About the author:

Author: Heidi Thorne

Heidi Thorne is a promotional products marketing expert and speaker and has a background in the tradeshow and hospitality industries. She is also editor of the Promo With Purpose Today blog (www.PWPToday.com) and author of SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business, available through major online booksellers or at www.BuySWAGBook.com.

Articles by Heidi Thorne

  • Promotional products trends for meetings and events

    A must-attend event every year on my calendar is the ASI Show (Advertising Specialty Institute) Chicago in the summer. It’s right before the holiday gift giving season, and new promotions for the coming year are often introduced. With an eye out for items and trends that affect the meetings and events industry, let’s see what I noticed on the show floor. Bag brag and drag. Of course, at registration I got my larger than life tote bag to use on…

  • Green promotions that save water for events (even for little green men)

    It appears that green meetings specialist, Judy Kucharuk of Footprint Management Systems, and I are on the same subspace frequency. Her post, Green to the Last Drop: Five Easy Strategies to Reduce Your Water Footprint at Events, discusses some simple ways to reduce water use. I was already working on this post about reducing attendee water use based on my observations while on another planet: The Star Trek Convention. Okay, I confess. I’m a Trekkie! Not the costume wearing, arguing…

  • Trade show banners: How to use humour to guide your attendees

    Blam! Zap! Pow! I went to the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) to check out what’s hot in the comic universe (especially for my personal favourite, Marvel). Quite a cast of characters (both featured guests and attendees) were wandering the floor. And C2E2 started the show even before attendees entered the expo with some interesting trade show banners. I love it when I can go to a trade show or event as an attendee instead of as an…

  • How to keep your golf outing promotions from sinking into a budget hazard

    In the past couple of years, I’ve seen a number of business association and client golf outings get completely cancelled or scaled back, primarily due to low turnouts and budget concerns. Outings are no longer considered a mandatory event either for hosts or attendees. What I’ve also seen is a trend for organizations and sales people to take selected clients or members out for a round of golf, as opposed to a large event… a private golf outing if you…

  • Earth Day promotional product green trends and tips

    We’re coming up on another Earth Day celebration. So it’s probably a good idea to do some promotional product trend updates for the green arena, especially those relating to corporate meetings. Recycled materials rule. From my observation of latest promotional item offerings, there seem to be more that are made of recycled materials, either in whole or in part (mostly part). This is particularly the case for plastics and paper, although there are a few recycled leather and cotton goods…

  • What promotional products are hot in Canada?

    Although it’s been quite a snowless winter here in Chicago, we’ve had a lot of bone chilling days lately. I know a lot of my friends in Canada are feeling the winter chill even more, so I think it’s a perfect time to talk about what’s hot in promotional products in Canada. One of the reasons I’ve continued to be a member of the Advertising Specialty Institute is that they provide some terrific survey data that helps me know what’s…

  • Promotional products hot list for 2013

    I love January! I’m always getting revved up for the New Year and, thankfully, so are my clients. One of the other January perks is that there are a number of promotional products shows and new product announcements going on. So I’ve rounded up some of the hot new products and product categories to give you some ideas for your meetings and events in 2013: Going mobile. With a cell phone in just about everyone’s hands these days, mobile accessories…

  • Four tips for giving promotional gifts at holiday events

    Hard to believe another year is almost over! And that also means it’s holiday party time… again. Whether you’re hosting an event for clients, vendors and strategic partners, or employees, giving them a promotional gift of some sort is usually a nice touch. But that adds to your already busy year-end hassle. So here are a few tips for making it easier for you and your gift recipients: The exit strategy. There’s nothing more awkward than trying to juggle a…

  • QR code mistakes and how to avoid them for your event promotions

    There’s a lot of chatter about whether QR codes (2D barcodes) are a technology for the future or are they just another fad. Here’s my take: I think they are still a viable technology for use in marketing and events in the future. The up and coming technology that could replace some QR code use is NFC (near field communications). However, that is a more sophisticated technology, the set up of which is out of the comfort zone of many…

  • Using the billboard principle for more effective onsite exhibits

    At a recent networking event, I wandered past maybe a half dozen exhibit tables. (Emphasis on “wandered past.”) There were nice table covers with the companies’ names. Pens, notepads and marketing brochures were neatly arranged on the tops. The settings were not distasteful, but not effective either. Why? Sponsors and exhibitors at this event were companies that provide high level consulting for manufacturing, international marketing and production, finance and risk management. Companies like these are really challenged when it comes…