Archive for the Networking Category

How To Make A Delegate Name Badge Be Effective

Posted in Networking, Promotional Gifts, UK with tags , , , on March 16, 2013 by Richard

I was attending a business event earlier in the week, and as usual, they were handing out those little name badges – you know, the ones where you either slip your business card into the PVC wallet, or, if they’re really organised, they’ll have typed out all the delegates names onto simple white cards that are then slipped into the holder.

I ALWAYS find it really difficult to read people names when chatting to them at these events. Why? Well they’re always printed too small…. Think about it, a business card isn’t designed and printed with the intention of having it stuck on your chest so someone can read it from 2-3 feet away, and even when the organisers have had the inserts printed especially for you, they’re still difficult to read. Now – that can become uncomfortable when you person you are trying to engage with is a lady, and the badge is planted firmly on their chest – And – In order to be able to read their name you have to STARE. At their chests!!!! Not the best of ideas.

Ladies networking with name badges strategically positioned

Ladies networking with name badges strategically positioned

So I recommend you go prepared – take your own name badge – and put a snappy/funny strapline below your name, one that invites a conversation and without you having to do anything, gets your fellow delegates to engage with you – easy eh?

As for the badges? Yes, they are part of a range of very popular Delegate Name Badges that my business, RT Promotions has to offer. We find that this one, the DIY Name Badge, is a popular choice with our customers, and again, is available to purchase from my website.

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Networkers – Please Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Posted in Networking on October 24, 2011 by Richard

Leaving a networking event the other week, and slightly grumbly at the lack of manners from folk who should know better, I remembered this song from the 80’s, and thought – Mmmmmm maybe we could learn a thing or two from a pop song?

I’ll get straight to the point: why do fellow networkers think it’s OK to interrupt you, just to say ‘goodbye’?

Picture the following scene: Busy networking room/event in the process of concluding. Some folk are engaged in personal 1 to 1’s, some are scampering for the door, others are in larger/informal groups. Which is the group you should leave alone? Yep, that’s right, the personal 1 to 1’s, after all, they’re actually doing what they came to the event for…. having a personal discussion, and who knows, it could be BUSINESS.

Now picture those same 1 to 1’s, being interrupted by someone leaving, actually stopping the personal conversations to say:

  • Sorry to interrupt you Bob, but I’m in a hurry to leave, and just wanted to ask:
    • If you’ll be at bla bla bla next week?
    • If I could have one of your business cards?
      Or BEST OF ALL
    • the person you’re talking to if they’d like to buy my product/services

What a nerve!!! What a cheek? What ignorance!!!

Why not place your body into our mutual eyeline, trust me, we’ll see you stood there, and if either of us wants to stop our conversation and engage with you, we’ll do so when we’re ready. If we don’t engage with you, please don’t take this too personally, but GO AWAY!!!

To follow the tone of the song: saying ‘hello’ is important, so do please engage and speak, but as for ‘goodbyes’…. a wave will do!!!

Name Badges With A Difference

Posted in Conferences, Networking, Promotional Gifts, Trivia, UK with tags , , on October 7, 2011 by Richard

How often do you arrive at an event, particularly if you’re networking, to be handed one of those cheap and cheerful name badges? You know the ones I mean, the ones where you either put your business card inside, or, if they’re really organised they’ve printed off your name and company details. Awful aren’t they?

DIY Name Badge

So why do you put up with them?

Why not take your own badge to events? We offer a range of printed name badges, but my favourite and the one I use is the DIY Name Badge. These are so easy to use, and the best bit is you can keep changing your message or ‘look’ depending on which event you’re attending. The front facia plate slides out, and you simply place your new insert into the backing plate. They even have a magnetic fixing so you don’t have to use those pins or crocodile clips on your nice clothing.

I’ve printed off a range of inserts (see image) which I keep handy in my car, and then, just as I’m about to go into an event, I make the decision on which insert to put into my badge. Is it a ‘serious’ event? If so, I’d better put my formal name badge on, but whenever possible, I try to use one of my cheeky inserts!!! Can you think of a suitable insert for my name badge?

DIY Printed Name Badges

DIY Printed Name Badges

Business Advice Seminar For East Dorset Businesses

Posted in Networking, Opinions & Comments, UK with tags on August 8, 2011 by Richard

Business Advice Seminar

Are Business Cards Effective?

Posted in Memory Hook Ideas, Networking, Promotional Gifts, UK with tags , , , , on April 15, 2011 by Richard

Every business owner, manager or sales rep I’ve ever met hands me their business card. After a quick glance at it, the conversation continues, and at some stage the card goes into your pocket, purse, wallet, etc. So what do you do with all those cards you’ve received?

OK, OK….. there’s some of you that will be highly organised. Maybe you file them, card index them, alpha sort them into wallets or boxes, or if you’re really techie, you may scan them into your computer or mobile device.

BUT WHAT THEN?

With so many people and cards to remember, how will you re-call that person you met at a function, who was mildly of interest, but who you’d now like to make contact with? I for one, struggle to remember all the details of the folk I meet. I may recall their face, and their business proposition, but I struggle to remember their company name, so how can I find their card and their details?

This week, I was at a business networking event, and the guy sat next to me asked me if a promotional pen was all it was cracked up to be. (Promotional pens are reputed to be the single most effective promotional giveaway in the world!!!) I was just about to get the luckiest break ever…… I caught sight of a promo pen in his inside jacket pocket. I couldn’t see much (rude to stare), but I could see a red pen clip with some branding on it, and seeing how this guys logo and branding was predominantly green, I reckoned it was unlikely to be his own branded pen…. and I was right.

Our best selling promotional pen

Our best selling promotional pen

I told him that if you used a promo pen, and you managed to become the recipients ‘favourite’ pen, then you’d be kept. If you gave away tacky, boring pens, then the likelihood is that your pen will be discarded. To prove my point, I then asked if he had a favourite pen. he said he did, and then he reached into his jacket and pulled out the pen I’d seen, declaring, “I’ve had this one for ages, I love it”.

People of the world wide web, let me tell you, my jaw hit the ground, I was astonished…… he was holding one of my very own promotional giveaway pens!!!!

Now here’s the thing:

  • I’d only known this man a few months.
  • The pen he had kept was a pen that I’d given away to promote my own company, but which I’d not used in over three years!!
  • He didn’t even know where he’d got the pen.
  • He hadn’t even realised that the pen was one of mine.
  • BUT….. he’d kept it, for several years!!!

In my opinion, he had had my ‘business card’ in his jacket pocket for three years. He had been holding my ‘business card’, every time he used it to write. He may not have ever wanted to buy a promotional gift, but if he had, then he was holding my contact details in his hand.

In my humble opinion, when chosen and used correctly (ask me how), the promotional pen is more effective than the business card.

I’ve Moved

Posted in Clothing, Conferences, ECO Friendly, Memory Hook Ideas, Networking, Opinions & Comments, Parties & Events, Promotional Gifts, ROI - Return on Investment, Trade Shows, Trivia, UK on June 20, 2010 by Richard

I’ve decided to move the blog onto my website, and would love you to keep in touch, so follow this link, to the all-new Blog, entitled Promotional Gifts Blog. It’s the same style of content, all from me, Richard Mack, just in a different location.

Do YOU Have A Tasty Business Card?

Posted in Memory Hook Ideas, Networking, Opinions & Comments, Promotional Gifts, ROI - Return on Investment, UK with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Richard

Take a look at your business card. Go on. Get one in your hand and take a look at it.

  • Are you proud of it?
  • Is it easy to read?
  • Does it make it easy for the recipient to remember ‘what’ you do?

If you said ‘No’ to any of those questions, you’d better go get some new ones printed, but before you do, please get some advice.

I gave a presentation to a small group of business owners the other week based on making their businesses memorable, part of which focussed on the humble business card. You can take a look at the presentation if you like, it’s on my Richard Mack Linked In profile. As part of my research I went through my business card file (it’s pretty big with over 1,000 cards), and took out some good examples, and some not so good, and was shocked at some of the basic errors. When you consider that the business card is the most basic of all marketing tools, and that every business has one, you’d think they’d all be great wouldn’t you?

Business Card Mints

Tasty Business Cards

I remember the time when I used a business card that was a little different, and boy did it get a reaction (all good). I was going to a big networking event where many people already knew me, they already had my card. I couldn’t get a new card printed as I was unsure what my new telephone number would be, but needed folk to know my other details, even if the card was temporary.  So I chose these business card mints. made with a very thin plastic case that’s the same size as a business card, they contain mints. The outside of the card can be branded, and in my case I had some fun with the words, saying something like “For a fresh approach to promotional gifts“. I knew that once the mints were eaten the card would be disposed of, but that was OK, as by then, I’d be in possession of my new business cards.

People still talk about the time I had a minted business card, and best of all, I gained a new client directly as a result of handing him this card. His words were, “I knew you would be someone that could help me and my business differentiate ourselves as soon as you gave me your card”. Over the course of two years, his average spend with my business was £2,000 per annum, all from a card that cost less than £1. that’s what I call a Return On Investment.