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The ASI Show®launched its inaugural trade show in Fort Worth with a keynote with former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Today Show correspondent Jenna Hager. The mother-daughter duo wowed business owners and entrepreneurs with their deep appreciation for the opportunities they’ve enjoyed as part of a political dynasty, along with the special privilege of helping others succeed.

“We’re such a fortunate, wealthy nation,” said Mrs. Bush, who works tirelessly on global healthcare, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting America’s military. “Every generation should have the opportunity to be educated… Kids deserve the chance to learn and pursue their dreams.”

ASI’s three-day Fort Worth show, which ended Wednesday at the Fort Worth Convention Center, grew to over 4,300 attendees, up 17%, with 433 exhibitors, up 12% over 2018. The show attracted exhibitors and distributors from 43 states and four countries.

After hosting an annual show in Dallas every year since 2003, ASI moved its show to Fort Worth, citing its walkable downtown, hotels and affordability. According to Visit Fort Worth, the show’s economic impact on the city was about $2.8 million.

“We’ve had a great time in Fort Worth,” said attendee Denise Long, of First Impression, echoing the sentiment of many. “We loved Dallas…but we really love the freshness and energy of Fort Worth.”

In 2017, Texas alone accounted for $2.95 billion in sales of promotional products, and at $8.5 billion, the South leads the nation in total sales of logoed items companies, schools and non-profits typically give away to promote their company, brand or event.

Mrs. Bush and Jenna Hager enjoyed an easy rapport with the moderator of the Q&A, ASI CEO Timothy M. Andrews, who asked about living in the White House, working in the family “business” of politics, writing bestselling books together – and their favorite promotional products (a Laura Bush bobblehead and Jenna and Henry mousepads).

“I was blown away by the attendance numbers, the growth in exhibitor participation and the incredibly positive feedback I’ve gotten from people loving our very first Fort Worth show,” said Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, senior VP and GM of ASI Show.

SOURCE: Advertising Specialty Institute