Tag Archives: promotional pens

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.™

All I really need to know to Make the right impression™ I learned in Kindergarten

Based on Robert Fulghum’s wildly popular book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, we have added our own twist on the “things I learned in Kindergarten” for the promotional products industry.kinder

All I really need to know to Make the right impression™ I learned in Kindergarten.

1. Offer your attention and advice willingly.
2. Do what is right.
3. Praise in public, critique in private.
4. Leave a customer’s office the way you found it.
5. Try, and then try again.
6. Be kind. Apologize first.
7. Be on time.
8. Offer a clean, dry hand to shake.
9. Care more about people than they care about you.
10. Come bearing gifts, such as quality promotional products.
11. Confidently promise and over deliver.
12. Listen. Really listen.

Pinnacle Promotions

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

Promotional Product Hacks to Save Your Tradeshow

Promotional Product Hacks to Save Your Tradeshow

We know how difficult it is to plan, prepare, and execute a trade show and that you’re looking for tips and tricks to make it easier. Storage is in short supply at trade shows. So, how can you make the most of it? We suggest doubling up the uses of your promotional items so that you don’t have to remember quite so many things. Some people call these hacks. We call them “imaginative repurposing.”

1. W-DS_500
Silicone wristbands make handy rubber bands when you’re overwhelmed with loose pens or pencils and short on bundling methods. Not only are these handy customized wristbands going to be utilized over and over by tradeshow attendees (because you just gave them a new idea) but will also allow you to be organized at the same time.

2.note
Reduce the number of office supplies that you need to take by leveraging your promotional items for your booth staff. These will be handy for your staff to jot down notes to hand to attendees. Branding and personal contact reminder all rolled up in one.

3.Screen shot 2014-01-09 at 3.52.52 PM
Got a tablet or iPad to display but can’t get a new case or stand? Order the Leeds Windsor Reflections Promotional Jotters (Item 0550-66) and use it to double as a display stand.

4.cup
Cups are a great tradeshow promotional item because they are likely to be used again; they have a long “shelf life.” However, cups use up a lot of space, but really most of it is just air. So, how do you take advantage of this?
If you will be shipping your giveaway cups, use the cups for storage or stuff them full with other essentials that need to go to your trade show. This will reduce the number of boxes that you would need to ship and reduces clutter at the actual booth.

5. hack
Many booths will use music to create the ambiance within the booth. Think you need to take along extra speakers to be heard? Think again. If playing music from your phone, place your phone’s speaker inside one of those snazzy promotional cups to amplify the sound.

6.Screen shot 2014-01-09 at 3.50.47 PM
Traveling with fragile tradeshow items and need cushioning to pack your valuables in? Have you ever thought of using a 1/4’ mouse pad, imprinted with your logo to cushion your precious delivery? Mouse pads come in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses and can be used not only to ensure your mouse works correctly, but can be used to take up extra space in the box and absorb any shock that your shipping boxes may incur.

So, when you get ready to pack up your trade show tables, displays, and promotional items, recall these tips to save space, time, energy, and keep you organized. Well, at least make you look smart by knowing the hacks.

Got any good hacks of your own? Let us know!

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

Promo Products for the Final Four

If you live in Atlanta, like I do, you’re probably pretty aware of what’s going on this weekend.  The NCAA Final Four Basketball Semi-Finals and Championship games are going down at the Georgia Dome.  Louisville will be playing Witchita State and Michigan will be playing Syracuse on Saturday night.  The winner of each game will play each other in the championship on Monday night.

In addition to the games themselves, there’s a ton of stuff going on around town.  If you read our weekend guide, you know that all weekend long will feature free concerts from bands like Dave Matthews and Sting.  Bracket Town, a 4-day family-friendly event inside the Georgia World Congress Center, will be your chance to meet coaches and former college basketball players, get autographs and participate in other sports activities.

While the official NCAA products are sold online at the NCAA Shop, I have a feeling that if you’re downtown this weekend, you’ll still see a lot of promotional products for sale, being given away or on people themselves.  Here’s what I predict we’ll see:

T- shirts

Promotional T-shirts

Obviously fans are going to wear t-shirts showing off the team they want to win.  That also goes for the concerts; fans will show off their favorite bands by donning their t-shirts.  There is also a 5K in the morning on Saturday and I’m sure they’ll give out t-shirts too.

Pens

Promotional Pens

Sounds weird for a basketball tournament, but hear me out.  At Bracket Town, kids (and adults for that matter) will have the opportunity to get autographs signed.  Props to the company that thought to get their logo imprinted on the pens that the athletes will be using to sign them.

Sunglasses

Promotional Sunglasses

At a huge event like this, handing out promotional sunglasses is a great way to get your brand logo out there and I predict that lots of companies will do just that.  With so many people outside listening to music and just hanging out, I bet custom sunglasses are going to be super popular.

If you’re going to any of the Final Four events (or any other festival-type thing), I’d love to hear what sort of promotional products you saw!

Lee
Marketing Coordinator

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