My 2016 Promo Picks for Spring

No matter what my relationship status is Valentine's Day warmly reminds me that winter is ending and spring is (kind of) around the corner. Naturally, I've been thinking about all of the spring promotional products I'd like to have this year. Based on 2016 trends and personal needs, here are four products that I'll be…

Grease Is the (Promotional) Word

It was with great hesitation that I tuned into "Grease: Live" on Fox last week. Don't get me wrong—I love the "Grease" movie—but I assumed this new version could never live up to my favorite childhood movie. However, three seconds into the opening credits of Jessie J singing "Grease Is the Word," and I was annoying…

A Very Powerful Question

As I returned my Alamo rental car in Newark, N.J., recently, an employee asked if I had any issues with the car and how my trip was. I said, "Fine," and was prepared to get my receipt and walk to the terminal. Instead, I was legitimately surprised by a simple question: "Could we have done…

Other Staff Bloggers

Confession: I have a lot of promotional T-shirts—but I wear the majority of them as pajama tops. Why? It’s not about color, style, texture or unwieldy logos. It’s not even a matter of actually liking whatever organization, cause or movie the…

Imprinted T-shirts are in with the fashion elite. Here's how they are styling the tees.

Why would someone choose one T-shirt over the other? Think about what would make you spend $25 on a shirt, and use that knowledge to help customers create unique and impactful apparel.

Technology & Computer Accessories

I got the Microsoft Surface Book (not the Surface tablet) two weeks ago, and it’s going back to Microsoft this week. It’s an expensive laptop that has great potential, but it’s not worth the extra money. Here are my thoughts. The potential is there: Beautiful and stylish Powerful Excellent tablet functionality with a great Bluetooth…

What are you going to do in 2016 that is going to make you even more relevant in 2017? What are you going to do to create the customer experience needed to ensure that you can compete and flourish long term? Are you going to curse the online challengers who are driving you crazy? Or,…

I am, without a doubt, the most mobile CIO in the USA. Name one other CIO that is so committed to mobile that immerses themselves all the way to the point of staying in a mobile home.


Paul Bellantone and I walked to dinner after the first day of PPAI’s 2015 Product Responsibility Summit and talked about the same thing

Jane Nelson-Halverson, owner of Dakota Promotions & Printing, describes her experiences volunteering for an abused adult resource center, which she also does some promotional work for. She details the services the center provides, as well as how she handles selling promotional products to an organization she also volunteers at.

Did you know that Fire Prevention Week falls on Oct. 6-12? Raise awareness—and potentially save a life—with promotional products.

Golf & Performance Apparel

I am writing this piece on a business trip like I've never taken before. In the past, I've traveled a bit, presenting education sessions at trade shows and regional associations. I've attended amazing conferences, like the PPAI North American Leadership Conference. This year, I'm attending the ASI Power Summit. The relationships that are nurtured and…

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans.

Fashion brands are introducing gym gear lines. Here's how to add style to your workout and wellness promotions.


Earth Day is right around the corner. Need ideas for upcoming promotions? Here are three products that scream "I <3 Earth."

Earth Day is almost here. Are you and your clients ready to go for the green on April 22?

Whether you want to believe it or not, the weather impacts the ability for business to get done. One look at Facebook during Hurricane Sandy illustrated just how disruptive the storm was to industry firms.

Product Safety & Compliance

When the discussion turns to delivering safe and compliant promotional products, and specifically how difficult it is to do, I usually go with this response: "You can either run toward the problem, or you can run away from it."

I've covered many topics through the years and this one is perhaps the most frightening. It threatens our livelihoods and puts a bright spotlight on the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Increasing awareness for product safety and CPSIA regulations is a good thing. Our industry needs to better understand what it takes to be in compliance with these regulations, but this story is outright scary. 

Last Friday the Toronto Star published an article about one of its writers going undercover in a Bangladesh sweatshop. It's an incredible piece, and one I think everyone in our industry should read.

Drinkware & Housewares

Providing cross-promotion products increases the brand exposure for your client(s). Here are two cross-market promotion ideas to celebrate warm weather.

Pantone chose Radiant Orchid as the color of 2014. Here are nine ways to use the floral hue in the New Year.

Check out the GrabOpener, a one-of-a-kind bottle opener just begging to become a promotional product.

Headwear & Outerwear

The best thing we can do as garment counselors is to make our clients look like heroes to THEIR end-users. The perfect apparel category for that? Jackets.

With today’s tough economy and overall tighter company budgets, it’s no wonder your clients are becoming more demanding and wanting more from you in a shorter turnaround time. With so many balls in the air, and only two hands to catch them all, working with a smart supplier who can truly be a partner to you will make a world of difference.

What can we expect from the Postal Service apparel line? Here are my predictions.

Trade Packaging & Printing

Paper supplier Mohawk shows support for small businesses that source and create American-made products. Here's the why and how.

Dita Von Teese recently modeled the first 3-D printed full-length gown. How will this influence fashion and are you buying the 3-D printing hype?

5 imprintable greeting cards for everyone from your favorite supplier to your most curmudgeonly client.

Women's Wear & Fashion

What to look for in spring 2014: purple, blue, cubism and metallics.

June 6 marked the 15th anniversary of the premier of Sex and the City—or when television viewers across the country got “carried away.” Celebrate with these promotional-inspired SATC looks.

All-over prints, pleated blouses and bejeweled embellishments are just a few of the noteworthy trends from Resort 2014 collections. Click through for the others.

Health & Wellness

How to find potential Labor Day clients and implement a promotion before September 2.

A review of Diamonds Cosmetics Inc.'s nail polish and ideas for including polish in your upcoming promotions.

What to wear and bring while traveling to Vegas, Atlantic City or any other show location.

Stress, Games & Toys

Feeling burnt out and unproductive? Make time for a vacation—even if time isn’t on your side.

Season 3 of HBO's "Game of Thrones" premieres on March 31. Here are some fun ways to connect the worlds of fantasy and promotional products.

Clients not wowed by QR codes? Watch this video for a way to focus on their strengths and make them impressive and intriguing again.

Towels & Textiles

Valentine's Day and other promotion ideas for February and March.

My favorite promotional item carries a lot of meaning for me. Here's a clue to figure it out: If you're like rapper Wiz Khalifa, "you know what it is."

Are you looking for a product that sends just the right message for an awareness campaign? Here are some suggestions.

Writing Instruments

Award season is in full swing. Help your clients take home the Oscar for "Best Party" with these five movie-themed promotions.

A short example about how a little promotion can go a long way.

Stationery company Paper Mate recently conducted a survey about office theft and came to a bold conclusion: 100 percent of respondents admitted to stealing pens from coworkers.

Journal, Office & Time Planners

PCA Calendars and Pepco Promotional Products share some of their new products from the show floor.

A quick preview of all the cool stuff I'm working on for June.

Golf & Sport
Is it Tee Time Yet?

I know it's only March 10th, but I'm starting to feel it—golf season is near. In my dinning room is a brand-new Big Bertha driver, a Christmas gift from my wife who apparently didn't know just how much the size of your club matters when it comes to golf (I explained it to her).

Bags & Luggage

Soren Travel Gear, based out of St. Louis, was proud to see their Cape Cod Reversible Tote featured in the January 15 episode of ABC’s Private Practice, titled “Homeward Bound.”