Promo Marketing’s Continued Coverage from Day Two in Chicago
Football legend Mike Ditka spoke to a packed house this morning in his keynote presentation, “ACE: Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm,” at The ASI Show in Chicago. Ditka talked to the audience about his history with the NFL, his thoughts on teamwork and leadership, and his definition of success.
“Success is about being happy,” he said. “If you have success, and you believe in something, you can do anything.”
Ditka identified the three characteristics to achieve that as attitude, character and enthusiasm, and explained how his heroes, Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi, influenced his thinking and instilled in him the values he believes everyone needs to achieve success in life and work.
“Vince Lombardi once said ‘The quality of any person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence,’” he said. “I believe if you make a commitment to excellence, then you have a chance.”
Following the keynote, the show floor opened at 9:30 a.m. to a quieter crowd than the first day. Still, distributors were excited about some of the new products on the floor. One trend has been in high-end gourmet food, with suppliers such as Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats and SteakHouse Premium offering cooked meat directly in their booths. Both suppliers reported constant traffic all show.
“The number one thing attracting people is the fact that everything we serve us USDA prime, and there aren’t other steak suppliers offering USDA prime,” said Chuck Feldman, president of SteakHouse Premium. “Our packaging is very impressive, which our distributors like because they know when the end-user client gets the product, it’s going to be in great condition and logoed with a 5x8” full color imprint.”
Something else showing up in greater numbers this year are QR codes. “We’re putting them on everything from a $0.25 key tag to a $25 mouse pad,” said Michelle Michelsen, marketing director for Dard Products/Tagmaster Line. “We have special training kits for distributors to use, showing how to get the QR codes for free and how to really use them.”
Although there’s always interest in new items and technologies, the promotional product staples remain strong. “In this economy, the basics are still always the best-sellers,” explained Kippie Helzel, vice president of sales with Custom Plastic Specialties/CPS. She explained that tried-and-true products still make up the bulk of business. “Water bottles are always huge, and we have so many of them, so they are always huge sellers for us. And tote bags are still so big. They’re always a go-to item for people.”
Exhibits and education sessions continued throughout the day until 3:30.