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Best Conferences for College Football Tailgating [Infographic]

Tailgating Infographic HeaderThink you grill the meanest burger, show the most school spirit, or take part in the craziest college football tailgating traditions? Check out The Top Tailgating Conferences in College Football infographic to see how you and your school compare. Whether it’s incorporating regional tailgate food ideas like jambalaya from the SEC, cowboy boots from The Big 12, or custom cups from the ACC, the next game is sure to be a party with these college tailgating tips and ideas.

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. ...read more

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.

Business Owner Standing Outside of Small Business

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. ...read more

Tricks of the Tradeshow: Gimmick-Free Trade Show Tips

Winter is coming – and with that come the last quarter, end-of-the-year trade shows. On average, businesses attend 22 regional trade shows and 14 national trade shows every year. Rather than fight the fatigue of conference and trade show overload, embrace it and make it a successful wrap up to 2017.People Walking Through Tradeshow HallBy now, you and your team may be tradeshow pros, but it never hurts to have a refresh to deliver your best impression and make your attendance a success. You don’t have to rely on all the flashy gimmicks or over-the-top presentations. Stick to what’s worked in the past and amplify it. Give tradeshow attendees an experience that is engaging, educational, and entertaining. ...read more

Why Personalized Marketing is Essential for Small Business

Small businesses typically do not have the budget, manpower, or resources that bigger businesses have. However, if you’re a small business, you can make up for this by adding marketing personalization to your efforts.Group of People Receiving Personalized Marketing MessagesWhether your customers are visiting you online or in-person, they are looking for a personal experience when shopping. What current efforts do you have in place that speaks to your target audience’s specific needs and wants? How are you making it personal for them?

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! ...read more

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. ...read more

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. ...read more

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. ...read more

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. ...read more

The New Reality of Hospitality Marketing Solutions

Hospitality is a multi-billion industry that remains highly competitive. With the inception of Airbnb, virtual reality destinations, and the ever-growing online audience, one misstep in your hospitality marketing can make your brand become easily forgotten or dismissed.
Flight Attendant Standing in Airport
Not only do those in the hospitality industry need to focus on bringing in a loyal client base, but they must also have processes in place to address new challenges, such as 24/7 social media status updates and real-time requests in the age of instant gratification. One bad review or poorly executed ad can cause a viral media storm. Just ask Pepsi or United Airlines, both big companies who recently were caught under fire due to less than favorable choices and lack of response back to consumers. ...read more

5 Hotel Marketing Tips to Boost Hotel Loyalty Programs

In the hotel industry, guest loyalty can make all the difference in the success of a hotel chain or company. New customers and frequent guests are valuable and always welcome, but it is important to remember that those long-term loyal hotel members are who will speak your name to all their friends and family and in the long run, have the biggest impact on your hotel’s growth.

Loyal Hotel Guests Checking in to Room

Happy and loyal guests are the people who keep coming back to your hotel time after time. They may not be frequent visitors, but you can rest assured that when they do travel, they will choose your hotel as their preferred choice. As such, you must consider, how are you making sure that they continue to be satisfied by your accommodations and services? How do you cater to your guests or reward them for their loyalty? Are you actively nurturing the positive relationship you have established with them? Have you introduced a hotel loyalty program to give back to your guests? ...read more