Just returned from a visit to the ASI Show taking place in Chicago July 16-18 at McCormick Place. If you are in the promotional products or ad specialty business, or if you are thinking about it, the ASI Show is a fantastic place to discover new vendors, new ideas, get educated and be inspired. Whether you are a distributor or a supplier, you should consider membership, which includes free admission to ASI shows and free access to their education programs. (The next show is in January 2014 in Orlando) The range of promotional items–including garments– you will see an an ASI show is truly overwhelming. There is something for everyone. Stahls’ was there to show people how they can “logo anything” with a heat press. We also participated as educators in the new ASI Education track “Imprint It” sponsored by SanMar. Carleen Gray and Josh Ellsworth showed a packed room “How to Add a Heat Press Operation to Your Business Today,” which is a solid 3 hours of hands-on interactive learning covering everything from offering samples and services to clients as well as startup equipment, materials and costs. Participants learned how to print everything from promotional products to shirts to caps to bags to team uniforms and were able to cut their own vinyl graphics with a cutter using glitter, carbon fiber and other special effects materials. (of course using a heat press). They also reviewed how to choose the best press for your business, which I reviewed also in yesterday’s blog. For those of you not familiar with the ASI Education system, it offers members opportunities to learn in many areas, from production and working with distributors to selling and marketing to social media and other strategic business workshops. Members can attend sessions and earn points towards BASI™/MASI™ certification. Overall it was a very well attended show with an upbeat, positive vibe from the visitors. Our booth was extremely busy, since more and more people are starting to realize the benefits of being able to heat print promotional products–whether to create small sample orders that help persuade large customers to place orders, or for all your production needs.