Marty Bear, president of PMI Promos, shares 5 gifting strategies to ensure that your products arrive on time.
Gifting is more important than ever in today’s meeting and inventive landscape, says Marty Bear, president of PMSI Promos. “We are doing more and more hybrid programs,” he noted. “For example, a meeting with 400 live attendees and 600 virtual mailed the swag box to the first 200 virtual sign-ups. This worked incredibly well—people still like getting gifts in the mail.”
Current gifting trends include technology and home use items, said Bear. “With so many still working from home offices, items for eating at the work space and keeping food and beverages hot or cold are exploding. PPE items have leveled off.”
However, Bear cautioned, the promotional products industry has been severely affected by the pamdemic. Due to labor and inventory shortages and supply chain disruption, planners should expect significant delays throughout this year and likely until the middle of 2022. Here are his top 5 gifting tips for planners.
1. Order Early
Double the amount of time you gave in the past. Right now the category most affected with drastic inventory issues is wearables such as tee shirts and sweatshirts. Bags such as totes and backpacks are also delayed but production has been improving, running 7 to 12 days after proof approval. With the holidays approaching, expect brand name drink ware items to be delayed. Avoid last-minute rush orders.
2. Be Flexible
Planners might have to choose different gifting options to ensure merchandise arrives on time from reliable factories. Finding a large white tee shirt in a quality brand may not be a choice right now, for example.
3. Have Artwork in Place
Have all artwork such as logos and conference artwork ready to go, so that your gifting supplier knows exactly what you need.
4. Keep on Top of Your Vendors
Top merchandise suppliers are under tremendous pressure to get orders out on time. Let them know early on what types of gifts you are looking for so they can research the current rate of production on those items. Be sure to have them check inventory levels often.
5. Get Order Tracking Numbers ASAP
This tells you if your shipment is running late, and if alternative gifting plans have to be made.