It was nice to learn all of the other business ventures that he’s involved in as well. It was a good way to start the morning.”
After the Q&A, the 6-foot-4 champion surprised attendees cruising an active show floor for 2015’s latest promotional products. The Dallas trade show is the biggest of its kind in the Southwest, taking place in the No. 1 region in the country for ad specialty sales, with Texas alone representing $2.3 billion in sales.
The show took place Tuesday, Feb. 3, through Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, attracting 485 exhibitors and 3,435 attendees from 49 states and 19 countries, with distributor attendance up about 4% over 2014. All told, a record 20 companies chose Dallas to host their sales meetings, an increase of 15% over the previous year. The show also attracted 270 female-owned and 230 minority-owned businesses.
Before the show began, ASI released its latest distributor sales report showing 2014 was the biggest sales year in the history of the promotional products industry, with reported sales of $21.5 billion, up 5.1% over 2013. Promotional products, also known as ad specialties, are items imprinted with a logo or slogan to market a company, nonprofit organization, achievement or event.
Also in Dallas, ASI celebrated the 25th anniversary of its signature brand ESP®, which the company first launched at a Texas trade show.
“People are coming from all over the country, and even the world, to attend the Dallas show, which is the best indication of how strong this show is and how much industry people rely on it to kick off the selling season,” said Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, vice president and general manager of ASI Show.
“We love Dallas,” said Andrews. “It’s a great gathering place for people in the industry to come together and do business. This year, we were especially delighted to partner with three large regional associations at the show – the Promotional Products Association of the Southwest, Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South, Inc. and the Sunbelt Promotional Products Association.”
The show included a full slate of ASI education training and seminars, including several sessions dedicated to website best practices and digital marketing strategies. Attendees also visited ASI’s new Social Lounge, featuring a live feed of social media posts tagged with #ASIDallas. All told, the three-day show generated nearly 600 tweets alone. Participants enjoyed new networking activities like rock climbing, yoga and running, along with the traditional Gala Celebration at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, complete with giant foam cowboy hats and line dancing lessons to a live country band.
ASI Show introduced several features new to Dallas, including the “marketplace!” to showcase products from five of the most popular money-making industries – health care, financial services, education, technology and construction/manufacturing. During ASI’s “Minute to Win It” game show, participants competed for fun prizes.
Suppliers told ASI they loved the show.
“Dallas has been fantastic,” said Miles Wadsworth, of Logo Mats (asi/67849). “We’ve been busy the entire time, with people in our booth looking to know about our products and us. The quality of distributors has been great. The attendees are taking the time to not just be scanned, but to actually learn about who we are and what we do. We come back every year because ASI provides us with the distributor base to sell our products.”
Distributor Liz Cavitt, of Scarborough Specialties (asi/319940), came with 35 people and also attended a company meeting at Dallas, to get together, brainstorm and talk about new products and ideas. “It’s so helpful to be at the show and talk to our suppliers to make those one-one connections, but also hear how people are using products in different applications,” she said. “It helps you to come up with new ideas and keep things fresh for your customers.”
For complete coverage of the show, including blogs and videos, visit www.asicentral.com and www.asishow.com.
Upcoming 2015 ASI Shows are Long Beach (March 24-26), New York (May 5-6) and Chicago (July 14-16). To learn more about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities for 2015, contact Karen DiTomasso, vice president of sales, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the ASI Show
The ASI Show was created for active ASI member distributors and suppliers, and attracts more distributors than any other industry show – with 20,000 attendees. Offering a full education conference, networking opportunities and an interactive show floor, the ASI Show provides a complete trade show experience. In five host cities per year (Orlando, Dallas, Long Beach, New York and Chicago), the ASI Show is ideal for advertising specialty businesses searching for new ideas and new business. Additionally, the ASI Show runs the ASI Roadshow, the ad specialty industry’s most popular traveling show, and fASIlitate, ASI’s hosted buyer event.