Most charity runs and walks have a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy. Not so at the Southwestern Guide Dogs walkathons, a series of walking events in Florida that raise money for the organization.
“It’s wonderful to see people bringing their dogs to these events,” says Andy Kramer, the development director of the Palmetto, FL-based nonprofit that has trained hundreds of guide dogs. “You can’t help but see families with their dogs and not smile.”
At each of the nine events held during the summer, Kramer says, the organization’s guide dog trainers are also invited to bring their puppies and current trainee dogs to the event. The puppies, which Kramer calls “Goldadorables,” are a special cross breed of Labradors and Golden Retrievers. “This breed produces wonderful guide dogs that are able to form and nurture partnership with visually impaired individuals, facilitating their life’s journeys with mobility, independence and integrity,” he says.
Promotional items play a major part in the Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathons, starting with fundraising awards. “For example, if someone raises $100 for an event, they get a monogrammed T-shirt,” Kramer says, “$250 gets you a branded tumbler. In addition, every attending dog gets a logoed bandana and we also bring lots of branded promos from our gift shop, including hats, shirts and leashes, for sale at our events.” GSPS has a huge variety of branded items for you to choose from. Visit our website www.gspromosource.com
This year’s events raised a whopping $835,000 for the charity – a new record.
The Guide Dog Walkathons are expanding to two new locations next year. “We’ve been able to grow new events in markets where we are not as well-known via grass roots fundraising campaigns that net us more friends and sponsors and help us provide more dogs to the visually impaired,” Kramer says. “Recently, Publix and Subaru came on board, which shows that success breeds success.”
Also on tap for the 2016 season: Participants will be invited to design the logoed T-shirts that will be used as event giveaways. “We work really hard to build excitement for these events each year, and the promotional products we incorporate really help do that,” Kramer says.
Want to take your teambuilding programs up a notch? Here are six unique programs along with sample destinations and promotional products to enhance your teambuilding experiences.
Go Underground: Groups can enjoy the spelunker experience by navigating through cave complexes using maps to reach designated destinations. In typical exploration sessions, each team member is assigned a role. Leaders are responsible for group well-being. Learning sessions promote communication skills and show how strategies can be improved as participants gain insights that can be integrated into work environments. Participants assist each other in unfamiliar situations that challenge comfort zones and bring cohesiveness into play to overcome fears. While the guides’ main roles are to ensure safety, they’re also on hand to interpret the cave’s natural history.
Promotional Gifts: logoed headlamps and flashlights, glow sticks, gloves and whistles.
Sample Destination: Moaning Cavern Park, Vallecito, CA, www.caverntours.com
Fly Through The Air: Flying trapeze teambuilding programs engender feelings of involvement and team spirit as your group reaches for the heights. Programs start with safety training before anyone sets foot on the trapeze. These activities produce aerial dynamics that bolster cooperation, efficiency and courage. The objective is to build team spirit and create new bonds to face the challenges of demanding business environments. Sessions usually rotate through challenge stations with increasing levels of difficulty and can be tailored to the groups’ time and budget.
Promotional Gifts: trapeze-shaped belt buckles, workout monitors, exercise clothes and headbands.
Sample Destination: Trapeze School New York, six U.S. locations, www.trapezeschool.com
Climb A Mountain: Rock climbing and rappelling programs are fantastic ways to create strong bonds and improve communication skills while setting and achieving goals. Courses teach the simplest forms of outdoor rock climbing and rappelling, emphasizing the skills of climbing knots, belaying, anchors and movement. These programs present teamwork as a natural solution to overcoming intense mental and physical challenges.
Promotional Gifts: carabineers, binoculars, climbing vests and hats.
Sample Destination: Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School, multiple Southeast locations,
Race A Yacht: These waterborne regattas are designed for sailors and non-sailors alike and physical condition is never an issue; it’s about fostering teamwork through a desire to win. Team members begin by practicing crew positions and learn to work together as a cohesive team; skills that will later prove valuable in business environments. Rating systems allow for handicapping so that all boats are judged equal at the finish. There’s plenty of action, tacking upwind, rounding the marks and running downwind. Before returning to the dock for the awards celebration, each team will have the duration of the regatta to pleasure sail and explore the waterway.
Promotional Gifts: boat bags, compasses, binoculars and nautical jewelry.
Sample Destination: Schooner Woodwind, Annapolis, MD, www.schoonerwoodwind.com
Build A House: Your team will learn building skills that improve communications and develop cooperation and camaraderie through interacting with coworkers from all levels of your corporate hierarchy. These efforts work to build morale and team spirit and forge bonds by working toward a common goal. In addition, the program fees provided to Habitat For Humanity are fully tax deductible. Habitat For Humanity can also provide access to their branding so that your company logo can be combined with Habitat’s to use as a powerful marketing tool. Best of all, it’s for a great cause.
Promotional Gifts: tape measures, calculators, tool kits, gloves, T-shirts and hats.
Sample Destination: Contact Habitat For Humanity to locate programs www.habitat.org
Join A Cattle Drive: Your group will learn cowboy management techniques when you send them on a cattle drive. Most cattle ranches are located in areas of natural beauty that offer scenic cattle work accompanied by spectacular vistas, including pine forests, alpine meadows and mountain lakes. Your teambuilding group will learn the organizational skills required to trail cattle and move herds across water and up and down hills; skills that will come in handy when it’s time for your staff to round up new customers.
Promotional Gifts: Western gear including logoed cowboy hats, jewelry and belt buckles.
Sample Destination: The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch, Shell, WY, www.thehideout.com
Taking the time to use environmentally friendly promotional products brings green to your next promotion. Saving the planet by selecting eco friendly items. We offer a variety of green products that are great go green promotional items for your customers. By Promoting cleaner and healthier world we are sending a message about conservation. We can make our footprint smaller. GSPS offers everyday low prices to help make go green promotional items affordable. We have a large selection on everything you need to go green at home, work or at the office. Many of the go green promotional products reduce waste and save energy. We utilize the newest high impact business solutions to assist you in purchasing the best green supplies, pet products, non toxic, green home products and more.
Our clients are experiencing the ease and efficiency of using green products with the added benefit of supporting a new focus on responsible earth friendly practices. We all can help with any go green promotion, eco-friendly, recycled products, products made from corn that are safe. Please browse our collection of environmentally friendly products that includes most items we use today from apparel to tote bags.We all can make a difference a little conserving at a time. Promotional Earth Friendly items benefits us all making our efforts of being aware of the world we live. Use eco friendly promotional items for your next giveaway. Our Eco friendly promotional items features biodegradable products, corn plastic, earth conserving products, eco-friendly candles, eco friendly drinkware, energy saving products, environmentally friendly pens, products made form recycled material, organic products, recycling awareness, solar powered products. So if you are searching for the perfect environmentally friendly promotional solution, we can help.
ID&T, the festival powerhouse behind Mysteryland, hosted top acts like Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Moby, Steve Aoki, Nervo, Showtek and Fedde Le Grand on the main stage. The Boat Stage, which catered to bass-hungry fans, featured Zomboy, Flosstradamus, Big Gigantic and Bro Safari. “Sunday School,” a mini festival within Mysteryland, offered three stages of the sounds of techno, tech-house and vinyl-only DJs. Hardstyle fans could throw their bodies to Coone, Noisecontrollers and Brennan Heart in the Q-Dance tent. If fans needed time to rest their feet (and ears), they could venture to the “Healing Garden” for yoga, meditation or aromatherapy. Among this eclectic mix of music, dance and art, there was also an abundance of fun branded promotional products.
One of the main sponsors of Mysteryland USA was Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden. Friendly Rekorderlig vendors decked out in red logoed polos happily offered free samples of their Strawberry-Lime, Berry or Pear flavored hard cider. They also gave soaked dancers Rekorderlig branded ponchos for the intermittent downpours throughout that Saturday afternoon. One of the promoters explained that the plastic pouch the ponchos came in could act as a waterproof case for cell phones.
A popular meeting place for separated friends was the prominent Rekorderlig hot-air balloon. One of the perks to visiting the hard cider vendor was the chance to win a balloon ride over the lush fields where, 45 years earlier, concertgoers danced to Hendrix, Santana, Joplin and other top acts.
On the trail to the main stage, attendees were greeted by another Rekorderlig booth that sold garland crowns for $20. Many of the female guests got in touch with their inner flower child and chose from a variety of colorful blossoms to be custom-fit around their heads, staying true to the Rekorderlig slogan, “Beautifully Swedish.”
Aside from Rekorderlig, there was a plethora of Mysteryland merchandise, which featured the Mysteryland and/or Woodstock ’69 logos on apparel, hats and headbands. Rookie campers were also able to buy blankets, sleeping bags and other outdoor necessities. Mysteryland offered “Holy Ground” campers their own camping survival kit, with a two-person tent, airbed and sleeping bags. Festival-goers were able to purchase unique meals and snacks from Smorgasburg Food Fest. Smorgasburg is a food market held every Saturday in the hipster Brooklyn town of Williamsburg, who partnered with Mysteryland to offer organic, vegan and other food options.
Mysteryland was one of the first “cashless” U.S. music festivals. Attendees were able to put money onto their logoed wristbands either online or at stations throughout the festival grounds. Their credit changed into “birdie bucks” to pay for food, beverages, merchandise or showers throughout the weekend. The leftover money was then refunded back onto the provided credit card. The birdie bucks wristbands allowed for quicker service in the long lines for showers and food.
With the help of sponsors such as Rekorderlig and many others, Mysteryland was able to successfully offer a mecca for fans of all EDM genres to come together to explore and dance in the historical grounds that inspired a revolution of music, fashion and a state of mind back in 1969. And with logoed keepsakes, the memories from Mysteryland are guaranteed to live on.
GS Promo Source is proud to be a premier sponsor of The Land Rover Muddy Chef Challenge! It’s a four day event that combines challenging off-road driving with vintage and modern Land Rovers and vehicle based gourmet cooking! Hosted at historic Lime Rock Motorsports Park in Lakeville, CT.
Visit www.muddychef.com for more info!
What are the top ten promotional product searches?
The top 10 searches in August 2013 were…what do you like about these products?
1. Pen – Everyone is always “looking” for a pen. The average pen has 8 users. What a great way to brand your company without breaking your budget. Many new pens incorporate a stylus on the end for use with your smart phone or touch screen computer!
2. Stylus – it seems as though everyone has a smart phone or tablet nowadays. A stylus makes these devise easier to use if you have long fingernails and the soft rubber tip eliminates fingerprints and smudges from your device(s).
3. Water bottle – these are a great opportunity to keep your name in front of your clients as so many people drink water or other cold beverages throughout their day either while working at their desk, running errands or exercising.
4. Lanyards – these are a terrific way to keep your name in front of clients as many people use them to keep their keys or ID cards handy.
5. Tote – When evaluated by impressions, a tote bag is the most productive imprinted product available. During its average 7 month lifespan an average tote bag will expose your logo to 7224 people. That makes tote bags 2.4 times more productive than the next highest producer of impressions – caps and headgear.
6. Tumbler – The one thing that is always on my desk is my double-wall tumbler. I love it because it has a HUGE imprint area and it is one of those items that spends all week on your client’s desk or countertop.
7. Golf – Millions of Americans play golf each year. Many do so for business meetings and corporate tournaments. This makes golf promotions an idea giveaway for you, especially if you, yourself enjoy golfing.
8. Football – No matter how you slice it, people are just crazy about football. Whether it is a freezer mug to keep your clients’ drinks cold during the big game, football themed sportswear or even magnetic schedules for your local high school or professional football team – these promotions will be a hit with your existing or potential clients.
9. Umbrella – Umbrellas make a great promotional item/corporate gift for anyone. What better way to let your client know that you’ll be there when you need them than giving them a promotional umbrella.
10. Backpack – Millions of kids went back to school at the end of August last year, making a backpack an ideal giveaway or re-sellable item for many types of companies that would like to make an impression of those people or their parents. A backpack that protects your computer is also a great giveaway or incentive for anyone that owns a laptop or tablet.
Then give us a call today at 860-304-2899.
DIY – Do It Yourself.
If you’ve watched enough TV it’s easy to be seduced by online companies that offer DIY promotional products. They say it’s as easy as putting in your logo, selecting a product type and submitting payment. In this week’s “ASK KRISTEN” we offer our thoughts on DIY promos.
What are the potential pitfalls?
Why don’t clients want a DIY promo supplier?
Most clients are specialists, in their own respective fields be it accounting, manufacturing, banking, etc. It is really easy to spend hours trying to find the perfect promotion for an event or occasion, and although the product looks okay on the web it could be the wrong product for many reasons (i.e. poor supplier, bad quality product, shipping from too far away, inability to meet deadlines, disinteresting to your end-user etc.).
The primary reason to use a promotional products EXPERT is that they spend all day immersed in THEIR business (just like you). They know all about the coolest/newest products. They are familiar with the very best suppliers who meet their deadlines, carry the highest quality products and that have the best imprint quality. They are constantly working with different industries and understand what your end-user will respond too.
Finally they SAVE YOU TIME and therefor MONEY. So next time you have a need for promotional items, be it for a promotion, tradeshow, event, new product launch etc. don’t bother spending hours surfing the web, call GS PROMO SOURCE, LLC at 860-304-2899 and put us to work for you!
What key things should buyers look for in a promotional pen?
It is always great to promote your company with a quality brand pen (i.e. Bic, Sharpie, Paper Mate, and even Parker or Waterman if your budget provides for that type of expenditure), but I have to say WRITE OUT!! Write out is how long your pen will write until you run out of ink. Usually when it is a less expensive or low end pen the write out is minimal and it dries up quickly, along with its ability to continue promoting your business. An average pen write out is approximately 0.60 miles, BUT the Bic Clic Stic has a 1.2 MILE write out, coupled with multiple ink color choices, versatility (many different barrel and trim choices), AND even choice of a fine of medium point tip. An average promotional pen has 8 different users. The longer your write out, the longer your pen will be around to spread the word re your terrific company and the products and services you offer.
Why is value shopping not a good idea when buying pens?
When you go value shopping all you are doing is finding someone that is treating you as a single-transaction client. They just want your money and quite frankly are not interested in the results achieved (either positive or negative) from your promotional pen investment. Someone who has cut their margin to a bare minimum is not interested in finding out 1. What you need to accomplish, 2. What color your pen or imprint should be for maximum impact, or 3. How long your pens will last – – they are interested in spending as little time with you as possible. This makes their helping you to accomplish any goals or come up with actual products that could be better for you impossible.
What brands do you like and why?
That’s a tough question, and quite frankly it really depends on how you plan to use your pens. So, here goes…
Human Resources – To recruit the best new employees or to reward an existing employee for undertaking a rigorous training course or continually going above and beyond their duties or quotas I prefer Parker or Waterman Writing Instruments – a very high-quality valuable pen that can be ordered at low quantities and is refillable. This high-end reward will be kept and appreciated my your employee for years to come and remind them of how much you appreciate them going that extra-mile for you every day.
Referral thank you gifts – I like to hand out an engraved pen and debossed padfolio thanking them for helping me “write more business”. I usually these very nice yet affordable pen/padfolio sets from Leeds which is my go-to source for business gifts.
IT – when trying to reach IT based professionals, end-users I like pens with a built in flash drive or stylus. For trade shows I usually use the Bullet stylus pen (less than 0.50 each). For valued client thank you gifts or new-hires I usually get a higher end piece from Leeds as well.
Contractors, Golfers Teachers, or pretty much anybody – I LOVE Sharpies. They are made in the USA, have a 5-year shelf life if the cap is on, are highly customizable and are great for sporting events and tournaments for signing autographs or marking golf balls.
Real Estate/Mortgage – I LOVE BIC!! It has a long write-out, a HUGE imprint area, a strong brand identity and unbelievable versatility — mix and match barrel and trim colors coupled with up to a 4-color imprint makes this a great choice every time. They are low cost, but high-quality and are the perfect pen to roam around for a VERY long time with your name and brand message!
Of course, there are also some terrific generic pens out there as well. If you have an event, tradeshow or anything else coming up, just give me a call and I’ll help you find the very best pen for your needs while helping you remain within your budget.
Call Kristen or any of our promotional product experts at:
or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org