Marketing Ideas

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
Introducing Sarah Selects

Introducing Sarah Selects

Our Merchandising Manager Sarah is one of the first in the office to see pretty much all the products we have on our website. With so many people asking what her new favorites are, we decided to share them in a video series called Sarah Selects.

Check out her first selection below. We think you’ll like it.


Find the Adult Color Book Desk Pad Calendar here!

Posted by Lee in Marketing Ideas, Sarah Selects, 0 comments
People’s Choice: the best trade show giveaways for beginners

People’s Choice: the best trade show giveaways for beginners

If you’re preparing to make your trade show debut, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to make a plan for your trade show giveaways It’s a given—attendees expect swag, but with thousands of promotional products out there, how do you know which ones to choose?

The key is to pick the most popular, affordable, and easy-to-order giveaways. Use this guide as a great reference if you want to go into your first trade show with a big splash!

Quick tips for first-time promotional swag items

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few quick tips to get you started when ordering your handouts:

  • According to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the top three reasons people keep promotional products are because they’re fun, functional, and trendy. Keep this in mind when ordering your promotional giveaways.
  • First-timers should avoid branded apparel for big events. The ordering process can be complex since you have to have multiple sizes and fits, and it can be difficult to predict how many of what size to buy.
  • Try to order a few months early, especially if you are particular about the items and colors you want, but know that Pinnacle Promotions can help you if you’re in a last-minute bind with our .

Bearing in mind that show-goers want goods that are fun, functional, and trendy, let’s break down the best trade show products into categories that hit all of those marks.

For Fun:

  • Branded Toys – Who doesn’t love a giveaway that also entertains? We love the idea of handing out promotional toys, like branded fidget spinners, promotional plushes, and yo-yos featuring your company’s name or logo. You can even have some of your favorite name brand toys personalized with your logo, like Silly Putty and Rubik’s Cubes. Don’t reserve the promo toys just for kids—grown-ups love them, too!

For Function:

  • Charging Essentials – If there’s one thing most of us don’t have enough of, it’s power for our phones and other devices. Promotional chargers and power banks are some of our most popular trade show giveaways for a simple reason: people use them! And when people are constantly reaching for items that just so happen to promote your product or service, then you know your swag is doing its job.
  • Earbuds or Headphones – Add headphones to the list of Things that Constantly Get Lost alongside your charging cables, adapters, and that other sock. Branded headphones and earbuds are some of our most popular tech giveaways; again, because they tend to get a lot more use than say, a T-shirt, a tote bag or even a promotional pen. Many of our customers are surprised to find that promo headphones can be relatively affordable, too.

For Trend:

  • PopSockets – Offering promotional PopSockets is one surefire way to get all the convention-goers talking about your booth. If you’re not familiar with the PopSocket craze, they're round, rubbery plastic things that stick to the back of your smartphone, acting as a device grip (for the picture-perfect selfie and streaming scenario), a car mount, and a phone stand all in one.
  • Fidget Spinners – Trendy? Still. Fun? Yup. Useful? Sure. Fidget spinners are the trendiest way to help you focus, relieve nervous energy and simply enjoy the sensation of spinning stimulation! We always recommend custom fidget spinners and cubes for companies who want to stay on the cutting edge without taking themselves too seriously. These babies are guaranteed convention hits.

Give ’em something to talk about

The last thing you want to do when entering the trade show circuit is to make a drip rather than a splash, and these fantastic promotional giveaways will ensure that everyone's talking about your exhibit, leading to more stop-bys, sign-ups, sales leads, and personal connections. Taking the time to think about your trade show swag is an important aspect of the planning process and one that will help ensure success for first-time exhibitors and convention pros alike.



Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, Tradeshow Giveaways & Swag, 0 comments
Tips for creating custom tote bags

Tips for creating custom tote bags

In the world of promotional products, custom tote bags reign supreme. They’re up there with branded pens in terms of popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. As a marketing professional, you probably love handing out custom totes at trade shows and events because they’re great at advertising your brand – totes get over 7,000 impressions in their lifetimes. Tote bags leave the house, acting as walking billboards, so they provide a great return on investment.

Another selling point to branded totes is that there’s so much room to work with – literally. If you have a special logo, phrase or image that you want to clearly render front-and-center on some swag, the promo tote will do the job. Tote bags are beloved by recipients, too: they’re practical, versatile, and perfect for collecting swag at industry events. (Think about it – branded swag that holds other branded swag...nice!). Everyone has a use or three or twelve for another tote, so people tend to hang on to them for a long time.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we make designing your promotional products super simple, and we always have helpful customer service agents available for guidance, but it does help if you know a couple of simple tricks and tips before embarking on your first promotional tote endeavor. Use this guide before getting started, and make sure to check out some awesome branded tote bag ideas to ensure that your giveaways hit the mark.

As you probably know, promotional tote bags come in many shapes, sizes and styles that can be customized to suit your particular needs. We can help you choose the right promo totes based on your specific event. Often, we recommend affordable, quick-ship tote bags for events like trade shows, job fairs, and conventions. These are lower cost options that can be filled with literature and other swag items for a relatively low price.

We also offer custom grocery tote bags that are specifically designed for taking to the market. These totes are perfect for companies that focus on the environment (since they can be reused again and again) or food.

Picking the right tote bag

  1. Choose Your Material — We have custom totes made of cotton, jute, polypropylene, recyclable materials, and others. For businesses that really want to reinforce their eco-friendly values, we recommend choosing promotional totes made from natural materials, like cotton, canvas, and jute.
  2. Choose Your Size — We offer small 8-inch by 8-inch bags all the way up to larger 25-inch by 17-inch bags, with a wide variety of different strap lengths. Consider what you intend to carry in your tote when choosing a size.
  3. Choose Your Imprint Type — Consider the method of personalization. We have totes that are printed, stamped, embroidered, screen printed, and transferred with a four-color design process for a totally eye-catching look. While we can work with just about any vision, some artwork looks better in some personalization styles, so if you're unsure, please ask us for advice.
  4. Choose Your Price Point — Are you looking for an economic giveaway bag for a trade show or are you looking for a brand name bag to use for a client gift? Your end use will help guide you to a specific budget.
  5. Choose Your Extra Features — Do you want an outside pocket for a water bottle? An insulated bag to take to the grocery store? A bag with a pen loop? A zippered closure? A morphing bag that folds down so it can be carried in a purse? All of these options help you create a custom tote that’s tailored to your target audience.

Creating Your Tote Bag Artwork

First things first: Before you place your promo tote order, make sure to review our artwork requirements. We prefer print-ready vector artwork delivered in .ai, .eps or .pdf formats, but we can accept some other file types as well. Here are some more quick tips for designing your promotional totes.

  • File type is important. Proper print-ready vector artwork will ensure that you get a high-quality, vividly printed result that won’t be compromised when resized.
  • We will send you a digital proof to approve before creating your order. Make sure to triple-check your proof before approval to ensure there are no typos or other issues with spacing, colors, or printing.

Order Sample Tote Bags from Pinnacle

We know that sometimes it helps to see and feel promotional products in real life to make sure that it suits your company’s specific standards and branding efforts. For a sample of any of our promotional totes or other products, give us a call at 877-300-2007.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
How to plan and implement a sales award incentive trip

How to plan and implement a sales award incentive trip

The President’s Club (or CEO Club, High Achievers Club, etc.) has become a common way for companies to honor and recognize their high performing employees.  Usually this exclusive “club” is targeted towards sales representatives as a way to motivate them throughout the year to hit their sales targets and to see all of their hard work pay off in a big way when the sales numbers are final.

Top performers are announced within the organization and then typically taken on a trip to celebrate their successes. Sounds great, right? Hit your sales goal, board a plane and enjoy a week in paradise – sign us up! But, someone has to plan this trip. Maybe that someone is you, and you’re not sure how to structure the parameters of the contest let alone plan a weeklong vacation at a resort. Don’t stress! Today we’re sharing ideas that should make the planning process easier.

Set the contest parameters

Prior to deciding what resort you’ll use, what gifts you will give away, or any of the “fun” stuff, you’ll need to determine how you want to structure this contest, and what goal the sales representatives will have to achieve to be considered for this coveted award.

First, have a number of attendees in mind. You’ll need to establish your budget early on in order to make the most of this trip, so knowing how many employees you’ll need to provide transportation and lodging for is extremely important. Once you have that number in mind – maybe it’s 5% of the sales force or more like 10% if you have a larger budget or a smaller group of employees – try to avoid having this contest pan out with winners from only one region.

Your reps will be more motivated if they know the playing field is even from the jump. For example, award the two top performing sales representatives from each regional territory and then the top two overall nationally performing reps. This way, you’ll get a great group of employees from diverse locations across your company’s territories.

Location, location, location

Now that your parameters are set, and your number of attendees is roughly mapped out you’ll need to pick the location for the trip. Some of the most popular destinations for President’s Club trips are tropical resorts or getaways outside of the United States. Interested in a pro tip? Don’t cut corners when you choose the resort. You want this trip to be highly desirable, and also serve as motivation for years to come.  If the President’s Club winners return from the trip and spread the news that the trip was hardly worth the effort they put in all year long, you’re in trouble. All-inclusive resorts are a budgets best friend, you won’t stress out about additional costs like food and beverage, which can fluctuate greatly and are hard to predict.  Don’t forget to account for transportation when you’re planning this getaway – your winners will need to get there somehow!

Announce the winners and send some swag

Once the sales contest has concluded, typically at the end of the year, you’ll need to determine your winners and announce them to the organization. Once your finance or accounting team has had a chance to review the numbers, now comes the fun part – letting the recipients know they’ve won! You can announce the winners of the competition in so many ways, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Schedule a conference call or webinar with the entire sales organization and executives
  • Include the announcement in your weekly Sales Newsletter if you have one

Personalized phone calls to the winning reps prior to the announcement to the rest of the organization would be a great way to personally acknowledge their hard work and prepare them. After the organization and recipients are aware that they are being rewarded, send out some customized swag.  We like to call these packages “hype gifts”.  The goal is to acknowledge the winner’s hard work, but also get them excited about the upcoming trip.

If you’re going somewhere tropical, which you most likely are, play up the location theme. Items like branded sunglasses and beach towels are great gifts to get your winners in vacation mode. You can customize these items with your brand logo or even come up with a logo and tagline specifically for the President’s Club trip – we love this option.  It provides a great keepsake and reminder of the hard work that the rep put in to earn the trip and the swag.

Some other great hype gifts are items that make traveling more enjoyable – think Bluetooth earbuds for the plane ride, or a portable phone charger to make sure that all of the devices are charged up and ready to take photos of the trip.  Another great option is to create a short video with footage from the resort so you can really drive home how amazing this trip will be that they are about to embark on.

It’s time for the trip

So it’s finally time for the President’s Club trip to actually take place.  All of your planning and all of the sales team hard work is finally over, and it’s time to enjoy the resort that you meticulously planned out.  You want to make sure that your team feels comfortable and welcomed to the resort when they arrive, and the best way to make sure this happens is with some welcome gifts, or as we like to call it “room drops”.  In a nutshell, room drop gifts are personalized products sent to the resort ahead of time and placed into the employee’s rooms for them to receive once they arrive. It’s always exciting to walk into your room and see that someone at your company has thought of you enough to send a gift to surprise you! The perfect way to choose a room drop gift is to think of what your employees will want to use while they’re enjoying their week in paradise.  Customized apparel – think tank tops, tee shirts or hats – is always a great choice; your employees can sport their branded apparel proudly throughout the week.  Vacuum insulated tumblers are thoughtful room drop gifts; they’ll keep your employees beverages nice and cold.  Backpacks and Bluetooth speakers are also guaranteed crowd pleasers – winners can stow their belongings and bring their favorite tunes to the pool.

Another way to welcome employees is to have a member of Sales Management or maybe even someone from the Executive team, depending on who is attending this trip, meet employees in the lobby of the resort with a smile and a glass of champagne.  Toast the hard work of the individuals who ushered your company towards success over the past year.

Don’t forget that this trip also serves as a fantastic way for members of the organization to get to know each other and network in a no pressure, off site environment.  Don’t be afraid to plan some activities for downtime at the resort, but remember that mostly your employees will want to relax and kick off their shoes after a productive year of sales.

Gather feedback

After everyone has returned from the trip and had some time to get back into the swing of things, send out a survey to gather feedback.  An electronic survey allows employees to anonymously give their honest feedback about the President’s Club Trip.  Ask what they liked or didn’t like, what they wish would have been a part of the trip, or what the company might try to improve upon for next year.  This is a great way to improve upon the quality of the award year after year.

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