LONG BEACH, CA – March 26, 2015 – Internationally known fitness trainer and reality TV star Jillian Michaels advised a crowd of suppliers and distributors gathered at ASI Show® Long Beach that if they stop striving for perfection, happiness should follow.
“The only way to achieve that life balance is to drop any notion of perfection,” an animated Michaels told the audience of entrepreneurs and small-business owners at a three-day trade show hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI). “And that’s hard.”
Michaels described how she grew up an overweight, depressed kid who was bullied in school, yet went on to launch a healthy-living empire. The Los Angeles native advised attendees how to lead richer, more balanced personal and professional lives.
“The more security you seek in life, the less you will have,” she said during a 45-minute Q&A conducted by ASI president and chief executive officer Timothy M. Andrews. “The more risks you take, the more wealth and abundance you will find.”
Getting healthy is but one way to succeed in life, she said. “I always tell people that I like them to lead a healthy life. And fitness and exercise are just two tools of the bigger picture.”
Nate Di Palma of Concept Marketing called Michaels motivational message “exceptional.”
“She was honest and very organic and inspiring,” he said. “It moved me, and I think everyone in the room identified with her and her struggles, and her ability to overcome those obstacles.”
The keynote was a highlight of the ASI Show® Long Beach, held Tuesday, March 24, through Thursday, March 26, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The annual show attracted 203 exhibitors and 1,643 distributors from 925 companies from 31 states and three countries. The show also attracted 126 women-owned companies and 114 minority-owned companies.
All told, 11 companies chose Long Beach to host their sales meetings. Distributor Top 40 Kaeser & Blair (asi/238600) also held a regional convention and awards dinner in conjunction with the show.
According to an upcoming research report from ASI, total sales of promotional products in California grew 7% from 2013 to 2014, for a total of $1.7 billion. Steady traffic on the show floor reflected the industry’s upward swing, with 41 exhibitors new to Long Beach to showcase the hottest promotional products of 2015.
“I think distributors were happy to see veteran exhibitors as well as a vibrant mix of products brand new to Long Beach,” said Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, vice president and general manager of ASI Show. “The show floor was full of vendors with fresh displays and new trends to give distributors an edge on the competition.”
Rob Cunningham, of Uniflex (asi/92480) said he enjoyed a great show. “We’ve had a lot of good traffic and great sales conversations with distributors,” he said. “We continue to exhibit with ASI Show because it gets us better traction when we display our packaging products, which is a little different niche for this industry. We get solid results for the items we show.”
“While I love the laid-back vibe of ASI’s California show, it’s clear from the feedback I received that we really delivered on the demand for new products and unique ideas, all spread out across a manageable show floor,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president of ASI Show and president and chief executive officer of ASI.
Distributor Bob Lewellen, of Kaeser & Blair, said his company has held a number of meetings in conjunction with ASI shows because they present good opportunities to meet face-to-face. “Our dealers like to come to the show so they can get product ideas and find new suppliers to do business with,” he said. “Plus, all of our dealers attend education – there is always something to be learned. The seminar choices give you a chance to focus on what’s important to you.”
The show featured 23 hours of business-building classes for every skill level, including writing a financial plan and creating a video, along with expert advice on lead-generation, digital marketing, social media and SEO optimization. All classes qualified for points toward the ASI Certification Program. To date, over 30,000 industry professionals have registered for classes necessary to obtain the industry certification through ASI’s free Online Learning Center.
Wednesday, ASI’s product expert, Joe Haley, conducted a live version of his popular “Joe Show,” featuring cool, new products from leading suppliers.
That evening, hundreds of people packed Gladstone’s, a Southern California landmark with sweeping views of the Queen Mary ocean liner. Next Level Apparel (asi/73867), Logo Mats (asi/67849) and Tranter Graphics (asi/91880) sponsored the gathering.
Attendees also visited ASI’s new Social Lounge, featuring a live feed of social media posts tagged with hashtag #ASIlongbeach. Face-to-face socializing took place throughout ASI’s new networking events, which included paddle boarding, yoga, running and a craft beer tasting.
And hundreds of attendees took photos and signed the inside of the ASI Promocar, a Mazda Protégé that ASI employees covered inside and out with hundreds of promotional products donated by ASI suppliers. The Promocar (hashtag #ASIpromocar) is part of an ASI PR campaign called “Driving Serious Fun,” designed to drive attention to $21.5 billion promotional products industry and to spread the word about the industry’s creativity and ingenuity.
After Long Beach, the Promocar sets off on a 2,700-mile journey across 12 states. Follow the car along the way through pics and blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on ASI’s website, www.asicentral.com.
At the Long Beach show, ASI announced a brand-new hybrid event called Engage, created in response to requests for a new gathering with increased engagement between suppliers and distributors in the Northeast and on the West Coast. Engage blends the best of traditional trade shows with intimate hosted buyer events and roadshows.
For complete coverage of the show, including stories on education, visit www.asicentral.comand www.asishow.com.
Upcoming 2015 ASI Shows are 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.