Categories for Fun Stuff

Back to School

August 1, 2016 11:43 am Published by

As summer quickly comes to an end, we are all anticipating the back to school hustle and bustle. Teachers are finalizing lesson plans, kids are trying to get in their last few weeks of freedom, and parents are anxiously awaiting the day for the kids to get out of their hair again.
Back to School CalendarsOther than lesson plans, teachers have plenty more to think about and prepare. How will they use their creative juices to keep their students engaged? How will they decorate their classrooms? And what will make them memorable as a teacher? Educators also tend to think about how they can promote not only education, but their schools. Everyone has seen the “My kid is the best student ever at Such-and-Such Middle School.” Of course, there’s also banners for high school football championships, t-shirts for field day, and table covers for PTA meetings. Many times, a school district has what is called a Purchasing Department to fulfill the role of the getting these done. Just like any other company, they take bids from vendors and make sure that their budget allows for whatever they need. On the other hand, teachers usually have to provide their own supplies for their classrooms. This means not only things for the bulletin boards and posters for the room, but anything that helps distinguish the teacher and the school. Often times, teachers will pay out of their own pockets to buy T-shirts for their students to go on a field trip. PTAs also tend to order an outrageous amount of products displaying the school logo, name, etc. They sell these at fundraisers, do giveaways, and may even use them to promote future events.
So why are these so important to our school systems? In some cases, it’s simply related to school spirit. Students who express school spirit become better students. They perform better academically and are more active in school issues, as well as civil matters. More involvement and commitment to their education results in lower dropout rates. Many schools and districts will also use these items to boost enrollment. Colleges, in particular, try to boost their enrollment by passing out all sorts of pens, stickers, hats, etc., at college fairs. What better way to rack in more students – and more money – than by having a high schooler stare at a pen for eight hours a day, all while this pen is etched with your college’s name?
It is well known that teachers don’t get paid nearly enough (especially what they have to put up with) and school budgets are constantly strained. This is why affordable promotional products are so important. While big businesses can be a consistent customer and winning solution for your company, who wants to turn down business? Schools and teachers can be turned away from companies providing promotional items simply due to cost.
As a former educator, I know how important it can be to stamp your name on everything. Whether it’s your own name, your school’s name, or even your students’ names, putting it out there can help not only the students, but it can also help the teacher!
It’s nice to have reminders that the job you are doing is worth it every day.

Adult Coloring Books Let Us Unplug, Unwind, Create.

January 27, 2016 11:01 am Published by

4F48F2A0-811C-4407-9A60-5DAC6A833192There’s a prediction from ASI this week that the next big thing in promotional products will be adult coloring books. Yes, you read that right. Coloring books with amazingly intricate patterns intended for adults. The kind that call for fine tipped markers or colored pencils.
Maybe you’ve noticed them yourself. Over the holidays, stores reported them as a popular gift. Five of Amazon’s current top 15 best selling books are adult coloring books. A recent Fortune article points out that adult coloring books are one of the biggest contributors to the boost in print book sales.
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Imprinted Calendars: Still Thriving In A Tech Obsessed World

October 6, 2015 9:59 am Published by

We’ve talked about this before, two years ago and then again earlier this year. It bears repeating, as now is the best time of year to order your own imprinted promotional calendars and be ready for the New Year. We’ve wondered in the past if tech had given the trusty promotional calendar the boot. It hadn’t.
EBF23E51-D442-4822-922F-7E1D9592214FTechnology marches on, and so we’re asking again. Has the imprinted promotional calendar seen its heyday? Has tech taken over? These days there are any number of electronic calendars to keep you on schedule and yet the imprinted calendar remains. It has permanence. You can touch it, use it anytime. And then, not every living soul on the planet is comfortable with technology or wants to use it every second of every day.
The latest research from PPAI shows that in 2011 a full 80% of homes and businesses continued to use a printed calendar. Here’s my (non scientific) thinking as to why that might be… (more…)

True Life Tale Of Imprinted Coffee Mug Heroics

September 18, 2015 10:58 am Published by

The story I’m going to tell you about an always under appreciated promotional product is true. The names and locations have been changed to protect a consumer from drowning in unwanted but insistent marketing efforts. DB651D06-8AF7-48CC-9978-7EDE68A2CE8F
My Dad is 81 years old, oxygen dependent, but still (by far) the smartest guy in the room. He lives alone, and has since my Mom passed last year. While he has every service (cleaning lady, cook, gardener, plow guy) imaginable at home, the house, without my mother, is too big. Too lonely for him. He’s warming to the idea of an assisted living community.
Now you see the need for secrecy. If his name and intention were made public the poor soul would be swamped under a deluge of glossy, multi page brochures. He’d be turning down event invitations left and right, and his phone would be ringing off the hook with cheery “check in” calls.
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Planning For When Summer Turns To Fall

August 27, 2015 9:55 am Published by

ΚΑΛΟΚΑΙΡΙΝΗΣ-ΣΕΖΟΝIt’s true, the signs are all there. Heat waves are harder to take. Days at the beach don’t hold the allure they once did. We get annoyed at the ice cream melting all over us before we can finish it. Barbecues have become routine. We’ve reached the point in the season where the idle days of summer are drawing to a close, numbered now in single digits as fall schedules take shape.
Going back to school or not, there is something about this time of year that has all of us ready to switch gears. Change is in the air. Which makes this the perfect time to get to work on your plans for promoting your business this fall.
This season offers lots of opportunities to build business.
Back to School
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Why We All Really Do Need Vacations

July 24, 2015 10:59 am Published by

Let me start by saying there is no self interest at work here. None at all.
Vacation-Productivity-ButtonThere’s nothing wrong with a healthy work ethic, except when it gets in the way of being productive. Those 60 hour work weeks might make you feel productive, essential to the operation of things. But in truth, research finds that overwork actually saps your energy and leaves you less productive than you might have been if you just worked the 40 hours everyone else does. Hard to hear, I know.
Science is telling us that sitting for long periods (even for the physically fit) is not good for your health; now we’re learning the same may be true for effort and productivity. More and more research is finding that the longer you stay in front of that screen the less productive you get. That’s why getting up, going for a walk, taking a lunch break away from the office, or even having a conversations with people you like has become such popular behaviors among workers looking to be more productive.
Imagine — being productive without unending drudgery.
And there’s this; our brains aren’t even set up for continuous thought. We’re more productive (creative, focused) during shorter increments of time, say 15 minutes of solid effort and then a quick break. It’s using the brain like you use a muscle; working it then resting for a bit. When you think about it, that makes sense. Especially in the creative work world,  most often flashes of the (best) inspiration come “out of the blue” during off hours… when you’re driving home or cooking dinner.
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Flying The Stars And Stripes Right

July 2, 2015 8:25 am Published by

6a00d83451c49a69e201538f8f20e8970b-800wiWe’re getting to the time of year where Old Glory takes a place on center stage. And deservedly so. Seems like U.S. flags fly everywhere this time of year. We’re all proud Americans.
Flags got their start as military banners, a way to recognize an approaching enemy/ally. Early on in our own history there were several different revolutionary flags, but by June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress had selected one. The one we know. The red is meant to signify hardiness and valor, the white purity/innocence and the blue vigilance and perseverance and justice.
Flag Day didn’t come into existence until much later, 1949 thanks to a law signed by then President Harry S. Truman. The celebration of the holiday had started unofficially back in 1885 by a grade school teacher in Wisconsin. The flag we know today has been the official flag of the United States since 1960.
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Five Fun Facts About Mugs

May 7, 2015 12:59 pm Published by

Mugs are an incredible way to promote your business, cause or event. Not only are there limitless choices of color, size and style, but there’s lots of room for whatever message suits your need.
aa10993c-8cf9-4627-92db-619d7b909ee6Here too you have lots of options. Business name and logo? Always a winner and a lasting reminder. Tag line you use for your business? Awesome choice. Your logo/mascot alone? Cool.
Mug lovers rave about their favorite bit of drinkware(more…)

Power Banks A Must For Power Hungry Devices

April 14, 2015 10:59 am Published by

At this point we can all agree that smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like are a huge part of everyday life. They’re here to stay. Amazingly there’s a survey from 2013 that finds most Americans would choose their technology over many things you thought never to do without. We do love our gadgets.
And our gadgets are hungry, hungry for power. 78A9D59B-3C07-40F9-A77B-F844BFE92787
But since battery life isn’t what we might wish, our devices loose power long before we loose interest. They must be fed regularly, and so there are charging stations in malls, coffee places and restaurants. We cringe if we see a low power warning on any screen, and smart techies now carry a portable power source.
Enter the power bank, a must for those times when an outlet isn’t available and a super functional way to promote your business to boot. The handy little device is called a power bank because it stores electrical energy (like a deposit in a bank) and then lets you use (withdraw) the stored energy to charge a mobile device. A power bank is essentially an external battery that is able to power a smartphone or tablet — plug in to it and you’re good to go.
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Promo Products For Spring: Bursting Out All Over

April 7, 2015 8:59 am Published by

5C8DEB7B-672A-4EB1-BA68-2FFFF30A5368At long last our calendars tell us it’s true… spring has arrived. Depending on where you live, you’ve seen the signs. Snow disappearing. Birds singing. Maybe you’ve opened the car windows on the way home.
The change of season is an ideal point to pause – to see where we are based on what we expected at the beginning of the year. Maybe do a bit of business spring cleaning to keep things on track. Recommit to goals. Move forward with what we’ve learned. Prepare for what’s ahead.
At this time of year when our thoughts turn to getting back outside, there are many promo products for spring that do double duty. Tie into the season and the urge to get out, breathe fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, while still promoting your business name and number. The challenge is choosing something that works with the season and your business. Think fun and functional.
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