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ASI Employee Anticipates Her First Trade Show

Filed under: Fun, General, Profile

EmilyGilberg

The ASI Show New York is right around the corner and for new ASI employees, like Emily Gilberg, that means a trip to their first trade show.

Q: What is your title and job description?
EG: I am an Advertising Coordinator, which is a part of the production and advertising operations department. I am responsible for collecting materials from advertisers and then making sure the advertising happens. This can be completed once the sales representatives have sold the advertising space.

Q: How did you get the opportunity to attend the ASI Show New York?
EG: ASI offers new employees the opportunity to attend the ASI Show New York. I have been working with ASI for about six months and I have never been to a trade show before, so this is a great opportunity.

Q: Why is it important for people who work at ASI to attend a show?
EG: I work with suppliers and distributors on a daily basis and trade shows are a really big part of the industry. Having the opportunity to go to this trade show is a great way to get a better understanding of what my clients are going through. This will help me better serve them in the long run.

Q: What do you hope to see and do at the show?
EG:  Everyone that attends the show is asked to participate in some way. Most people are responsible for either seating people for the keynote speaker, scanning badges or helping with registration.  I am listed “as needed,” so I will be helping with whatever comes up. When we are not helping out we do have the opportunity to walk around the show floor and explore. I hope to have the chance to go to a few seminars and see the keynote. I also want to walk around the floor and meet some of the people I work with every day. I think it would be great to introduce myself to suppliers and distributors that I work with on a daily basis, to put a face to the name.

Q: What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
EG: Trade shows play a very important role in this industry and I think by attending the show I will gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. They are a huge part of the day-to-day business of the clients I work with so I think by seeing how a show works and what goes on behind the scenes will be a great learning experience.

ASINewYorkASINewYork


ASI at SXSW

Filed under: Fun, General, Profile

Jake KrolickSouth by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, music festivals and conferences that happens once a year. This year, ASI is sending Jake Krolick, ASI’s creative director of marketing, to attend the festival to see promotional products in full effect. Find out why events like SXSW are so important to this industry and what you can expect to see from Jake’s journey.

Q: Why did you decide to attend SXSW?
JK: SXSW is the largest event of its kind. It’s all about discovery and what’s new, and a great way for me to showcase the promotional product industry in a real-world situation. I’m really excited about bringing back good content and showing it to this industry.

Q: How are promotional products used at SXSW?
JK: Promotional products are everywhere. We will see them from different bands, at merchandise tables and at parties. A lot of companies sponsor day parties and have items that are branded with their logo. For example, Jack White is having The Third Man Record party where they have items they will be giving out, and for purchase, that you can only get at SXSW. The party also has a gift bag with T-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers - all items to promote themselves. Rachael Ray also has a day party where she has food and music and she hands it all out in Rachel Ray-branded cups.

Q: Why are events like SXSW so important to this industry?
JK: It’s important for the industry to be aware of events like SXSW. This specific venue launches products, ideas and music all in one, but it shows us what will trend for the next year. It’s not just SXSW, it’s other major event like the X Games, New York Fashion Week, the Olympics. It’s important for the industry to see what comes out of these events.

Q: What is one of the top promotional products at SXSW?
JK:  The hottest item right now is a wristband. The reason the wristband is so hot is because there are non-stop parties and only a limited number of people can attend. The people who are lucky enough to attend get a wristband to get into one of these sold-out shows. So these people are getting the hottest item without really knowing they are getting a promotional product.

Q: What are you most excited for outside of promotional products?
JK: Besides for all the content I will bring back, I am excited about the music. Besides working at ASI, I have been working in the music industry for 20 years. I am a huge music snob, so I am excited to see a few bands that I have never seen live before, such as Together Pangea, Gardens & Villa, and Plastic Visions. I do have a Spotify profile, so if anyone is interested they can follow me.

Q: What content will you bring back from SXSW?
JK: Be on the lookout for photos of different promotional products from different bands, merchandise tables, and parties. I will also produce eight videos. For example, I will interview three bands about how they promote themselves, and two publicists on how they find new products to promote the bands and why they pick the things they do.

Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see photos and videos from SXSW.


Sales Tip of the Week - Engage From The “YOU” Point Of View

Filed under: Fun, Sales Tip

This week’s sales tip, provided by Advantages magazine, reminds us that it’s not all about “ME”. It’s important to interact with your client with them in mind. How do YOU feel about this week’s tip? Post comments here.

Simply inserting the word “you” into a question to your client can make a big difference in your interactions and success. Begin every conversation from the “you” point of view. For example: “What are your thoughts on …?”


Sales Tip of the Week - Make Emotional Connections With Your Clients

Filed under: Fun, Sales Tip

emotionThis week’s sales tip, provided by Advantages magazine, reminds us that clients have other options when it comes to buying. It is important to form a special bond that the client can’t get from anywhere. Check out this new sales tip and let us know what you think - how do you form connections with your clients? Post comments here.

your clients can buy from anyone or any catalog or website. But making an emotional connection with your clients can work wonders in forming bonds they won’t break for a cheaper price. Share stories that will interest them. Remember their big life events. Send handwritten notes.


Behind the Scenes with ASI Show’s Karen DiTomasso

Filed under: Fun, General, Uncategorized

Karen DiTomasso

On February 5th, Karen DiTomasso – vice president of sales for ASI Show – celebrated 26 years with ASI. We recently sat down with Karen to find out what 26 years has meant to her and what the future holds. Find out how she started in a world of Medical Technology specializing in Oncology to working in sales, and what her favorite promotional product is.

Q: What is your title and job description?
KD: I am the vice president of sales for ASI Show. I manage a team of seven account managers with a lot of interaction between myself and the team. I deal directly with the customers, helping our suppliers to get the best ROI from our tradeshows, Roadshows and hosted buyer events.  I attend all the shows, walk the floors, and interact with all the suppliers. My team also sells exciting keynote sponsorships with a recent big highlight this past Dallas show with President Bush where we had four sponsors. My team ultimately is responsible for selling an audience to our suppliers and it is important to our exhibitors who invest in our shows that we have quality attendees.

Q: What was your position when you first started?
KD: I originally started with a company that the Cohn family owned called Medical Data Institute. It was a mirror image of what ASI was doing for the promotional product industry, but for the medical equipment industry. I started there in sales and moved up to president. I transitioned into the ASI Show while I was still running Medical Data Institute. I was asked to spearhead and oversee both the supplier and distributor side. When our shows started to grow it required having the distributor team separated under other direction, so I stayed with the core supplier sales team. I started out as supplier director of sales and worked my way up to vice president.

Q: What do you like about your position?
KD: I enjoy the customer base and love interacting with both the distributors and suppliers. We built some great relationships and I’ve developed some good friendships. I came from a medical industry, so all of this is different for me. I grew into an area of sales which is what I always wanted to do so it gave me an opportunity to grow. I also love the products. There are products for everything in this world that you could possibly want.

Q: What is one promotional product that you must have?
KD: One of our exhibitors had a stretchy band that you put around your waist when you are power walking or at the gym, and you can put your cell phone in it or glasses so you don’t have to hold anything. I just saw it and thought I want one of those!

Q: Which is your favorite ASI Show?
KD: Orlando is the flagship show. It’s the first show of the year in the industry and it’s our largest show.

Q: What has it been like to work here for 26 years?
KD: I can’t believe it’s been 26 years! I’ve had so many opportunities in 26 years that has really kept it creative and different. It’s almost like starting a new job every two weeks – it’s fresh and that’s what I love. Every year brings on new challenges and more opportunities. The Cohn family has been very supportive and a great family to work for.

Q: What does the future hold for you here at ASI?
KD: We have new leadership here at ASI Show and are going to be developing more products. We are looking at different ways to bring suppliers and distributors together, not necessarily trade shows, but more organized power meetings. I am so excited because all of these things are off-shoots from the trade show and this will help our members to make more money. We launched a Hosted Buyer event in October 2012 where we go out with a select group of supplier and distributors and give them 20 minutes of one-on-one, to build programs, relationships and business. We have four of these coming up.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t vice president of sales for ASI Show?
KD: An Interior decorator. I change everything in my house every year; the color, the accessories.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?
KD: I have a beach house and we try to use it all the time, even in snowstorms if we can. I prefer to be down by the beach in the winter, when no one is around, where I can put a hoodie on, walk by myself and relax and ride my bike.

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
KD:  She is no longer with us, but Natalie Wood. I was so in love with the movie West Side Story. We would just have to bleach her hair blonde.

– Interview by Lauren Medina


Top 10 Worst Passwords To Use

Filed under: Education, Fun, General, Tip of the Day

Data SecurityData breaches and security seem to be in the news a lot lately. LinkedIn and Target were recently hacked, and now Apple has come out and admitted a serious security flaw in its mobile operating system.

Now more than ever, distributors have to be absolutely sure that their customer information is protected. Counselor’s cover story for March is all over data security and how you can protect yourself. Read on for more, and in the meantime here are the Top 10 worst passwords to use.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. qwerty
  4. abc123
  5. 111111
  6. iloveyou
  7. adobe123
  8. admin
  9. letmein
  10. photoshop

Take A Walk Down Memory Lane With ASI’s Ron Ball

Filed under: Fun, General

RonBall

On January 3, Ron Ball — senior VP of Supplier Sales — celebrated his 36th anniversary with ASI. We sat down with Ron to find out how things have changed since 1978. Take a walk down Memory Lane with Ron and find out what few people know about him (Hint: Think Boy Band) and how he never thought he’d be a salesman.

Q: What is your title and job description?
RB: Senior vice president of Supplier Sales. I work with suppliers. I sell them advertising, the ASI publications and digital.

Q: What was your position when you first started in 1978?
RB: I was hired into the marketing department by Marvin Spike. After working in marketing for some time, Marvin — who was my mentor at the time — said I belong in the sales department. I didn’t want to be in the sales department because I thought all salespeople were shysters, like car salesmen. After almost two years of Marvin constantly saying I should join sales, I finally decided I would take him up on it, and I became a sales associate. It was all uphill from there.

Q: What do you like about your position?
RB: I like everything about the job. My favorite thing is talking to clients, they’re just wonderful. I also like the challenge of selling. When I came in with the marketing department, I thought selling was a slippery kind of thing, but it wasn’t. Selling is an interesting path to take because you are constantly thinking of what you can do to help people, and helping people is the thing that I like.

Q: How has your position changed over the years?
RB: Originally I worked with Don, who was my boss, and we would put on these Saturday afternoon sales meetings, which people just loved (laughs). We would actually videotape the meetings, which was new for that time, so we had a whole library of sales videotapes. The meetings were crazy because everyone was pissed they had to be here on a Saturday. We worked very late those days.

Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
RB: When I first started, Norman’s father Maurice just bought the company … he was such a gentleman. Norman was an easygoing kind of a guy, and still is to this day. The company was young and small – about 30 people — but growing quickly. We were in an old skating rink in Trevose, PA. The atmosphere was just about the same as it is today. It was very family oriented and everybody felt as if they were family, and they were. It’s been a lovely ride here. Everybody has been wonderful to work with. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way and I’m just happy that everything worked out.

Q: How have you changed as a person?
RB: I’ve gotten a lot older, I’ll tell you that much (laughs). I think I’m more tolerant of people now. I’m more tolerant of the way people work with each other, too. I can attribute that to getting older.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
RB: I think a lot of people don’t know that I sang with a group called The Dovells when I was a teenager. There were four of us and we sang rock ‘n’ roll. It was basically a local group, but we got quite a bit of coverage throughout the United States. The group was still singing when I was applying to college, so I made the decision to go to college and dropped out of the group.

Q: What is your best memory?
RB: There used to be about 30 or 40 of us who would go to shows and we would fly all over. I remember being interviewed by Norman for end-of-year interviews and I said, “Norman, I would like to get my pilot’s license and become the pilot for the company.” He thought I was crazy and said, “No, I think we will stick with what we’re doing right now.” I thought I was nuts, but I said it anyway. It was very funny.

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
B: Jonah hill. He’s a funny guy and I pride myself on being a funny person.

– Interview by Lauren Medina


Get to Know Jeanmarie Yososoegito - 20 Years at ASI

Filed under: Fun, General

Jeanmarie YososoegitoToday marks a milestone for one of our ASI employees. Jeanmarie Yososoegito, the senior member support specialist, has been working at ASI for 20 years! We sat down recently with Jeanmarie to get an inside look at her journey. Find out why she calls herself the “GPS of ASI” and what she has to say about hitting the 20-year mark.

Q: What is your title and job description?
JY: Senior member support specialist. Right now I am currently the receptionist which means I do a little bit of everything. I answer the calls that come in, redirect people that are lost, take the deliveries, direct candidates and visitors. Plus, internally I have employees that need to know where payroll is, human resources, so I’m the “GPS of ASI.”

Q: What was your position when you first started?
JY: I was hired for Central Files. We had a room where every member had their own file and everything was hand-filed. It was an extension of the mail room, so I used to open up the mail as well.

Q: What do you like about your position?
JY: Meeting and greeting people. I always gravitated toward helping individuals. When I left Central Files I went to process the distributor membership applications. I was able to instruct and educate our members on how to get their ASI number and get involved in the industry. I’ve always liked sharing the knowledge and pointing individuals in the right direction.

Q: What don’t you like about your position?
JY: I guess the one drawback is the freedom of movement. We really can’t leave that desk unattended. We have to rely on someone to be there for us to leave at the end of the day.

Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
JY: ASI is such a fabulous company to work for. I choose to work here because it’s family-oriented. I like that. I remember when we were a small company. We used to be at a different location and we had about 100 people. Back then we were under four different locations. In 2001 we moved here all under one roof.

Just to let you know how family-oriented ASI is, I actually started in the beginning of January, January 2nd. I didn’t have coverage for my kids, so ASI gave me the two-week leeway of getting coverage for my kids before I started full-time. And that’s why January 17th is considered my anniversary, because of the flexibility they gave me for getting coverage for my kids.

Q: What is your best memory?
JY: One of my best memories is when I was working at Central Files with Mike and Jeanette. Mike was planning on getting married and I thought he and Jeannette already were because the two of them just spoke like a married couple, bickering back and forth. I guess when I realized they weren’t a couple, WOW!

This comes full circle because I remember when Mike was celebrating a milestone there was always a fabulous gift of acknowledgment, and it was back then that I said, ‘I’m going to be one of those people.’ I was really proud when I hit the 15-year mark and now I’m even prouder that I’m hitting the 20-year mark. It’s been fabulous. I enjoy coming to work every day and I enjoy helping people, and I would say ‘thank you’ to ASI for giving me the opportunity.

Q: What are a few perks of working at ASI:
JY: There is so much! I love the blood drives and I participate in them faithfully. Our health care, the fitness program. I would put them pretty high on the list. A lot of times when I tell people we have a fitness coach that comes once a week they just look at me in disbelief.

Q: What are your favorite activities outside of work?
JY: Now that I am a grandmother of two, a lot of my spare time is with my grandchildren. That’s one of the reasons I like the fitness program, because when I’m running after the six- and two-year-old you have to be quick!

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
JY: Sandra Bullock. I’ve liked her from when she played Annie in Speed. In fact it’s still my favorite movie. I like how she was thrown into a situation and it didn’t matter how much she had to sweat, she persevered and trumped through it. I would want someone to say that we can throw anything at Jeanmarie and she would be able to take it and run with it.

– Interview by Lauren Medina

Enjoy a few more images of Jeanmarie!

Jeanmarie Yososoegito

Jeanmarie Yososoegito


How’d They Do That? The Making Of Digitized Emblems

Filed under: Education, Fun

Buffalo Bisons Emblem

Ever wonder how emblem artwork is digitized for use on promotional apparel? Well wonder no more!

This month’s Advantages magazine strategy feature “How’d They Do That?” takes a visual look at how one supplier — Penn Emblem (asi/77120) — creates digitized emblems right from an artist’s original work. Check out the step-by-step feature, and in the meantime here’s a look at the finished emblem.


How’d They Do That? Imprinted Nail Polish Bottles

Filed under: Education, Fun

Aside from a Halloween or two when I was in college, I’ve never had a need for nail polish. But now that I have a daughter who’s old enough to use it, it’s starting to become part of my life. “Daddy, I want that!” Who knew Barbie had her own line of nail polish, but there it is, the Barbie logo emblazoned on real bottles of nail polish.

And that brings me to today’s blog post topic: How *do* they get those logos imprinted on nail polish bottles? This primer from Advantages magazine shows you exactly how it’s done, courtesy of supplier Diamond Cosmetics (asi/49640).


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