Last Week we attended the  the ASI show in Orlando. The Ad Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving our industry. Annually, over $46 Billion is spent on high end motivational products to incentivize employees or reward customers and clients. With over 300 exhibitors showcasing fresh new products, and extensive educational sessions, the purpose of the ASI show is to get ideas, connect with suppliers and learn ways to improve business practices.

As a first time attendee, I was struck by the seemingly infinite number of ways there are to promote your brand. With items like inexpensive give aways, apparel, or luxury gifts, there is something for every budget and for every unique message that a company may want to convey. Seeing it all at once is overwhelming, or in my favorite analogy, like taking a drink from a fire hose.” However no matter what one comes away from the show recognizing the importance of being a partner who will listen to the customer understand the message behind each campaign and come up with creative and fun ideas to convey that message. After all a successful promotional items campaign is all about improving our customer?s bottom line.

The promotional products industry continues to grow and is larger and more exciting than most people ever imagined. The possibilities are endless.

On the product front here are some of the more interesting items we saw and thought earned a mention here in our blog.

My picks:

Just in time for the Super Bowl . . . Custom Eye Black
You can combine your corporate logo with a sports team to reach your potential customers.
Or you can use your imagination to come up with clever messages a la Tim Tebow… John 3:16 anyone???

Game Day Drink Cup
This is a great promotion for any outdoor or sporting event. You just clip it onto your chair the grill or a table – and you have an instant cup holder.

Cool Bar
The epitome of innovative design. This double-walled cooler serves as a side table until thirsty guests arrive. The telescoping arm raises the table top. Holds up to 40 12 oz cans and 30 lbs of ice.

My Favorites this year were:

Tech 3 Pen  ?  AT Cross
A multi-function pen with two inks a pencil and a stylus. This is one of the first pens  to incorporate a drag mechanism and with an electrode at the top allowing it to replicate your touch. It works with the touch screen technology of ipads tablets and iphones. You no longer have to write with your fingers or thumbs.

Salt Box ? Totally Bamboo
Totally Bamboo is our go to vendor for eco-friendly products. With the rise in popularity of cooking shows on TV this item has become popular for at home chefs who want a handy reservoir from which they can add that pinch of salt. For those who never set foot in the kitchen the salt box makes an attractive desktop accessory for paper clips etc.

Drinkware
Drinkware continues to be one of the most popular promotional items. The game changer is what can be done with photo graphics. This new decorating method allows for a complete color wrap  using a four color process on a piece of drinkware. This is ideal for logos with lots of color gradients and intricate logos. Leeds has 50 different glasses that can use this process.

And Finally we need to recognize the value segment –  those under $5 items. The following items from Bullet Line are great.

Caption stress ball – You just put your message on the stress ball and it sits on the desk.

The Flex Calculator ? Made of flexible rubberized material this funky brightly colored calculator livens up any desk.

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