Going Back to School and Classroom Etiquette

Things to do for preparing for the first day of school: organizing paperwork, finding and prepping classroom materials, writing lesson plans…the list goes on and on.

Going Back to School and Classroom Etiquette

Every teacher is currently feeling the stress of the upcoming first day of school. And, preparing a school classroom can sometimes be overwhelming. With a list of things to do that is a mile long, it can be a hassle deciding where to start.

From writing a welcome letter for the students and parents to drawing up lesson plans, most teachers are exhausted before they even start with their back-to-school preparations. And, thinking about this first day back can leave many teachers feeling out of sorts. With so many things to consider and tasks to accomplish, many wonder where to even get started.

And, while a Google search will yield hundreds of planning options and ideas, it can be daunting. So, here are some guidelines that will fit every classroom need. From large classes at a university to smaller K-5 classes, no teacher should start their back-to-school planning without first reading this.

Creating and Keeping Classroom Etiquette

Good manners and classroom etiquette should be common sense for most students. However, there are simple things that you can do as a teacher to help your students be more courteous to others.

FOR THE TEACHER:

Get to know your students before that first day back. If you need to, find their class picture from last year so you can know what they look like. Then, memorize their name and face. Every student is sure to feel shocked and pleased that you know who they are. They are also more likely to behave well when they know you are that observant.

Make your classroom environment engaging. From bulletin board decorations to names on desks, make sure to capture each student’s attention as they enter your room. Take time with your decorations so that they are neat and uniform. Doing this will help students stay focused and add to your teaching methods.

Greet every student, every day. While this may at first seem daunting, your students are sure to see your effort to make them feel welcome. And with this comes the respect for your ability to see them as individuals. Some teachers go as far as creating secret handshakes with every student. While you don’t need to take that much time, make sure every student knows you respect them as a person.

Set expectations and classroom rules. Then, write them down and put them somewhere that the students can see them daily. By having your rules visible, it is easy to refer to them when a student steps out of line. And, with visibility comes conformity. Students are more likely to follow rules to which they have quick access.

So, keep your students in line and respectful in your classroom by using these guidelines every day. And, remember when you show them respect, they are more likely to show you respect. Common sense isn’t so common anymore, but with these simple rules, your students will help you and themselves to maintain your classroom etiquette.

FOR THE STUDENT:

It is, after all, your education. Take responsibility for it. And, make sure that you are learning everything you can. Yes, sometimes it is hard to pay attention to classroom instruction, especially when you think you know what is going on. But, it is important to remember you are not the only student there. Here are some quick guidelines to follow as a student to help be more respectful in your classroom.

(Your teacher will thank you for reading this!)

Attend class, every time and on time. Start your school day off on the right foot by getting to class on time. Not only will this help you, but it will help your teacher and other students as well.

Speak in turn and only when acknowledged. Your teacher asks you to raise your hand for a reason. If everyone in the class decided to all talk at the same time, the room would fill with voices. And, once that happens, everyone soon thinks that they must speak louder to be heard. So, make sure you only talk when you get permission. It will help with the volume in the classroom, and it will also make sure you stay on task.

Respect your teacher and your classmates. Yes, everyone in your classroom deserves your respect. From the janitor to your teacher and the principal, respect is the key to have a great school experience. Remember to show others the same respect that you want to receive. It goes both ways, so show respect to earn respect.

Come to class prepared and have your homework ready to turn in. It’s that simple. Don’t show up to class without your books, pencil, note-taking paper and especially your homework. Your teacher assigns homework so that you can learn. Respect them and do your homework and get it in on time.

From raising your hand to keeping a working pen in your bag, as a student, you have tremendous responsibility for the quality of your education. So, remember that what you do in class affects you and everyone around you. Respect, preparation and basic good etiquette are a must to make the most out of your school year.

Pro Tip #1: Write Down Everything

Any time you think of anything you need, something you need to add to lesson plans or anything else, WRITE IT DOWN. While this may seem a simple task, it is your greatest tool. With so many things to remember and do, writing down your tasks is important. Keep a notebook or planner handy, and make sure to keep it neat. Don’t trust yourself to remember everything. Your brain is currently on overload, and you may overlook necessary things you need for your classroom.

So, take a moment every time you think of something that needs to be done and write it down. Free up your brain for more important tasks and things you are working on immediately. And, by writing everything down the moment you think about it, will give you a hand up for next year. Keep this notebook as a reference for every first day back you have. So, whether your thought is that you need more crayons or that your lesson plans for your chemistry class need to be updated, write it down!

From name tags to ribbons, we have all your classroom needs!

Reusable Name Badges

reusable name badges to meet all of your school and classroom needs

With as many choices as we have for these name badges, we’re sure to have what you’re looking for! Use adhesive name badges for the new students as name tags on their desks to make them feel welcome. Customize a Mighty Badge for each of the hall monitors. Or use a name badge as your hall pass. With magnetic fasteners, it will be easy just to have the student attach the badge to their shirt, and you’ll never lose another hall pass.

And, don’t underestimate badge holders. While they aren’t quite in this product category, they are instrumental in schools. This simple way of displaying credentials is as convenient as they come. The lightweight vinyl allows for everything to be seen through them. You can add pictures, schedules, names and so much more. Use them for students, teacher and visitors.

Custom Badge Ribbons

badge ribbons to meet all of your school and classroom needs

Whether it’s for a new teacher in your school or a way to identify different grades, badge ribbons are here to be the best solution ever. With double-sided tape ready to stick to anything (like a name tag), these ribbons are super easy to use. Great for labeling things in the classroom, these ribbons are incredibly versatile.

Use them as labels when storing classroom supplies like markers or crayons. Or, give them to students as you are trying to learn all the new names for this school year. So, no matter what you need these wonderful ribbons for, they are perfect for nearly everything!

Custom Lanyards

custom lanyards to meet all of your school and classroom needs

Whether it’s hundreds or thousands, it doesn’t matter how many kids are coming back to your school this year. Security is always an issue. Yes, there are name tags and photo ID badges for the teachers. But how do the children keep their things safe and secure?

Lanyards are a convenient way of displaying identification and other things while at school. And these lanyards don’t have to be boring. Choose from a variety of colors to match your school and mascot!

These lanyards are also perfect for fundraising events, sporting meets, and any other time your school gets together. Help your students stand out from the rest with bright colors, logos and messages custom imprinted on these lanyards.

Pro Tip #2: Emergency Folder

Every teacher, at some point in their career, will need to use a substitute. Whether it’s for a personal day or to take a continuing education class, you will need a sub. So, make it easy for them to function in your classroom.

Make sure that you have an emergency substitute folder already in place by the first day of school. There will come a time when an unforeseen circumstance arises, and you may not be able to have time to leave the substitute lesson plans. In this packet include: quick lessons, worksheets, class list, schedule and routine, behavior management plan, school policies and procedures, important student information such as food allergies and teaching colleagues’ contact information. Always keep this packet on your desk in case of an emergency. This is something quick and easy that you can do before school even starts.

In your packet, welcome the substitute to your classroom and provide them with a map of the room. Tell the sub in this letter what your room rules are and the punishments that go with breaking a rule. This way, the sub doesn’t need to rely on the students for this information.


Also, make sure that the sub has access to pictures and names of students. Help your substitute feel like they belong in your classroom. Give them all the daily tools that you usually have so they can feel adequate in their teaching abilities.

Pro Tip #3: Preparing the Classroom

From desk placement to student homework, there is a place for everything. So, make sure you know where that place will be by creating an organized space. Once you have an organization plan, write it down. By doing this, you will help the students in your classroom know where things go and you will stay organized.

And, don’t forget to decorate. Use posters, banners, ribbons and other tools to make your classroom a pleasant place for learning. Don’t go overboard, but make sure that your classroom is inviting and stimulating.

Be purposeful with posters and bulletin boards. As teachers, we often make the mistake of feeling proud of ourselves for making awesome-looking, themed posters or bulletin boards, but then never referring to them with our students. Posters and bulletin boards are only as effective as the teacher who uses them. That said, posters and bulletin boards can be an awesome way to invest your students so long as you make sure to refer to and update them regularly. For student work boards, this is really easy if you use sheet protectors, which can also be used as whiteboards by sticking a piece of paper in them.

Now, it’s your turn in your classroom.

Take these tips and tools and make them your own. Make your classroom a place where every student can learn. By doing so, you will touch the lives of those around you. Go forth and be the best teacher you can be!

How a Name Tag Boosts Your Approachability

…And Other Wisdom from Your Name Tag Experts

People who wear a name tag at social events to help remember each others’ names. In the business world, these tags serve a bigger purpose. They have a subconscious effect on the viewer that enhances a company’s networking, branding and promotional efforts. At trade shows and conventions, people wear name tags to promote their brand and establish professional relationships. In retail, they improve customer and employee relations. People respond to them wherever they show up.

lanyards and badges holders being worn as a name tag at a social event

Retail employees and convention attendees frequently wear name tags. Some people wear them at conferences, trade shows, business luncheons or sporting events. Politicians sometimes wear them, usually with a support message along with their name and title so that viewers will remember their cause as well as their name. In short, many people wear name tags for different reasons.

A name tag is a personal identification tool that helps you become more relatable and approachable. Many people use them, including politicians, business managers and conference attendees. The effectiveness of wearing a one depends on following guidelines such as keeping your name tag simple and using the right fastener. It is also important for them to have a large font so that people can read them easily. Not only are they used for identification, but they are also used as corporate gifts to strengthen your work relationships.

Be Approachable by Using a Name Tag

Scott Ginsberg, the Name Tag Guy

Scott Ginsberg, the Name Tag Guy, said, “The first idea to remember is that approachability is a two-way street. It’s both you stepping onto someone’s front porch, and you inviting someone to step onto your front porch. It connects people to you. It allows them to feel more comfortable talking to you.”

When someone is relatable, it means people can draw similarities between that person and themselves. Customers want to feel they have a connection with a company and its employees. It makes them think they can trust the company to do what is in a customer’s best interest. Therefore, when a company and its employees are relatable, people feel comfortable doing business with them. Relatability is, therefore, a valuable asset that helps a company become successful.

Name tags play a significant role in increasing relatability. When a person wears a name tag, it humanizes them. It makes them relatable and more approachable. People are more willing to interact with a stranger in a retail store, conference room or trade show if that stranger is wearing a name tag.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

Scott Ginsberg, an international expert on name tags and approachability, wrote a list of “Seven Deadly Sins” to avoid when ordering them. The purpose of this list of “sins” is to educate people on what makes them ineffective and how to avoid them. Ginsberg stresses the link between name tags and approachability.

“Your name tag is your best friend. It is a lifesaver in meetings, trade shows and events to start conversations when you meet groups of new people. It also identifies you as well as your company in the minds of others.”

SIZE

Nobody wants others staring awkwardly at their chest, trying to read their name tag. “This is self-defeating, embarrassing and works to decrease your approachability.” It should be readable from at least 10 feet away, thus making the recommended font size a minimum of 24 point. Avoid cursive, script or other fancy writing styles.

COLOR

For name tags, complementary colors create maximum visibility. Whether it is dark writing on a light background or vice versa, what matters is that the name, title and business logo are easy to see. “Fashion must be outweighed by your name tag’s approachability and visibility.” Many color combinations allow viewers to read tags without any awkward squinting or leaning. Find the best match for your brand that gives you both readability and recognition.

TURNAROUND

Another problem to avoid is what Ginsberg calls “the name tag turnaround.” It refers to when a name badge turns so that the information on the front is hidden, and there is no information on the back. Typically, this happens when the tag is worn around the neck on a lanyard or worn with a clip. To avoid having “name tag turnaround,” write the same information on both sides.

CLUTTER

“Avoid name tags with overly thick borders, unnecessary clutter or too much text. All of the information contained must be readable and memorable in less than five seconds. Remember, they call them name tags because the name is the focal point. Whether it’s the name of the person or the name of the company, those are the two most important pieces of information.”

PLACEMENT

Placement refers to where someone wears their name tag, such as on the right or left side of their shirt. Which side the tag should be on depends on where the person is or what type of function they are attending. For example, when at a conference or convention, the name tag should be worn on the left side because that way it is more visible to people walking from the opposite direction. At corporate meetings or other office events, they should be on the right side because when the wearer greets people by shaking their right hand, the tag is parallel with the viewer’s line of sight. Do not decrease a name tag’s effectiveness by wearing it on the wrong side.

PRESENCE

Similar to placement, presence has to do with putting the name badge in a place where it is the most visible to any viewer, regardless of wearing it on the right or left side. The name tag should be where people can see it but also be able to see the person’s face. According to Ginsberg, “the most effective location is two to three inches below your collarbone on whichever side most appropriate for your function.”

MAXIMIZATION

To make the most of wearing a name tag, utilize all the space it provides. Have your name in a larger font so that a lot of white space does not surround the text. If the tag includes a logo, the logo and text should fill up as much of it as possible. Like the front porch of a house, a name tag is meant to be inviting and make others feel comfortable. When used to the fullest capacity, they become more visible and welcoming. It initiates conversations that can turn into valuable business connections.

By avoiding these seven “deadly sins,” name tags become more efficient and improve a person’s approachability.

How to Make Your Name Tag Effective

name tags with logos, both engraved and printed

A name tag helps to make you look professional. When someone wears one appropriately, it indicates that they take their job seriously. In turn, this helps create an excellent first impression when meeting with potential clients and investors.

In addition to looking professional, people tend to act more qualified when they wear a name tag. And, they are more aware of how much they are accountable for their actions. For example, if a customer needs help, employees are quickly identified if they are wearing their name tag.

Include Relevant Text

Add titles on your name tags in office settings or retail environments. Titles help make managers and head staff stand out a bit more from other employees. Titles are also helpful during a conference or convention to separate attendees from venue staff and event volunteers. While typically titles are kept brief, it is important not to sell anyone short when using their title. So, make sure to order your tags in an appropriate size to adequately accommodate all of the text.

Don’t forget about visibility. All text should be readable from a distance, typically about 10 feet. Don’t add too much text to one line as it could become too small to read even from close up. And, make sure that all included text is relevant to your event or business.

For a name tag to be the most effective, there are guidelines to consider. The first rule is to keep yours simple. Some people treat them like business cards or resumes, but personal identification should be straightforward and concise. Name tags should only include the bare minimum information necessary to identify the person wearing it. In commercial and retail settings, that means the person’s first name, unless there is more than one employee with the same first name. With such cases, adding a last name helps with identification.

Brand with a Logo

Another recommendation to consider is where and how to include a company logo. The logo should be an appropriate size so that it doesn’t crowd the name or title. And, the layout needs to be tidy. If the text is laser engraved, the logo will have limitations to a specific color or printing format. Full-color tags provide the user with brighter colors and the option of bleeds. These are useful for logos that are large or require particular colors.

Use of a logo depends on the style of the name tag. Metals will show logos far differently than plastic will. It is important to choose whichever type of name tag works best for the person wearing it. Plastic name tags tend to be less expensive than metal ones, are heat resistant and come in many different shapes. Metal name tags are more durable than plastic ones but also heavier. Some people prefer a lighter name tag, especially if they wear loose clothing. Make sure to choose the right material before ordering the name tags.

You can increase your brand recognition by including logos. People associate the company logo and employees with the organization when employees wear logo name tags at conventions and trade shows. Another benefit to having a logo is that employees tend to keep their name tags on when they go on their lunch break or commute to and from work. By doing so, they advertise the company to the public and make the brand more memorable.

(Content courtesy of: CreelaBelle Howard, Writer, Coller Industries Incorporated.)

Building Your Corporate Identity

(and Customer Relationships)

finding the difference between branding identity and corporate identity

The phrases corporate identity and brand identity are thrown around abundantly by everyone in business. However, when used it different contexts, they mean different things. It’s often asked if you can have a brand identity without a corporate one, or vice versa. Here are several reasons why you can’t have one without the other.

But, first things first, what are the differences between corporate identity and brand identity?

Brand Identity

Brand identity refers to the how consumers view a specific product, service or idea a business provides. The goal in creating your brand identity is to separate your business from similar businesses. So, basically, brand identity is the customer’s knowledge of and ability to recognize the brand.

Name Tag, Inc. Improving your first impression, one name tag at a time! Affordable and professional personal identification products that are easy to order and use in your workplace.

Our Example: Name Tag, Inc. sells personal identification such as name tags and other custom engraved products.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is similar to brand identity. However, corporate identity refers to the perception of an entire company, not just one idea, product or service that the company provides. One business may have many different brand identities wrapped up in its overall corporate identity.

Personalized Ribbons and Name Tag, Inc. are part of the Coller Industries Incorporated family. Our product sites give you access to a wide variety of quality items, from name tags and lanyards to signs and custom ribbons.

Our Example: Coller Industries Incorporated is also known as Name Tag, Inc. and Personalized Ribbons.

Let’s talk about branding your business for a moment.

A company’s brand is what they are, what they want to be, and what they aim to become as a whole. It can be a promise of quality, trust or service. A brand is what makes a company or organization truly unique. Branding should make any company stand out from its competitors and lets the consumer know what to expect from that company.

Branding is one of the most important parts of any business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps a company or organization be financially strong. Product marketing is really where this process all begins.

Let’s break it down a bit farther to make it a little easier. The act of branding is the process involved in creating a unique name or image for a product, person or idea. This is done mostly through advertising and other similar means. It is also the action of building a convincing individual or unique presence in a consumer market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and/or brand name of a company or corporation for marketing and advertising purposes. Typically the range of a corporate brand is very broad and is often used as a way to express the company’s ideals and goals.

A BRAND IDENTITY IS WHAT MAKES A BUSINESS UNIQUE.

It’s what they think, how they behave and what they believe in. It’s about how they treat their employees and customers. So, brand identity is a must for every business. The better a business understands itself, the better they will perform and the more their brand identity will show their power and values. Once this is accomplished, a business will preform more effectively. When a brand identity is clear, values and business practices just fall into place. Teams are formed and decisions become easier. And, the company stays focused on marketing and sales goals.

Brand identity is…

…the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable.

The term branding refers to the marketing practice of actively shaping a distinctive brand. Brand is the perception of the company in the eyes of the world. Those tangible elements, that’s brand identity.

Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. An audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.

Design assets are the tangible elements that will determine how your brand is perceived. Things like your logo, your packaging, your web design, your social media graphics, your business cards and the uniforms your employees wear.

Your brand identity is what sets you apart from the endless sea of competitors and shows your customers who you are and what they can expect from working with you. And if you want your brand to be perceived in a positive light, it’s crucial that you nail your brand identity and create designs that accurately portray who you are to your customers. And now that you know how to nail that identity, it’s time to start designing.


Brand identity is…

…the total proposition that a company makes to consumers – the promise it makes. (Brand identity) may consist of features and attributes, benefits, performance, quality, service support, and the values that the brand possesses. The brand can be viewed as a product, a personality, a set of values, and a position it occupies in people’s minds. Brand identity is everything the company wants the brand to be seen as.

Brand image, on the other hand, is the totality of consumer perceptions about the brand, or how they see it, which may not coincide with the brand identity. Companies have to work hard on the consumer experience to make sure that what customers see and think is what they want them to.

Your corporate identity is so much more than just design.

Yes, your logo and brand play an important part in your corporate identity. But, remember that you are so much more than a color or style. A company’s values and culture are crucial in shaping corporate identity. As Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action has said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

It is important to distinguish between corporate identity, brand identity, and brand image. Corporate identity is concerned with the visual aspects of a company’s presence. When companies undertake corporate identity exercises, they are usually modernizing their visual image in terms of logo, design, and collaterals. Such efforts do not normally entail a change in brand values so that the heart of the brand remains the same – what it stands for, or its personality. Unfortunately, many companies do not realize this fallacy, as they are sometimes led to believe by agencies and consultancy companies that the visual changes will change the brand image. But changes to logos, signage, and even outlet design do not always change consumer perceptions of quality, service, and the intangible associations that come to the fore when the brand name is seen or heard.

The Importance of a Corporate Identity

Corporate identity expresses your brand personality and tells the world why you are unique. Similar to what makes a person unique, this identity shows what is specific to a business. These specifics set us apart from others and helps us to build relationships within our communities. This aspect works for businesses as well. How a company presents themselves in everything they do, from business cards to products or services they offer, is what defines this identity.

It is a physical expression of the company’s brand, an extension of the culture that is already expressed through communication style and behavior exhibited to maintain the image of the business. Corporate identity and brand identity both have different roles, that together, form a perceived image for a business. It all starts with your reason for going to work every day and why anyone else should care.

Occasionally, a business may need to update their corporate identity if their audience changes. From logos to letterhead, rebranding is often done in the business world. Invest in this identity to develop your customer’s trust, a sense of product value and a lasting connection with your clientele.

Your corporate identity helps you in increasing business ownership and control. As consumers are now aware of your business, they can understand your company’s image and reputation. You then have to continue to provide your quality services or products to your clients exactly as you developed them for your corporate identity to continue to succeed.

A logo is not your brand, nor is it your corporate identity.

Many business owners believe that by simply having a recognizable logo, their quality and values are represented. But, having a strong corporate identity helps out in every aspect of business. Don’t underestimate the importance and power of developing this identity for your business. It will help you grow in your competitive market. And, you will be able to leave a positive vision for your consumers as your identity grows.

A strong corporate identity is essential for every business organization as it helps in the interaction of the customers and the company. Customers usually get a great help in understanding the business with the help of its corporate identity. It includes the several supporting devices, such as the company letterhead, business cards, website etc. It creates a single and clear visual identity for an organization. A number of Start-Up companies ignore the advice of building or developing a strong and effective corporate identity for their business as they think it just as the logo only.

While we have been talking about corporate and brand identities, don’t forget that the end goal is to build your customer relationship. Managing a consumer relationship is an important approach to making sure a company’s interaction with current and potential customers is fresh and positive. You will be able to retain current customers and build new relationships when you bring your corporate identity in line with this endgame.

Always look for ways to wow your consumers. Whether that means compromise on a service or providing the highest quality product, remember that without your customers, your business would not prosper.

Customer Relationships

While we have been talking about corporate and brand identities, don’t forget that the end goal is to build your consumer relationship. Managing a consumer relationship is an important approach to making sure a company’s interaction with current and potential customers is fresh and positive. You will be able to retain current customers and build new relationships when you bring your corporate identity in line with this endgame.

Always look for ways to wow your consumers. Whether that means compromise on a service or providing the highest quality product, remember that without your customers, your business would not prosper.

5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships With Customers

To create customer relationships, and keep them strong, you must do all you can to engage customers. Here are five ways to build customer relationships and keep them coming back.

1. Communicate.

As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build customer relationships. Promoting your business and listening to your customers are equally important.

Rather than just telling customers about your business, have conversations with them. Find out what your customers need, then show them that you have a solution to their problem.

If you have employees, teach them how to effectively communicate with customers. Instead of waiting for customer service to become a problem, foster communication skills with customers while onboarding new employees. Maintain an employee policy, requiring timely follow-up, to make sure the customer’s needs are met. Make sure your staff returns voicemail messages and emails promptly.

2. Exceed expectations.

Your customers expect great products or services from you. You should continue to raise the bar on what your company offers.

To put it simply, under promise, and over deliver. When you impress customers, they keep coming back.

To exceed customer expectations, you can deliver a product or service faster than anticipated. When you deliver earlier than expected, the customer will be happy about the surprise. For example, tell a customer their order will be ready by the end of the month, knowing you will have it ready a week earlier.

3. Ask for feedback.

Whether customers have a good or bad opinion about your business, they will make their feelings known. Invite customer feedback to show you are listening. Place comment cards on your business counter, or conduct a survey.

Customer feedback helps you hone your customers’ specific needs so you can find the best solutions to their problems. The better your offering meets their needs, the more your business will grow.

Always listen carefully to comments and respond promptly, whether it’s a compliment or a complaint. The worst thing you can do is ask for feedback then not address concerns. Even negative feedback is valuable and can give you an honest gauge of customer satisfaction.

4. Connect.

With technology, there are more ways to begin conversations with your customers than ever before. There are many online tools and social media outlets you can use to reach customers.

When you engage with customers online, be careful not to create a one-way conversation. Ask customers questions, and respond to their inquiries.

Also, make sure your website is top-notch, and start a blog to engage your customers and prospects. Build customer relationships through your online presence.

5. Show appreciation.

Reward long-time customers with a loyalty discount program. You can hand out reward cards, or use a loyalty program app to track customer rewards.

With a loyalty program, customers earn points for buying your goods or services. After earning a certain number of points, the customer gets a reward. For example, you could reward a customer with a discount on their next purchase.

Keeping an open and honest line of communication is probably one of the most important aspects of business. And, it will bring in the most customers. So, make sure your brand is strong and build it into your corporate identity and your business will thrive.

12 Ways to Say Yes to Your Conference

Attending a professional conference provides an unmatched opportunity for attendees to build networks, strengthen work ethic and get new ideas for the workplace. They also give employees a way to get out of the office and stir things up to retain employee morale. These face-to-face events continue to make lasting and sizable contributions to any work environment.

follow these easy steps to host the best conference anyone has ever attended

From choosing the perfect venue and catering the right menu to finding the best speakers, no matter your needs for hosting your best conference ever, look no further than right in the mirror. Yes, you can plan and carry out the most successful conference anyone has ever attended. And, here are some easy-to-follow steps to get you started.

1. Objectives and Goals

The first thing to do when you want to hold a conference is to figure out the why. Finding your conference objective and setting your intended goals is possibly the most important thing. Why hold this type of event without an objective? You would just be wasting your time and resources.

So, define that objective. It can be anything from informing your attendees about the latest tech gadget or help colleagues learn about the best way to write an interoffice email. But, no matter your objective, you must reach that by defining short and long term goals. Not only should your conference have goals but remember that your attendees will also have their goals as well as expectations of what the event should be like.

Most people, when asked, state that the goal of attending this type of event is to gain knowledge or increase skills. So, make sure that your goals will help others attain theirs. If you hold classes about only one subject, you will leave people thinking they could have gained better knowledge somewhere else.

One of the best ways to find a conference objective is to ask those around you what they need. If that is a bit too overwhelming, look around you and your workplace. Find something that only you can offer and take it from there. And, remember that it doesn’t need to start big. Take a small thing and find it a greater purpose.

2. Conference Presentation

Three words: remember your audience. Now is the time to take into consideration who will be attending your conference. Once you have your audience defined, work on your presentation to them. From choosing the perfect venue to planning for speakers, your attendees are the ones who will get the most out of your event. Make sure to plan accordingly.

And, make sure that your objective is easy to follow and concise. You need something that everyone can get on board with, no matter what they think they will get out of your event. It is often said that presentation is everything. That is especially true when it comes to planning your conference and developing your object.

Make your goal presentable. It needs to be as quick as an elevator pitch, but also easily expandable. This isn’t just about one speech or presentation. It’s about a whole event, and you want to make sure that your attendees understand that as quickly as clearly as you can.

speakers are a key element at any conference

3. Speakers and Subjects

Your event line up should be enticing to those attending. Find speakers who will be engaging and exciting for those in attendance. While some of your presenter topics may be a bit bland, find someone who will make it enjoyable.

There are opportunities everywhere to find speakers for any event. Look inside your company, or ask friends and family if they know someone willing to present on a topic that they might find intriguing. But, no matter where you find your speakers, remember to get them on board with your conference objective. There is no point in having someone talk about fish if your conference is about digital literacy.

Also, remember perspective. From you to your speaker to the attendee, everyone will view the presentation a bit differently, and that’s okay. Just make sure that your message is clear and precise, which brings us to your next step.

4. Setting Your Conference Agenda

Most conferences post their agenda ahead of time. Whether you use an online format or mail out a brochure, make sure you advertise your event. And, many planners now have interactive mobile applications to help you schedule speaker times and other pieces of your event. But that is just the beginning.

Take it a step further, and make sure that all attendees have access to a schedule so that they can plan out for their best experience. Everyone should know beforehand what they should expect from your event. This ties into getting your objective and goals set before scheduling your conference.

5. Open Every Door

Make sure the opportunity to take full advantage of everything there is to offer is open for everyone. Use your agenda and time to create an immersive and interactive experience for all attendees. While not everyone will be pleased continuously with your conference, make sure that you adhere to the majority rules concept.

If you need to, take a poll on what people expect from your objective and work from there. But, no matter what you do, keep the door open for everyone. Sometimes this is as easy as finding a venue with an open floor plan. Other times, it can be a bit more challenging to get people moving around and communicating with each other. So, enter step six.

6. Providing the Whole Experience

Your conference needs to be about the whole experience, not just speakers or significant events. To keep everyone engaged and interacting, remember your audience and remember your objective. A conference is more than just someone standing on a stage yammering on about a single topic. It’s a collective mind with the intent on learning everything they can about everything you have to offer.

So, even if you are holding a conference about those previously mentioned fish, remember that the ocean is full of different types of fish. Yes, weird analogy, but here’s the point: keep the conversations going. There more people are engaged, the better your conference will be for everyone involved. And, part of that involvement is offering the ability to grow and learn.

have multiple speakers or events during a conference for the best involvement

7. Interactive Conference Events

What is a conference without a bit of networking? Help your attendees keep on learning even when they aren’t in classes or at a speaking event. Allow them to take a break and chat with new found friends and colleagues. While these interactive events don’t have to be very big or creative, make time for them, they are extremely important.

And, during these down times when you don’t have someone speaking or presenting, provide other learning opportunities such as mentor programs. Make them casual to keep people open and growing. These small group activities offer incredible chances for people to meet, mingle and often find answers they won’t find anywhere else.

8. Professional Identification

Yes, we said it, you need name tags! Helping your attendees make lasting connections is what your conference is really about. Make this an easy process by providing event credentials. From badge holders for schedules to speaker name tags, using identification will help everyone involved.

Personal identification is key to any event whether it’s a conference, seminar or trade show. As an event host or planner, you want your attendees to enjoy networking at your event. And, when they do, they are more likely to return next year. Use quality name badges to put people at ease and make your conference or seminar a success.

9. Networking and Socializing

Now that you have the proper name tags, give opportunities for everyone in attendance to network and socialize. Use apps, business cards and these new name badges to help attendees remember each other (and you) after the conference is over.

Provide opportunities throughout the whole conference for attendees to give out their information to others. If you are making printed schedules for everyone to use with badge holders, include a QR code for easy sharing. But no matter how information is shared, provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to mingle.

Networking is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest. Knowing someone’s name makes people more comfortable socializing with that person. With each attendee sporting a name badge, people will have a positive networking experience at your event.

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

10. Make the Little Things Count

From setting the event energy to controlling the mood at your conference, sometimes it’s all about the little things. With that said, being organized is an important thing to do. That organization needs to include smaller event details. So, don’t forget about those little details. And they are what makes up 11 and 12.

11. Dress to Impress

There are so many details in this, make sure that you check all the boxes. Think about your venue, your attendees, your objective and your speakers/presenters when considering a dress code. Make sure that everyone will be comfortable and still able to maintain your desired professionalism.

Spend some time addressing your dress code before your conference happens. Make sure that everyone coming understands what you want to see. Too many event planners overlook this simple detail, and attendees show up wondering if they are over or underdressed. Add these details to daily schedules that you send out before your event happens.

12. Be Considerate

Remember that others have a routine and help them stick to it. Help your attendees be comfortable while making the shift from their daily work life to attending your conference. Don’t plan events too early or too late. Make sure when providing food and catering that multiple options are available, so no one goes hungry.

Whether it’s providing time for breaks or making healthier choices for catered meals, make your conference flow better by keeping your audience in mind. It is, after all about those coming to your event. Make their experience memorable so that they want to attend another fabulous conference put on by their favorite event planner: YOU!

How Lanyards Benefit Your Business

While traditionally these identification tools work well with name tags and name badges, lanyards are good for so much more.

But, what are lanyards?

Imprinted, cord and ribbon custom lanyards sold by Coller Industries Incorporated

From offices and conferences to schools and hospitals, lanyards are everywhere. Not only do these tools help to keep a name tag close and easy to use, but they are great for a broad range of activities. From the workplace to schools and concerts to trade shows, lanyards are a perfect networking and branding tool. Attach keys, name badges, meeting agendas and more to a brightly colored lanyard at your next event.

Make your brand stand out with custom lanyards. A lanyard is often required for identification, but many people don’t realize their full effectiveness. The best thing about a lanyard is that they can have social and practical uses in everyday occasions and special events. From identification to advertising, use lanyards in multiple ways.

Use custom lanyards to add a sense of identity to work functions, conferences, trade shows and other events. When people are flowing through an event venue, it becomes necessary to keep track of them using credentials. Lanyards can add value to the event when customized with the convention name, sponsors or logo on them.

Conversations About A Lanyard

custom lanyards are made from different imprinted materials

A lanyard is a piece of cord or ribbon that is formed into a loop and typically worn around the neck or belt exclusively to hold something, such as a name tag or name badge. They can also come as a chain or be retractable.

What are the different types of lanyards?

Lanyards come in a variety of fabric types and styles. Each fabric type has a unique look, and most of the fabrics can be imprinted with text and logos so they can be personalized. Each lanyard also has different fastener choices to use with name badges.

As lanyards are an easy way to display other identification tools, a variety of people use them every day. College students, teachers, employees in retail stores, some office workers and even government officials all wear them for security and to quickly show identification.

Where are they used, and when would I ever use one?

They are everywhere! Schools, offices, businesses, stores and so many more places use them frequently if not every day. Another common use is during conferences and conventions. Most of the time you would use one when either working at one of these places or helping to promote an event. Custom lanyards printed with text and logos are a great way of getting brands out into the public.

Why would I ever need a lanyard?

Because most lanyards are customized using text and logos, they are incredibly versatile. The text can be a phrase, a date or the name of an event or business. You will typically need to wear a lanyard if you need to have ID or credentials available to show to others or for security proof that you can be in a building or other typically private place.

Promotions, Business Use and Convention Swag

Promotional lanyards usually have a simple design which could include a business name, logo and website. They grab the attention of the people around the wearer and introduce them to their colleagues. When multiple organizations attend an event, a lanyard is also a quick way for people to recognize members from each organization or function.

Custom badge holders and promotional lanyards are great ways to introduce a company to prospective clients and event attendees. Products with logos for events make the event unforgettable. During such an event, trade show organizers or neck wallets can hold a stash of business cards to give away or store new business contact’s cards while also identifying the wearer. People don’t have to carry briefcases, bags or overstuff their pockets.

Trade shows and conventions are a great marketing terrain for customized lanyards and trade show organizers. They provide deluxe and classy organization and identification during any event. They can also double advertising power anywhere. Between networking and socializing, these can promote an idea to everyone in attendance during the event.

If a company requires security cards or photo IDs, lanyards are a great and useful way to keep these items handy. So, as you come to a security checkpoint or somewhere else you might need to show ID, you won’t have to search for your ID card. Lanyards are a low-cost option for identifying who belongs and who doesn’t. When providing employees with custom lanyards with either a company logo or slogan, they are easily identifiable and provide better security.

Everyone uses lanyards!

custom imprinted lanyards are used everywhere including schools, office buildings, sporting events and more.

They are everywhere: schools, office buildings, sporting events and more. So many places use lanyards daily. Another common use is during conferences, conventions and other events.

While frequently used for displaying name tags, these promotional products have many different uses. Most people have found lanyards to be useful in everyday life. Use them to keep track of your keys, or use them to keep pens and other personal items close at hand.

The ABCs of Lanyards

Lanyards provide simplistic and efficient advertising. As they are usually worn around the neck, they remain easily accessible. As such, they are a perfect advertising opportunity. Lanyards make ideal giveaways at trade shows and conventions because they are quality-made and can include your business name and logo. Promotional lanyards will help customers remember your company and establish a positive brand image.

Know Your Audience

Always consider three things when dealing with lanyards: who is wearing it, who will see it and where it will be worn. Providing one during a convention or conference makes sure that there is a good possibility that it goes outside of the event. Lanyards given as part of a uniform are continually around someone’s neck to provide identification. And, remember that when you give someone a lanyard, the message included on it goes where ever the recipient does.

Never underestimate the power of a lanyard. They work with any dress code. Professionals can wear lanyards with their suit, dress shirt or blouse without compromising their appearance. Lanyards also allow people to carry their identification or credentials within reach for easy accessibility. And, when everyone wears the same lanyard in a business, it creates a sense of unity among the employees.

Networking is also an important aspect that lanyards are great at helping with. They quickly identify someone not only with a name badge, but with a company name and logo printed in plain sight. Providing employees with a custom lanyard with a business logo or slogan not only allows the employee to keep their name badge handy, but most of those who wear lanyards as part of their uniforms do not remove them after leaving work. This provides your company with extra, and free, walking advertising.

Keeping Consistent Branding

Lanyards are a commercial strategy to increase brand recognition. They will help customers and event attendees remember your company and establish a positive brand image. And, in addition to improving your brand image in your customer’s eyes, the use of promotional products, like custom lanyards, at trade shows opens up endless possibilities for a business to attract new consumers.

The Power of A Branded Lanyard

two branded lanyards from Coller Industries Incorporated

From advertising to practicality, branded lanyards benefit any business.

Custom lanyards have never gone out of style. And they continue to grow in popularity, especially when it comes to how they are branded. From sports team colors to business logos, each lanyard reminds the wearer of where they got it.

And, they are more than just a reminder to the wearer, they also let the beholder know more about your brand. Custom lanyards have the potential to reach far beyond what a name tag or badge does. Lanyards have far more useful applications than a name tag. While name tags are perfect for identifying employees and visitors, lanyards add security, branding and functionality to identification.

Lanyards are incredibly versatile due to their custom nature. Add text, logos, graphics and so much more to promote any brand. The text can be a phrase, a date or the name of an event or business. Wearing a lanyard makes ID or credentials more accessible to show to others or for security proof that you can be in a building or any other typically private place.

Keep your employees branded at all times. Add your logo and company color to a lanyard, and you won’t be able to give them out fast enough. Or, use a slogan or motto on branded lanyards to promote your business. These tools add recognition and identify not only the wearer but the company as well. Often, lanyards are a requirement for access to a building or meeting and can be used this way as advertising.

Maintain Open Communication

From security needs to simple identification for employees, lanyards are a key tool for any business. There are so many ways to use them for your company. They can be used for easy registration or entry management for an event. Using these to carry some form of ID helps everyone at your company feel safe. And, the list goes on.

Every retail worker should wear a lanyard with the company’s name or logo on it so customers know who to ask for help. This avoids the embarrassment of mistaking a fellow shopper for an employee and allows customers to enjoy their experience. It is especially important for cashiers and clerks to wear lanyards so customers know they are giving their money to an official employee. And then of course they are a commercial strategy to increase brand recognition.

Event lanyards clearly define who your staff are and where they belong. Using multiple colors or imprints also helps clarify different people at a business or during an event. Visitors can wear one color and employees another. Or, customize the printing to match your company needs. Lanyards also make it easy for employees to show their IDs or credentials to security personnel. By simply taking the time to customize them to differentiate groups, it shows that your brand is professional and you care enough to show it.

So, keep your audience’s attention, strengthen your brand and maintain open communication in your office and at your next event with custom lanyards that match your company goals.

The Learning Center: A Better Way to Blog

The Learning Center is full of articles about learning how to host the best event ever, networking with colleagues and so much more.

Engraved, plastic sign describing 
Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

Whether you’re planning the best conference anyone will ever attend or hosting a simple dinner party, The Learning Center is here to make sure you are using these tools in the best possible ways. Search content by categories like meetings and conferences, or hop from one subject to another at your leisure. Each informative article is there to help you succeed. As you delve into these different aspects of building your corporate identity, you will see positive changes in your business outcomes, company culture and marketing strategies.

From Meeting Planning to Event Hosting, This is the Place to Find Ideas

Spice up your creativity and find innovative ways to use personal identification. From ribbons at a meeting to name plates for directions at a conference, don’t limit yourself when using these fantastic tools. Improve everyone’s impression with name tags and award plaques. Come find out how to use these personalized tools to help your event be everything it should be. So, if you like personal identification as much as we do, take a look around, we guarantee you will find something useful.

It is so much more than personal identification!

Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

No matter what industry you work in or the size of your company, The Learning Center (by Coller Industries Incorporated) was created for you. We have articles on a wide variety of topics from planning the perfect event to networking to build strong relationships. Most importantly, by putting thought and purpose into everything you do, and using the ideas in this blog, it will teach you how to achieve your company goals. It will also show you how to utilize the tools that you already have to improve your business practice.

Coller Industries Incorporated broadens the blogosphere with a new long-form content platform and renames two product and idea based blogs.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personal identification blog Influencing Identity

Influencing Identity is here to help you figure out how to use name tags and identification products. From name tags for your business to badge holders for your next conference, we have it all. Find out how to use all your identification products at work, while networking and at any event you are planning. Use our how-to articles to get your ideas flowing for working with all of your personal identification.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personalized ribbons blog Ribbon Impressions

Ribbon Impressions provides information about everything from ribbon roll ideas for your wedding to badge ribbons for a conference. And don’t forget about rosette ribbons for your award needs, such as fair or festival prizes. Find all your ribbon needs in one place and learn how to best use them at events and for your corporate gifting. Discover inspiration for using personalized ribbons and find useful how-to articles.

The 7 Rules for a Highly Productive Meeting

The first thing to do is to determine if you even need this meeting to take place. Sometimes meetings happen without prior thought to what their purpose should be and how to bring that to pass. If you think that a meeting is a way to go, ask yourself some quick questions before scheduling it.

But, first things first, what is a meeting?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a meeting as “an act or process of coming together.” A meeting is a gathering of two or more people coming together for a specific purpose. These are commonly held when multiple people need to decide on agendas or ways to achieve a particular goal. They may occur when face-to-face interaction is required to make a decision. Meetings may also take place over the phone or a video chat. A meeting can be informal, such as a social meeting with friends, or a formal gathering, such as a business luncheon.

A meeting is defined as an act or process of coming together for a purpose or to achieve a goal.

To avoid wasting time and resources, communication for a meeting’s purpose is critical. Everyone, at some point in time, has attended a meeting and thought during or afterward about why it even happened. Don’t waste time in a meeting that could have been an email or quick one-on-one discussion with someone.

First, clarify the purpose of your meeting and write it down. Second, decide if this a one-way conversation that can be handled in an email or a phone call. And, don’t forget to ask the critical question if any of the information that needs to be shared of a delicate or personal nature. This brings in to question about figuring out who will be attending this meeting and why. And lastly, do you have enough time to prepare adequately?

So, what are the seven rules for planning a meeting?

No matter the purpose of a meeting, whether business-related or not, there are specific tasks which need to be completed to accomplish the underlying goal of that meeting. This is where planning comes into play. Yes, meetings can be boring even if planned out, but remember that you need to make sure it is necessary. And, they can be extremely efficient and productive when planned correctly.

The First Rule: Identify the Purpose of the Meeting

There are multiple reasons to hold a meeting. And, the success of your meeting starts with defining why you need to have it and setting the goals and objectives the event will address and solve. Make sure when making the list of reasons to hold the meeting, you are clear and concise. Clarifying the purpose of your meeting is an essential part of planning your event. And, clear goals and objectives help with the effectiveness of communication. This ensures that everyone in attendance understands why it is important.

Creating an Agenda

Because all meetings should have a clearly defined purpose, it makes sense that every meeting should have a clearly defined agenda. Creating an agenda will improve communication, even if your meeting is small and only has a few in attendance.

Lay out a sequence for the meeting. Plan time for a brief introduction to provide context, and for a discussion of next steps at the end. Decide how much time to devote to each item and what order makes sense. The longer it is, the harder it will be for people to remain focused, so it’s wise to underestimate how much your group can cover in the allotted time.

A well-written meeting agenda organizes and outlines the meeting’s required points of conversation. It highlights important information and helps attendees determine their roles and responsibilities within the meeting. For a planning meeting, the agenda is especially important as it helps to ensure that all planning aspects are addressed within the designated time. Define the planning meeting’s logistics. Provide information on the meeting’s time and location. Include special instructions, such as participation codes for conference calls and login information for online meetings.

It is important to remember that having an agenda is significant to the productivity of your event. An effective agenda should be clear, concise and readable. Share the agenda with participants when necessary, so it must be easy to follow. This agenda should promote effective communication and show the appropriate actions and steps to take to keep people on track and motivated to complete the tasks the meeting sets forth.

The Second Rule: Inviting the Right People

Now that you have determined that you need to hold a meeting, make sure to invite the correct people. You don’t want unnecessary individuals to put the time and effort into coming to something they either don’t belong at, or don’t need to be at.

In some corporate cultures, employees don’t need to participate — they only listen and head back to their workspaces. At other companies, employees participate freely. In today’s collaborative workplaces, interacting and sharing ideas is not only welcome, it’s frequently the purpose of the entire meeting. When you’re setting out your expectations, it’s also a good time to send out any required reading or material you’ll want those attending to look over. That way they’re prepared when they get to the meeting and there are no surprises.

Consider who can help you accomplish your goal and who will be affected by the meeting’s outcome. Identify key decision makers, people who are knowledgeable about (or have a stake in) the topic at hand, those who need to be informed in order to do their jobs, and anyone who will be required to implement decisions made. What about size? Keep problem solving meetings small (around 8 people). Include more people for brainstorming (as many as 18). If you’re providing updates or rallying the troops, be as inclusive as you want to be. But remember: time is money. Be conscious of the ripple effects your meeting can have on people’s time across the organization, and only invite those who absolutely have to be there.

The Third Rule: Time and Space

While it may seem simple, planning when and where your meeting will take place is of enormous importance. And, part of planning when it will be will also consist of who is coming. You will need to make sure that everyone will be available to come, especially if their jobs require the information being present at your meeting.

And, making sure you have a venue, whether it’s the office conference room or a larger gathering hall, is crucial. Make sure you have enough space for everyone.

Make sure that your meeting space fits to your agenda and goals.

As you look for a great location take into consideration the tone of the meeting. A small informal and intimate meeting would work great in a small room with the chairs set into a circle. A formal meeting may require a conference room. Will there be break-out sessions? You will need to prepare for multiple rooms. If this is a full or multi-day event, do you need to provide a room for a meal or activity? Larger meetings require more space, and it will often take longer to find an appropriate space so plan ahead. Be sure to find a space for your event before you publicize the date. Many people begin planning around a specific date only to find that the selected venue is not available, it may be necessary to make adjustments to the venue or the date, stay open to possibilities.

The Fourth Rule: Preparation

From technology to social media and even how you communicate your invitations to the meeting, you must make sure that everything is adequately prepared. You will need to identify and arrange everything needed for a productive meeting; this includes testing out all technology used during the meeting. Prearrange for all required items for the event, and make sure to pay attention to even the smallest details.

Preparation, a take-charge attitude and good oral communication skills are keys to effectively chairing a meeting. It is your responsibility as a chairperson to make sure the meeting fulfills its primary objectives within its preset time parameter. You also need to keep participants engaged and make sure everyone has a voice. Both what you say and how you say it can make the difference between an effective, productive meeting and one that “fails.”

In theory, everyone understands that preparation can make or break an important meeting. The more work you do before you walk into the room, the more productive and efficient you’ll be. But who has the time to properly prepare? Our checklist makes meeting prep quick and easy—be sure to print it out or save it for later. Each step is described in more detail below. Using the checklist and the principles behind it will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases—and that you won’t be wasting anyone’s time (including your own).

Identification for Attendees

Name tags and other identification products are perfect for any meeting

Name tags also provide confidence to those at a conference or meeting. Even if everyone doesn’t know each other, their names are visible and so introductions feel less intimidating. People can confidently call each another by their names.

The bottom line is that name tags don’t have to be expensive or fancy to be powerful. When used appropriately, name tags help to build community. The power within name tags is real. So, put one on today! We have an almost endless variety to meet any need.

The Fifth Rule: Participation

This rule is simple: make sure that everyone in attendance at your meeting knows why they are there. By giving everyone an assignment or asking them to help with a presentation, they will feel of value to the common cause.

From food to printing the agenda, everyone should be able to participate in the meeting. This includes assigning personnel to perform research, develop strategies, disseminate information and implement policies, establishing time frames and benchmark goals, and defining qualitative and quantitative measurement tools to gauge effectiveness. But, make sure to always follow up on actionable items in advance of their due dates.

The Sixth Rule: Stay on Task

From starting on time to your organization, the only way your meeting will flow without fail lies in your preparation. Every meeting should start with a “call to order” to get attention. Sometimes this can be a random prize drawing or a roll call.

Timing is essential, both from a logistic and productivity standpoint. It can be frustrating when things don’t get going because attendees are trickling into the room at their own pace. Make sure to take charge of the meeting. Start promptly and with the “call to order.”

Then, stay on task. Center all conversations around the goals and objectives of your event. Stick to your agenda; that’s why you made it in the first place. And, if things start to deviate course, get back as quickly and directly as you can. Make sure that everyone has a chance to be heard, but also make sure to reign the conversation in when necessary.

The Seventh Rule: Follow Up

Once your meeting has concluded, take the time to check to see if you need any follow up. Whether it is with one person or the entire attendance roster, follow up in just as important as the meeting itself. You need to measure the result and effectiveness of your meeting.

A meeting is only as good as the action it results in. Every meeting with an agenda should also have a desired outcome. As the organizer of the meeting you should continue to drive people towards that desired outcome and act like a “ringmaster” of the different opinions and cases presented at the table. Once consensus has been achieved this should be confirmed in an email so that everyone has written confirmation. You should also track your progress against these stated objectives until the task is complete.

And, don’t forget to clean up! From taking down any decorations to cleaning up leftover food, make sure you leave the venue as you found it. This keeps your venue options open for your next meeting (you don’t want to blacklist your company from anywhere).

Event Planning Made Perfect

Event planning is a marketing tool used by organizations of all sizes to communicate with current and potential clients and employees. It is the process of planning a festival, ceremony, competition, party, concert or convention. For many industries, nothing beats a hands-on experience created by personal interactions. Whether your event is big or small, the overall attendee experience needs to be good enough for them to want to come back next time.

event planning the tools you need to do your job

Many large companies, organizations and individuals are now hiring event planners to take over planning and socializing for their events. These events can range anywhere from a wedding to a small office meeting and anywhere in between. If not properly planned, any event no could contain hitches and bumps along the way.

Generally speaking, there are two markets for event planning services: corporate and social.

Corporations host trade shows, conventions, company picnics, meetings and holiday parties for employees, members or stockholders. Social events may include weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, parties, reunions and other events.

The Ever Important Event Planner

One of the first steps in succeeding as an event planner is finding a purpose or specialty. There are many different types of planners (wedding, large event, party, etc.), so finding a niche may be the easiest task at hand.

There are many reasons to hire an event planner when planning an event or a party. Event planners coordinate all the necessary details of these events. And face it, event planning takes, well, planning. So, why not hire a professional? An experienced event planner should be able to bring anyone’s vision of an event out successfully.

To fully succeed, a good event planner must have a passion for detail.

They also need drive and perseverance to stay in this competitive environment. Event planners play many roles during an event. Starting with the need to be a designer, they also need to be a leader, a problem solver, an innovator and a strategist. It is also important to have an appreciation for different cultures, religions and traditions.

Those seeking this line of work are encouraged to obtain a degree or certificate before starting in this vocation. Most experienced planners agree that jumping in head first is a bad idea as there is no foundation to stand on. Many encourage shadowing or volunteering with an experienced planner to develop the necessary rapport and tools.

Event planning is a highly competitive profession, and anyone considering this line of work needs to show up with a loaded tool belt. This belt needs to come equipped with the ability and skill to determine not only a great and inviting theme but also the ability to find vendors and suppliers to make any event come off without a hitch.

Finding Your Tool Belt

Event planning is about managing events that are intended to achieve unique and individual objectives. Many event planners just starting in the industry find themselves spending most of their time marketing themselves and finding clients. Take this time should to also get to know local vendors.

Vendors that are useful for any event planner are people or places such as florists, caterers, photographers and different venues. It’s always possible that a good vendor can play multiple parts in any event. As successful events are accomplished, this list will grow and can be used to maintain that necessary tool belt.

Effective communication is an essential key to successfully researching, designing, planning, and coordinating any special event. Event planning can be an overwhelming task if the correct tools are not readily available. It pays to know all available resources and will help when delegating responsibilities in advance.

Any time people gather together for a purpose, whether it’s for a conference, a formal dinner or a grand opening, someone needs to manage all the event details to guarantee that it is a success. These details should also include any vendors such as caterers, photographers or speakers depending on the particular specialty.

Hosting an event takes time, talent and perseverance.

To be a successful event planner requires a focus on these talents. It also requires getting to know the correct tools and how to use them. Merely having an eye for detail helps, but doesn’t complete the task of having the proper tools.

By utilizing the proper tools, creativity can flow more naturally and create the perfect atmosphere for any event. Let the juices flow and soar above the rest by having these tools readily available for any need. Take steps to make your event a success, and they’ll come back time and time again.

All themes for significant events can develop from great ideas, but making them come together, work well and having great attendance can be a grueling and daunting task. When an event is well organized, it essentially guarantees a good impression. This first impression is sure to leave a lasting impact. It can also help to set the current trends in event planning.

Expanding Your Tools

An important vendor is for custom credentials, name badges and lanyards. As many events require some sort of admission or identification, it is worth investing in these items. A good event planner knows that name tags and other supplies help guests understand where they need to be and who else is in attendance.

Identifying Each of the Visitors:

badge holders are only one tool you need for your perfect event planning tool belt

Many corporate events require that attendees wear name tags to be easily identified. These name tags can include names, titles and companies. When everyone is identified clearly at events, it can help ease introductions to others so that attendees can move on to more important activities during the event.

While most name tags are worn at corporate events, social events still get use from them as well. Remember, identifying is critical. Use a name tag for a table number or a descriptive sign for food items. Make sure your attendees know and understand your purpose and who they are and why they are attending your event and not the one down the hall.

Associating Each Visitor Appropriately:

adding ribbons to your event planning tool belt is essential in making any name badge stand out

Identify sponsors, presenters or speakers with different colored ribbons. Add a promotion or an advertisement to make someone stand out. Or, use these ribbons to differentiate guests and organizations from staff or volunteers. Customize each ribbon to express any desired effect. Choose from an abundance of stock titles or create a new one.

Every event can use some flair. Show style and preparation through packaging and presentation. Use ribbon rolls to illustrate the product’s benefit. Tell people more about the event at first glance with a highly personalized ribbon. Use it to wrap business or calling cards for a unique touch. Create a wall of ribbons that hold the name tags for the event.

Promoting Those in Attendance at Any Event:

lanyards are a great event planning tool

Use custom lanyards to add a sense of identity to work functions, conferences, trade shows and other events. When people are flowing through an event venue, it becomes necessary to keep track of them using credentials. Lanyards can add value to the event when customized with the convention name, sponsors or logo on them. Event planners often order the same design on different colored lanyards for different attendees or officials.

Community Networking & Donating Yourself

Donating time, money or product is necessary to keep in tandem with your community networking.

community networking and focusing on company branding through donations

A community is a group of people with common interests and unique, shared values.

A general definition of community typically appears as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.

Networking is the bringing together of like minds for a like purpose.

Having a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest better defines networking. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Donations help those around us to feel like they belong and bring to aid to those in need.

Commonly used as a gift for charity, humanitarian aid or to benefit a cause, donations can benefit not only the receiver but also the giver. These donations may take various forms, including money, alms, services or goods such as clothing, toys, food or transportation services.

But, what do those three things have in common?

Let’s turn to the relationship you find when you look at Coller Industries Incorporated and the Granite Education Foundation (GEF). For nearly 10 years, the relationship between these two companies has been a stable feature in many lives. From recognizing outstanding teachers and other educators to winning over the hearts of students in the Salt Lake Valley, Coller Industries’ reach into the Granite School District is felt by many. And not only felt, but appreciated in a plethora of ways.

Yes, this relationship is primarily built on product and monetary donations. However, it is also formed on trust and fellowship. From name tags for school events to money for shoes and coats for students in the school district, everything Coller Industries gives to the Granite Education Foundation builds into a network of creating community understanding. This understanding reaches far beyond what even we could initially see.

Creating Community Understanding

Understanding the community concept teaches that no matter the setting, there are things which must be done to keep it healthy. These insights are supported and managed by people feeling that they belong somewhere. And this comes with accepting each other and the diversity of those around you. This community understanding makes us responsible for those around us. In turn, this community responsibility not only aids those in need, but it assists everyone influenced by any actions in that community.

Donations are one way that makes us more responsible in our community. And, building trust in our community is not only a requirement but also the best way to maintain any community. This is why we, as a company, are always looking to help out in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. And what better way than in our local schools. The Granite Education Foundation manages the school district where our office is located. Its reach, however, is so much farther. And, by partnering and networking with the GEF, we can extend our reach as well.

Here’s to Thank Yous

Every year the GEF sends Coller Industries tokens of the student’s appreciation for our donations. These wonderful expressions of thankfulness have touched all of us here at Coller Industries. And, in turn, we want them to reach out into our community so that everyone can see the benefits of community networking.

valentines from our community of students in the Granite Education Foundation

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Granite Education Foundation and students from across the district wanted to express a heartfelt thanks for all you do. Enclosed you will find hand-made Valentine’s Day cards our students created with YOU in mind. Thank you for being a part of our last 30 years, and we look forward to spending many more with you.

Yours truly,

The Granite Education Foundation Team

 

Seeing these simple expressions of gratitude helps us to understand what these continued donations provide for our community. And, they also help us to know where we can make more of an impact. Although our brand reaches out in our community and networks with other companies, it is crucial that we focus on the humanity of these donations.

This expression of gratitude gives us the opportunity to learn from other businesses and continue to grow and maintain our networking experiences. And, through this networking in our community, we can show how to sustain a positive business culture of quality and understanding. Networking is vital to this development. We are continually working with our customers to retain and develop working relationships through other donations means as well.

Bringing Community into Networking

By reaching into our community and taking part in networking opportunities for organizations like the GEF, we can see how much our brand resonates in others. We also find how our brand reflects in our community.

One of the most important benefits of networking that people tend to overlook is that it allows you to help other people. Granted, our motives in the professional world are rarely altruistic, but helping someone else with their career goals can be truly rewarding.

By finding and networking within your community, you can become a trendsetter and an industry leader. And, isn’t that what every business desires? To take a lead and direct their community should be every entrepreneur’s dream and goal. So, by donating time, money or product to your community, you are not only giving someone a hand up in life, but you also help your brand. While this may seem a little selfish at first, these donations help sustain the growth and reach of your community. So, don’t take these business relationships for granted. Use them to support yourself while helping others.

Improving your reputation and finding support are also benefits of networking.

If you are successful at networking, you might get a reputation for being a person people will want to talk to and get to know. A good reputation leads to support. You may have valuable information, ideas, and resources those in your network may need. Establishing your desire to assist a colleague increases your credibility. The important thing to remember about networking is the growth you will experience by putting yourself “out there” and taking steps to improving yourself and your organization.

By donating to the Granite Education Foundation and helping them with their needs, we benefit the lives of countless children. In turn, this helps each student’s family retain their position in their neighborhood. And that’s only the beginning of the chain. By paying our efforts forward, and nourishing our networking relationships, we are cultivating our community. We also set higher standards for those around us.

And this is how businesses thrive. So, by donating in your community, your networking experiences flourish, and your business grows. Commit to your business quality and brand all while helping those around you by this simple method: donations.

Best Branding Practices for All Businesses

First things first, what is BRANDING?

Definition: BRANDING – a particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a specific product, a trade name or trademark, or a particular kind or variety.

Let’s break it down a bit farther to make it a little easier. The act of branding is the process involved in creating a unique name or image for a product, person or idea. Most people and companies accomplish branding through advertising and other similar means. It is also the action of building a convincing individual or unique presence in a consumer market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

There are two types of branding: personal and corporate.

make the most out of your branding by using your logo and name on all identification

Personal branding is the process of individual marketing, or advertising, themselves or their career as a unique image, or brand. It is in effect the ongoing practice of building up an image or uniqueness about themselves to others around them. A personal brand often involves the use of someone’s name on various marketing products.

Thomas Peters, an American writer on business management practices, said, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.”

Corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and brand name of a company or corporation for marketing and advertising purposes. Typically the range of a corporate brand is extensive and is a way to express the company’s ideals and goals.

Whether personal or corporate, a brand is essential to anyone who wants to stand out from those around them. Corporations typically have a logo designed while individuals must promote their names as a logo.

Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business, both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.

When you think about it, people have brands too. We each have a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating, different impressions we make on different people, and what they say about us when we’re not in the room.

Likewise, businesses have names, products, logos, colors, fonts, a language, and reputations to manage that make up who they are and affect how they’re perceived.

You can’t build a brand without being consistent and maintaining that consistency as you extend your brand to every part of your business. But it all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke.

Branding Your Business

Your company’s brand is what you are, what you want to be and what you aim to become. This brand can be a promise of product quality or trust in a service. Remember, a brand is what makes your company unique. Your branding should make your company stand out from all of your competition. It should let your consumers know what they should expect from your products or services.

So, in layman’s terms, corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and name of a company for marketing and advertising purposes. Branding helps to expand a business and get the word out about the company’s goal.

Branding is the most important part of your business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps your company not only be financially stable, but memorable. And, by being memorable, your brand will draw in more and more customers just by word of mouth.

Starting With the Right Tools

Name tags and name badges provide necessary company branding. This branding is vital for all of your marketing needs. It distinguishes you from your competition and helps others to recognize your quality more readily. By using logos on name tags, you create a focus to help drive your business.

But, don’t limit yourself to just your name tags. Don’t forget that signage and other identification products are there to help advertise your brand. From custom lanyards to award plaques and everything in between, get it personalized with your logo! And then start spreading the word.

Creating Consistency With Your Brand

use matching colors and consistency with logos in branding your companyYour logo represents not only you and your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

Consistency in logo use will make your brand an industry leader.

From colors to logos, consistency matters. So, using name tags, name badges and other personal identification items will establish your brand. And finding the right consistency with logos, colors and fonts helps to solidify your message. By defining what your brand is up front, you help establish your company as an industry leader. And making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top can be quite the process.

using name plates and custom shape name tags for consistency in your brandingOh, and make sure to use the same colors for all of your logo work. Find a way to keep your logo and text the same on all name tags and name plates. If your office uses signage, make sure to include the proper colors and consistency. A company who ensures that their brand is well developed will retain and obtain connections with their clients and customers.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.