Tag Archives: inexpensive giveaways

Trends for 2014: More, more, more

We have had numerous vendors stop by our offices in Atlanta. We’ve seen a few things stand out as trends for 2014.

Overall, the trend we have seen in every category is the ability for a product to be more than one thing! The keys for products to be more than one thing can be boiled down to three main themes: Security, Versatility and Stress-down.

clearbagSecurity: From bags to tech gear, the thing we hear over and over is “security.” The NFL Bag policy has not gone unnoticed by manufacturers. They are creating more and more clear bags. The requests for customized clear bags have come in every shape and size, and at various price points.

Security is not limited to bags. The iWallet is a perfect example of a branded product designed with “identity theft prevention” in mind. Not only are the cards protected from deactivation from the phone, but also the grip prevents card slippage or loss. iwallet

Versatility: The key to versatility is for a product to be more than one thing. The Gwee button iPhone screen cleaner is a phone stand and a cleaner. This mouse pad is also a screen cleaner. The In-Pillow travel pillow converts from a small pillow, (with a pocket!) to a basic tablet holder to a stand-alone screen mount! pillow

Stress-down: The stress ball has been a hallmark of the promotional products industry as long as we can remember. However, the sheer volume of options in “anti-stress” promotional products has increased. You can now put your logo on everything from the traditional stress ball to Office Spa kits complete with lavender “stress relief” hand lotion.

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.55.30 PMPinnacle Promotions takes the stress out of ordering your promotional products with our Rocketship 24-hour Rush Service. There are thousands of products that can be ordered with rush service and no rush charge. If there is anything that will take the stress out of your life, it is getting the right product at the right time the right way to help you Make the right impression.™

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Technology: RFID Changing Promotional Products

Author’s note: When I originally wrote this blog post, it was purely informational. Currently, my daughter is on a spring break trip with her school to Peru. The idea of RFID-blocking gear just became VITALLY important to our family.

21st century technology is making a big impact on the promotional products industry. The need for RFID security is changing the internal workings of promotional products. RFID, Radio-frequency Identification, is the wireless use of radio frequency to access information and transfer data. If you have stayed in a hotel recently and used your card to “tap” into your room rather than sliding your card, you are using RFID technology.

RFID has launched a whole new type of crime in the form of hacking. Wired Magazine has covered the increase and ease of theft numerous times since this technology emerged into the market. “They can steal your smartcard, lift your passport, jack your car, even clone the chip in your arm. And you won’t feel a thing.” Now, RFID technology, and the ability to block the RFID signal, is making its way into customizable products as varied as wearables, gear and promotional bags.

Promotional product manufacturers and suppliers have worked together to provide marketing professionals with quality and RFID-safe products. Here are a few examples:

walletYou can customize the Travelpro Travelsmart Passport Wallet with your corporate logo. Developed with the airline travelers and professionals in mind, special RFID Technology encases belongings to protect them from ID theft. This deluxe Passport Wallet contains a flip up boarding pass holder, quick access passport pocket, three credit card slots, and a privacy mesh ID holder.

zebraNot only does the Zebra Convertible Computer Messenger Bag come with padded, scratch-resistant 10″ and 15″ tablet pockets for protecting your technology, but it also has a zippered pocket with RFID-blocking technology preventing unauthorized access to personal information.

Soon enough, RFID technology will be in wearables and gear. The ability to host a QR code on a branded tote bag has been around for a while. We’ll soon be able to insert an RFID patch into a customized reusable bag for a conference taking your swag bag to a whole new level by making it an entry ticket, attendance recorder, and participation tracker.

The possibilities are endless for the marriage of technology and promotional products!

Pinnacle Promotions

Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Good Bag!

LizPPAI By Elizabeth Fenlon
Merchandising Specialist

The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas is the trade show of trade shows. Literally. It is the biggest trade show in the promotional products industry, spanning two full floors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. With close to 3,250 booths and 11,500 industry attendees, you can imagine that this might be a tad overwhelming if you were a tradeshow newbie, like myself.

As a Merchandising Specialist for Pinnacle Promotions, it is my job to stay on top of industry trends and be ahead of the curve as new products launch into the market. Attending the PPAI Expo is a must. So, I packed my comfortable shoes and headed to Las Vegas for 4 days of nothing but talking about promo products.

Our team met at the airport at 6AM the day of the trip. I’d been packed for days, terrified of being late or of being the one to hold us up with my lack of business travel experience. Luckily, I’d recently gotten a Zebra Convertible Computer Messenger Bag and it turned out to be my most prized possession on the trip. Seriously, this bag has it all.

zebrabag

My Zebra Bag has both a padded laptop compartment and a padded tablet pocket. Which made getting my chunky, old, Toshiba laptop through security a breeze. It also converts easily from backpack to messenger bag, and not in that cheap 2-in-1 kind of way that you might expect from a ‘promotional bag.’ But, when it was a backpack it was a backpack, with padded durable straps. It also features a zippered pocket with RFID protection. Which if you travel for work, especially out of the country, becomes a necessity. Unless, of course, you like the idea of getting your identity stolen or your bank accounts hacked.

Upon arriving we were able to check in, get a feel of the layout, view the exhibitor list and map and come up with a game plan to tackle all those booths over the next few days. If you’ve never been to a trade show, especially one of this magnitude, there are a few essentials you HAVE to have on you at all times:

• Comfortable Shoes – 8-10 hour days of walking and standing
• Refillable Water Bottle– Las Vegas is a dry climate. It is important to stay hydrated. They’ll price gouge you for bottled water at the show. So, being able to refill from the water fountain is a must. water






• Pen/Notebook – Because you will NEVER remember everything.journal






• Camera Phone – There is no way you will get 2 floors and 3,250 booths of samples on the plane. Take pictures.

• Business Cards/ Business Card Holder – Again, you will never remember everyone’s name. case






• Snacks – ok, maybe this is just me? Avoid getting cranky when it’s 5 o’clock and you realize you still haven’t eaten lunch.

For the show, I converted my Zebra Bag into a messenger bag since I had less to lug around than the airport. The main compartment has a removable file organizer, which turned out to be essential in keeping all the literature I was collecting in the booths organized. Everything on my tradeshow essential list had a perfect spot in this bag, allowing me to be hands free and focus on the real reason I was there, to scout out the newest and most effective products to help your brand Make the right impression™.

Pinnacle Promotions

Pinnacle Promotions Make the right impression™ Contest

A smile? A gift with purchase? A full refund on a defective product?

Or, a rude clerk? A non-responsive manager? A poor-quality product?

Each day companies go above and beyond, or fail miserably, to make the right impression. Have you had a company make a lasting impression on you one way or the other? Tell us what you think is the best way to Make the right impression.™

It’s Not Just Orchid, it’s Radiant Orchid: Pantone 2014 Color of the Year

If you work as a graphic designer or with graphic designers in any capacity, no doubt you are familiar with the Pantone Matching System, which is the standard color matching system across pretty much all industries.

Each year, Pantone chooses a “Color of the Year.” The color is decided upon at a secret Pantone meeting held in a European capital each year. The color is reportedly chosen in conjunction with many of the cultural influences that Pantone believes are relevant in our present lives. The color is meant to capture the spirit of the year.

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.
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Last year’s color was green. Lots of things are green. Not all that many things are “radiant orchid.” Our team worked very hard to find promotional or customized marketing products around the office that are orchid. We found these two things that are close.

orchid1orchid2

To help our designers, idea-makers and customers get into the color of the year we created a Pinterest board.

What promotional items do you think will look best in radiant orchid?

Pinnacle Promotions

Tradeshow season is coming!

Tradeshow season is coming!

When the holidays come to a close, most businesses can count on one thing: the start of tradeshow season. January brings with it some of the largest and innovative tradeshows of the year. Starting with CES and PPAI in Las Vegas and rolling into car shows, boat shows, and wedding shows that will eventually dominate the spring. There are almost 1,000 tradeshows in January alone across the United States.

Ido Leffler recently wrote a stellar blog post on tradeshows, “How to Dominate Any Tradeshow, and Why Even Solo Entrepreneurs Should Try.” Leffler focuses on two main points:
…People want two things:
• They want to be entertained.
• They want free stuff.

Leffler explains that you can entertain people in a number of ways. First, by exhibiting a creative booth space. Something more than just a folding table. And then, it is imperative that you give people your time. Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.52.29 AM

As for the free stuff, Leffler states that this is “Manifesto Rule Numero Uno.”

“Turn the convention hall into a walking billboard about you and your brand. Conventioneers love tote bags. Why? Because there are tons and tons of free stuff to be had, and after about two hours they are going to need something to carry the swag in. We always order thousands of great tote bags. No cheap paper or thin cotton for us. Our bags are big, bright, and unique, and by day two we try to make sure that every single person in the hall is carrying one. Be shameless and be fun. Slap your logo on the bag, add some bright colors, and make sure that people instinctively smile when they see it. Have tons of product to give away at the booth, and give it away freely. Don’t be one of those guys withholding the good stuff for the “big guys.” Instead, be the guy with the product that everyone is using and talking about. Freely distributing swag (even if it costs you) is in your best interests; you want those walking adverts wandering the convention.”

Last year, promotional reusable bags and customized cinch bags were top-sellers for Pinnacle Promotions. They are great surfaces for your corporate logo, and you can guarantee that all the other items that people collect at the tradeshow will then be stuffed inside YOUR bag. As Leffler states, they are going to need a place to keep all the other swag!Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.34.45 AM

Humor is another way to get people to remember your name. The Learning Revolution, by Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos explains that one of the keys to memory is emotion. Make them laugh, make them smile, and they will remember you. The blah blah blah is always popular for every type of tradeshow because it makes people smile, and could possibly help to spark a conversation.
PL4140hiresThis is a stress ball AND a device holder!

Are you headed to a tradeshow this January? What’s the best promo item you ever received at a tradeshow?

Pinnacle Promotions

The best gift I ever received was…

The best gift I ever received was…

Pinnacle Promotions is hosting a contest to give away our top picks for Holiday Thank You Gifts. I am ineligible to enter.
facebook_holiday-giveaway_2013_page2-v3

However, I still want to have the chance to tell everyone about the best present I ever received.

I am a life-long Houston Oiler fan, who has converted into a Houston Texans fan. Three years ago, my husband gave me tickets to the Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans football game in Nashville, only a few hours from where I live. I had never before been to an Oilers or Texans football game, home or away.

GameFrametasticMy husband purchased amazing seats to the December game. He booked a beautiful hotel in the heart of Nashville. Who just happened to be staying at the hotel? Why, the Houston Texans team, staff and flight crew were all staying at the hotel. By chance, we became fast friends with the flight crew before we even knew who they were. That friendship led to player introductions, too-numerous-to-count photos, sideline passes and life-long friendships.

While Pinnacle Promotions is not giving away tickets to the Texans-Titans football game, we are giving away a fabulous gift pack of items from our top picks of promotional, customized Thank You Gifts for end of the year giving.

What is the best gift you ever received? CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK and tell us. You just might win! ENTER HERE!

Pinnacle Promotions

“That’s a Tier 2 problem.” Ummmm…what?

“That’s a Tier 2 problem.” Ummmm…what?

My laptop was not working. I had no idea what was wrong with it. So, I took my computer to a store that sells that computer, and that computer only. Upon further inspection, the technician kindly let me know that I have a “Tier 2” problem. I asked, “What is a Tier 2 problem?” He answered, “About $250.” Ummmm…what?

Many industries have their own terms that are proprietary to the market or industry. The promotional products industry is no different. We have assembled a few of our favorite terms here that some customers may know, but these terms might not necessarily be household names. Not only will we define them for you, but we’ll do it in less than #sixwords!

Four-color process
: Your full-color-logo on something
Stock the closet: Your corporate stash of promo items
Setup charge: Charge to setup the imprinting machine
Imprint: Your logo or design for production
Vector: Points and lines that make shapes
Raster: Squares of pixels that make shapes
Pad print: Stamp your imprint on your item
Deboss: Elegant concave imprint on squishable item
Digitizing: Embroidered image becomes digital sewing file
PMS Color: Color number matching your brand guidelines (PMS LINK)
Run Charge: Charge per color for color printing
Flash Charge: White base for dark printing wearables

Any other terms you want us to explain in #sixwords? We’re here for you! Check out our FAQs for more information.

Pinnacle Promotions

Are You a Promo Hoarder?

According to the European Promotional Products Association, a whopping 91% of consumers keep a promotional product in their kitchen. This was surprising to me, until I realized that the EPPA was talking about me. Not only do I do this, but also I might be a promotional product hoarder.promfi infographic_11f1ec510dbe285b39baca0385b3afef

The best burger place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is called Scotty P’s. There are six locations. The menu items are the same at each location, but are named specific to that location. For example, the BBQ burger is called the Watson Burger at the Allen location, and the Warren Burger at the Frisco location based on prominent members of those communities.

It’s not just the food that draws you to Scotty P’s. For years, they gave a plastic cup with each drink purchase. scottypsThere was no upsell attached to the cup. You bought a drink; you got a cup with their logo imprinted on it. As loyal customers, we have more than one Scotty P’s cup. The Pink cup during October was especially sought after.  Some restaurants maintain arrangements with their drink brand to provide promotional cups. These cups are usually co-branded with the restaurant logo and the drink brand logo. The Scotty P’s cups are just branded with their corporate logo.

Inspired by the EPPA statistics, I decided to take a look around the kitchen. After further review, I decided I might be a promo hoarder. I own more than 30+ Scotty P’s cups. And, I don’t even live in Texas any longer.

Are you one of the 55% of people who keep a promotional product in your bedroom? Are you one of the 25% of people who use a promotional pen in the home or office?  Tell us: Are you a promotional products hoarder?

Pinnacle Promotions

ING Marathon and Swag Redemption

NYCING Internet-banking giant ING and their sponsorship of perhaps one of the largest sporting events took a big blow in 2012.

“Superstorm Sandy” landed on the upper east coast starting on October 22 through October 31st, 2012. Hurricane Sandy would become the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The ING New York City Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on November 4, went through a painful decision-making process that resulted in the full cancellation of the marathon only two days before the event.

With the cancellation, ING and the New York Road Runners club faced a hailstorm of criticism. Runners were upset the marathon was cancelled. Runners were upset the marathon was not cancelled sooner. Participants took to blogs and social sites to express their feelings. Race organizers faced a daunting PR challenge, but one not completely unique to events of this nature. What to do with all the race swag?

From t-shirts and clappers to the actual finishers medal, race organizers faced a difficult problem. In an effort to create goodwill among racers who couldn’t race and wanting to encourage people to sign-up for next year’s race they made an unprecedented decision. They would take every opportunity to get the gear to the 2012 registrants. When race entrants showed up to the 2013 expo to get their race bibs and promotional items, the 2012 registrants were directed to a location within the Javitz Center to receive the 2012 race shirt and their 2012 finisher’s medal.

Image byRobert Reese

Image by Robert Reese

The icing on the PR cake for ING and the NYRR came in the form of a poncho. In light of the events in Boston last year, race entrants were strongly discouraged from checking a bag at the race start for security reasons. Following the completion of the race, if a runner had not checked a bag they were directed to a special area of the race route. Upon exiting the official race area, runners were given a customized fleece-lined poncho.

The ING Marathon is not the first event to face a swag problem. Each year teams produce promotional items to acknowledge a sporting event that hasn’t happened yet. In the event that your team is playing in the big game, chances are the celebratory shirts and hats have already been printed. When the team loses, what to do with the promotional or marketing materials? Because of licensing agreements, most items are donated overseas.

The ING NYC Marathon organizers were able to heal some old wounds by giving 2012 runners their gear and medals. And, they were able to build good will with the 2013 by rewarding them for choosing the less convenient bag option. In this case, the ponchos went a long way towards swag redemption.

Pinnacle Promotions

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