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Coffee vs Tea: A Battle of Beverages [Infographic]

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In the debate of coffee vs tea, who reigns supreme? Do we dare to compare? One’s a morning necessity for millions. The other has been a favorite since the 6th century. Coffee and tea have been battling it out for the title of the world’s favorite beverage for quite some time.

Both with origins in antiquity, coffee and tea have grown and evolved in nearly every way. Coffee is roasted and brewed in numerous nations, using countless methods. The coffee shop has become a centerpiece of neighborhoods, attracting crowds of regulars, each with a drink preference that they deem an essential part of their morning routine. From mugs on desks to to-go cups in the hands of those on the move, you’ll find receptacles full of this aromatic beverage around the world.

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Woman Handwriting Notes in Planner

8 Ways to Celebrate National Handwriting Day

We all remember the elementary school days of slaving over handwriting worksheets, trying to get all those loops and curves just right. But did you know handwriting is more than just a skill learned in school? There are actually many benefits of writing by hand and putting that good old-fashioned pen to paper, including improved creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. National Handwriting Day, celebrated January 23rd, 2018? Ring in the holiday in style by exercising your creativity, writing a letter to a loved one, or doodling in a notebook during a meeting (don’t worry, we won’t tell the boss!).

What is National Handwriting Day?

It may seem like every other day is some obscure holiday (speaking of, January 23rd is also Measure Your Feet Day), but observing National Handwriting Day actually dates back to 1977. Coined by The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, the holiday falls on John Hancock’s birthday. Hancock is likely the most iconic scribe in US history, thanks to his famous signature on the Declaration of Independence.

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Best Conferences for College Football Tailgating [Infographic]

You can’t have a tailgate without custom swag, and the team at National Pen has you covered! We have all the college tailgate necessities — including coolers, personalized Koozies, chairs and more. So get your game-day gear and announce to the world that your school has the most die-hard fans.

College Football Tailgating Infographic

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Business Owner Standing Outside of Small Business

5 Holiday Small Business Marketing Strategies for Growth

The influx of holiday decorations popping in stores in early Fall (if not sooner!) makes it known that both big and small businesses think about the holiday season much sooner than the actual holidays on the calendar. And for good reason, people want to feel prepared.

By the end of September 2016, 14% of Americans had already started their holiday shopping, and 1 million people were already completely finished with their shopping lists. Holidays retail sales also increased by 4 percent year-over-year in 2016 to reach $658.3 billion spent in November and December, the prime of the holiday season.

Is your business ready to handle the influx of traffic? Do you have strategy to attract new visitors to your store, while also catering to your loyal customers? Do you know how to grow your business activity during the holidays? Here are 5 small business marketing strategies to increase your growth during the busy holiday season.

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People Walking Through Tradeshow Hall

Tricks of the Tradeshow: Gimmick-Free Trade Show Tips

Here are three areas to cover before you set out on your final work conferences of the year and trade show best practices, tips and tricks to keep in mind and take into 2018.

Review Booth Etiquette

First impressions are everything, which is why your team must be on top of their game with every work conference. Even if people are casually walking by your booth, it doesn’t create a good impression if everyone has their head down distracted by their phones or computers.

Conduct staff training pre-conference.

One way to prepare for upcoming events is by conducting role play of possible interactions with customers or potential clients. This will help your team feel more confident in how to address questions and represent your company in the right way. Also, schedule staff training whenever someone new is added to the conference travel team. Don’t miss the opportunity to put your best professional face forward.

  • Finalize dinners and event sponsorships.

    Coordinate how you will be connecting with your audience beyond the conference room floor. Is there value in becoming a sponsor of the conference or hosting a special happy hour or dinner with select attendees? When reviewing your fourth quarter budget, creating a more personalized experience [link to personalized experience blog] can help you stand apart from the competition.

  • People Manning a Tradeshow Booth

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    Group of People Receiving Personalized Marketing Messages

    Why Personalized Marketing is Essential for Small Business

    According to research conducted by Infosys, 86% of shoppers say marketing personalization has at least some impact on what they purchase with 25% revealing that personalization significantly influences what they purchase. That’s a large chunk of customers you might be missing out on simply because you aren’t adding a personal touch to your small business marketing. Not to worry, you can fix this and update your strategies just in time for the busiest shopping days of the year!

    Personalize Your Message

    Think about who you are trying to connect with before launching your next marketing campaign. If you identify targeted audiences you think will find value in your products, you can better position your messaging to speak directly to them.

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    Personal Mid-Year Review: How to Finish the Year Strong

    The end of 2017 is quickly approaching and what do you and your company have to show for it? Have you met the goals you’ve aimed to achieve? Have you improved your branding efforts throughout the year? And, have you made the changes needed to make a significant difference both internally and to your client base?Person Using Calendar to Plan End of YearFinish the year strong by performing a mid-year review and challenging your company to end on a high note. Take inspiration from The Weekender to see how you can incorporate the work-life balance necessary to succeed. Get the creative juices flowing and have everyone motivated throughout the remaining months of the year.

    October – Make Time to Play

    Make time for play to increase productivity and boost company morale.

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    How to Turn Your Desk Setup into a Work Sanctuary [Infographic]

    Header for desk sanctuary infographic

    Each person is acclimated to their own desk style, but are all desk styles conducive to feelings of calm and relaxation? According to a recent article published by Entrepreneur.com, an average office employee spends more than an hour a day “looking for things.” A cluttered space can result in haphazard workflows, misplaced documents, and a lack of ability to focus because everything is fighting for your attention at once. Lack of organization usually means lack of efficiency, which can result in an increase of stress. Simply put, more mess leads to more stress.

    But all is not lost. There are ways to bring more Zen into your work day. It’s all about how you keep things organized for your office desk setup.

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    Rise with Fall: How to Embrace the Changing Business Environment

    Every industry has its ebbs and flows in business, typically gauged by quarterly reports and monthly revenue goals. Embracing the inevitable changing business environment equips you with the right tools and mindset to tackle any hurdles that may arise, thus setting you up for success.
    Board Meeting to Discuss Business Environment

    In order to keep the pace with the ever-changing business climate, your company must know how to be agile enough to ride the ups and downs. Let’s review three ways to embrace the change of seasons and highlight how you can end the year strong – even with both predictable and unpredictable industry change.

    Adopt and Embrace an Offline and Online Marketing Strategy

    Users want to see a tightly aligned message with a company’s online and offline marketing strategy. According to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail customer response rates increased by 43% year-over-year, according to 2016 statistics. If your current offline strategy involves the use of direct mailers, include customized products your clients can use year-round. These may include personalized calendars, pens emblazoned with your logo, or business card magnets they can hang up in their own office or at home. However, while direct mail still is successful for most industries, don’t forget about the industry change of an ever-increasing mobile audience who may prefer to receive their messaging electronically.

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    How to Make Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). The initiative is focused on raising awareness about breast cancer and providing education and support. As an act of support and solidarity with those affected by breast cancer, survivors, family members, and friends proudly wear a pink ribbon during the month of October.Breast Cancer Awareness Month with RibbonAccording to U.S. Breast Cancer statistics, approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women in 2017, in addition to over 63,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

    To join the cause in raising awareness, you can easily make your own pink breast cancer awareness ribbons to wear or distribute to your family and friends, coworkers, schools, or other organizations you are a part of. All it takes is a three-inch piece of pink ribbon and a small safety pin to create the iconic marker of such an important cause. Though breast cancer research is crucial year-round, as a nation, we claim the month of October as the time to wear pink.

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