Skip to main content

The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

What could possibly go wrong with event swag?

timing for promotional products

Getting your swag in order for a big event is just one of the numerous moving parts that are involved in event planning and execution. It’s easy to assume many vendors of such marketing material will be able to produce your order in no time but custom event swag actually does require planning and providing lots of detailed information to your vendor to turn the order around flawlessly and most importantly, on time for show time. To avoid becoming a statistic of bad planning here is our guide to avoid missteps when ordering custom t-shirt giveaways, business gifts, and promotional items for events.

Look for promotional product companies and t-shirt printers that can offer solutions to your marketing swag needs. You need to be confident that your high end embroidered items will be legible and any screen printed items will do your company proud. These items will represent your company and will also be an indication of how you perceive the recipient. Who wants their company to be viewed as cheap or their gifts to be seen as last minute and thrown together? Promotional products can be last minute but if you’re working with a true professional company, no one needs to know that.

embroidery thread

Embroidery is a service that requires more time than screen printing so if you’re considering this as an option for decoration for your event swag, give yourself and your vendor enough lead time. Embroidery can actually be quite complicated and here’s why. Not all logos are easy to translate into stitches especially when reproducing on small areas. Some of the details may become illegible and in some cases, there simply is no other alternative than to adjust the logo to exclude some details or to make the logo bigger. Look for a company that does their embroidery in-house and request a “sew out” or proof of the product before ordering numerous pieces. Listen to your sales representative. If they caution against the product you want to have embellished or tell you something’s probably not going to work or look good, it’s because they have experience in this decoration method.

We have our own on site embroidery department with many years of collective knowledge to be able to offer expert advice and suggestions to ensure your embroidered promotional items will be sought-after giveaways.

Timing is everything for custom promotional products like t-shirts, totes, and hats. Under ideal circumstances you would have all the time in the world to plan for your event but sometimes surprises or opportunities come up like a last minute deal for an expensive or sold-out trade show. If you ever find yourself in a hurried situation to get event swag produced first look for a vendor that offers rush order options. For example we offer three different shipping options, one in as little as 3 business days. If it’s at all possible, we’ve offered even quicker turnaround but it depends on where in the U.S. you’re located and if we can get blank product from our vendor same day. While it’s not idea for anyone, we try to bend when we can to make our customers love us.

Sizing expectations have the potential to cause issues because not all sizes are true across product lines and manufacturers. Even the same product sourced from two different countries can produce unexpected inconsistencies. Fits vary quite a bit depending on the cut of the product as well. A fitted medium will look and feel different from a standard tee so pay attention to the product description. If it mentions fitted, fashion, slim, or junior, this is not going to be as roomy or as universal as a standard fit.

event planning

When possible, it’s totally worth your time to ask for samples of the product in question. These do not usually come free but can be sent at fraction of what it would cost to buy the product in a retail environment. Seeing samples of the product beforehand can make the difference in how much your promotional apparel actually gets worn.

Your logo or slogan may present problems you would never have thought about when getting ready to have custom t-shirts printed for example. If you had the logo produced primarily for branding on paper or website marketing collateral, colors and special effects are no problem. However when printing on apparel, these can be expensive or problematic. Be sure to work with a printer that can offer alteration suggestions or logo redesigns to save you money and ensure your final product looks great on the product you pick.

Many companies have strict branding guidelines they need to adhere to for consistency and marketing integrity. Working with a professional screen printer should ensure you logo colors are translated properly for clear branding. Screen printers use the Pantone Matching System to professionally mix colors via formulas. Through use of this method, your logo colors will be precise on order after order. Beware of screen printers that do not use or are unfamiliar with this concept.

Some final recommendations on how to avoid last minute situations that can cause panic and stress are to start early. The more time you allow yourself, the more likely you will be okay in the event that a snag is hit like a product being discontinued or damaged products being shipped to the printer. Check any proofs sent diligently to make sure you and your printer are on the same page. Reply quickly when proofs or questions are sent to you. Hardly any screen printer will proceed with an order if there are unanswered questions on placement of design or design changes from year over year. Lastly review your receipt or invoice to check for things like shipping address and time of delivery. Will someone be available to receive the goods if shipping straight to an event?

Some issues are unavoidable or unforeseeable, but if you work with pros for your event t-shirts and promotional products, they should be able to guide you through the roughest of waters to pull it off in the end.

Share this post!