Planning a corporate event or customer promotion can be a very busy and stressful time. Many months will be spent preparing, organising and communicating with all those involved both internally and externally. For many, one of the key stressors when organising promotional activity is the dreaded fear of promotional products arriving late or incorrect, often with barely any time to find an alternative solution.
To help ensure a smooth event with impactful merchandise ready to impress, we’ve outlined some important considerations to take that will help ensure the efficient and timely deliverable of your branded products.
1. Plan with suppliers
Start as early as possible, even if you feel that you have so many months left ahead, do not leave your planning and purchasing to the last minute. Get ahead and start conversations with suppliers and stakeholders of those involved in your promotion, earmarking timeframes and aligning marketing goals. By giving visibility of your plans, allows others involved to plan around your expectations and requirements. For example, at Involution, we can see the problem before it arises, however, if we have insight into the use of the items, we can provide best practice advice on production, decoration and delivery.
2. Set deadlines with buffer time
Similar to planning ahead, give yourself time when setting deadlines and work backwards. Consider all milestones and key dates, giving yourself interim timeframes too between the earliest and latest dates.
- When is the date of the event / promotion
- What is the latest date and time products need to arrive by
- What is the preferred date and time products need to arrive by
- What is the earliest date and time products need to arrive by
- When do the suppliers need to pack and ship products
- When do the suppliers need to start production
Avoid having products delivered on the day of the event or promotion, ideally 72 hours before allowing for checks and any problem-solving. Set external deadlines for suppliers to safeguard any unforeseen issues that may impact the arrival of your items, with an internal deadline at a later date for flexibility. For weekend promotions, set mid-week deliveries with your suppliers to minimise the risk of stock being held up in heavy traffic or issues with replacing stock due to the closure of suppliers on a Saturday and Sunday.
3. Streamline your suppliers
A simple way to ensure consistent quality, timely deliveries and simple management are by reducing the number of suppliers you work with. Look at the needs of your promotional activity and aim to find a supplier that can cover all or the majority of your needs. There are many one-stop-shop providers like Involution that provides personalised clothing, branded merchandise and confectionery, signage and custom printed literature to support your marketing. By reducing the number of suppliers needed, the amount of time needed is reduced on meetings, communication and the various liaisons across all companies. Through smart supplier selection, you are minimising the risk of items being held up, lost or misplaced, with the improvement of product quality whilst also building a relationship with one core supplier.
4. Communicate regularly with check-ins
It is critical to have a good relationship with your suppliers and make sure you’re on the same page from day one. Discuss your promotional activity in detail and run your suppliers through your deadlines. Have regular check-in points to ensure progress is taking place and that you’re hitting your milestones to stay on track.
5. Plan in quality control
There’s nothing worse than products that have arrived on time that just aren’t up to scratch, correct or damaged. There are two easy ways around this. Ask for decorated samples to be sent for approval long before the production takes place. This is an effective way to ensure items meet brand guidelines and get a true reflection of colour, size, fonts and textures. Seeing samples in person means you can see at face value what you are purchasing with the opportunity to provide feedback and make changes if needed. Should you have bought yourself enough time, for items delivered faulty, incorrect or broken, provide immediate feedback to suppliers upon arrival to have the issues resolved. Do not wait until the day of the event to check your stock.
6. Outline accessibility requirements
Another way to ensure items arrive on time is understanding the accessibility of a building or venue where the items are to be delivered. Areas to consider are building opening and closing times, contact details of someone who will accept the delivery, any coded access and also the logistics of parking and unloading. Also, consider where your delivered items will be stored as couriers may therefore be able to unload closer to the designated area. It also helps to have the details of any exhibition entrance references, stand numbers and any specific instruction ahead of the delivery.
7. Request logistic courier tracking
Stay up to date with the movement of your promotional products through courier tracking. If your suppliers are not delivering directly and using a courier service, find out the courier name and tracking number for accurate updates. On the occasion that you are not given a set timeslot, it may help to find out until which time the courier can deliver.
Things can always go wrong with last-minute changes or problems. There may even be issues that are out of your control hence why planning and having effective communication with suppliers, can help mitigate the chances of things going wrong. Building a strong and trusting relationship with suppliers ensures their investment too, who will typically go the extra mile to ensure the promotional goods are delivered on time and as expected.
As brand partners, Involution is only happy when our customers are happy. We always find a solution and ensure to go the extra mile. We can and have, provided same day print with same-day drivers, but where possible we do encourage early communications and planning. Working ahead of schedule, creates a stress-free environment, with less risk of rushed tasks and a seamless promotion.
If you’re looking for your next staff promotion, customer incentive programme, giveaway freebies or event merchandise, you can get in touch with your team for a custom quote and mood board design. From printed t-shirts and embroidered hats to custom mugs and engraved pens to novelty toys, business cards and lanyards, Involution is your impactful marketing solution.