Weekly Insights: Creativity in Bloom at the ASI Spring Roadshow

This week, I had the opportunity to check out what’s fresh and innovative in the world of promotional products and I only had to drive a few miles from my home.

ASI-promosEach year, the Advertising Speciality Institute (ASI) takes a mini-show on the road to 40 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. (An intriguing idea worth exploring on its own in a future post.) More than three dozen suppliers were on hand to show off ideas for everything from executive gifts to handy gadgets to whimsical toys. Why give away the cliché pen, mug or t-shirt when you can give any of the following instead (as shown in photo) … some for just pennies per gift:

  • Information gifts are much more likely to be kept and used repeatedly. But you don’t have to go to all the work of creating them yourself. I found a company who has dozens of pre-designed booklets and slide charts on topics related to safety, health & wellness, finance, children and more. Each one can have your logo printed on the front to look like it was custom-designed by you. And that same company also has coloring and activity books on a range of topics in case your target market is parents or children.
  • Wellness is a hot topic, and there are any number of promotional products in that genre. If your company is automotive-related, how about giving a mini-pack of new-car scented cleaning wipes? (This would also make a good gift if your audience travels frequently … to wipe down not only the steering wheel of a rental car, but also that icky hotel remote control.) And speaking of automotive gifts … there’s also an air freshener that clips onto the car vents.
  • People are in love with their smartphones and other devices, so why not give them a gift they’ll use oodles of times each day with that device? The BackStrap™ snaps around the back of your phone not only to help protect the surface, but also to give you a way to make it more secure to hold onto. And the Dot™ attaches to the home button on your phone or tablet to personalize your gadget.
  • And for those more VIP-level gifts … there’s even a company who can design a custom bank or cookie jar based on photos you provide of your product, venue or mascot.

There were many more discoveries at the ASI Roadshow, some of which I’ll be spotlighting in future posts. If you’d like me to help you find the perfect gift for your trade show audience, simply click over to the Contact page and send me a note. I’d love to help you get creative to get better ROI with your giveaways!

So what are some of the most innovative giveaway ideas you’ve seen lately? Please share in the comments below.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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