Posts in Promotional Products
Promotional Products for Parades, City Festivals, and the Minnesota State Fair

Promotional Products for Parades, City Festivals, and the Minnesota State Fair

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Minnesotans savor summer. We know the sun, the warmth, the refreshing lakes, and the green grass will only be here for so long. Maybe that’s why we have a celebration, festival, or fair every weekend from June to August (or so it seems!).

Outdoor events are great opportunities for organizations to connect with their customers, prospects, and communities. People like to support local businesses, especially the ones that are active in their neighborhoods. Promotional products remind your community that you’re here and ready to serve them. That’s why they’re an essential giveaway if you’re walking a parade route, sponsoring your city’s summer festival, or setting up shop at the state fairgrounds this August.

A great promotional product is useful, memorable, and reflects your brand and your values. Some products are great for tossing along a parade route, while others are wonderful giveaways for your booth at the state fair. Here are some great ideas for your outdoor events this summer.

Giveaways for Parades  

Parade giveaways must be light, easy to toss, and not likely to cause injury. You’ll be carrying a bag full of whatever product you choose along your parade route, so go easy on yourself and choose lightweight products such as sunglasses, lip balms, and sunscreens. These products have the advantage of being easy to toss, too.

Another thing to consider is the chance of injuring folks as you toss your products out. One easy solution is to walk close to the crowd and hand out items. But if you’re sitting in a car or on a float, you may want to consider soft items such as stress balls and can koozies.

Giveaways for City Festivals

Are you sponsoring an event at your city’s fair or festival this year? Maybe you’re participating in a sidewalk sale or vendor fair in your hometown. Tote bags and string backpacks are great giveaways for these types of events. Visitors to your booth need something to put all their stuff in. And since it’s useful, it’s likely they’ll hold onto the bag for a while.

Other great promo products for city festivals include pens, chip clips, magnets, and sunglasses. If you’re running a raffle or other competition at your event, consider giving away mobile device chargers or vacuum-insulated tumblers.

Giveaways for State Fair Booths

There are dozens of opportunities to showcase your products at the Minnesota State Fair. So many, in fact, that the fair provides guidelines for marketing and promotions at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Any deal, drawing, or giveaway needs to be approved by the concessions and exhibits departments of the fair by June 21, so be sure to get your promotional products approved before making your order.

That said, there are dozens of giveaway ideas for the state fair. Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, umbrellas, ponchos, string backpacks, and water bottles are always in demand. Just remember how you feel hours into your first day at the fair. Any products that alleviate those aching feet, sunburnt shoulders, and cranky kids should go fast!

Now’s the time to gear up for the parades, festivals, and fairs this summer. Broadway Awards can help you find the perfect giveaways for your event. Contact us today to get started!

2019 Promotional Product Trends to Watch

2019 Promotional Product Trends

to Watch

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The annual promotional products trade show just wrapped up, and the Broadway Awards team is excited to share some of this year’s promotional products trends with you! Here’s a look at a few of the hot trends you’ll see in 2019. If any of these ideas catch your eye, we’d love to help you out!

Ecofriendly promotional products will stay hot.

Environmentally conscious products and materials have been a hot promotional product trend for a few years now. Canvas tote bags will continue to be popular choices for many businesses. This year, we’ll also see more ecofriendly materials on offer. Organic cotton is gaining popularity as a t-shirt and sweatshirt material. Sustainable bamboo is sprouting up as drinking straws, PopSockets®, and even Bluetooth speakers. BPA-free water bottles and cups will be hot items, too. 

Promotional products will look like something you’d buy at Target.

One trend we’ve noticed this year is a subtly custom look for many promotional products. For example, a business may order water bottles in four different colors instead of a single one. Or instead of a polo shirt with a large imprinted logo, companies may ask for a shirt with a smaller, embroidered design. Wondering how you can get custom promotional products? Just ask!

Trendy finishes will attract more prospects.

Have you seen the limited-edition burlap gift cards at Starbucks? We think they’re pretty neat. They’re also keying in on a hot trend for 2019. Not only is burlap a sustainable material, it gives many products the custom look and feel people are looking for.

Speaking of feel, soft-touch and matte-finish products will be very popular this year. These finishes feel very different in your hand than glossy or conventional finishes do. If you want your prospects to hang onto your pen, mug, or notebook, consider a matte or soft-touch product.

Heather is another finish that’s going to be trendy in 2019. You won’t just find it on your favorite t-shirt or sweatshirt. Journals, lunch bags, backpacks, and even can koozies will be available in heathered finishes.

We’re excited to share these and the rest of the 2019 trends for promotional products. If you’re looking for a custom, out-of-the-box item for your 2019 promo product, Broadway Awards is here to help! Contact us today at (763) 533-0979.

4 Tips for Donor Thank You Gift Ideas

4 Tips for Thanking Your Donors for an Outstanding YEAR

Donar Thank You Ideas Minneapolis

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—time to thank your donors for their generous support of your nonprofit organization! Most nonprofits are in the habit of sending out thank you letters for tax purposes. But giving your donors some extra end-of-year recognition helps bolster donor relationships and makes donors more inclined to give to your organization in the coming year.

As end-of-year recognition experts, we’ve put together some thoughts on how you can show your gratitude through donor thank you gifts so that your donors turn into habitual givers. Here a few things we’ve seen work for many of our nonprofit clients.


1. Create a System

Every donor deserves to be thanked for their generosity, no matter the size of the contribution. But your more generous donors also deserve to be thanked in proportion to their gifts. We suggest creating a tiered system for thanking your donors, perhaps something like this:

  • Gifts of $25 or less: Thank you letter

  • Gifts between $25 and $100: Thank you letter and a magnet or notepad

  • Gifts over $100: Personal thank you letter from your executive director and a mug or tote with your nonprofit’s logo and an “I Gave” message

The beauty of a tiered system is that everyone feels like their donations are appreciated, while your organization saves money by diversifying the types of recognition it gives out.


2. Make It Personal

We’re all inundated with generic emails and mailers, so when we get a note that’s personalized and better yet, handwritten, it really stands out. Your donors feel exactly the same way. That’s why personalizing your end-of-year recognition can go a long way with donors.

Here are a few ways to give your donors a personal thank you:

  • Mail a handwritten note

  • Send a personal email

  • Give them a quick call

However you send your personal thanks, be sure to include how each donor’s gift specifically helped your organization, whether it paid for new equipment, helped a family in need, or helped your organization broaden its work in your local area.


3. Give a Shout Out

Sometimes, the best thank you occurs in the moment. As donors make their end-of-year contributions, give them a quick shout out on social media or your website. They’ll likely share your shout out with their networks, which expands the reach of your organization, an added bonus.

Some nonprofits opt for more formal donor shout outs. Many organizations list donors by name in their annual reports. Others create donor walls at their offices that include the name of every donor who has made a contribution.


4. Host a Thank You Event

Have a loyal group of donors who have gone above and beyond in 2016? Show them some extra love by treating them to a special thank you event. Host your party at your office if possible to keep your costs low, or ask a donor to step in and sponsor the event at their location. Give out donor gifts in a special ceremony so everyone feels recognized. Keep the focus of the event on your gratitude—don’t ask for more support at the event itself.

Need help coming up with ideas for how to thank your 2016 donors? The recognition experts at Broadway Awards have you covered. Contact us today at 763-533-0979.

5 Promotional Product Must-Haves for Start Up New Businesses

Start-Up Swag: 5 Promotional Product Must-Haves for New Businesses


Congratulations on your new business! We know your to-do list is likely a mile long, and we’re here to help you choose the best start-up swag to promote your new venture. Here are the top promotional products you’ll need to get your business off on the right foot.


1. Pens

Pens—the old promotional stand-bys! There’s a reason pens are our top choice for must-have swag. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), more than half of all consumers in the United States own and use branded writing instruments. That means they’re looking at your brand and your contact information every day.


2. Bags

Own a store? Then you need branded bags. Bags create the most impressions on potential and current clients than any other promo products. Women are more likely to own a branded bag, so they’re definitely must-have swag for businesses with a predominantly female target market.


3. Magnets

Magnets are one of the hardest-working promo products. They sit on your prospects’ fridges for years, keeping your name and logo right in front of them. Add your headshot or create a custom shape for extra impact.


4. Chip Clips

Never underestimate people’s love of salty snacks! Chip clips are wide enough to include your logo and contact information and useful enough for prospects to keep them in their junk drawers for years. Magnetized chip clips do double duty for your brand.


5. Nametags

You might not think of your employee nametags as swag. But wearing a branded nametag is a great way to keep your brand in front of your clients and prospects, especially if you “forget” to take it off outside the workplace. The more creative and colorful the design, the better!

When you’re just starting your business, don’t forget to invest a little money in promotional products. The right swag will keep prospects thinking of your business for years to come. For helping creating your must-have swag, contact the promotional products experts at Broadway Awards today.

Plan the Rest of Your 2016 Award & Advertising Spending to Prep for Next Year’s April 15

Plan the Rest of Your 2016 Award & Advertising Spending to Prep for Next Year’s April 15


Whew! Tax day is finally behind us. If you owed more than you expected to this year, ordering employee awards, swag, and promotional products now could save you money on your 2016 taxes. Planning your upcoming recognition and advertising can help you make the most of your tax deductions.


Employee awards & prizes are tax-deductible

If you host an employee appreciation event, run an employee weight loss challenge, or give out monthly, quarterly, or annual awards, you might be leaving tax deductions on the table. Awards and swag related to employee recognition is tax-deductible.

Here are just a few products you might be able to deduct:


Promotional products used in advertising could be tax-deductible, too

The IRS also allows you to deduct the cost of certain products used to market your company. To be eligible, items must be used to reach your customers and prospects, increase brand recognition, or provide information about your products and services. In other words, if your logo’s on it, it is likely deductible.

This potential deduction encompasses a large group of products. Here are just a few:


Plan your employee recognition and advertising now

There’s lots of opportunity to save money on employee recognition and advertising for 2016 and even in 2017. Take the time now to look ahead to the rest of 2016 and plan out the products you’ll need. To save even more money, plan out your recognition and advertising for 2017, too. If you buy 2017 products this year, you’ll be able to deduct those expenses on your 2016 return.

We’re not tax experts, so be sure to keep all your receipts and confirm with your CPA that your employee awards and advertising are deductible. But we are experts in inventive and quality employee recognition and promotional products. Contact Broadway Awards to get help planning your 2016 and 2017 awards.

It’s Spring Break Season! Time to Think about Awards and Giveaways for Your School’s Reunion Weekend

It’s Spring Break Season! Time to Think about Awards and Giveaways for Your School’s Reunion Weekend


As students finish up coursework and pack their bags for spring break, school alumni relations offices are gearing up for their biggest event of the year: reunion. Welcoming alumni back to campus for a weekend takes a lot of planning. By spring break time, your reunion schedule is set and RSVPs from alums are coming in. It’s time to order the giveaways and awards you’ll hand out.


Give ‘em something to remember you by

Reunions are all about reconnecting: reconnecting with classmates, professors, and of course your school. Giving away items with your school logo or mascot helps keep that connection strong even when alumni head back home.

T-shirts and wristbands help alums celebrate the reunion and show school spirit, at least for a year or two after reunion. T-shirts and wristbands can be given away as pre-reunion gifts to get alumni in a celebratory mood. Encourage alums to wear their t-shirts and wristbands at reunion.

Other giveaways make a more lasting impact. Sturdy tote bags and backpacks are usable for years to come. Keychains can be daily reminders of the fun time alums had at reunion, as can water bottles and mugs.


Alumni awards and recognition

Reunion is a great to celebrate the successes of your alumni. Ask alumni to nominate and vote for classmates who have made a difference in their communities, are rising stars in their industries, or have become active philanthropists. Have your school give an award for the alumni who continue to be very involved in your institution.

You can use all sorts of awards to recognize alums. For the most prestigious honors, choose a crystal or acrylic award. For awards with multiple winners, give plaques or medallions. A nice pen or pen set makes a great award, too.

Now is the time to order your awards and giveaways for reunion weekend. For help selecting the perfect products, contact the experts at Broadway Awards today.

5 Trends for Trade Shows in 2016

5 Trends for Trade Shows in 2016


The Twin Cities trade show season is kicking into high gear, and Broadway Awards is your one-stop-shop for creative and cost-effective promotional products to help you get through it. Promo products are always popular with trade show attendees. Here are some of the season’s top trade show trends to help you take your trade show experience from good to great—and make more money.


1. Trade Show Apps

People are more connected than ever, and trade show attendees are no exception. Event apps tap into that desire to stay in the loop. It’s likely the larger trade shows you’ll attend this season will have their own apps. Be sure to download it for maps, a schedule of events, and even foot traffic data showing you where the show hot spots are.


2. Flawless Social Media Integration

Trade show attendees use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to talk about what they’re seeing and experiencing. Now, SnapChat has launched Our Story, which allows attendees to snap and share the story of their trade show experience with others. Social media is a trade show marketer’s goldmine! Be sure to interact with your audience there while you’re hosting your booth.


3. Personalized & Interactive Trade Show Booths

All this online engagement can help you create a personalized, interactive experience for the attendees who visit your booth. Use the analytics from the trade show app and your social media accounts to tailor your booth experience to different segments of your market. Give your visitors a chance to personalize their experience by making your booth interactive.


4. Multimedia Displays

An engaging booth creates an immersive visitor experience using different media. Include print marketing materials, video, and interactive displays with tablets at your trade show booth. Draw in visitors with giveaways or a fun game. The more engaging your booth is, the more opportunities you’ll have to speak with your prospects and networking partners.


5. Be Present

Apps, social media, videos, and interactive booths are great, but none of them are substitutes for a smiling face and knowledgeable booth attendant. Technology is just one tool for building a successful trade show booth. People still buy from people they know, like, and trust.

Before you head out on your trade show circuit, don’t forget to stock up on your favorite promotional products. Contact Broadway Awards for limitless options, from pens and flash drives to apparel and edible treats.