5 Ways to Show Customers You Care

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and people in relationships are making plans to express love and appreciation for their significant others. Whether it involves gifts or simply spending quality time together, many of us agree that showing the important people in our lives that we care about them is essential.

That idea doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, friendships, or the bonds between family members. It also holds true for the relationships that exist between customers and businesses. Making sure that your clients know your company cares about them and appreciates their support can make a big difference when it comes to building trust, fostering loyalty, and maintaining a long-term connection.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your clients feel appreciated. Here are just some of the strategies you can use to show that your company cares.

1. Ask for feedback and listen to what they want. 

You can’t make improvements and provide the best possible customer experience without asking for and listening to suggestions from the people you serve. Ignoring their wants and needs could understandably hurt your business, according to the Kissmetrics blog entry “10 Ways to Make Customers Fall in Love With Your Business.”

Today, there are numerous ways to gather customer feedback, ranging from surveys to focus groups to social media platforms. Be sure that you take advantage of these methods to create a two-way dialogue and check in with your customers regularly.    

2. Remember their preferences.

If your regular customers always order the same products or services, make note of what they like and let them know you remember, according to the Inc. article “10 Simple Ways to Show Your Customers You Care.” For example, if you work in a coffee shop, you might keep track of your regular visitors’ orders, including details like preferring decaf or soy milk. They’ll likely appreciate the personal attention.

3. Say thank you. 

Expressing gratitude toward your customers for choosing your company can go a long way when it comes to building a long-lasting relationship. Make each thank you personalized and relevant to the individual customer’s experience to show sincere appreciation, Inc. advises.

4. Show your appreciation with giveaways and/or discounts. 

In addition to simply saying thank you, show loyal customers that you care by offering them a discount or a free sample of one of your products/services, advises the FiveStars blog entry “18 Customer Appreciation Ideas Your Customers Will Love.”

Another option is giving away “swag” when customers make a purchase. For example, you might give them a pen, stress ball, or reusable water bottle with your company name and logo on it.

5. Invite them to attend an exclusive event. 

Hosting events for loyal clients is a great way to express gratitude for their support, get to know them even better, and foster long-term relationships between your business and your customers. At these events, you might want to give them special discounts. When you host these gatherings, ordering custom event passes with your company’s logo can help enhance your branding efforts.

Just like other relationships, the connection between a business and its customers takes thoughtfulness and effort to maintain. Be sure to spend some time showing your customers that you care about them and appreciate their support.

If you’d like to order customized event badges for a customer appreciation event, our team can supply you with high quality passes. To learn more, contact us today by calling 847-424-1900 or emailing orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Branding Efforts in 2017

Many people see the start of a new year as a chance to reflect and set goals concerning all aspects of their lives. If you’re considering what you’d like to do differently in 2017, you might want to think about your brand building efforts for your business. If you haven’t already developed and invested in a comprehensive branding strategy, starting now could make a big difference for your company this year.

A successful branding strategy creates a clear, easily recognizable image of your organization and communicates your values, purpose, and style to your target audience, according to Yoast. With the right approach, you can build lasting relationships with your customers, attract new clients, and grow and strengthen your business.

Whether you’re revamping last year’s branding strategy or building one from scratch, the following recommendations can help you boost your brand building efforts in 2017. 

1. Target a mobile audience. 

While you’re crafting your branding and marketing strategy for the new year, it’s important to keep in mind that many of the people you’re trying to connect with interact with your brand via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

In 2015, global mobile data traffic increased by 74 percent, and 563 million mobile devices and connections were added, according to Cisco. The world will continue to become more mobile, so you should make sure your website, ads, and other methods of reaching out to current and prospective consumers are optimized for mobile devices.

2. Join forces with other brands. 

If you’re trying to build a successful brand from the ground up, you can give yourself a boost by creating connections with others who are already well-established, according to the Entrepreneur article “9 Tips for Creating an Awesome Brand.” Whether you’re building a personal brand or a company-wide brand, associating with others (for example, by contributing guest articles or blog entries) can improve your image and bring you closer to achieving your goals.

3. Connect with your customers emotionally.

The most successful brands attract and keep customers because they create significant emotional connections, according to the HubSpot article “Introduction to Brand Strategy: 7 Essentials for a Strong Company Brand.” Consider how your product or service can fulfill an emotional need, such as wanting to belong to a community or achieving peace of mind. Addressing and fulfilling those needs can create a strong bond between you and your customers. 

4. Host events. 

Holding an event can help your business spread brand awareness, in addition to attracting new clients and reinforcing connections with current customers. In-person interaction between your staff members and your clients can build strong relationships to support your brand and your company. Additionally, ordering custom event passes with your company’s logo is a great way to reinforce your branding efforts.

Ultimately, a strong branding strategy can make a big difference in terms of your organization’s growth and success in 2017. If you’d like to make customized event passes part of your branding efforts this year, we can provide you with unique high-quality badges. For more information, call 847-424-1900 or email orders@eventpasses.com.

How to Host a Winning Winter Event

Although the weather might not be ideal for venturing outside, there are still plenty of reasons for people to get together and celebrate during the winter. Aside from commemorating the holidays, hosting a winter event is a great way to add a bit of excitement to the dark and cold days.

If you’re planning a winter get-together, it helps to tailor your event planning process to fit the season (e.g., taking a potential blizzard into account). Here are a few recommendations to help you host an unforgettable gathering that captures the spirit of the season.                            

Pick a unique winter theme.

There are tons of winter-related concepts you can use to turn your event into a celebration of the season, according to BG Events and Catering. For example, you could invite your guests to a “winter wonderland” and evoke a snowy landscape with white decorations and flowers. Or you could go with a fire and ice theme and serve a mix of cold and hot/spicy appetizers. A unique theme that reflects winter can help make your event memorable and fun for attendees. 

Ensure your venue is appropriate for winter weather. 

When you’re deciding on the location for your winter wonderland or ski resort-themed party, make sure ice and snow won’t stop your guests from attending. It’s crucial to ensure the venue you select has the equipment needed to stay accessible even in the event of a heavy snowfall or ice storm, according to The Balance. Don’t let the season you’re celebrating thwart your plans.  

Keep your guests warm.

In addition to making sure the winter weather doesn’t stop attendees from getting to the venue, you’ll also want to take steps to help everyone warm up once they get there. Your guests will probably appreciate hot drinks (e.g., hot chocolate and hot toddies), and it’s also good to make sure your venue has adequate heating.      

Offer the opportunity to give back. 

The holiday season fosters a spirit of giving and generosity, so a winter event provides a great opportunity to ask people to help the less fortunate with a charitable donation. If you’d like to focus primarily on giving back, you can even plan and promote it as a charity event.    

Order custom event passes. 

Customized event badges with an eye-catching design that matches your theme will make your winter bash memorable and serve as a keepsake for your guests. They can also serve other useful purposes, such as ensuring security and distinguishing VIP guests.

With thoughtful planning, your winter event is sure to be a hit. If you’d like to order custom event passes, our team can work with you to create high-quality, unique badges for your guests. Contact us today by calling 847-424-1900 or emailing orders@eventpasses.com.

5 Brand Building Tips for Small Businesses

When you go to the grocery store, how do you decide which type of spaghetti sauce or yogurt to buy? Chances are you have some favorite brands you prefer to purchase. Branding is part of a company’s marketing strategy and differentiates a product or service from its competitors, according to the Houston Chronicle. Fine-tuned branding efforts can help an organization make the most of limited promotional resources, making it especially useful for small businesses.

Additionally, brand building can have a considerable impact on your success in the marketplace by creating emotional connections with consumers and potentially establishing lifelong relationships, according to the Chronicle.

With the right approach, branding can become an effective way to attract new customers, maintain a strong connection with current buyers, and achieve business objectives. If you run a small business and you’re looking to establish your brand, consider the following five tips.

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1. Define your brand. 

Before you start building your brand, it’s essential to understand what it actually is. Your company’s brand encompasses not only your logo and other visual aspects but also what you do, how you accomplish it, and the interactions you have with customers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. You’ll need to consider all of these elements and decide what sort of “personality” you want to convey to consumers.

2. Know your audience. 

You’ll have more success creating connections with customers if you have a specific idea of who you’re targeting. Consider factors like their age, where they live, and what their hobbies are. Think about how your product or service can fulfill their needs, and how you can communicate that to them with your branding and other marketing efforts.           

3. Focus on what makes you unique. 

Consumers typically face a wide range of choices when they’re deciding on which company to turn to for a product or service. Strong branding requires communicating what makes you stand out from others in your industry, according to the SBA. Your marketing messages should convey what differentiates you and what you have to offer that others don’t.

4. Let your customers get to know the face behind the brand. 

For organizations looking to create lasting connections, it helps to let customers meet the business owner and employees personally. Hosting an event is one way to get to know current and potential clients face-to-face. Custom event passes with your company’s logo can also enhance your branding efforts. 

5. Keep it simple. 

The most successful brands offer an uncomplicated customer experience, according to the Harvard Business Review article “Why Simple Brands Win.” You should aim to fulfill your target consumers’ needs quickly and with as little hassle as possible, just like Google makes it easy to get answers to your questions and Netflix offers instant access to movies and TV shows.

Ultimately, carrying out the right branding strategy can make a big difference for a small business looking to gain a foothold in a competitive industry. If you’d like to order customized event badges for an event to promote your brand, our team can create unique high-quality passes to help make your company memorable. Contact us by calling 847-424-1900 or emailing orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Ways to Participate in Make a Difference Day

In November, we all get a chance to reflect and express gratitude for everything that we’re grateful for in our lives. About a month before we gather to give thanks, though, there’s a day dedicated to giving back: Make a Difference Day.

As one of the biggest annual single days of service held in the U.S., Make a Difference Day has inspired volunteers nationwide to act to improve other people’s lives for 25 years now. It always falls on the fourth Saturday of October (which is the 22nd this year) and is made possible by a partnership between TEGNA Inc., the Arby’s Foundation, and Points of Light.

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“No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone has the power to do something that improves the life of another,” the Make a Difference Day website mission statement declares. The website for the annual event provides resources and information on how to participate, whether you want to join an existing volunteer project or organize one of your own. If you’d like to spearhead your own project, the site offers a few ideas for giving back to your community.   

1. Food drive. 

Collecting food to donate to a local homeless shelter and/or food bank is one way to help improve the lives of others in your town or city.  

2. Clothing drive. 

Another way to make a difference for other people in your community is organizing an event to gather clothing to donate to those in need. 

3. Clean up your community. 

You can make your city a better place to live by gathering a group to pick up litter, planting new trees in public parks, and/or hosting a recycling event to promote saving the environment.

4. Organize a 5K.

Hosting a 5K walk or run to raise money for a good cause (e.g., a particular charity or victims of a natural disaster) is ideal if you want to promote fitness in addition to helping those in need.

No matter what type of project you decide to pursue, the Make A Difference Day site recommends promoting it using social media platforms and by reaching out to local media outlets to ensure a good turnout.

Additionally, consider ordering custom event passes for your group of volunteers. Unique badges with an eye-catching design will not only reinforce your volunteers’ sense of unity but also serve as souvenirs and reminders to take part in Make A Difference Day again next year.
If you’re interested in ordering customized event passes for your Make A Difference Day project, our team can provide you with high-quality badges. Contact us by calling 847-424-1900 or emailing orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Fun Fall Event Ideas for Your Business

The summer months are coming to an end. School is back in session and before long colder weather will start to set in. However, even though the days of beach trips and barbecues might be over until next year, that doesn’t mean you can’t have as much fun in the fall as you did during the summer.

For businesses, hosting a fall event can be a great way to celebrate the season in addition to promoting your brand and connecting with both current and prospective customers. If you’re thinking of hosting a fall-themed get together and need inspiration, here are some ideas for events.

1. Holiday-themed 5K. 

Whether you’re looking to raise money for a good cause or promote physical fitness, a 5K race is one way to bring people together and raise awareness of your brand. You can link your 5K to popular seasons during the fall months by organizing a Halloween-themed race or a “turkey trot” for Thanksgiving, according to the Classy blog entry “21 Creative Fall Fundraising Ideas.”

If you decide to host a 5K, it’s important to keep in mind that it will take careful planning and considerable effort to pull off successfully. Be sure to establish a race planning team, promote the event ahead of time, and get sponsors to help provide products and services for race participants.

2. Harvest celebration. 

Holding a harvest festival is a classic way to commemorate the season. You can plan your own party or check to see if your city already hosts one that you could participate in as a vendor and/or sponsor. If your organization is spearheading the event, you can keep attendees entertained with carnival games with a fall twist (for example, pumpkin bowling).

3. Oktoberfest party. 

Oktoberfest – a traditional German autumn festival – is a great reason to get everyone together and celebrate. Traditional Oktoberfest events typically involve an outdoor “biergarten” and German culinary classics such as bratwurst, sausage, and roasted duck, according to BG Events and Catering. Although polka-style music is the traditional choice for an Oktoberfest bash, your guests will probably appreciate it if you mix in some more modern songs.

4. Swap party. 

As everyone goes through their closets and switches to their fall wardrobe, you might want to organize a clothing swap, which involves attendees trading good-as-new items, according to the article “20 Fall Marketing Ideas That Will Get Your Business Noticed” from the financial services company Square. You can donate anything left over at the end of the event to charity.

Overall, no matter what kind of fall event you’re hosting, customized event passes will prove useful as a way to identify staff members, help everyone get to know each other, and even ensure security. High-quality access passes with an eye-catching design featuring your company logo will also reinforce your efforts to promote your brand.

If you’d like to order custom badges for your upcoming fall event, our team at Event Passes can help. Contact us today by calling 847-424-1900 or emailing orders@eventpasses.com

5 Back-to-School Event Ideas

For kids on summer vacation, the first day of the new school year is closing in. Although most are probably reluctant to head back to the classroom, returning to school doesn’t have to be a dull experience. Back-to-school events can help students and parents alike have fun and get to know new classmates and teachers.

For schools that want to organize an event (or several) to make the first weeks of the new year more exciting, now is the time to being planning. There are various types of gatherings that can bring students, parents and teachers together. Consider the following five kinds of events that can help everyone start the year off right.

1. Potluck dinner. 

A potluck is a great way to get everyone together during the first few weeks of school, according to PTO Today. It’s inexpensive and easy to organize, and you can even combine it with other events like meet-the-teacher night. Additionally, holding a door prize drawing or raffle can encourage parents and kids to participate.   

2. Back-to-school festival/fair. 

The weather at the end of summer is ideal for a festival or fair. PTO Today advises adjusting the scale of your event to fit your community and help make the start of the school year fun for kids by offering activities like arts and crafts and face painting. If it’s hot out, be sure to set up tents so attendees can stay cool in the shade.

3. Pastries for parents. 

Lots of schools like to hold Pastries for Parents days during the first weeks of the school year, according to Education World. These events might have names like “Muffins for Moms” or “Doughnuts for Dads” and give students a chance to show their parents their classrooms. You can even combine these types of events with a student performance.

4. Welcome breakfast. 

Hosting a breakfast event is an easy, low-cost way for schools to welcome new students and parents and let them spend quality time together during the school day, according to PTO Today. If a lot of parents can’t make it to breakfast during the week because of work, you can also organize a weekend event.

5. Barbecue. 

A back-to-school barbecue gives parents, teachers and students a chance to mingle and make introductions. Parents and administrative staff can help with the planning, according to Eventbrite. There are plenty of options for food depending on your budget, whether you want to bring in a few food trucks or have a local restaurant handle it.   

No matter what type of back-to-school event you choose, custom event passes can enhance the experience for everyone. High-quality event passes with your mascot and colors can help foster school spirit, and including attendees’ names can make introductions easier for new students and parents. Security features like barcodes and variable names and photos can also help ensure that your event stays secure and safe.   

If you’d like to order customized event badges for your back-to-school bash, our team at Event Passes can provide you with high-quality, durable products. To learn more, contact us today at 847-424-1900 or email orders@eventpasses.com.

6 Ways to Get to Know Your Customers Better

How well do you know your customers? Becoming familiar with the people you’re selling products and services to is a crucial part of running a successful business. That’s why the third Thursday of each quarter (in January, April, July and October) is Get to Know Your Customers Day, an event meant to remind us that personal attention is incredibly valuable in the business world.

If you’re looking to become more attuned to your clients’ characteristics and preferences, there are plenty of ways to get to know them, from placing yourself in their shoes to organizing events. Taking any or all of the following six actions will leave you with a better understanding of the people who use your products and services.

1. Consider their perspective. 

Gaining a better understanding of where your customers are coming from and how they think can be as simple as mentally putting yourself in their position, according to the Inc. article “5 Ways to Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do.” What are their options when they’re shopping around for the type of product or service you provide? This exercise will not only help you get an idea of your prospective customers’ mindsets but also give you a better understanding of who your competitors are.  

2. Gather and leverage data. 

“Big data” offers a valuable opportunity for businesses to further their knowledge of their customers’ preferences and behavior. Without access to quality data and analytics, your company will miss out on crucial insights, according to the Wired article “10 Ways to Use Big Data to Get to Know Your Customers Better.”

The article recommends paying close attention to your network traffic, using real-time analytics tools to track and improve customer experiences, and capturing data about the behavior and experience of customers using all devices (from desktop computers to smartphones).   

3. Connect with them on social media. 

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can provide useful information about what customers like (and don’t like), according to the Customer Think article “10 Ways of Getting to Know Your Customers Better.” It’s become common for people to critique products on social media platforms, and monitoring the conversation about your company and brand allows you to get a better grasp on what your customers like and dislike. Staying active on social media also gives you the opportunity to address complaints and resolve issues, which demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction.  

4. Conduct a survey. 

Asking your customers for feedback with a survey is a great way to find out what they’re thinking and whether they’re satisfied with your product. Software tools can make it relatively simple to conduct customer surveys through your company website. Analyzing the results carefully can reveal information that will help you adjust your marketing strategy, according to Customer Think.

5. Read reviews. 

Online reviews – whether you solicit them on your website or customers post without prompting on sites like Yelp – serve as a great source of honest feedback, the Customer Think article states. You can even encourage people to review your product or service with incentives like discounts or giveaways.

6. Hold events.

Hosting an event can benefit your business in various ways – such as attracting new clients, building your brand and scouting out new talent for your team. Events also provide you with the opportunity to interact face-to-face with current customers and form a more personal connection with them. Ordering custom event passes is also a great way to make it easy for clients to identify and get to know your employees.  

Overall, getting to know your customers is crucial if you’re looking to provide high-quality service and grow your business. If you’d like to order customized event badges to help you connect with clients, our team can provide you with unique high-quality passes. To learn more, contact us today at 847-424-1900 or email orders@eventpasses.com.

7 Useful Accessories for Golfers

Now that the weather is warm, it’s the perfect time to grab your clubs and hit the golf course. The game has become a popular way to pass the time since its beginnings in the 15th century, with millions of people in the U.S. participating, according to the National Golf Foundation.

However, if you’re thinking of taking up golf, it requires more than just clubs and balls. Here are some essential accessories that every golfer should have on hand.            

1. Gloves

You’ll want to ensure that you have a firm grip on your club and protect your non-dominant hand from friction and blistering, according to the eBay article “Twelve Golf Accessories Worth Buying.” The non-dominant hand generally comes into contact more with the golf club’s grip, and so it makes sense to wear a glove on it.   

2. Shoes

Before you take a swing, you’ll want to be sure that you’re on solid footing. Having the right shoes to keep you steady on your feet while you play is important, according to the informational site Easy Pars. Golf shoes are available in various styles and across a wide range of prices, so simply pick an affordable pair that you like.        

3. Towel

Golfers should carry towels with them to clean off their clubs after every shot, according to Easy Par. You’ll also want to clean off your ball. If you plan on playing a lot of golf, you might want to get multiple towels, since you’ll find yourself using them frequently.

4. Tees

You’ll need tees to hold the ball up for tee shots. Because you’ll need one for every tee shot during a game, it’s advisable to get numerous tees, according to eBay. Keep in mind that they come in different designs and are made of various materials for different golfing needs. For instance, if you’re using a deep-faced club, you’ll want a higher tee. 

5. Golf bag

It would be a hassle to carry all of your accessories with you while playing golf without a bag to keep them in. A high-quality golf bag serves as a convenient way to hold and protect all of your equipment, including your clubs, tees, towel, and more, Easy Pars explains.

6. The right clothes

It’s common for golf courses to have a dress code, according to eBay. Typically, they’ll ban jeans and t-shirts, which means you’ll have to invest in some khakis and collared shirts/polo shirts. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the weather and think about wearing a hat to keep the sun out of your face.   

7. Event passes

For golf tournament participants, custom event passes serve as a convenient way to check in, since they can display identifying information such as your name and photo (which also helps with security). They can also serve as eye-catching souvenirs after the event is over. Additionally, customized badges can serve as season passes for golfers who are regulars at a particular golf course or club.

Overall, having the right accessories on hand is essential for any golfer. If you’d like to order event passes for a golf tournament or event, our team can provide you with high-quality custom badges. For more information, call us today at 847-424-1900 or email orders@eventpasses.com.

5 Tips for Organizing a 5K Race

In the racing world, the 5K stands out as a popular event. In 2014, with 8.3 million finishers, the 5K was No. 1 out of all race distances, according to Running USA. This type of race has achieved considerable popularity for a number of reasons: It’s easier to train for than a half-marathon or a marathon, takes less time to complete and can be exciting because the shorter distance allows for a faster pace, the ACTIVE article “6 Reasons to Run a 5K” explains.

Given its popularity and selling points, the 5K format holds appeal for those looking to organize a racing event – whether their goal is to raise money for a good cause or simply bring people together and promote fitness. Just like running a race, however, hosting one requires planning and effort. If you want to organize a 5K race, the following tips can help you ensure the event goes smoothly.

1. Get authorization early. 

It takes time to put together a running event, so be sure to give yourself 6 to 12 months to plan the race, the Road Runners Club of America advises. You’ll probably need authorization from local authorities to hold a 5K, and the sooner you get that the better.

You should contact the local government and ask about the permits you’ll need to host your race, according to Race Entry, a race management software company. To get those permits, you’ll probably need insurance coverage. Overall, it’s best to give yourself plenty of time to figure out authorization and prevent any regulatory snafus from ruining your race.

2. Create a race planning team. 

Organizing a 5K is too much work for one person, so you’ll want a team to help you carry out your plans, according to the Road Runners Club. Gather volunteers and designate a volunteer coordinator. You’ll also want to find a medical director and a start and finish line coordinator.  

3. Have a plan for promotion. 

Naturally, you’ll want plenty of participants in your 5K. To make sure there are lots of runners in the race, you’ll have to get the word out. First, think about who your target audience is, Race Entry advises. For instance, if you’re looking to raise money for a particular cause, you can get the charity you’re benefiting to reach out to its donors through email or social media platforms. Other options for promotion include putting up flyers at running stores in the area, sending out a press release, and handing out fliers at other races.

4. Find sponsors. 

Reach out to local businesses and see if they’d be interested in sponsoring your 5K, Race Entry recommends. These organizations might want to simply provide services or products for race participants, or they might want to make a financial contribution. If you want, you can give businesses different predetermined sponsorship levels to choose from.          

5. Order accessories. 

It’s common to provide 5K participants with accessories such as custom shirts that they can wear during the race and keep as souvenirs. Custom event passes also serve as practical race accessories and aesthetically appealing souvenirs for runners as well as staff members/volunteers. You can send out event badges that display your race’s name and logo, in addition to information about the runner or volunteer (which can help with checking in and security). After the 5K, participants can keep the event passes as souvenirs and as reminders to take part again next year if it’s an annual event.

Ultimately, like running a race, planning a 5K takes some thinking ahead, energy and motivation. With the right approach, though, you’ll reach the finish line successfully. If you’d like to order custom event passes for your upcoming 5K, the Event Passes team can provide you with high-quality, unique badges. To learn more, contact us today at 847-424-1900 or orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Reasons Your Swim Team Needs Event Passes

Years ago, some of Event Passes owner Tom Doyle’s children were involved in the sport of swimming at their local high school. Seeing a need for swim team members to track their progress and set goals, Tom created USA Swimming Time Standard cards. The cards served as a convenient reference for swimmers while they were at the pool and quickly became popular.

That was the start of Bag Tags, the parent company of Event Passes. There’s a good reason why the company has its roots in competitive swimming. Aside from serving as convenient reference cards for time standards, event passes can benefit swim teams in a number of ways, from boosting team spirit to serving as keepsakes. Here are some of the reasons why your swim team should consider using custom event badges.

1. Unite your team. 

Creating custom event passes with your team’s logo and colors can help create a sense of unity and strengthen team spirit. Additionally, team members can show their pride and enthusiasm for the sport by wearing their passes/badges outside of events and competitions as well.    

2. Make it easy for family and friends to attend events. 

Event badges can not only serve as useful accessories for members of your team but can also act as all-event passes for family members, friends, and other fans of your swim team who want to attend all of your competitions.

A durable event pass with a unique design that reflects your team’s colors and mascot or logo can provide a convenient way for your team’s fans to attend your events without making multiple ticket purchases. It’s also a great way for supporters to show that they’re rooting for you.         

3. Keep competitions secure. 

Passes can include security features to ensure that no one sneaks into events and athletes and attendees alike stay safe. Event passes can include identifying information such as people’s names and photos so that it’s easy for organizers to spot anyone who isn’t who they claim to be or who doesn’t belong in a restricted area.

Other useful security options include credential barcoding (which makes it so event badges can’t be replicated) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. RFID cards and readers provide a quick, easy way to ensure people don’t access off-limits areas.     

4. Provide keepsakes. 

Custom event passes can serve as souvenirs for athletes and fans alike, reminding them of the excitement of a significant competition. If the passes feature an eye-catching, colorful design, people might choose to display them to show off their aquatic accomplishments/devotion to the sport of swimming.

Overall, competitive swimmers can benefit in numerous ways by using unique event passes. Custom badges can help keep sporting events safe and secure, in addition to reinforcing team spirit and providing athletes and fans with aesthetically appealing keepsakes after the competition is over.

If you’re interested in ordering custom event passes for your swim team or swimming competition, Event Passes can help you create high-quality, one-of-a-kind badges. For more information, contact us today at 847-424-1900 or orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Ways to Streamline the Event Check-In Process

You’ve already figured out the who, what, when, and where of your event. Now the only question is how you’re going to make sure checking in goes smoothly for your attendees. You don’t want to have to worry about your guests becoming impatient with a slow-moving line, people who weren’t invited sneaking in, or not having enough staff members to handle all of your guests.

If you’re looking to make sure that you don’t run into any of these common check-in issues, there are a few steps you can take to streamline the process and make it easier both for attendees and for your event staff. The following four strategies can help you get your guests signed in quickly and efficiently so they can enjoy the event.

1. Make sure you have enough staff members on hand. 

You should determine your staffing needs for the entire event beforehand and decide who’s doing what, including who’s in charge of checking people in. Make sure you have enough staff members to handle the number of guests you expect (plus some possible walk-ins who didn’t register or RSVP) so that the process goes as quickly as possible.

Additionally, if you’re expecting VIP guests, it can help to designate certain staff members as “VIP handlers” to greet these important people at the check-in point, ccording to Event MB, an online resource for event professionals. Distributing custom event badges to VIPs prior to the event can also help your staff identify them.

2. Go paperless. 

An old-school paper guest list can take forever to flip through to find names, slowing down the check-in process, according to Event MB. Using one or more tablets with a check-in app can significantly speed up the time it takes to get each guest signed in. Digital guest lists are searchable so that it takes just seconds to find an attendee’s name, and they can update automatically across multiple devices so a group of staff members working the check-in desk/table can see the current status of the list, according to the integrated media company Smart Meetings.          

3. Have a plan in place for extra attendees. 

Some of the people you invite to your event might show up without sending in their RSVP, and others might bring a guest/plus one, so it’s important to anticipate some additional guests who aren’t on your list, Event MB advises. Develop a protocol ahead of time for dealing with attendees who aren’t on the guest list (for example, you might need to gather information from them before checking them in) and make sure the staff members in charge of checking people in know what to do.

 4. Create custom event badges for your guests. 

Ordering unique event passes and sending them to your guests ahead of time is a great way to streamline checking in and keep your event secure. In addition to including your event’s logo, you can get guests’ names, organizations, and other personal information printed on custom passes. Other possible features that will help ensure security and safety include credential barcoding, QR codes, and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. With security features and personal information printed on event passes, you can easily verify guests’ identities and keep any would-be event crashers from sneaking in. 
                                                                                 
Overall, by carefully planning ahead and making use of tools like check-in apps and custom event passes with security features, you can ensure your guests get signed in without any snafus so they can start enjoying your event as soon as possible. If you’d like to order customized badges for your event, the Event Passes team can provide you with high-quality passes that meet all of your needs. To learn more, contact us today at 847-424-1900 or orders@eventpasses.com.

5 Reasons Event Passes and Football Go Together

Super Bowl 50 is mere days away, and football fans everywhere – particularly people who will attend the game in person – are assembling the materials they’ll need on Sunday. The football game attendee’s arsenal might include a jersey, face paint, and possibly one of those giant foam fingers.

One other accessory that can enhance the experience of attending a football game is an event pass. High-quality custom event badges can serve a number of purposes for sports fans and game organizers – from reinforcing team spirit to ensuring attendees stay safe and secure. Here are five reasons why football and event passes are a winning combination.       

1. All-event/season passes make it easy for fans to attend multiple games. 

For dedicated fans who want to attend all of their favorite team’s home games, custom event passes can act as season tickets that give purchasers access to all of those games at a discounted rate. A high-quality, durable event pass with a custom design featuring the team’s colors and mascot/logo can serve as a ticket and as a way for pass holders to showcase their devotion to the team.   

2. Event passes can boost team spirit. 

Custom event badges sporting your team’s colors and logo can not only serve as a ticket into the stadium but also enhance the sense of unity with other fans. An effective custom event pass design will help fans instantly recognize each other.           

3. Event badges distinguish between different types of attendees. 

You can create unique event passes for certain types of attendees (e.g., members of the press) so that you can easily recognize who’s authorized to be in restricted areas.

It’s a good idea to design custom press passes for members of the media, who will likely have special access to players and coaches for interviews and behind-the-scenes reporting. Issuing a new press pass every year can help event organizers quickly spot fake passes and stop unauthorized people from getting into restricted areas. 

4. Passes with security features keep attendees safe. 

Event passes for football games can include security features to make it difficult for unauthorized individuals to sneak in. For instance, credential barcoding ensures passes can’t be replicated. Variable photos are another option that will let you make sure people are who they claim to be.

Additionally, including names, organizations, and other identifying personal information on the cards can help event organizers spot people who aren’t supposed to be there. Event passes can also incorporate radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enhance event security.                    

5. Custom event passes make great souvenirs. 

After the game/season is over, event badges can become keepsakes for football fans, serving as a reminder of the good times they had watching their team play. They might even want to display their old event passes to show off their status as devoted fans.

Overall, custom event passes can enhance the experience football fans get when they attend a game. Not only do unique event badges serve as visually appealing souvenirs, but they can also strengthen security measures, emphasize team spirit, and more.

If you’d like to order event passes for a football game or another sporting event, the Event Passes team can help you design and create high-quality customized badges. Contact us today by calling 847-424-1900 or by emailing orders@eventpasses.com.

4 Event Planning Resolutions for 2016

With 2016 underway, you might find yourself considering ways to promote your company and achieve your business goals during the new year. Events are one way to effectively build your brand, find new talent for your team, and attract potential clients.

However, hosting a successful event takes a considerable amount of planning. To orchestrate a memorable and engaging event, it helps to stay on top of trends in the event industry, such as how new technologies are transforming event design. Before you start developing a strategy for your events this year, consider the following four recommendations for successful planning, based on trends identified by industry experts.

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Measure ROI

Given all the time, money, and effort that go into planning and hosting an event, it’s important to know if your investment is paying off. One big trend in the event industry going into 2016 is that event marketers recognize how crucial measuring their return on investment is, even if they might not know exactly how to do that, according to Event Farm, an event marketing software provider.

The first step is brainstorming what data you want to collect about the event, Event Farm states. Some information you might want to gather could be how many people attended, what they thought of the event, what kind of experience they had, how many new leads your company got from the event, and the amount of revenue generated. Then you can go about collecting the data using tools such as social media, registration systems, and pre- and post-event surveys, among others. 

Make Your Events Mobile Friendly

The fact that many of us never go anywhere without our smartphones these days has affected numerous industries, including marketing and event planning. As 2016 begins, more and more people have started using mobile apps to enhance events, according to Event MB, an online resource for event professionals.

Event apps can serve a wide range of purposes, from making the check in process easier to providing extra information about different aspects of the event. Making mobile apps part of events has become an important way to make sure guests have a great experience, according to Event Farm.      

Keep Your Guests Safe

It’s more important than ever to ensure you’re providing a safe environment for attendees, particularly if you’re hosting a large event, EventMB states. Make sure your staff members and volunteers have a reliable communication system in place and review any and all security requirements for your geographic region.

Additionally, you can get event passes with security features to keep your guests safe. Badges with barcodes, variable photos, and/or personnel-specific information can help you make sure no uninvited attendees get in. You can also get access passes that use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to minimize the risk of unauthorized people sneaking into off-limits areas.     

Create an Engaging Experience

Instead of talking about events, people have begun to refer more often to “experiences,” according to Event Farm. With new technologies and platforms like social media becoming more prominent, event hosts have gained the ability to engage and interact with attendees before they walk in the door and after they leave. Organizing an event now involves crafting an often interactive experience that starts long before guests arrive at the venue and extends long after the end of the night (or morning or afternoon, depending on the type of event and your timing).

Event passes featuring a custom badge design with eye-catching colors, information about the event, and your brand name are a key part of creating an enjoyable experience for your attendees. Custom event passes can serve as a reminder before the event, a way to get to know other guests and network during, and a visually pleasing keepsake afterward.

If you’d like to order custom event passes for an upcoming event, our team at Event Passes can create high-quality passes that will enhance the experience for your attendees. To learn more, contact us today by calling 847-424-1900 or by emailing orders@eventpasses.com

How to Host a Successful Holiday Charity Event

The holiday season fosters feelings of togetherness, thankfulness for friends and family, and generosity. With the spirit of giving and celebration in the air, it’s a prime time to host a charity event.

A charity event – whether it’s a dinner, a cocktail hour, or a bake sale – is a great way for your business to give back and contribute to the community. If you want to ensure your event successfully spreads goodwill, though, you’ll need to plan ahead. The following suggestions can help your business organize a holiday get-together that’s both fun and philanthropic. 

Set Goals

Before you tackle the rest of the planning process, it’s essential to know what you want to accomplish. For example, you might want to raise a certain amount of money for a particular cause or charity. Or, if you’re asking participants to donate goods like food and clothing, maybe you’re aiming for a particular participation or donation volume. Pinpointing goals helps give event organizers and volunteers a basis for budgeting and defining the target audience for the event – in addition to creating a stronger sense of purpose.    

Pick the Format and Venue

Once you’ve decided on your goals, budget, and target audience, consider what sort of format and venue are the best fit for your event. Maybe a black-tie gala makes the most sense, given your budget, attendees, and desired atmosphere.

However, if you don’t have the time or money for a big celebration, there are plenty of affordable charity event options, according to Create the Good, an initiative launched by the AARP. You can organize a smaller gathering where people take part in an activity such as wrapping gifts donated for children, bringing baked goods to send to a homeless helter, or writing cards for people in a local nursing home.      

Look for Sponsors

Corporate sponsors can help bolster the budget for your event. Do some research and reach out to businesses whose goals align with the purpose of your event and your target audience. Be sure to think about possible sponsorship packages ahead of time so they have options to choose from. Sponsorship arrangements will not only help you achieve your goals for the event but could also lead to an ongoing business relationship that benefits both companies.

Order Custom Event Passes

Custom event passes can help promote your event and make it memorable. Create event passes with a unique and eye-catching design to match the theme of your event and serve as a keepsake for everyone who attends. Additionally, you can distribute custom passes to help distinguish members of the media and VIP guests (such as sponsors) from other attendees and allow them special access. Finally, if you’re concerned about security, you can order passes with security features, such as credential barcoding.  

Get the Word Out

Promoting your event is crucial since it obviously won’t be a success if no one knows about it. Do some digging to determine the best way to reach your target audience. Maybe your best bet is spreading awareness on Twitter, or maybe it’s putting an ad in the local paper. To raise awareness, be sure to distribute a press release to local news outlets, bloggers, and any other influencers who can help spread the word to the people you want to reach.    

If you’d like to order custom event passes for a charity event, the Event Passes team can work with you to create high-quality customized passes. Contact us today for more information by calling 847-424-1900 or by emailing orders@eventpasses.com

5 Tips for Successful Small Business Event Planning

In November, Americans tend to reflect on what they’re thankful for in their lives. In addition to friends and family, you might express gratitude for small businesses and entrepreneurship. In fact, in both 2013 and 2014, President Barack Obama declared November National Entrepreneurship Month and called on Americans to show appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit.

“During National Entrepreneurship Month, we celebrate America's innovators, support small businesses, and empower entrepreneurs to turn their visions into reality,” Obama said in his 2013 proclamation.

For small businesses and start-ups, however, that journey from vision to reality can be challenging. If you’re a small business owner looking to not just survive but grow and thrive, hosting events is one way to attract new talent and clients, in addition to boosting your current employees’ morale.

Of course, holding a successful corporate event requires thorough planning. If you’re looking to drive growth and get closer to achieving your goals with a well-executed event, consider the following event planning tips for small businesses.       

Know Your Audience and Purpose

To host a successful event, you’ll need to know who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to do, according to Small Business Trends. Identifying your target audience can help you decide on details such as the location, the price of admission, the material you’re going to present, and the format of the event. Additionally, it’s crucial to know why you’re hosting the event. For instance, your main objective might be to raise awareness of your company or to boost sales.       

Plan For Every Possible Scenario

When it comes to event planning, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Make a list of supplies you might need – such as bottled water, pain killers, extra pens, and Band-Aids – and have them on hand during the event, just in case. You’ll be glad that you prepared so thoroughly if one of those items helps avert a crisis.                   

Do Plenty of Promotion

You won’t achieve your goal for the event if people don’t know about it and don’t show up. Your business needs a comprehensive marketing plan, according to Small Business Trends. Some promotion strategies include sending out a press release to local media outlets, blogging about the event beforehand, mailing out flyers/invitations to current and potential customers (depending on who your target audience is), and posting about it on social media.

Speaking of social media, you’ll want to come up with a unique hashtag for your event and include it on your event website, as well as all invitations/flyers/other promotional materials. Attendees that tweet about your event with the hashtag will help spread the word and increase awareness of your company. It will also help people who don’t attend observe and even join in on the discussion during the event. 

Know What You Need From Your Staff

Think about how many staff members you need to help with the event, and then make sure everyone knows who’s doing what (e.g., you might have some people helping with other registration, some setting up/cleaning up, and others making presentations). If you’re looking to reach new customers, you’ll also want to ensure your staff members know how to identify opportunities and carry out a lead capture process.           

Order Event Badges and Branded Lanyards

Getting custom event passes and lanyards for your event can benefit your business in a couple of key ways. First of all, custom lanyards and event passes enhance your branding efforts and can help your staff members make a more professional first impression on potential customers. Second, providing your attendees with their own custom passes and lanyards will make your event – and your brand – more memorable.

Overall, with careful planning, corporate events can significantly benefit your business. If you’d like to order custom event passes and lanyards for your upcoming event, contact us today for an obligation-free quote

4 Ways Custom Event Passes Can Benefit Your Book Festival

October is a time when people dig sweaters out of their closets, head to coffee shops in pursuit of pumpkin-flavored treats, and start contemplating their plans for the upcoming holidays. It’s also a prime time to stock up on reading material for the cold months ahead.

Book lovers have plenty to celebrate this month. Today, Oct. 1, kicks off Pizza Hut’s annual Book it! program, which runs through March every school year and encourages kids to read with praise and pizza. Additionally, October is both National Book Month and National Reading Group Month.

With everyone focused on reading, it’s no surprise that plenty of book fairs and festivals will take place across the country this month, from LitQuake in San Francisco to the Boston Book Festival. If you’re hosting or organizing a book fair, custom event passes can enhance the experience for both you and your attendees in various ways – from serving as a convenient way to identify VIPs to providing essential details such as the schedule. Consider the following four notable ways that you can use event passes to ensure your attendees have the best possible book festival experience.   

Stack of books

1. Make sure your attendees know who, what, when, and where. 

Some book lovers might come to your fair just to browse, while others might show up to see a particular author. Help them find their way by including important details – such as the times and locations of the day’s big book signings and readings – on their event passes. Additionally, if your event has a hashtag, you can add it to passes to help your guests join the conversation on social media and connect with other literature enthusiasts.

2. Give your branding efforts a boost. 

For annual book-centric events, you’ll want to ensure that your event branding approach makes an impression on your guests, leading them to spread the word to other bookworms and sign up again for next year’s fair. A catchy tagline and unique artwork on event badges can supplement your overall branding efforts and make your book festival more memorable.  

3.  Keep track of guests with different levels of access. 

You might give attendees the option to pay for a VIP pass that offers certain perks, such as signed copies of books or “backstage” access to authors. Creating unique event passes for those with special access can help your event staff recognize them easily. Custom badges can also make staff, volunteers and exhibitors stand out, so that attendees know who to ask if they need help. 

In addition, you’ll want to create easily recognizable press badges or access passes to make it easy to spot members of the media, who might also have behind-the-scenes access to authors. At any event, it’s important to be able to spot legitimate press passes, in case anyone (e.g., a determined fan) attempts to sneak into restricted areas by pretending to be a reporter. Luckily, issuing passes with a new design each year and/or including security features such as barcodes and RFID applications can help dissuade would-be counterfeiters.       

4. Create a keepsake. 

Ideally, your book festival will offer guests an exciting experience that they’ll look back on fondly long after it’s over. Custom event passes and lanyards serve as souvenirs and tangible reminders of the fun attendees had at your festival (on top of any books they buy). If your passes feature eye-catching art, people might even want to put them, on display, which will help spread awareness about your book fair and attract even more reading enthusiasts to next year’s event. 

Because of the many benefits they offer, custom badges can help make your book festival or fair a success. If you’d like to order custom event passes, contact us today, and we’ll help you create badges that will make your event memorable.    

How to Plan a Successful Fundraiser

Fundraising events are a great way to gain traction and garner attention for your organization and cause, but can be tricky to organize. Successful fundraisers take a lot of planning, budgeting and patience, along with a dedicated event crew who you can rely on. So, where do you start when planning a fundraiser?

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Define your Fundraising Goal

Depending on your cause and organization, you may have a few different goals you’d like to reach through hosting a fundraiser. It’s important to pick ONE goal that’s measurable and specific that any other benefits from a fundraiser will fall under. The most common goal of a fundraiser is the amount of money raised overall. Pick your desired dollar amount to be raised, and base your budget, attendance list and event ticket prices off of that. If you plan on having a fancier event, your ticket prices need to reflect that. Will your target attendees be willing to pay a higher price for your fundraiser? Make sure you research your target audience for the event and plan one they’ll be excited to be a part of.

Pick the Right Kind of Event

Want to have a black tie dinner? Or a community car wash? Both are great ideas, but only if your target attendees match your event. You also need to make sure your event matches your:

  • Brand and mission
  • Your budget
  • Your staff, volunteers and event crew
  • How much time you have to plan and execute
  • Your objectives and goals

Reach Out to Corporate Sponsors

So, you have your goal but it doesn’t match up with your budget. Securing corporate sponsors will allow you to maximize your spending while building financially beneficial business relationships. However, you need to do your research when selecting which corporations to reach out to. Explain how your mission and target audience aligns with their business and communication goals. Explain how their business will be featured and promoted before, during and after the event takes place. Additionally, have different sponsorship packages available to give potential sponsors a few options. 

Promote. Promote. Promote.

Your communications plan for your event is crucial. Where is your target audience? Are they on social media? Do they read the community newspaper? Find where they go for their news and place ads there. Also, reach out to your community’s local reporter with the event’s information and gain some free coverage that way, along with adding your event to online listings (i.e. Eventbrite.com, Eventful.com, Metromix.com, etc). Create a press release for your event for easy distribution to your local newspapers, journalists, bloggers and any other influential people who could help spread the word. Event credentials, like the ones we make here at Event Passes, are another fun way to promote an event. You can send out custom passes to your attendees who purchased tickets prior to the fundraiser so they can skip any line that may be leading from the entrance. You can also create VIP passes to give to sponsors or those who donate a certain amount of money. Along with attendees, you’ll want event passes for your event crew for security measures, to make sure you can distinguish who is working the fundraiser so the day of the event there is no miscommunication or confusion among event staff and volunteers. 

Review Your Fundraiser

Event planning doesn’t end when your fundraiser does. It’s important to analyze the results and feedback from your fundraiser. Was your goal achieved? Did you have good attendance? Were people who attended satisfied with their experience? How did people buy tickets, online or at the door? Did the corporate sponsorships work well? These questions, plus more, are essential because they’ll help you build your fundraiser into a greater success the next time around. 

Are You Guilty of These 5 Event Badge Design Crimes?

Are You Guilty of These 5 Event Badge Design Crimes?

Conferences, tradeshows and industry events are a great opportunity to network with others in your field of interest. So, why is it that so many events are still providing their attendees with poorly designed badges that don’t enhance the networking experience? In today’s post, we’ll look at the 5 design crimes you may mistakenly be committing when it comes to designing your event badges.

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6 Event Planning Tips for Your Next Corporate Event

6 Event Planning Tips for Your Next Corporate Event

Smart business owners and CEOs know that a great corporate event can boost employee morale, attract top talent and bring in those coveted clients. But, when it comes to putting together a company sponsored event, there are a lot of moving parts – especially if your organization plans on going big and hitting hard. That’s why the most important part of your event next to the actual execution, is planning. The planning phase is also where plenty of people come up short, either because they fail to plan or they don’t cover all of their bases.

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