ASI Show 2011: Trade Show Booths That Really Stand Out!

Trade shows—you gotta love ‘em! Exhibitors are enthusiastic to show off their products and attendees can’t help but get excited. This year’s ASI Chicago Show was no exception! Ending just last week on July 21, it was practically a case study in how to put together an effective convention.

ASI Chicago 2011 was an event to behold, and Quality Logo Products has the pictures to prove it!

With elbow-to-elbow crowds vying for an eyeful of the industry’s newest offerings, we could tell that the Advertising Specialty Institute had done its homework. The show itself left us with lots to talk about, but there was more to appreciate than just the wares.

After all, it wouldn’t have been much of a trade show without a few memorable booths and displays to catch the crowd’s attention.

Here are some of the standouts (click on the image for a larger view):

Holy Shnike, that’s a lot of promotional plush toys! Looks like the folks at Gibco, Inc. know how to draw the attention of those young-at-heart attendees.

NOTE: There’s a “Dexter” toy in the bunch. See if you can spot it.

Who likes patches? Patches Out Loud does, and they’ve got a vibrant collection on hand to show us just how seriously they take their craft.

That’s right—free steak samples! Hang on, I probably didn’t type that loud enough:


In keeping with their branding slogan (“Try something better”), the meat purveyors at SteakHouse Premium make it their mission to interact with passersby in the best way possible: by offering free samples of their products. Want to make an impression at your next industry event? Edible giveaways are an excellent way to start!

NOTE: Those samples were delectable to the Nth degree, just so you know.

With an expansive assortment of products on display, it was hard to miss the Vitronic Promotional Group booth. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with showing prospects what you’re all about! If your potential associates are looking for a range of offerings, then you’d better be prepared to show just how diverse you can be.

With such a striking backlit sign, I’m inclined to believe Ariel when they say that they “make you a super hero.” Between the instantly recognizable stress balls and custom bags, it looks like they’re more than able back up such a bold claim!

NOTE: Their pictured super hero looks like he’s ready to enhance any logo!

Bridging the gap between traditional booth and full-blown store, SanMar pulled out all the stops in making themselves noticeable at the convention. I’d say it paid off—big time!

First gear, it’s alright
Second gear, I lean right
Third gear, hang on tight

Talk about firing on all cylinders! Only a Beach Boys song can sum up the distinctiveness of the Hazel booth. Here’s a group that knows what it takes to stand out at a show! Heck, the products almost take a “backseat” to the presentation, but it looks like there’s still plenty of interaction going on.

Two catchy slogans are better than one, right? Personally, I think “more flash, less cash” has a nicer ring to it, but if I’m in the minority with that opinion, Bullet at least has their bases covered with “right on target”!

And the award for Best Use of Steven Tyler’s Likeness at a Trade Show goes to…

Actually, since no other company opted to use Steven Tyler at their exhibit, Hohner pretty much wins this one by default.

There you have it, readers! Some of the most memorable booths this side of the Mississippi were on display at the ASI Show this year. Feel like you missed out on a fantastic event? Well, you kinda did, but there’s always next year. Head on over to the ASI Show website to get the full deets on the 2012 show today!

Be sure to check out other ASI posts by Amy Swanson, Jana Quinn, and Jill Tooley.

So, are the pictures above worth a thousand promotional words? That’s for you to decide. Give us your opinions in the comment section below.

Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.


  1. Bret Bonnet

    Steven Jackson looks like he could fit an entire 4″ x 4″ in his mouth. Hot damn.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      If by “Steven Jackson” you mean Steven Tyler, then yes, I agree. 😉

  2. Amanda

    Nice blog post Joe! It looks like ASI had some great booths set up. I really love the Steven Tyler/Hohner booth is the best simply for featuring Steven….but they all look great! I’m glad you all had a great time! =) Thanks for letting the rest of see what it was like.

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    Nobody can ever beat handing out free steak samples. That’s amazing. Well done, SteakHouse Premium!

  4. amy

    You got some great pictures Joe! Since there was so many vendors there, this was a great recap of the stand outs. I enjoyed the Ariel booth the most, they have such a wide variety of products but their display still had a focus and wasn’t just a mish-mash of promotional products. Plus, their superhero stress reliever looks so good on my desk next to Bubba.

    Hopefully if we’re able to go next year, you should do “A Foodie’s Guide to ASI’s Free Samples” blog 😉

    • Amanda

      Yeah–these pictures are great!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Great suggestion, Amy! If I’m lucky enough to attend next year, I’ll definitely be focusing on the food. 😉

  5. Cami Chandler

    Thanks for the shout-out Joe-much appreciated. Cheers!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      No problem, Cami! Gibco definitely made an impression at the show with its memorable display of plush toys.

      Thanks for checking out the blog!

  6. Jason Johnson

    Thank you for adding us to this list Joe, we really appreciate it!!!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      No prob, Jason! POL’s display at the show was very noticeable, and at an event where every vendor was vying for attention, that’s quite a feat. Well done!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Wim @ Sales Sells

    I always knew Steven Tyler was an underestimated marketing tool! 🙂

  8. Juliette

    Ha! I spent about 3 minutes staring at the plush toy photo looking for a “Dexter” (the tv show) plus before I realized it was the “Dexter” from the cartoon!

    I wish I had been able to go! I know Josh brought back many photos from his manning of our booth at the show but I’m still sighing wistfully at all the awesome booths that you took pics of and posted here. 🙂 Looks like you guys had a great time!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I was really hoping someone would catch my sly “Dexter” reference. Kudos, Juliette!

      There were quite a few standouts at the show. Sadly, I didn’t get to see ALL of them, though I would have loved to. Sorry I didn’t catch Imagery Group’s booth. The convention hall was ENORMOUS, and while I tried to see as much as I could in the relatively short amount of time that I had, it just wasn’t feasible to see everything. I think I actually got lost a couple times.

      We definitely had a great time though! 😀

  9. Allison @ Hohner

    Thanks for including us and all of the great comments about our booth. Tyler is a favorite around the Hohner office.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Don’t mention it, Allison! Hohner had quite a distinct booth at the show — and that’s an understatement. I’m anxious to see whose likeness you use at next year’s show.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      • JPorretto

        I have a Hohner guitar that I love! They’re not as well known for those. Any chance you saw some at the show??

        • Joseph Giorgi

          I don’t recall seeing any guitars on display, but since I only really had time to take a quick snapshot of their booth and move on, it’s possible that I overlooked some instruments.

  10. Kyle

    Great write-up, Joe. I’m digging the high-res photos too. Now to get my hands on some free steak samples… Hehe… 🙂

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, those tender steak morsels were definitely one of the highlights — to me, anyway.

  11. Jana Quinn

    Nice review, Joe! I really loved the Gibco booth; nice display of their items on a black backdrop to really make their products pop. It was only a *little* traumatic to see those adorable plushies cruelly pinned to the background – but those are my own issues. 🙂

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I suppose it was a bit cruel and unusual, but since the overall presentation was so eye-catching, I can forgive them.

  12. Joel Kaufmann

    Not bad coverage; liked the feedback about our slogans; BUT, no picture of Buster? The guy had to wear an ice pack utility belt under that suit…at least he can get a little pub!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I honestly didn’t see Agent Buster at the show. I must have missed him when I was at your booth, otherwise I definitely would’ve snagged a pic.

      An “ice pack utility belt”?! Yikes! It must have been an uncomfortable three days for that guy.

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