Team Building and Employee Summer Engagement

It’s simple: having fun while working keeps up employee engagement. The happier the employee, the better work they will accomplish. And, to make employees even happier, remember to make sure they work well as a team. Team building is a necessary component to your business success!

While teamwork is critical, you also need to find the balance between work and fun as a business professional. Allowing your employees to get to know each other through fun-filled team activities combines their strengths and helps them finish work faster.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

Teamwork is critical to any business’s success, both large and small. So, when employees can connect over common interests, goals and ambitions, they will work better together. And when you have a team that builds up each other, your business will constantly succeed.

Keeping your team motivated takes effort. As a business owner, you need to help your team members develop their bonds to collaborate and communicate effectively. Enter team building!

Name plates, award plaques and name tags will help employees in their team building efforts and establish your business goals.
Providing new name plates and name tags for employees help them to keep engaged with co-workers. Award plaques also help with encouraging strong teamwork.

What is Team Building?

It is a way of describing different activity types used in a learning or working environment that enhances social relations. These actions in turn define roles within teams and often involve collaborative tasks to help people work better together. When teams are put together, they are expected to understand their roles and responsibilities and to get along.

A team that works well together is more effective, more productive, and more successful — not to mention happier and more fun to work with! But team building at work can be tricky, especially when typical team building activities tend to induce more eye rolls among teammates than high-fives.

Studies have shown that businesses with engaged employees pull in more sales and services compared to competitors how have low employee engagement levels. The bottom line is that it is essential for every business to find a way to keep their employees engaged and to work on their team building.

How to Build a Better Team

Don’t underestimate team building games, but don’t overestimate them either. Make sure that if you are going to be adding games to meetings and other team activities they are something that will keep the attention of your employees.

Team building activities and games are supposed to be not only educational but also enjoyable. They help the team learn about each other — how each person thinks, works, solves problems, and has fun. Whether you want to do some new hire orientation icebreakers or just bond your team closer together, there are inventive ways to do this.

From inside around a board room table to outside while relaxing in the shade, keep your games moving. By using interactive games, you will keep your employees’ interest longer and have a more meaningful situation.

Interactive Team Building Games

Gift Exchange

Exchanging white elephant gifts at your (next) party? Name tags make it easy to draw a person’s name to see who gets to choose a gift first. And unlike with paper strips, you won’t have to rewrite their names again next year.

If you want to have a different activity this year, there are several games you and your coworkers can play with blank name tags. Have each person draw a picture of something that represents them. Then, have everyone guess which picture belongs to whom. Or, write a question on each blank tag and give it to each person to pin on their shirt. Everyone then has to answer the question pinned on the person they’re talking to while they socialize. Be careful which markers you use as some markers may be permanent.

Grab That Badge!

One person should be chosen as the group leader and has everyone form a circle. They will then pass out adhesive name badges and pens to each participant. The badges should still have the backing on them so the sticky side is not exposed. Each person then writes their name on the badge. After everyone is done, the group leader collects all the name badges and mixes them up.

The group leader will then give each person an adhesive name badge and tells everyone to peel off the backing and place the name badge on the back of the person sitting to their right. The members of the group must then wander through the group and search for the name badge with their own name. Once they find it, they will take it from the person wearing it. The game becomes extra entertaining if someone’s name badge ends up on their own back.

Crack a Joke (Seriously)

Research shows that humor not only makes work fun, but it also increases productivity. So, give your employees something to laugh about by customizing badge ribbons with work appropriate humor. Use clever puns, dad jokes and funny pop culture references. If you and your team have inside jokes, stick them on a badge ribbon too. Wearing funny badge ribbons around the office will reduce stress levels and keep your employees smiling. The more your employees are in a good mood, the more productive they will be.

What other activities and ideas can you come up with for your team building activities?

Recognize Achievement and Celebrating Excellence

Not only do people like receiving recognition for their achievements, but they deserve it as well. When you recognize achievement, several things happen. One, they are provided with a vital boost to continue in their excellence. Two, they gain happiness for their job well done. And, three, the recognition spills to other people. It’s almost like a ripple effect that goes beyond just the person receiving the recognition. After all, one good turn deserves another, right?

So, how can you learn to make achievements work for you no matter where you work (education, business and organizations)? Driving excellence in your organization will help to boost employee engagement and clientele satisfaction. Here are some great ways to get the ball rolling in your business.

Recognize Achievement with award plaques, rosette ribbons and other personalized products.

Recognize Achievement

Recognizing employee and colleague achievements has incredible outcomes. When you celebrate their excellence with a tangible award (think award plaque or ribbon), they will respond with increased motivation and know that you appreciate their hard work.

Here are some steps to take to make sure that the people in your life know how much you appreciate them.

1) Reward Good Behavior

When you reward good behavior and recognize achievement, you set the foundation for how someone needs to act. Taking the time to acknowledge good behavior lets the recipient and others around them know what you expect from them. So, giving out rewards for good behavior, such as staying on task, will help shape how your office, classroom or other employees will continue to act.

Employee recognition works wonders on employee retention and loyalty. A simple thank you, or a celebration of an employee’s achievement is all it takes – and in turn this will benefit your company’s retention rates.

PRO TIP: The quality of the reward will affect the quality of the return work, so make sure your awards are high-quality!

2) Making Someone Feel Appreciated

Whether it is an employee, student or other colleagues, feeling appreciated has its own merits. Appreciation goes a long way for most people. When you either tell or show someone how appreciative you are for them being involved in something, their work ethic is guaranteed to improve.

The biggest thing when expressing your appreciation is to make sure that it is genuine. Don’t just say you appreciate someone without having a reason for it. Make sure that when you tell someone how proud you are of them, you tell them why they mean so much to you.

3) Show Pride for a Job Well Done

Recognize achievement as soon as you see it. By doing this, you establish the essential bond between yourself and employees or students. This bond, when created and nourished, will encourage good behaviors and a steady work ethic. It will create a healthy and positive environment where communication is open and free.

Employee recognition doesn’t just come from the managers, but also from the employee’s peers. Peer recognition goes a long way; it helps to establish comradeship between colleagues and is great for increasing teamwork in the workplace.

When someone feels that they have something to be proud of, it shows in how they continue to act. Rewarding someone for a job well done is the perfect way to make sure they have a sense of pride. The recipient can then show off their tangible award (again an award plaque or ribbon is a great example) to friends and family. This pride will then motivate the recipient to continue wanting to do their job well.

4) Helping to Motivate

Being engaged with employees or students will help motivate them to do their best work. Taking time to recognize achievement will foster engagement, reduce stress and increase productivity among employees and students. Motivation comes naturally when everyone is involved in staying productive and on task.

After all, motivation is what drives people to success. Giving recognition for these successes creates a positive atmosphere and helps keep employees and students going. Employee/Student does a great job (and you want this behavior to be repeated) should be followed by recognition. Once the achievement has been recognized, the employee/student will want to repeat the behavior to receive more recognition.

5) Creating a Happy Environment

Students (and employees) that are successful with their work are happy. By recognizing their achievements, you are encouraging them to continue to work hard and be productive. When you reward them, you’ll make them feel appreciated and happy. Making sure that you are recognizing achievement when you’re supposed to is important.

Showing your appreciation, even for the small things, will help your employees and students feel happier while they are working. After all, happy employees and students make for a happy workspace. And, when an incentive is in place, people tend to work harder. Don’t underestimate what happiness can do for your office or classroom!

Products that will help with recognizing achievements, both great and small!

Award Plaques

The elegance of these Crystal Acrylic Plaques will make any office achievement shine. So, for your next “Employee of the Month,” grab one of these incredible awards and make your team feel important and appreciated.

No matter who you want to thank, make it shine with these beautiful plaques. Remember that coach in your life whether it be for little league baseball or the professionals. Everyone enjoys being recognized for their hard work and achievements.

Rosette Ribbons and Prize Ribbons

From equestrian events to fairs and classrooms, Rosette Ribbons are perfect for all awards.

Rosette Ribbons are great for place ribbons. So, when you have a classroom contest or a need to represent several athletes for the quality of their work, choose from a variety of styles and colors. Most ribbons represent up to nine places and also participation awards. All our rosette ribbons are high quality and can be ordered as custom or stock rosette award ribbons.

And, these rosettes are perfect for awards for any shows or event types. From sports, hobbies and animals to horticulture, business achievements and education everyone will want a rosette as their award for a job well done. With the fancy tops and long streamers, the high-end look will indeed show recognition for doing well.

Customize each ribbon to your needs by choosing a logo or graphic to go with the sporting event or school activity. Then, provide a message for each streamer and individual names for each award. No matter your choice, each award recipient is sure to treasure such a unique gift.

Acrylic Desk Blocks and Executive Desk Wedges

Celebrate a promotion, graduation or a new job with an executive desk wedge!

Executive name plates are perfect for showing just how much you appreciate someone. They also make an excellent award for any achievement. With a class of excellence above any other, these beautiful nameplates are sure to show how much you care. Whether you give one as a gift or buy one for yourself, the professional quality reflects the excellence you demand from yourself and your company.

Celebrating Excellence

As a leader, teacher or manager, you have a responsibility to make sure that your employees or students know how much you care. When you celebrate even small achievements, you are helping those you lead see their excellence. This recognition will help them feel appreciated and let them know their contributions are welcome and wanted.

“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition,” said Dr. Bob Nelson, best-selling author and motivational speaker.

Through celebrating excellence, you can build a culture that attracts and retains the best talent. The truth is that no one can be successful alone. You always need help somewhere along the way. Most anyone can learn a skill, but not everyone knows success is all about prioritizing people.

Donor Retention for Nonprofits

People will stay loyal to your nonprofit when they feel like a valuable member of your team. When they see that you care about them as people, they will feel essential. The key to donor retention is getting those supporters to realize just how vital they are to your organization.

Your donors want to make a positive difference in the world, so let them know that they are making that difference. Show they are essential to you by developing a close relationship with them. Tell them what your team has accomplished because of their generous contributions.

Being open on how you spend this money builds trust in your organization. When mentioning your nonprofit’s accomplishments, tell those contributors what their money went toward (e.g., building construction, medical research, scholarships, etc.). It helps them see exactly how their donations improve people’s lives.

These loyal supporters already have a lot of respect and trust for your nonprofit, and often feel emotionally connected to it. The more dedicated they are, the more financially secure your nonprofit becomes. So, your goal is now to turn each new donor into a lifelong partnership. This process is called donor retention. As you focus on retaining support, you will have the funds necessary to make the world a better place.

Donor Retention for Nonprofits

Building Relationships

A higher donor retention rate translates directly to higher revenue for a few reasons. First, retaining (them) is substantially less expensive than acquiring new (ones). Second, (these) gifts tend to increase as they develop stronger connections with your (cause). Finally, donor retention leads to a more predictable revenue stream, putting it in a good position to increase steadily.

Donor retention increases when you build strong relationships with those who support your cause. Improve communication and increase engagement using multiple channels. In this article, you will learn how to apply these strategies. But first, you need to understand why these steps are so necessary.

Increasing this retention is more than getting people to donate continually. This is because it also increases revenue as it helps you attract new donors. As current supporters become more passionate about your purpose, they tell their friends about it. Once you build these strong relationships, you will find more people willing to volunteer, start fundraisers and advocate for your cause.

Improve Your Communication

Frequent communication is the key to staying at the forefront of your donors’ minds. Make sure to strike the perfect balance between contacting them frequently and not overloading their inboxes. Every communication you send should include helpful information so you’re not just sending messages solely for the sake of staying in contact.

People give to your nonprofit because something about your cause touches them. Find out what that is by asking them what motivated their donation. Knowing why people contribute to your nonprofit allows you to connect with them on a deeper level.

When you contact these people, make sure your message is personalized. It makes them feel appreciated to be recognized as an individual. Include their name, the amount of money they gave and other details to give your message that personal touch. As you prove how much you value each contribution, you will build a strong relationship with them and gain their loyalty.

Keeping Communication Channels Open

People give to your organization because they are interested in what you do. Keep that interest alive by becoming a valuable source of information for them. From a website and social media to personal messages and letters, communication is key to donor retention.

Communication is also about honesty. Explaining the challenges you face shows donors that you have nothing to hide. If you have successfully built a good relationship with them, they will be willing to help you through difficult times. Let them know what you need, why you need it and how you plan to spend their money.

Website, Social Media & Blogging

One of the best ways to retain your donors is to have a user-friendly website. Make room for a donation link or button on every web page. Many find it useful to include it in the header. Easy access to this form lets people spontaneously give a gift whenever they visit your website.

Make your posts engaging so that others will want to respond and share them. Another way to grab their attention is by posting stories and testimonials. People will feel proud of supporting your organization when they read actual accounts from those you serve. By motivating them to share your content, you keep their interest in your nonprofit alive.

Start and maintain a blog that educates donors on what is happening in the community you serve. Make sure to add new content regularly as consistent posting shows dedication, professionalism and expertise.

Personalized Messaging

Even with modern technology, you still want to connect on a personal level with those who give to your cause. Start by sending handwritten letters or customized gifts to people who make large donations to your nonprofit. Give them an acrylic desk block or wall plaque that’s custom engraved with an inspirational quote to remind them of the positive impact they have. Go the extra mile and wrap your gifts in ribbons customized with your organization’s name and logo. This extra touch will help donors remember who gave them such a thoughtful gift.

Another great way to reach sponsors is to email them, so take advantage of this communication tool. Send a monthly newsletter that communicates the progress you are making toward your cause. Or tell them about upcoming projects and the problems they can help solve. In each email, share something your nonprofit achieved the previous month. By keeping people informed of what is going well, you build trust in your organization and secure donor loyalty.

Thinking Outside the Box for Donor Retention

When donors see you helping them with their needs, they help you with yours. Send them a quick text message to keep them on track, so they give you the support you need to fulfill your cause. The best thing about text messaging is that you can reach your people wherever they are.

Surveys are also an excellent retention tool because they help you improve people’s experience with your organization. Or keep your audience engaged with an online event such as a webinar or virtual lunch break. Thanks to modern technology, you can host fun online events to help people feel connected to your organization.

Pro Tip: Whenever you are on camera, maintain the same level of professionalism that you would at an in-person event by wearing a name tag.

Donors connect with your nonprofit when you use the communication channels they like most. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same preferences. Some enjoy using social media, while others want a more personal message like a letter. To appeal to all your supporters, reach out to them using multiple communication channels.

Keep your nonprofit in operation through good and bad economic times with a high donor retention rate. If you build a strong relationship with these contributors, improve your communication and use multiple channels, you’ll receive the funds you need to achieve your purpose. Supporters will see why your nonprofit is necessary and trust you to make a positive difference in the world.

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

Teachers are the most vital part of any educational system. So, there is no doubt that teachers are of great importance to student success. Without them, students can’t learn, and every system would fall apart. So making sure that teacher wellness is maintained should be central to every school’s operation.

A recent study showed that 77% of teachers said that “poor teacher mental health is having a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress. An overwhelming number of respondents, 94%, said that their energy levels in the classroom drop during periods of poor mental health, and 90% said that their teaching is less creative during these times. Many of the mental health issues were caused by excessive workload and constant work scrutiny.”

“The survey also revealed that a significant number of teachers, 81%, said poor mental health has a negative impact on the quality of their relationships with learners. The same percentage said it affected their behavior management skills, with teachers citing ‘lower levels of tolerance,’ ‘focusing on the negative’ and being ‘quick to anger.’”

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

So, we can see that teachers find it hard to communicate and educate students effectively when they feel drained. As with any job, mental wellness is important. Without a little focus on how a teacher is feeling, they can often face burnout or need to miss too many teaching days. Because of this stress, teachers are looking for ways to keep themselves going and continue helping their students.

So, why is teaching stressful?

From behavior problems to mandatory testing procedures, teachers don’t have a lot of time to influence students appropriately, let alone focus on their wellness. As such, teachers often face overlooked mental health issues and end up finding it hard to continue in their chosen career. Research has discovered that over a third of education professionals are expected to leave their job by the end of the year.

There is no question that teachers are crucial for student success. Most teachers and educators know the rewards that come from seeing classroom learning and student achievements. However, teaching is proven to be one of the most stressful and demanding occupations. Unwatched teacher wellness can turn into teacher strikes, shortages and high turnover rates. Research shows that up to 46% of teachers report high stress affects their daily life. This stress contributes to lower teaching performance and poor health.

One of the main reasons for teachers leaving the profession is the workload they are required to carry. Burnout often happens when a teacher doesn’t get a break from the complexity of their job. From exhaustion to feeling inadequate, this burnout is happening far too often. Teacher wellness needs to start becoming a priority for many educational systems. 

So, what can teachers and administrators do to make sure good mental health becomes a priority?

Most companies will agree that a happy and healthy employee is one who can do their job and do it well. So, why not take a day to yourself every once in a while. It’s okay to take a mental wellness day. It will make it so that when you are at work, you are putting your best foot forward. And, that isn’t just for business, teachers need this advice too.

And, if larger corporations put in the effort to make sure their employees are finding balance, why not do this for teachers too? From adding zero gravity chairs to a break room to scheduling alone time during a busy school day, teachers need to be aware of their mental health.

There are many remedies for teacher burnout. From taking a mental health day to seeking out therapy, every teacher should find a way to take the necessary daily breaks. After all, teacher wellness encourages school growth and student success. As this English teacher points out, she has four go-to tips to help her unwind and find a way to power through tough days.

A Few Tips from Captain Awesome

1. Get out when you can.

If your school lets you leave during your planning period, do it. Grade papers at a coffee shop. Take a walk. If those aren’t options, just go to the library to do your planning. Anywhere away from your classroom will work. Because if you’re in your classroom, you know what will happen? The teacher across the hall will come in, sit on your newly-Lysoled tables, and start in with, “I don’t know why I even bother with Joselin …” And by the time she’s done, you won’t know either. But you’ll be in a bad mood third period because you spent all of your planning time listening to her instead of making your copies.

2. Do nice stuff for students.

Four kids in my first period had birthdays last week. One of them is a girl who’s really struggling. Under the auspices of celebrating “class birthdays,” we brought in breakfast, organized gifts, and threw a lunchtime birthday dance party. And that was enough to keep me going for the rest of the week.

3. Localize your own whining.

This one is tricky, but it’s essential for the final tip, which is the most effective one. Pick one person to whom you will complain about work. That is the only person you can go to when you’re feeling stressed about the negative school environment.

4. Be a ray of freakin’ sunshine.

This is my favorite. Refuse to participate in negative talk, especially about kids. When your colleague comes in, flops into a seat, sighs heavily and groans, don’t commiserate. Make your response as over the top as you can.

daily affirmations to promote teacher wellness

EXPERT TIP:

Have daily affirmations that you repeat to yourself as needed, but at least once a day.

These are especially helpful when students are difficult or you’re having a rough day.

We have all seen the studies that give findings that teaching is one of the most stressful occupations. However, these studies also find that helping teachers with classroom organization and individual needs will minimize the effect this stress causes. By supporting this type of communication, teachers find that their input can become invaluable. 

And, by being able to give input and have an effect on what is taught in their school, teacher wellness becomes better. There will be fewer teacher sick days, and students will feel that their teachers can care about their success.

However, it is important to remember that not all teachers experience stress equally or for the same reasons. Nor will they respond the same to solutions proposed by their administrators. So make sure there are multiple game plans to help teacher wellness on individual levels. Whether it’s donuts in the break room for the weekly boost of sugar or a simple sit down one-on-one with a colleague, every teacher should feel that their wellness begins with the administration.

Teacher Wellness Solutions

Finding workshops and other programs for teachers is a great way to help reduce the stress put on teachers. Giving them an outlet to learn how to cope with day to day struggles will help every teacher’s well being. And by providing these opportunities, teachers are able to address their stress before it becomes overwhelming. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help teachers in a one-on-one setting. This therapy educates individuals to observe their mood changes and how they affect daily interactions. By avoiding triggers, teachers can focus on student achievements and development. 

Another solution for supporting teacher wellness is meditation. Give the teachers in your school a method to cope by providing a space for them to de-stress. Use those zero gravity chairs or relaxing music in a safe place so that teachers can unwind for negativity or other triggers they may experience throughout the school day.

Making Teacher Wellness a Priority at the Three Village School District

Rich Glasheen, a math teacher at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York, usually spends around 10 to 15 minutes, sitting in the zero-gravity chair, maybe drinking a cup of tea and reading while listening to calming music.

Special education teacher Katherine Jimenez is also partial to the zero-gravity chair, but she relaxes to the ambient sounds and images emanating from the 65-inch flat-screen television bolted to the wall. Alyssa Ward, who works in Ward Melville’s attendance office, likes to spend a little time in the oversized massage chair. Speech pathologist Kathryn Fenigstein found a recent “lunch and learn” session with a nutritionist particularly helpful.

Zero-gravity chairs, soothing music, aroma diffusers, yoga, visiting nutritionists. You might ask what kind of staff room is this?

Actually, it’s not any kind of staff room. This is “WellVille,” a wellness center designed for staff in the Three Village School District. Part of the district’s wellness program, WellVille is a reconfigured classroom inside Ward Melville High School. It’s open to all staff to help them de-stress and then walk back to their classrooms feeling rejuvenated.

“WellVille not only allows us to clear our mind from our daily challenges,” explains Jimenez. “It re-charges us with positive energy that we bring back to our students. I have become a much better teacher as a result, and I see how my students have benefited as well.”

District Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich didn’t hesitate to sign off on the project.

“We acknowledge the important correlation between wellness and job effectiveness and satisfaction,” Pedisich explains. “Providing the opportunity to decompress and participate in wellness activities and workshops is not only healthy but rejuvenating. Ultimately, our students benefit from educators who are happy, supported, and devoted to their profession.”

Finding Balance without Burnout

Most teachers, at some point, will experience burnout and worry about their wellness. But, that doesn’t mean burnout needs to define how teachers cope from day to day. There are many things they can do to make sure that their burnout is short lived. Using the above methods and techniques will help any teacher focus on their wellness goals.

From eating healthier to getting a good breath of fresh air twice a day, teacher wellness is important. After all, students are our future, and teachers are the ones making the most significant impact. So, they need to stay at the top of their game. They need to find that coveted balance between work and social life. And, they need to find internal zen that will help them remain confident in their abilities to teach.

So, take that teacher wellness day, and don’t feel bad about it. You work hard and you deserve the break. And, most importantly, those around you (especially students) will thank you for focusing on you so that you can focus more on them. Be proud of your talents and career and take a step forward by focusing on your wellness today.

Get the Most Out of Attending Conferences

No matter what you hope to achieve by attending conferences, these eight steps will help you get there.

Part of maintaining a successful business is attending conferences. They give you opportunities to build connections, learn from experts in your field and promote your brand. How much you benefit from these opportunities depends on your approach. If you prepare well, spend your time wisely and apply what you learn, you will take your company to new heights. To ensure you get the most out of your conference experiences, follow these eight steps.

Three people talking while attending conferences.

1. Know Why You Are Attending

Having a goal is fundamental to maximizing your conference experience. If you know what you want to achieve, then you will know how to prioritize your time. So, unless your boss gives you a specific reason for going to a conference, come up with one. It could be to find new clients, learn about the latest technology or form a business partnership. If you have trouble coming up with a goal, think about where your company is right now and ask yourself what would make it better. Once you have the answer to that, then setting a goal for the conference will be much easier.

2. Find Out Who You Want to Meet

Now that you have a goal, create a list of people you need to talk to at the conference. By making this list ahead of time, you increase your chances of achieving your objective. Start by researching more about the speakers and presenters. Once you figure out which ones will best help you reach your goal, make plans to talk to them sometime during the conference.

Don’t just stop with the speakers. Use social media hashtags and other technology to find out who else will be at the event.

Most conferences these days have an app that allows you to connect with fellow attendees. Download the app before the conference and take a look at who else is attending. If you find someone interesting in the app, take the time to do a bit of research on them so that when you do happen to meet up in person at the event you can breeze through the icebreaker and get right down to a meaningful discussion.

3. Plan Your Conference Agenda

Business woman writing in a notebook before attending conferences.

Use the conference itinerary to plan which sessions you will attend. Any time you spend figuring out which session to go to and how to get there is time you could have spent working toward your goal. So, plan ahead of time and map out how you will get from one session to the next. Also, find out where the closest restrooms will be so you are not wandering the halls or showing up late to a session. Becoming familiar with the venue also allows you to help your fellow attendees, which is a great way to form new relationships that could benefit your business.

4. Prepare to Collect and Distribute Contact Information

Before you show up to the conference, make sure you have a way to collect people’s contact information. If you are lucky, you will have tons of business cards by the end of the event. Make sure you keep all that contact information safe so you can use it later. Bring a folder to store business cards in or put the information onto a spreadsheet. As long as you have a system in place, you will be able to follow up with the people you met at the conference.

Make it easy for people to follow up with you by having tons of business cards on hand. The cards need to be easy to read so that people have no trouble contacting you. Also, make sure to include your social media handles as well as your phone number and email address. For some people, connecting through social media is more comfortable than a direct email or phone call. So, give people different ways to contact you so that they are more likely to follow up after the conference.

5. Wear Your Name Tag

Two custom engraved name tags to wear while attending conferences.

Even though most conferences give you a name badge to wear during the event, bring the name tag you use for work. Wearing a name tag that matches your brand helps people associate you with your products or services. And, it increases brand recognition. If your company does not use name tags, talk to your boss about having one custom made. Wear it so other people can easily read it. As you wear a name tag that has your business name, logo and job title, you will see it spark people’s interest in your company, which could lead to future growth.

6. Pay Attention During Presentations and Workshops

After several hours of listening to people speak, your mind can start to feel groggy. So, do things to help you remain alert. Stay hydrated and have snacks for whenever you start to feel your energy drop. Sit close to the front so you can easily see and hear the speaker. For note-taking, don’t just write down what the speaker says. Think about how it could help your business improve and jot down your ideas. These are just some strategies to help you stay focused on the presentations. As long as you make an effort to pay attention, you will get a lot more out of the conference than if you didn’t.

7. Follow Up After the Conference

Don’t let the connections you made go to waste. Follow up with your contacts, but gently. You don’t want to come off as overbearing or desperate for a business connection.

Whether you swapped emails, social media or business cards, use what you have to start up a professional yet friendly conversation. Make it your goal to form a connection that will last. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t be aggressive in how you approach them.

8. Take What You Learned and Make Plans

You have gathered a wealth of information. Now it is time to put it to good use. First, go over your notes, especially the ideas that came to your mind during the conference. Out of everything you wrote down, what will help your business move onto the next stage of development? You may want to apply everything you learned at the conference, but what you do first will depend on where your company is at now. So, discuss what you learned with your team members and your boss before you move forward. Once you decide the best way to proceed, begin making plans. As you apply what you learned from the conference, and follow up with the people you learned from, you will receive a higher return on your investment.

Now that you know the steps to getting the most out of a conference, apply them to every event you attend. As you come to these events prepared to learn, make connections and promote your brand, you will see your business bloom.

Social Networking Success for Any Business

It’s so much more than having a Facebook account. It isn’t even about how active your social media accounts are. It’s all about how you connect with your customers. So, what is “it?” It, referring to social media networking, has increasing benefits that all businesses can take advantage of. If you’re not taking advantage of social networking, you’re missing out on a quick, cheap and extremely effective way to connect with nearly half of the world’s population.

Now, more than ever, people are using social media to connect with brands. Are you taking advantage of social networking for your business?

While it isn’t one size fits all, or every network is suitable for every business, you should be asking the fundamental questions: who, what, where, when and why. And, maybe not in that specific order. Sometimes the why should come first. The who is also extremely important. But, most of all, you need to answer where.

social networking is a growing trend for any business

So, where do you start?

Social networking should be a strategic part of your business marketing plan. With that being said, now you need to decide on where you will feature your business. Most businesses stick with Facebook as a foundation to get their brand off the ground. However, it is essential to remember that what works for one does not work for all. Make sure that you do some research on all of the available networks before making your decision.

Facebook may be a good place to start; after all, nearly everyone is on this network; and it is the most recognizable. Check out Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others to see what is right for your company. While you are looking for the best fit, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How do I want to be active on social?
  • What will I be posting?
  • How often will I be posting?
  • Which network will offer the best visibility for my business?

While you may not immediately know all of these answers, keep them in mind while looking at the different social networking sites. Instagram and Pinterest are image based, so if your company can host a lot of engaging images and product pictures, these may be the right sites for you.

Also, keep in mind the type of business you own. For example, do you own a company that works mainly as B2B? When trying to network with other companies to sell your product or service, LinkedIn might be the best place to connect with your consumers. Twitter is another great B2B site as it deals in real time and offers a great place to chat and connect with customers and other businesses quickly.

Setting Social Networking Goals

Once you make these social connections, you need to use them for making your business better. Set goals to help you achieve these connections. After all, marketing on social media can bring significant success to your company, create brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy. Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media. Whether you want to grow your brand through social media or to level up as a social media marketer, developing a social media marketing strategy is essential.

From ads to regular posting, social media is different for every business.

And, it doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, what works for one may, or may not, work for another. However, there are some key elements and directions your social networks can, and should, have. Here is a quick list of things to make sure you are doing on your chosen social networks.

The problem most businesses face with social media isn’t whether or not to participate, but how to take advantage of it. Social media should be used to tell your business story and set yourself apart from all of your competition. Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.

Without a social networking strategy, you might be posting on social just for the sake of posting. And, without understanding what your goals are, who is your target audience and what they want, it is hard to achieve positive results.

“Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels,” said Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at rbb Communications, said in a previous Business News Daily interview. “People are on social media all day, every day – brands must go where the people are.”

Implementing a Social Networking Strategy

Now that you have decided where you want to be, and why, you need the how. A strategy is where you’re headed; a plan is how you’ll get there. You have decided where to head to; now you need a plan. How should you fill out your social media profiles? What should your tone and voice be like? What posts type (i.e., image, link, video, etc.) should you use? Here are some things to consider.

Brand Awareness

social networking is a growing trend for any business

Your brand should be recognizable. So, think about your profile image. While a logo may be where your thinking immediately takes you, try and make something a bit more catchy. Take, for instance, our unique use of our logo. Not only does it let our customers know what our business brand is, but it also tells more of a story about our products and what we can offer to our customers.

Other elements of a business page include a cover photo or video, shared images, about us sections and other storytelling tools. These are necessary for every business while socially networking. Make sure to fill out each network’s page information sections entirely so that your customers can get the whole picture.

Remember to tell the truth. Don’t fudge or exaggerate any of your business details. If a potential client thinks that you offer a service because of your social profile, then make sure they can get that service. The same thing goes for your product. You will end up with upset customers and declining sales if you are not truthful while setting up your new social profile.

Customer Engagement

As a business, you need to figure out how you want your customers to start engaging on your social network. This will vary depending on which network you choose. So, make sure to learn all of the features your chosen social network offers. This way, you won’t be shocked when your customers start trying to communicate with you.

For example, Facebook has Messenger, which features an easy way to chat with customers and other clients who message you. LinkedIn also has a similar feature. But, when it comes to Snapchat, that changes due to the way they work with stories and other posting methods.

But, most importantly, you need to be responding to your customers. Make sure they know and understand that you are on a social site for them, not for you. Sure, it helps meet sales goals and gets your brand out into the world. But, without proper communication, you won’t retain customers or make any new connections.

Building a Business Community

From Facebook Groups to Twitter chats, tracking your social engagement is a must. There are so many tools to help you navigate using any social media network. Before choosing one, make sure to do your research. They are all similar but remember that each one has different features. While we don’t recommend one above another, we do recommend that you check them out to see what will work best for you and your business.

You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Finding out what works for you may be trial and error at first, but there are so many tools to help you figure it all out. Use hashtags to keep engagement up. Try different styles of images on Instagram to increase your user participation.

But, no matter what, don’t give up. Follow the analytics of each social network you use so that you can retain information on your business community. You need to know who your customers are in order to give them what they want. Make sure they understand that you know them. Set up a way to give your customers the best customer service they will ever have on any social network. Once you do this, you’re guaranteed success in social networking.

But, no matter what you do, remember that social networking is unique to your business. So, get networking on what works for you.

The Art of Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is a fun and captivating way to show appreciation for colleagues and clients. Gift giving is also a powerful investment tool for your business. Take a moment and think about how important it is to recognize those who keep your business running.

You are creating a personal connection to people you work with by giving gifts. These individuals will feel more valued and appreciated as they receive a thoughtful gift. And, there is no better way to strengthen a business relationship.

As such, corporate gifting has been on the rise for the past few years. This rise happens as more business owners discover the benefits of thanking their customers, employees and other business partners with a simple gift. No matter the present, how you give to those keeping you in business says a lot about you as a professional.

corporate gifting to employees

What is corporate gifting?

Corporate gift giving is an effective way to sustain your customer and employee retention. Giving these gifts will help you build critical relationships with customers and colleagues. And, most importantly, it will allow you to express your gratitude to the company’s employees. It is a simple concept to show appreciation to your professional network and will increase your business opportunities.

According to numerous surveys, most business gifts are given to major clients. After that comes employees, then prospective clients. Reasons for gift giving range from thanking long-standing customers for their business to recognizing a valued employee for working on a weekend. The basic reason is the same: to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between the giver and recipient.

Gifts differ from incentives in that they’re offered with no explicit preconditions for performance. They differ from ad specialties in that they don’t contain any blatant imprints or advertising. They differ from recognition in that they’re not part of prescribed programs.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bottom-line benefit to be derived from corporate gift giving. Just about everyone agrees that when done correctly, gifting is a cost-effective way to build a sense of partnership with valued associates. And, they know that the primary reason for gifting is to acknowledge relationships and improve personal connections.

Why should you participate in corporate gifting?

For some companies, corporate gifting is an essential part of their marketing strategy. It is, by far, one of the most productive ways to grow and sustain your business. And, for many companies, giving is a fundamental detail within their business model.

Most business owners would agree that, when done correctly, corporate gifting provides an opportunity to connect with their clients and strengthen employee ties. And, while there are many reasons for corporate gifting, the underlying goal is to sustain relationships and deepen personal connections between the business owner and their colleagues. Retention, recruiting and business development are three other great reasons to give a gift.

Show how much you value the relationships you have built through your business by handing out corporate gifts. By doing this, your bottom-line becomes a social, rather than a financial benefit. But don’t just give a gift because you think your clients and employees expect it. Give because you want to sustain these relationships.

Because of your corporate gifting, your business transactions increase and so does your customer retention. By giving corporate gifts to your business associates, you continue to develop a positive image in your customer’s mind. So, customers who receive thoughtful corporate gifts from your business tend to buy more products and request services from you.

However, many corporations don’t understand that gifts and incentives contribute to maintaining a business commitment. Corporate gifting helps maintain the relationships you have already worked so hard to establish. It also helps the recipient remember your company because you gave them such an enjoyable and memorable gift.

We are social creatures who express our feelings by giving gifts.

It can be any occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary or to even show love and gratitude, giving gifts is an activity we all do. Let us go back in time to find the origins of gift giving. Giving gifts is one of the oldest human activities; it may have started just after the origin of our species. Even primitive beings gave gifts to one another; often tribe leaders awarded tribe members for any achievement that is gain for the entire tribe.

Earlier gifts used to be a little unusual, but these were the only precious things available at that time. Unusually shaped rocks, a tooth are some examples. These things came naturally from nature and were given without any modification. As we developed tools, holes were drilled into these rocks or a tooth to use them as necklaces or bracelets. Then idols gifted were made from carving wood or stone for as idol worship started among people. Later, people used to offer each other good luck tokens; these token were given as presents. Even today, corporate gifting is part of our everyday culture; it is a means to express our feelings for one another.

So then, to whom should you be sending these gifts?

corporate gifting should include everyone who is important to your business

Your gift recipient list should always include significant clients, business partners, valued suppliers and especially your employees. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset, so you want to show how much you appreciate them. Other notable people to consider sending corporate gifts can include prospective clients or new customers.

Gift these gifts as employee recognition. Some companies give managers a discretionary budget that may be spent on gifts to recognize employees for exceptional behavior. Actions worthy of special recognition include going “above and beyond” to please a customer, putting in long hours to complete a project on time, making a cost-saving or productivity-enhancing suggestion or completing a big sale. Some executives would argue that such actions are expected as part of an employee’s job and should be rewarded at performance-review time. Yet, the evidence suggests that carefully timed and appropriate gifts not only make people feel appreciated for their performance, they also increase the chances people will feel good about going the extra mile in the future.

When giving gifts for a special performance, make sure the gift is appropriate to the employee receiving it, and the presentation is made in a personal and, if possible, public forum. The recipient and his or her colleagues must know why the gift is being presented. Publicity in the company newsletter, or even an announcement in the lunchroom, ensures that people know the types of behaviors the organization wants to promote. Employees typically receive gifts as awards for years of service.

Now, sometimes the hardest question: what do you give as your corporate gift?

Don’t make showing appreciation with corporate gifts for your customers, clients and employees complicated. Company branding is important to remember while you are giving your corporate gifts. And when gift giving, branding is crucial for all corporations. These gifts help to promote a company’s brand and provide continued employee loyalty. And, in the past few years, personalized gifts are replacing other gift types.

No wonder that the customized corporate gift acts as a brand tool and creates brand awareness among the receiver. Gifts given away as a promotional item with the company’s logo and tagline helps create brand recognition. The best way to create awareness is by giving small promotional gifts as it not only attracts more people but helps to retain your brand in the market.

Remember to choose gifts that will assist in cementing business relationships and boost your sales and service requests. The best gift option is something that will be meaningful for your recipients. So, make sure to do your research before selecting what you are giving away. What works for one client may not work for your employees. Frequently, businesses must decide on several gift types to accommodate all of their recipients.

Businesses have a lot of different choices for what to send people as corporate gifts. As a rule of thumb, think about how professional you need the gift to be. And, consider if you would want to receive the gift as well. Remember not to overstep your bounds if you are trying to personalize these gifts. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to connect with an individual using marketing strategies.

personalized ribbon tied around a chocolate treat for corporate gifting

P.S. Don’t forget to personalize your corporate gifts!

Attach a personalized handwritten note to every gift for an added touch so your colleagues and clients will remember you for years to come. Oh, and hand deliver each one so you can continue to strengthen every business relationship you have.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.

Harnessing the Power of Personalization

In order to harness the power of personalization, you must understand the relationship between a company and an individual.

Yes, many who read this are most likely representative of a corporation or business. And, yes, many will look at this information from a marketing standpoint. After all, personalization is a powerful marketing strategy that is easy to incorporate in daily business. But, the trick is to remember that the power of personalization applies to everyone in everyday life, especially the little guy.

Personalization should also be on a business level. This includes a company’s brand. Your logo communicates not only 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.

By defining your brand upfront, you help establish your company as an industry leader and key influencer. So, making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top of your industry can be quite the process. Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved (consumers and colleagues) and plays a big part in raising the profile of a company.

First, let’s look at the advantages of personalized marketing.

Marketing is a business promoting and selling their products or services. This promotion also includes market research and advertising. And, what better way to advertise than with personalization. Whether that’s your branding or remembering the little guy, you need to focus on what best suits your company goals and your customer’s needs and happiness.

standing out in a crowd and remembering the power of personalization

Remembering that little guy is often a struggle inside a business model. But, it is one of the most essential tasks any CEO or higher-up can accomplish. After all, it’s those little guys who make your business grow from day to day. So, marketing to them is necessary to stay afloat in today’s business world.

Your key to keeping clients and customers happy is simple, yet powerful: PERSONALIZATION. With the rise of the digital world and all the technologies that come with it, your marketing must evolve to match. And, the best way to grow is to harness the power of personalization. Find and understand your customers’ individual needs and desires. Once you harness that, personalization will start to flow naturally.

It’s all about knowing who your customer is.

There is a growing intolerance on the part of customers to have fragmented experiences when doing business. And, there is a price to pay for doing so. Research with the CMO Council found nearly half of North American and European consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they repeatedly encounter “a poor, impersonal or frustrating customer experience across channels of engagement.”

Personalization means all the difference in business goals and customer retention. Companies must modify all of their interactions individually to ensure a personalized customer experience. And, if done correctly, there is an undeniable power of personalization that becomes an incredible tool for marketers. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.”

So, it is your duty as a business to get your customer’s attention and then keep it. Most companies thrive with this vantage point only because of the power of personalization. Whether it’s an emailed marketing message or a salesperson personally reaching out to a client, personalization is critical in all communications.

Remember this: people will always buy from people, not companies. And, most importantly, people who they trust. Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.

Make it about your customer.

the power of personalization shown on two mugs with one featuring an individual's name

Let’s take into consideration what the effect of someone’s name imprinted on a gift or award does for them. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” With that in mind, remember that someone will more frequently drink from a mug with their name on it than one with only a logo or brand. By adding an individual’s name to a gift (even if it also features a corporate logo), it adds personal value and meaning.

Personalization is a popular trend that enhances the customer experience. It starts with knowing the customer, or maybe a better way to say it is remembering the customer. Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns. The power of personalization improves visitor engagement and the customer experience, which leads to more sales.

Making a connection is important at the customer level. Each consumer will see personalization as your way of including them in an essential business circle. Personalization essentially means interacting with your customers and meeting their needs. And, when you use the power of personalization to include everyone in this process, any business will flourish.

Identifying and meeting your customers’ needs.

When handled well, personalization will always strengthen a customer’s experience and, in turn, increase your sales. From offering related products in an online shopping experience to remembering a customer’s name, personalization comes in all forms. So, show your customers that you know and understand their needs and that you have their values in mind when doing business.

From name tags for employees to something a bit more personalized (like a mug) for your customer, everything with a name on it is essential for any business. And don’t forget that this personalization drives instincts, urges and repeat purchases. The more you know about your clientele, the better you can mold their experience.

So, sound off with your customers in mind. After all, meeting your customer’s needs adequately and proficiently is what personalization is all about. Add their names to your products, or simply use their names while doing business with them. Open your doors with a greeting saying, “Welcome, David!” Or, try engaging your online customers with email blasts that are tailored specifically to them. But always start by acknowledging the recipient by name!

The Power of Personalization

an oval name tag showing the power of personalization

Consider this: would you want to hear your name as you walk into your business or a simple, “Hey, you?” The answer is that everyone wants to hear or see their name. Admit it, we all walk into that souvenir shop while we are on vacation and spot the carousel display with the keyrings. We instinctively walk over and peruse the names. And, when we find our name, we’re excited! It doesn’t mean we’re going to purchase the keyring or other souvenirs, but we love to see our name emblazoned on something.

So, how do you think your customers feel when you use their name? Today, personalization is more important than ever as consumers have access to content from a plethora of channels. Among this overload of information, personalized content manages to attract consumers’ interest. While all other information hits them in the face and still gets ignored, personalized content talks directly to them.

Don’t ever think that the power of personalization lies in your marketing schemes. It is not, after all is said and done, about you, the business owner. It is always about your customer and their needs. Now, that isn’t to say that your brand isn’t important; it is. But, remember that little guy? He’s what is keeping your business alive. See him, acknowledge him and most importantly let him know he is wanted.

But, remember that personalization goes both ways. Treat your employees the same way you would treat your customers. Make them feel just as special with using their name in meetings, during conferences or simply in daily greetings. Your personalization of your employees will translate into business models and deals and thus reflects onto you as an owner. And that’s the best kind of advertisement. See, there is power in personalization!

Lastly, consider the effects personalization has on people.

There are always challenges associated with personalization because there is no magic formula that will make it right. At best, there are educated guesses about what your consumers want. If consumers feel a brand is being too pushy, they are more likely to unfollow it. Always try to keep yourself in the shoes of the customers and try to think from their perspective. Personalization helps consumers discover new things and often leads to unplanned purchases. When executed correctly, personalization can have a great impact on your bottom line.

You can’t deny that the customer knows in the end that it is all about them. So, play to that knowledge. Whether it’s your employees wearing name tags and promoting your brand, or a personalized gift wrapped in special ribbons, remembering your clientele individually is the name of the game. At the end of the day, that little guy is the most important person in the room.

So, keep them entertained with your business. Let them know how much they matter. And, it’s simple: just use their names! The power of personalization is truly all about the customer helping you stay in business.

How a Name Tag Boosts Your Approachability

…And Other Wisdom from Your Name Tag Experts

People 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 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.