Promote Your Company and Have Fun Too!

America’s favorite pastime has started, and now baseball leaguers of all ages will be playing and attending softball and baseball events.   

One tried and true promotional idea involves sponsoring a local team or starting a company league.  Company leagues are a great way to encourage teamwork and improve employee morale.  Sponsoring a local team generates goodwill in the community and provides exposure for your company.  Don’t forget about the fun to be had by all at the after game and end of year celebrations!

Dish out baseball and spirit accessories – caps, pants, buttons, miniature bats and jerseys – with your company logo on them.  Fans and employees will appreciate your generosity!

Celebrate with Special Occasion Photo Buttons

Special Occasion Photo Buttons

Special Occasion Photo Buttons

It’s that time of year again for weddings, graduations, get togethers, reunions, and other special occasions.

Your favorite photos can easily be turned into pin back, mirror back, magnetic back or key chain buttons.  They can be worn alone or used to decorate gift and out of town bags,  stuffed animals, t-shirts, caps and pillows.  Magnetic photo buttons can be placed on any magnetic surface like refrigerators, or office filing cabinets.   Photo mirrors can be a kept in duffel bags and purses to remind the recipient of the great time they had at your event.  No matter which way you use them, they are one of the most economical keepsakes around. They are great for fundraising too!

Great for event or party favors for any event.  Great for clubs, employees, staff, teams, reunions, schools, memorials, organizations, welcome badges.  Great for promotional advertising!

Here are some ways to put these items to good use:

Weddings

  • Send a magnetic back photo button as a “Save the Date” reminder of an upcoming wedding date.
  • Include a photo button as a “Thank you!” for a wedding gift.

It’s a Girl or It’s a Boy!

  • Instead of a card, send magnetic back photo buttons to announce your new arrival.
  • Include a photo button with a thank you note special gifts.

Graduation

  • Wear the senior picture of your favorite standout student to the graduation ceremony.
  • Hand out photo buttons as keepsake items for the graduation party!

Sports Teams

  • Sell photo buttons of your favorite team as a fundraiser for school activities.
  • Wear photo buttons of your favorite team to show school spirit!

Mother’s Day

  • Add a button with children on it to your Mother’s Day gift and make a mom’s heart melt.

Reunions

  • Bring back precious memories with buttons during your reunion with favorite photos of your favorite family or class moments to bring back precious memories.
  • Use reunion photo buttons to decorate out of town bags for summer activities.

Ideas for Appreciation Week

One hospital’s administration was planning a Healthcare Worker Appreciation Week and needed items for one of the festivities.   They ordered imprinted jackets to hand out to employees as well as coffee carriers, paper cups and napkins for the week’s kickoff morning doughnut breakfast.

The jackets were well received by employees and served to boost morale.  The printed coffee carriers, cups and napkins added to the festivities.   The day was enjoyed by all!

For more information on products, great deals and ideas, visit us online soon!

5 Ways to Shorten Lead Times on Promotional Items

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When ordering custom printed items, the goal is to get the item(s) delivered as quickly and affordably as possible.  There is usually an event that drives the purchase, making these very deadline driven transactions. 

 The thing that makes buying promotional items different from most transactions (especially online transactions) is the creation of artwork for the custom imprint.  If artwork is created in the wrong format, for example in raster format versus vector art, fixing it can be a daunting task and result in production delays.  

There are several ways to shorten the time it takes to produce your custom imprinted item by using the right strategy to leverage your artwork. Some of these options are more feasible depending on the circumstances but all of them provide something to consider:

  • Use the same factory to create a new order.  This option requires that an imprint that is not event dated, something that has a basic logo or general information that can apply to more than one purpose or event, that doesn’t change from one year to another. 

Many manufacturers create a variety of items that suit multiple industries and events. So buyers can purchase items to fit most needs from the same manufacturer, and leverage the same artwork from order to order.

Most manufacturers will maintain your artwork for an extended time after an order is placed. Some will maintain your files for up to two years to make re-ordering easy.  If you re-order an item from their inventory, using the same art file, you will save the time needed to create, transfer or modify your art.

When researching items to purchase, a good practice would be to work with your sales consultant to see if there are items available from the same manufacturer that created a previous order. If it’s been less than a year and you want to use the same artwork, it will shave the time it takes to create new artwork, send a proof and return the approval.

  • Repeat an order. This would also require that you use an imprint that is not event dated with a general message. Buy more of the same item and use the same exact artwork file and you save time.

Contact your sales consultant and have them submit a reorder. Re-orders are the easiest to process because everything has already been done.  You not only save the time needed to create and approve artwork, in many cases you save on set up charges.  Some companies will waive or reduce set up charges on repeat orders for the same exact item and artwork.

  • Make sure your artwork is camera ready.  Follow posted guidelines for camera ready art.  Art requirements can vary by factory for camera ready art. 

There are guidelines that fit most orders; however for a small percentage of orders there are differences that can hold up your order.  For example some manufacturers will accept .jpg and .pdf files, but many of them won’t under any circumstances. If artwork is submitted in those formats, they will have to be modified to a vector based format before the factory will use them.   Discussing this with your sales consultant before submitting your order will save time.

If in doubt, it’s best to talk to your sales consultant about the best format for the item you’re interested in ordering. They can fax or email the requirements posted for that particular factory.  They can also you’re your existing artwork and forward it to a graphic designer that will fix the files for a fee.  Having camera ready artwork or knowing ahead of time that art will need to be prepared can be factored into total production time so that there are no surprises when the order is submitted.

  • Respond to proof requests in a timely fashion.  If artwork has to be created or modified, it’s important to provide a contact method (email or fax) that will result in timely receipt of the proof.  If proofs are emailed, they can be intercepted into a spam folder or diverted using other rules that you may have created for your email. 

It’s important that a prompt reply to accept or reject the proof will save time.  If it sits in your spam folder for a few days, the order will go on hold until it is signed and returned. 

Some factories submit proofs to the customer whether one has been requested or not.  This is done to manage the imprint and assure that there are no surprises when the order is delivered.  The best practice is to check your email and spam folders and respond as soon as you receive proofs.

  • Use expedited shipping and/or production.  This is a last resort to shorten lead times, because it can be very costly, especially if both quick shipment AND expedited production are utilized.  However if the order is needed for an event, this can be the only alternative. 

Contact your sales consultant to determine if the factory can accommodate a rush order. Their ability to accommodate the request will depend on several factors like the time of year, each factory has a busy time depending on the products they make, other orders that are ahead of yours, and volume of items that need to be manufactured.  If they have been slammed, or there are also times when they run out of items that are popular, they may not be able to produce your items.

As you’ve probably gathered, working with a sales consultant is important in shortening lead times.  One of the primary advantages of working with an experienced promotional product professional is that they will learn your buying patterns and have your order history, including your art files. 

They can serve as your advocate and advise you on the best course of action for shortening lead times and making your art camera ready.  Your promotional products sales consultant will know how to help you plan for purchases find the best deals and avoid delays. 

We have worked with companies nationwide to help them find quality, affordable custom apparel and promotional items to suit their needs.  For more information contact us or visit us online.