Marketing Ideas

Employee Wellness: tips to keep the flu at bay

Employee Wellness: tips to keep the flu at bay

Stock the medicine cabinet, be prepared to use a few sick days, and get your flu shot because flu season is officially upon us.

If you’re a business owner, manager, or human resources professional, you know this isn’t all you need to do to prepare for sick season. You need to think not only about yourself, but also about your employees, because if the virus becomes an epidemic in your office, you could be stuck in productivity purgatory until St. Patrick’s Day. But how? Implementing a smart employee wellness strategy is the very first step to a healthy, safe workforce.

How does the flu affect businesses?

So we all know the flu is unpleasant, especially when it affects us directly. But have you ever stopped to think about how a particularly bad flu season can alter the economic success of your business? 2017 was one of the worst flu seasons in years, and, unsurprisingly, it took a serious toll on the economy and the population at large. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the annual impact of seasonal influenza is broad, costly, and damaging—it equals 1 million hospitalized days, 31.4 million outpatient visits, and about $6.2 billion per year in lost wages.

With sick, unproductive, and unhappy employees comes fewer business gains, of course. When teams across the U.S. are knocked out with the flu—taking an average of four to six days off per employee during flu season—businesses suffer. Studies show that employers could lose out on more than $9.4 billion in productivity when flu season gets bad. But here’s the thing: your workers are humans, and there’s nothing anyone can do to 100 percent safeguard against the virus, especially when the flu shot varies in effectiveness from year to year. But the flu shot does work and it should be a fundamental part of your flu season protocol.

With these things in mind, you have to do everything you can to ensure that if an employee does get the flu, it doesn’t spread around to the rest of the office. A nasty flu strain has a detrimental domino effect—if one worker goes down, it’s likely to knock down many more in its wake. The key is to implement an effective employee wellness program and to come up with new ways to prevent the flu from infecting your workspace in the first place.

Implementing an employee wellness program

If you don’t already have an employee wellness strategy in place, now’s the time to do it. These programs may offer health screenings, education, and goal-setting options to employees, usually with some sort of incentive system in place. Whether you hand out promotional water bottles for signing up for a gym membership or encouraging weight loss competitions incentivized by free days off, any way you can get your employees excited about their health is a major bonus.

powerpost 201811 waterbottle | Pinnacle Promotions

Not only do healthy employees equal fewer sick days (and more economic gains for your business), but they also save you money because they help to curb insurance costs. Employees who are healthy and prioritize their well-being cost you less in insurance claims and premiums. And, according to the Gallup State of the American Workplace Study, employees with a high well-being have lower healthcare costs.

But keeping your employees healthy doesn’t only come down to physical health. The Gallup study showed that engaged, incentivized workers lead healthier lives. Engaged workers—defined as those who are enthusiastic, committed, and involved in their workplace—tend to have fewer chronic health problems, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart attacks. Thus, putting a well-thought-out employee wellness program into place requires components that focus on employee happiness and physical well-being.

Employee wellness and the flu

So now that we know how these kinds of programs can be beneficial to our workers and our company’s bottom line, let’s see how they can be put into practice. With the flu, it’s all about restricting exposure and making sure that your employees have a good reason to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Here are some ideas:

Incentivize Getting the Flu Shot

powerpost 201811 shot | pinnacle PromotionsOne thing you can do to safeguard your most valued employees from getting sick during flu season is to provide incentives to employees who get a flu shot. You can either have your employees get flu shots on their own and provide you with the receipt or implement a mobile flu shot clinic onsite where employees can go and get vaccinated during the workday. These onsite programs are offered specifically for businesses by many of the major healthcare systems and pharmacies.

Most insurance policies cover the flu shot so there is no extra cost to the employee, but if you have part-time or contract employees not insured through your business, make it your job to ensure that they have access to free flu shots. Be sure that you pay for all employees to be vaccinated at your onsite flu shot clinic or provide every single worker with a free flu shot voucher, whether they work two hours per week or 50. Pay for the time employees take to get vaccinated.

Here are a few more ways you can get your team to take the flu shot seriously.

powerpost 201811 incentive ideas | Pinnacle Promotions

Fun flu shot incentive ideas:

Load up on wellness giveaways—Free gifts, especially corporate giveaways, are always smart incentivizers, whether you’re encouraging your workers to hit sales milestones or improve their health and well-being. Handing out wellness-centric freebies is a budget-friendly way to get your team to participate in the flu shot party—who doesn’t love free headphones, water bottles, and pedometers?

Give the people what they want—What two things do employees love more than anything? Free food and time off. Hosting a free team lunch or offering a shortened Friday workday for participants are popular ways to get your workers vaccinated for the greater good of the office. Set goals so that employees have incentive to encourage each other, like a whole day off if every single employee gets the shot.

Make it into a competition—A little bit of healthy competition is a great way to improve employee morale. At the beginning of flu season, create teams (or segment your workers by department) and encourage each group to get vaccinated. The team that gets the most vaccinations wins a special company gift or award!

Make the flu shot a requirement

If you work in a healthcare environment, there’s a good chance that your employees are already required to get a flu shot based on company policy. Many of the country’s leading healthcare authorities now mandate flu shots to their own employees, including Johns Hopkins and The Cleveland Clinic. Usually, this is because healthcare workers interact with particularly vulnerable populations, including the elderly, babies, and sick people with compromised immune systems who cannot risk contracting the virus.

Though required flu shots are somewhat controversial, you may be able to require them in your workplace. Workplace laws and standards vary by state, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does condone mandatory flu shots and encourages flu-related education at work. However, there is still some murkiness about the issue, so unless your workers regularly come into contact with vulnerable populations, it’s probably best to choose incentive programs over mandatory ones and focus on educating anti-vaccine employees.

Loosen your remote work policy

powerpost 201811 laptop | pinnacle promotionsOne of the greatest benefits of technology is that it allows many of us to work from wherever we are, whether that be our cubicle, our home office, or our bed. Allowing your employees to work from home when they’re sick is an effective way to lessen the germ pool in your office. Though the flu can be miserable and debilitating, there are days when team members might feel perfectly fine but are still contagious, so working at home makes more sense.

Simply avoiding shaking hands with or hugging your co-workers isn’t enough to avoid picking up the flu. In fact, the CDC says that people with the flu can spread it to others about 6 feet away, so your employees can still spread it to other workers even if they’re quarantined to their desk. The CDC reports that most healthy adults are able to infect others with the flu about one day before symptoms develop and as many as seven days after becoming sick. Your best bet? If your employee feels a sickness coming on, let them log in from home.

Modify employee sick time

powerpost 201811 calendar | pinnacle promotionsThere are many jobs where remote work is simply not an option, including manual labor positions, factory jobs, sales jobs, and any profession that requires lots of face time. If you can’t curb lower productivity levels through loosened remote work policies, then consider being a bit less strict with sick days during flu season. Your policy should be clear—if you are contagious, don’t come in to work even if you feel totally fine.

Being stingy with employee sick leave can wind up damaging you much more than it can benefit you. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) warns that companies who hire those with no paid sick leave—including part-time and nonexempt workers—can experience a significant increase in employees reporting to work sick and spreading viruses. The solution? The SHRM encourages companies to modify their paid sick leave and offer it to all workers if an influenza breakout occurs in your business or region.

Don’t forget clients and customers

If your business is inherently customer-facing or if you have an open-door policy and regularly invite in clients, prospects, friends, and employees’ kids, you’ll have more to think about than just employees when it comes to warding off seasonal sickness. Sadly, you can’t screen all customers and clients before they come through the door to make sure they’ve been vaccinated and are not a threat to your workforce. But you can provide incentives.

Hand out free vouchers, coupons, and discounts on your products to get clients and customers to join the flu shot bandwagon. On the same note, you can’t simply close the doors to the outside world until spring rolls around so that no employee is compromised. But you can be a little bit more strict about who you invite into the office. If your company tends to be lax about visitors, ask that the rules be tightened only during flu season to lower the risk of employee exposure.

Prevent germs at every turn

powerpost 201811 handwash | Pinnacle PromotionsEven if you have the healthiest team in the entire world, you won’t maintain those high well-being levels if your work environment is germ-laden. As obvious as it is, make sure that your employees are educated about safe handwashing and germ protection strategies. The CDC calls handwashing the DIY vaccine, and for good reason—you can kill 99.99 percent of the bacteria on your hands with proper handwashing.

The CDC recommends that homes and businesses offer easily accessible soap and water as well as hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol at all times. Note that hand sanitizers are not as effective on greasy or dirty hands, so you should always wash your hands as well. Other things you can do to prevent the spread of viruses in your workplace include avoiding close contact with other employees, routinely cleaning surfaces and supplies with disinfectants, and allowing employees to go home as soon as they begin feeling ill.

Create a comprehensive flu plan

As you’re implementing great ways to keep your workplace flu-free, remember that education is a major component of a good employee wellness strategy. Make sure that all of your employees know that there are many misconceptions surrounding this resilient virus, and that getting the flu vaccine will not give you the flu or make you feel sick. When you arm your employees with everything they need to beat the flu and provide a few standout bonuses, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and safe workplace this flu season.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
You can’t go wrong with custom koozies (6 reasons why)

You can’t go wrong with custom koozies (6 reasons why)

As a marketing professional, it’s imperative that you find effective promotional items that capture your brand’s spirit and do their job. The American Marketing Association (AMA) reports that promotional products can increase brand effectiveness by as much as 44 percent, but some products are more useful than others.

In the hierarchy of promotional giveaways, custom koozies rank high because they tick all the effectiveness boxes—they’re desirable, useful, and easy to hand out to big crowds. Not only are custom can koozies popular for giving out at trade shows, job fairs and special events, they’re also great for rewarding high-performance employees and thanking your customers. Here’s why.

  1. They’re major crowd-pleasers—If your business has a fresh, youthful feel—or if it just so happens to make beverages in cans or bottles—then you can bet your target audience will love custom koozies. One of the great things about branded drinkware is that it can be used by anyone. It’s not limited to a certain age group, region, or need. Anyone who spends time in the outdoors during the warmer months knows how valuable a trusty can koozie can be!
  2. They get used again and again—Another important metric for measuring a promotional item’s value is how often it will get used. Notably, we rarely choose disposable branded swag because it simply wouldn’t leave enough impressions. The promotional items that get the most use—things like can koozies, phone chargers and pens—are the ones that will make the most and longest-lasting impressions. Koozies get used again and again for years, solidifying your company’s name and purpose into the minds of users.
  3. They’re affordable enough for big gives—Marketing pros often seek out promotional goods that are simultaneously small, affordable and big-impact, and custom koozies are all of those things. While they consistently reach the top of the best-sellers list, koozies don’t require you to shell out a huge portion of your branding budget. We offer promotional koozies that start at just $0.41 for large quantity orders, so you can stock up by the case and always have an affordable company giveaway on hand.
  4. They can still be premium—Despite the fact that koozies are generally an affordable giveaway choice, they can still be used as premium gifts for important clients, new hires and partners. For a higher-end option, choose Koozie® brand koozies or Kolder Kaddy koozies. If you really want to make your koozies stand out in a crowd, be sure to choose promotional can coolers by YETI® or Thermos®.
  5. They suit many company narratives—Another reason why we love branded koozies is because they help you tell your company’s special story. If you sell a product or service that has to do with tailgating, the beach, college life, food and drinks or vacationing, then you know can koozies will quickly get snatched up when you’re out in the field promoting. And because koozies can be customized in many unique colors and themes, you can be sure they will fit your branding goals no matter what they are.
  6. They can ship fast for any event—At Pinnacle Promotions, we’re dedicated to helping companies get high-quality promotional items fast. We are happy to offer 24-hour rush service on some promotional koozies so that you can get the perfect promo giveaways for any event, even last-minute ones. Be sure to look for products listed as RocketShip™ if you need rush promotional items for an upcoming event.

Knock it out of the park with custom koozies

Ready to order your promotional beer koozies? All we need is your vector artwork and we will get to work designing your promotional goods right away. While we primarily make koozies for trade shows and business purposes, we are happy to work with you to develop koozies for special events as well. For all of your inquiries, reach out to us and we’ll guide you through the entire process.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Year-round employee swag favorites: Custom Blankets

Year-round employee swag favorites: Custom Blankets

custom-blanket-pinnacle-promotions

Outfitting your employees with top-notch company swag is a great way to boost loyalty and build pride in your brand, but not all swag is created equal. One of our favorite unexpected company giveaways is the custom blanket. The perfect pick for picnics, sports games, concerts and snuggling up with a good book at home, custom blankets let your employees show off your brand wherever they go.

As the cold weather rolls around, you’re going to want to start thinking about some warm, winter swag—hello, custom sweatshirts and touch screen gloves—for employee appreciation gifts or corporate holiday presents, and custom throw blankets are a good choice for year-round use.

We recommend these fan favorites for all sorts of company milestones, including:

  • New hire welcome gifts
  • Employee anniversaries
  • Retirement gifts
  • Employee incentives
  • Company holiday gifts
  • Weekly wins

Why custom blankets are a good choice

The experts consistently recommend choosing corporate swag that’s useful and high-quality to garner the most impressions, and promotional blankets certainly meet those standards. There are many reasons to design your own blanket to add to your company’s swag bags, including:
    • They’re unconventional—When you think about typical corporate swag, you’re probably thinking about classic but arguably basic items like promotional T-shirts and pens. Everybody loves a giveaway, but you can bet you’ll get even more smiles when you hand out something a little less expected, like custom throw blankets. You might even find that employees want to share their swag with friends on social media.
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  • They get lots of use—One of the facets of a well-chosen branded product is its usefulness. If you brand items that are just going to sit in a drawer for years to come, there’s a good chance your ROI will be lower and you’ll feel like you’ve wasted company dollars. Instead, pick something that’s more likely to get plenty of use. In the cold months, company blankets get used nonstop both at home and away, providing ample branding opportunity.
  • They suit your brand—If you’re looking for a promotional item that plays into whatever product or service you sell, custom blankets may be a good choice. We often see them employed by businesses that are focused on sports, camping, the outdoors, driving and relaxation. With so many styles to choose from, ranging from soft and cozy travel blankets to hooded blankets, you’re sure to find a blanket that’s appropriate for your business narrative here.
  • They’re versatile—Because you can customize many unique blanket styles with your preferred coloring and design, blankets make solid swag for a wide range of applications. Of course, they are a very popular pick for employee gifts, but they can also be used to woo potential clients, partners and investors. In other words, they’re ideal internal and external corporate giveaways.
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  • They’re high-quality—Like most promotional gifts, branded blankets come in many different tiers, from economical to premium, to suit your budget and vision. You can make your corporate swag stand out when you invest in some premium custom throws made of heavenly soft material like Sherpa, micro mink and cozy cotton.
  • They can be high-tech—If blankets seem like a totally low-tech swag option, you haven’t seen the latest and greatest blankets on the market. You’ll find blankets with built-in speakers, blankets with included ground stakes (so they don’t blow away in the wind) and blankets with handles for convenient, portable use. For these reasons, swag blankets are even a popular choice for tech companies.

More unique company swag ideas

If you’re in the market for company swag that you know will be loved by all employees, make sure to head on over to our best-sellers section to get some great ideas. Pinnacle Promotions is always here to help you choose the right corporate promotional items for your specific needs, end use and budget. Don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated customer service team if you need any guidance or advice on your purchase.    
Posted by Benjy Rose, 0 comments
Tips on ordering coolers and insulated bags

Tips on ordering coolers and insulated bags

If there’s any promotional product that makes your brand the life of the party, it’s got to be coolers and insulated bags. These branded best-sellers pile on the function and longevity, so you know they’ll make plenty of big impressions. Whether you use them as new hire gifts, client incentives, company holiday gifts, or to surprise retirees, you can bet these custom coolers and cooler bags will be received with a smile. The Pinnacle Promotions team is always available to help you order your promotional products, but here are some useful tips to help you get started.

Think about quality (and budget)

Coolers are branded items that vary widely in terms of price. You’ll find everything from super affordable insulated lunch bags for less than $2 a piece to premium coolers made by top brands like YETI® and Engel. Before you shop for promotional coolers, be sure you have a set budget in mind to easily narrow your search. Brand, size, material and special features all play into the price of certain coolers and bags.

Consider special features

Ask yourself what kinds of features you want in an insulated cooler. We can put your logo or branding on insulated lunch bags, collapsible coolers, rolling coolers, coolers with straps, backpack coolers and even coolers that come with a portable grill or a Bluetooth speaker. We also have both soft- and hard-shell coolers to meet your unique demands. You’ll even find coolers with stands and cooler chairs that you can order with your logo, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t get the absolute perfect option for your company’s style and budget.

Choose a style to honor your brand

Any company that focuses on fun, recreation, or outdoor living will want to consider choosing coolers as an effective branded product. Bearing in mind color, design, and special features, try to pick an option that celebrates the spirit and vibe of your brand. If your company is all about sports, go with a style that works well for tailgating or outdoor pursuits. If you provide healthy snacks, maybe a promotional lunch bag is a better pick. Brainstorm with customers and employees to see how you can best appeal to your target audience.

Think about capacity

Besides the design and style of your cooler, you also need to consider size. We have coolers that range in capacity from six to 48 cans, so make sure you’re aware of the different size options. Naturally, you will want to choose smaller six- or eight-can coolers for personal use and large coolers for applications like parties and entertaining. If you intend to pair your products with beverages or food, make sure the sizing is right.

Order early

Custom products take a little bit longer for production, so be sure that you account for the extra time if you’re placing an order for a special event, like a festival or trade show. Remember to look at the standard production time at the bottom of every product for an estimate on how long it will take to make. Need custom coolers fast? We offer various quick-ship coolers and insulated bags that we can process in 24 hours.

Properly configure your artwork

As with any custom promotional item, you’ll want to carefully follow our artwork guidelines for the best possible result. We recommend high-quality vector files to ensure that you get the highest quality rendering. Also, be sure to submit a logo or design that works well with the color you’ve chosen for the background.

Pick the best imprint type

Because they can be made of so many unique materials, from hard plastic to collapsible canvas, custom coolers can be imprinted in a wide variety of fashions. The most common options are screen printing or four-color process, which leave behind a vibrant, quality logo. For additional texture and quality, you might choose an embroidered or engraved cooler.

The best way to order custom coolers

Our best piece of advice is to get in touch with the experts at Pinnacle Promotions to start your custom cooler order. Our team is always available to help you put together an incredible promotional package that suits all of your specific needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (877.300.2007) or through our contact form if you have questions.

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Why you need custom fidget spinners at your trade show this year

Why you need custom fidget spinners at your trade show this year

Add fidget spinners to the long list of toys that became crazes, right alongside yo-yos, Furbys and Silly Bandz! Even though these fun little spinners came onto the scene with a vengeance—seemingly taking over aisles at every toy store, supermarket and gas station—they’re still a beloved, welcome accessory that earns major smiles today. If you’re looking for a great way to get trade show attendees talking about your booth, then you can’t go wrong with promotional fidget spinners. These toys hit the mark for a wide variety of reasons, but the main one is this: they’re fun!

What’s the deal with fidget spinners?

New to the world of fidget spinners? Here's a quick rundown so that you know what you’re working with. Fidget spinners are small, handheld toys that feature two or three paddles attached to a central ball bearing, allowing it to spin effortlessly between your thumb and finger. It’s simple but satisfying, so much so that people use them to help calm anxious feelings and even help with symptoms of ADHD. The fidget spinner craze reached a pinnacle in 2017, when it caught on with kids and spurred trading and competitions. The beauty of the fidget spinner is that it’s fun, popular, and—because of its ability to help calm you down—useful.

Why we love them

We know that fidget spinners are popular, but what makes them good promotional giveaways? Your branded items should be things that people enjoy, but also things that actually get used to help improve brand recall and recognition. Here are a few more of the main reasons why people love to hand them out at trade shows, fairs and conventions:

  • They’re trendy—Did we mention the word craze? Indeed, these are some of the hottest toys on the market, so you’ll have no trouble getting rid of them. Exhibitors who give away trendy promotional products tend to have more success, leading to more booth visits and leads. After all, attendees tell their friends where to find the best swag!
  • They’re fun—Besides the fact that they’re in vogue, another main reason why marketing professionals opt for promotional fidget spinners is because they don’t take themselves too seriously. They give your brand a down-to-earth, laid-back vibe, compared with say, a promotional water bottle or umbrella. The fun feel is ideal for start-ups and disruptors with a sense of humor.
  • They get used—Something that’s cool and fun isn’t always enough to earn points in the promo product world. If it just sits there collecting dust, it’s not doing its job, which is to remind people of your product or service. On the other hand, a custom fidget spinner will constantly be in action, offering regular reminders of your business to prospective customers.
  • They set you apart—As you know, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of competitors and distractions at your next trade show, so it’s really important that you pick promotional giveaways that generate some buzz and get people talking about your booth. Fidget spinners have a special way of getting attendees excited, leading to more engagement.
  • They’re affordable—When you think of affordable promotional giveaways, your mind probably automatically goes to branded pens and stickers. However, promotional fidget spinners can also be an affordable option, especially when you buy in large quantities for big shows.

Customizing yours to suit your branding

Pinnacle Promotions is always on hand to help you create personalized promotional products that totally suit your brand, right down to the precise coloring of your logo and the color scheme of the product you order. Branded fidget spinners are typically customized on the circular center portion, which is a great place to put your logo. Be sure to explore all of our fun promotional products so you find something that suits your vision, budget and timeline!

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
New to trade shows? Know these 13 hacks before setting up

New to trade shows? Know these 13 hacks before setting up

There’s no doubt about it:

Hitting the trade show circuit can attract new and loyal customers to use your product or service. Because of the unique opportunity for prospects to interact face-to-face with you at trade shows, attendees are also likely to recommend your brand to colleagues, friends, and family members.

Getting started with your first convention or trade show can seem a bit overwhelming. You have to figure out a way to effectively represent your business in a sea of like-minded entrepreneurs and stand out in the convention crowd.

Knowing a little bit about how to prepare, set up, and interact at trade shows can mean the difference between money wasted and a fruitful event presence.

Why go to trade shows? Some powerful stats

So why invest time and money on promotional products, eye-catching booth setups, and marketing for trade shows and conventions?

There are many ways that exhibiting brings value to your business, from helping you get the word out about a new launch to quickly growing your e-mail marketing list. The thing is, there are thousands of different ways you can reach these goals, so why pick the convention option? Let’s look at a few reasons why it’s worth your while to hop on the trade show train!

  • Reach higher-ups—Experts say that trade shows are some of the best ways to reach company influencers. In fact, a recent survey showed that some 84 percent of trade show attendees have the power to make or recommend purchasing decisions. If you’re a B2B business of any sort, then trade shows are some of the best avenues for smart networking.
  • Get more time with prospects—If your current marketing goal is to get the word out about your product or service, or if you run a business that relies on extra face time with customers, then the trade show booth is truly invaluable. The same survey referenced above showed that attendees spend as many as 9.1 hours per trade show visiting exhibits. That means that if the nature of your business dictates a little extra time for pitches, demos, and interfacing, then you’ll do well to invest more of your marketing budget into convention efforts.
  • Get more leads—Who are we kidding? Most of us invest in trade shows to grow our customer base, and the statistics indicate that even a single trade show can help significantly with your prospect-building efforts. In fact, 51 percent of trade show attendees request a meeting with a sales representative after the event. As we'll discuss below, there are some great ways you can leverage your promotional items and display to get even more leads.
  • Inform existing customers—Already a leader in your industry? There’s a good chance that most of the attendees of a niche-specific convention will already know a thing or two about your brand. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the shows this year. Instead, you can use trade shows to introduce new products and technologies while also upgrading current customers to higher-tier products and services.
why go to trade shows? | 13 trade show hacks | Pinnacle Promotions

So now that you know why to sign up for your very first trade show, let’s talk a little bit about how to do it.

Before you go: prepping your promos

As with almost any business event, step one is to do a little bit of prep. The following trade show hacks will help ensure that you get one-on-one time with the right buyers in the right place with the right strategies for enticing passersby to your booth.

  1. Choose your show wisely—Marketing and trade show pros know better than anyone that certain shows tend to be more fruitful than others. It’s absolutely imperative that, for your first show, you do the extra legwork—read reviews, talk to colleagues, and get recommendations from others in the industry—to make sure that a specific show is a good fit. Ask yourself (and others): Will this show connect me with the right buyers? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance it will be well worth your while.
  2. Pick the right swag—While professionals of all sorts hit the convention floor to network and make sensible business decisions, the free promotional gifts never hurt. Be sure that you think hard about your target audience before you choose your promotional goods. Whether it’s custom T-shirts, water bottles, office products, or tech gear, make sure it’s an item that will appeal to your target consumer. Order well in advance to make sure you get what you need when you need it. But if you procrastinate, partner with a company like Pinnacle Promotions that offers free rush production on many promotional products.
  3. Get the word out—Don’t forget to let your fans, customers, and potential clients know that you’ll be at any given show. If you do it right, everyone will know you’re there the minute you arrive, but it doesn’t hurt to announce your event presence early on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and by e-mail. Remember that, as you’re planning to exhibit, show-goers are planning their strategy and figuring out how to maximize their time, so it’s important that you sign up early so you and the show’s marketing team can let show-goers know you’ll be in attendance.
  4. Pick a good location—When exhibiting for the first time, you might be forced to go the most affordable possible route but be sure to weigh the ways a little extra spend can get you further. Typically, trade shows charge per square foot—the larger the display, the higher the bill—and for location, with more visible spots costing more. Obviously, the first booth the customers see when they walk in the door offers more value than a small booth tucked in a basement corner. Do your best to pick the best exhibit locale within your budget.
trade show floor | 13 trade show hacks | Pinnacle Promotions

Design and setup: a booth that dazzles

One of the most important features of a successful trade show booth is its ability to dazzle and stand out from other exhibitors. If you don’t have a display that commands attention, you can expect show-goers to stroll right past your booth, on to the next! Here are some hacks on how to make your trade show exhibit stand out.

  1. Get creative—If coming up with a creative trade show display isn’t at the top of your show prep list, bump it to the top! Impress the crowd with bright, vibrant, and eye-catching elements—lights, colors, and interactive displays are what you need. Ramp up your display with cutting-edge promotional display items that are custom-made to suit your business’s branding. Get started at least eight months in advance to ensure that you’re not scrambling when convention time approaches.
  2. Follow the rules—It’s not as fun as coming up with unique trade show exhibits, but it’s equally as important that you know what will or will not fly at your given show. There’s nothing worse than showing up with a dozen electrical components only to find that you only get one outlet to share among multiple booths. Do research on what you can attach to ceilings and floors. Investing in some good residue-free tape is a requisite to ensure that you leave no trace behind when tearing down.
  3. Get connected—Most trade show venues will happily supply your booth with digital services, like fast wired internet, if you need to create connected displays. Any business that needs to showcase a web-based technology should absolutely consider this upgrade—never rely on Wi-Fi when you need to engage a large audience via the web. Slow internet will kill a good demo fast.
walking on the trade show floor | 13 trade show hacks | Pinnacle Promotions

Capturing the attention of show-goers

So, you’ve got a connected, dazzling display…now what? A unique exhibit will no doubt help you draw in curious visitors, but that’s only the first step of successful trade show engagement. The second step is getting prospects to sign up or otherwise engage so that you can convert them to loyal customers.

  1. Go for the giveaways—Did we mention the importance of promotional products at trade shows? There are thousands of ways you can use your giveaways to draw in crowds, from offering small, branded pens or rulers to providing larger incentives to get prospects to take action. You can also use raffle drawings to entice people to sign up for your mailing list, watch a demo, or schedule a follow-up. Promote a giveaway for a specific high-value item and hold the drawing on the last day of the event.
  2. Leverage incentives—Use your promotional swag to get visitors to engage with your company in different ways. For example, if attendees simply stop by your booth and show some interest, send them home with something small, like a button, lanyard, or keychain. If they sign up for an e-mail list or request a follow-up with a sales rep, give them a higher tier promotional item, like a branded mug or water bottle. You should leave the most desirable giveaways—promotional hoodies, Bluetooth speakers, and ear buds, for example—to the attendees who sign up or order right then and there.
  3. Host offshoot events—While displays are the heart of any convention, attendees also look forward to networking events, panel discussions, and courses during trade shows. Sponsor an evening event that’s fun and engaging—think: happy hour with a free drink or two or a networking event that includes games and team-building—to create a little buzz around your business.
trade show networking | 13 trade show hacks | Pinnacle Promotions

Following up: hacks for post-show engagement

You might remember the statistic cited above stating that over half of all attendees interact with a sales rep after the trade show has commenced. What does that tell us? Engagement shouldn’t end when the convention does. The final step in your trade show planning journey should be to make a post-show plan that converts new connections to new clients.

  1. Get in touch soon—Remember to contact leads quickly—say, within two to three weeks following the convention — so that your company is still fresh in their minds. Strike while the iron is hot, they say! The best way to do this is to have your sales team send out personalized e-mails, so be sure to take notes about different leads during the show so that you can make the connections more personal later down the road.
  2. Engage in multiple ways—Be sure that you’re using your new trade show connections to get more followers on social media as well as new e-mail subscribers, and then be sure to engage with them on all platforms following the event. Consider sending out an e-mail blast specifically to those who signed up or engaged during the trade show to thank them for connecting with your brand.
  3. Send reminders with swag—For particularly high-value prospects, it can’t hurt to send a couple of useful promotional items to remind them to get in touch with a sales rep. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy—a pair of branded sunglasses or a logo notebook with a handwritten note is often enough to convert an undecided prospect to a new adopter. Use swag to say thanks for particularly memorable connections and deals.
post show engagement | 13 trade show hacks | Pinnacle Promotions

Getting started with the right suppliers

As you can see, first-time trade show exhibitors need to have bold, eye-catching displays and promotional gifts along with a solid strategy to succeed. Before you do anything, make sure that you partner with a good promotional products supplier to help you create cool, unique and memorable branded goods and display items. We’re happy to help you design trade show giveaways that leave lasting impressions and convert event-goers into loyal customers!

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Sarah Selects: Breast Cancer Awareness Products

Sarah Selects: Breast Cancer Awareness Products

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this week, Sarah selects her favorite products for you to think pink!

 

Products shown in video:

Two-Tone Himalayan Tumbler
Rubberized Sunglasses
Cooling Towel in Carabiner Case
Kan-tastic Kan Kooler

See all of our Breast Cancer Awareness promotional products by clicking here.

Posted by Lee in Marketing Ideas, Sarah Selects, 0 comments
How to keep your work life organized (9 simple tips)

How to keep your work life organized (9 simple tips)

For many, trying to figure out how to get organized at work can be a real struggle. Sticky notes multiply and pile up on your desk and your email inbox is flooded with unread messages faster than you can answer them. When we are only focusing our energy on the most important tasks at hand then other areas can become less tidy.

Organization is often directly related to productivity. When things are cluttered, attention and performance at work can suffer. But when your thoughts, time, and workspace are organized, your day-to-day tasks become easier to accomplish and more streamlined.

Ready to increase productivity at work? Here are 9 helpful tips to get your work life organized.

Organize your thoughts

1. Get enough Zzz’s

Everyone knows that the amount of sleep you get at night goes hand-in-hand with productivity during the day. Sleep deprivation can cause diminished mental sharpness, a sluggish demeanor, and a bad attitude. Obviously, these characteristics are not good to bring into the workplace. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the age of 26 – 64 need 7 – 9 hours of sleep. Most of our brain functions related to focusing or productivity are fueled by energy that we get from sleeping so instead of avoiding bedtime, make sleep a priority.

2. Focus on the task at hand

We are constantly overloaded with multiple tasks to accomplish each day but going from one task to the other is not an efficient way to get work completed. Jumping from task to task can cloud our thoughts and slow down the brain process. I know everyone feels like a superhero when they are doing three things at once and still somehow manage to do everything correctly. In fact, though, it can release a stress hormone in the brain, which can impact the decisions being made. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, "Every time you multitask you aren't just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that's critical to your future success at work." Yikes.

3. Take Breaks

Yes, that’s right! Taking breaks actually helps to boost your work performance. These breaks allow your mind to rest and daydream, which can lead to creativity! According to Psychology Today – below are a list of breaks that can be effective during the workday:

  • Meditation helps you detach from work thoughts by clearing your mind and focusing on relaxation.
  • Physical activity helps you increase blood flow to areas in the brain that are necessary for focus and attention.
  • Learning something new or playing a game will help you feel confident and boost motivation.
  • Helping out a colleague will help you feel a sense of social connectedness, which should feel comforting and positive.
  • Setting a new goal and thinking about the future will help you see the bigger picture and re-evaluate life in a positive way.

Organize your time

4. Short-term goals vs. long-term goals

Goals are set to determine what we should focus our energy on. Short-term goals can be defined as goals that you want to achieve in the near future — which can mean today, this week, this month or even this year. Long-term goals are generally set for more than a year away. When setting your goals, choose what is most important right now. Focus mainly on that goal and add additional goals as you become comfortable with your efforts. By setting goals, you create a long-term vision of what you want accomplished and short-term steps to keep you motivated to get there. This can be applied to any aspect of your life — career goals, family goals, exercise goals, etc. Remember, being flexible is important as changes to your life can affect your overall goals.

5. Prioritize

Once the goals are identified then the list of priorities will become obvious. Prioritization is an important step in getting organized – it sets the most important tasks and gives that particular task proper attention, time and energy. This can help you plan your day and is a good way to ensure that you meet deadlines and minimize stress.

6. Schedule your time

Another early morning start to the day and late night at work but you still don’t feel like you have accomplished anything. That is probably because when you get to work you realize you have back-to-back meetings, urgent last-minute requests, and the inevitable distractions. Scheduling your time effectively can been seen as the art of planning activities so that you can achieve your tasks in the time you have available. And an important part of this art is the planning itself.

Set a regular time to do your scheduling – at the start of every week, for example. There are a number of different tools to choose from. A simple and easy way to keep a schedule is to use a pen and paper, organizing your time using a weekly planner, or you can use software such as Google Calendar. From there, square away time for every task you want to complete. This creates deadlines and puts time limits to tasks, making it an automatic time organizer.

Organize your workspace

7. Organize your emails

For many jobs, the computer screen is its own workspace. You want to organize emails like you would paper by create a filing system that makes sense to you. For example, label action emails as TO DO and keep them in your inbox, or you can flag the email to mark that it is a priority or time sensitive. Additionally, you want to keep your email folder organized so you are able to locate past emails easily. This may seem like overkill, but it's often helpful to mark time on the calendar to check your e-mail so you are not constantly bombarded with emails that might not be relevant to your tasks for the day.

8. Organize your paperwork and notes

Sticky notes and scratch paper are almost irrelevant these days due to the different types of technology we have at our fingertips. Notes can be now be typed out on your phone, computer, iPad, etc. Whether you prefer the classic pen and paper or the technology-driven way, make sure you have a filing system. Make different files for each project or client, and when a document comes across your desk either act on it, trash it or file it away. Once the project is complete go back through the file and get rid of anything that isn’t essential.

9. Have essentials within reach

You want to set up your desk in a way that items you use on a regular basis are nearby. Keeping the items at your desk or on your computer will maximize productivity and make organization easier. This can be anything from important documents bookmarked on software you use daily or even a notepad and favorite pen. Once you have a good feeling about your personal setup then you will see how much efficiently you are able to work.

Keeping your work life organized is not only helpful to you but it also beneficial to your customers, co-workers and boss. An organized work space implies competence and dedication which promotes strong work ethic. Following these key organization tips will reduce stress, save you time, and communicate professionalism.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments