The 2011 ASD Show in Las Vegas was thronged, and exhibitor reaction ranged from satisfied to ecstatic, reports from the show floor indicate. Mike Beyer of Drink-A-Lyzer was a first time exhibitor at the ASD Show, launching a new pocket breathalyzer product. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of traffic,” he says. “We brought in 20,000 pieces for this show, and sold all 20,000 on the first day. We’ve actually oversold.” ASD group marketing director Camille Candella was also pleased. “Preregistration was up 15 percent, which for a show our size is significant,” she says. “It was very full, people were doing business, they were upbeat, and that’s a very good sign. Traffic flow was good,” she added.
Others exhibitors agreed. Buddy Messer of Sun Stuff was selling licensed merchandise including T-shirts with the old Sun Records label. He was pleased with the show. “It’s been good,” he says. “We’ve met a lot of people, we’ve got people noticing us, and that’s what we want.” John Hansen III says his toy company, John Hansen Co., was back at the ASD Show after a long hiatus. “We actually used to show here about 20 years ago, and we decided to come back this year,” he says. “We heard it’s a good show with a lot of foot traffic, which we’ve seen.” Swap meet vendor Roy Thompson was asked why he attended the show and says, “We were looking for anything that caught our eye.” Thompson, a show veteran, says he sourced interesting items, as well, “We found quality products at ASD, and bought the quantities that we needed.”
This year the management of ASD made it easy to find eye-catching products. A new program of large floor labels helped attendees pick out new exhibitors. Every one of the 300 first time exhibitors got a striking red, “NEW,” label on the floor outside the booth, an initiative that was the brainchild of group marketing director Candella. “This is the first year we’ve done this,” she says. “This is a way we call out the new exhibitors. Some have been in business for many years, and others are brand new, but they are all new to our show.” According to Candella, highlighting the new exhibitors gave attendees a sense that they got more value out of coming to the show. “The number one reason buyers come to the show is for new products,” she explains. “They have to keep their merchandise fresh so customers will come into their stores. I wanted to make sure that we were calling that out a little better.”
How did these new exhibitors fare? Suren Shrestha of Serenity Tibet was enthusiastic about selling his handmade knit caps and Singing Bowls from Nepal. “This show is our first,” he said on the morning of the second day of ASD. “I came to sell my products. There has been a lot of response, and I got a few orders.” Simon Dogan of Perform X Bands also exhibited at the ASD Show for the first time, selling health bracelets. “I used to come to the show as an attendee,” he says, “so I knew that this show would have the traffic we need.” Candella intends to continue improving the program. “We’re going to make the stickers bigger, so they can be seen better,” she says. “We’re going to put resources into calling out those new people at every show.”