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By Chris Ocampo cocampo@AwardsPersonalization.org

 

The pandemic has altered this past school year for all students and families, but here is how you can put your equipment and creativity to work in helping families celebrate this special occasion.

By Sara Dethloff

 

Use Canva to Help Your Customers Notice You!

Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.

By Lisa R. Higginbotham, CRM, FiveStar Awards and Engraving, and Awards and Personalization Association president

 

In these tough times, our association is here to help your business

(March/April 2021) When I began my journey in this industry back in 1999, I never dreamt I would be writing this column today. So many feelings: I am honored, humbled, excited, anxious, encouraged, challenged—those are a few that come immediately to mind. I have to credit Glenn Beckworth for being the first person to ask me to serve on an Awards and Personalization Association committee years ago. I remember being shocked that he would ask a tiny nobody retailer like me to serve. From that moment, I was hooked. But perhaps the greatest motivators have been the many retailers and suppliers who have helped me over the years. Embedded in my DNA is the commitment to pay that forward. And so, here we are.

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

(January/February 2021) When my term as president of the Awards and Personalization Association began in February 2020, I never could have imagined what would be in store for me—actually, for all of us! It sure has been a challenging year.

(January 2021) Valentine’s Day is the third ranking gift-giving holiday, with approximately 50% of Americans celebrating. And according to the National Retail Federation, they are spending over $20 billion! 

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

THE SUPPORT WE OFFER EACH OTHER MAKES THIS INDUSTRY STAND OUT

(December 2020) They say it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends are. I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement, but after living through about 8 months (as I write this) of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I think I would adjust it slightly to say: it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends and colleagues are.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

MANY BUSINESSES ARE DOING BETTER

(November 2020) Because I must write this column well before you actually read it, I try to be careful about statements I make about “current” events. One of 2020’s many lessons has been that things change quickly.

(October 2020) The Awards and Personalization Association is making changes to their two top benefits. These changes are big steps forward in the Awards and Personalization Association’s digital evolution, which has been a strategic focus for the organization for the past several years. The goal is to deliver more value, more content, and more opportunities for members and suppliers to connect with each other.

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

CELEBRATE YOUR PEERS WITH THESE INDUSTRY AWARDS

(October 2020) As awards and personalization professionals, we all believe in the amazing power of recognition. It is, after all, what we’ve dedicated countless hours of our lives to. But as awards and personalization professionals, are we taking the time to recognize our colleagues—and ourselves!—for the great work we do every day? For the smiles we bring to recipients’ faces? For the stress we relieve for our customers when we take a job that seemed overwhelming off their plate and deliver something great? For the moments of creativity, inspiration, and dedication that result in beautiful products that become cherished keepsakes?

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

TAKE A NOTE FROM HOW YOUR FELLOW MEMBERS OVERCOME OBSTACLES

(September 2020) The idea of guiding a business through a historic year sounds impressive. But the reality, as you know, has been challenging. I’m sure you’ll join me in pausing to wish 2020 were a little more ordinary—dull, even.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

WE ALL CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH OF OUR INDUSTRY, TOGETHER

(August 2020) August is a special time: it’s still summery enough for long nights outside, but the approach of autumn is evident as everyone begins to prepare for the start of the school year and fall sports seasons. However, as I write this, the debate about how students will experience both of those things this year goes on, and we’re all still trying to identify how to tackle the next sales season. Right now, all we can know for sure is that we’re very unlikely to be back to business as usual come September or October—and we might just need to prepare for an anything-but-normal holiday season, as well.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

Something To Look Forward To

(July 2020) Our International Awards & Personalization Expo is always held at the beginning of the year to allow for stocking up on the year’s newest products. We’re following the same plan for 2021.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

(June 2020) As I started writing my column, it was with the hope that when this issue hit your mailboxes, things would be very different. We’d be back to “normal”—able to freely see our family and friends, to open our shops to the typical traffic, to turn on the news without hearing the word “coronavirus.”

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

OUR INDUSTRY’S VALUES ARE AT WORK IN HONORING RECENT SACRIFICES

(May 2020) As I write this, the COVID-19 pandemic world is drastically changing around us, not just day by day, but hour by hour.

Help Your Customers Celebrate Mom!

(April 2020) Mother’s Day is coming and trust us, whether we are “sheltering in place” or not, Mom still wants to be celebrated! There are several items that you can personalize and offer customers to help them honor the moms in their lives.

Find unique solutions that will put your equipment and creativity to work.

(April 2020) We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to our daily routines and businesses. As entrepreneurs, you know better than most that success depends on your ability to pivot and adjust to a “new normal.”

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

(April 2020) When I first started to write this column, things felt very different. Although we had been hearing a great deal about COVID-19, the reality of it hadn’t yet hit our shops, employees, and families like it is hitting us now.

Danielle Leber (dleber@AwardsPersonalization.org)

 

What to Do Right Now to Help Your Business

(April 2020) Although experts frequently advise all business owners to develop emergency preparedness plans, the processes we put into place most often deal with natural disasters like earthquakes or failures in key utilities. But very few companies—large or small—anticipated what would happen during a global pandemic.

By Julie Rogers (jrogers@AwardsPersonalization.org)

 

Successful professionals share their advice for ensuring your business stays healthy during efforts to stop COVID-19

(March 2020) When coronavirus first spread in China, it was feared the disease would potentially put a crimp in manufacturing of products for our industry’s busy season. Now, amid a pandemic, our worries have shifted.

(March 2020) Gino Zavarella, founder of Gino’s Awards, passed away March 10, 2020. The longtime Recognition Roundtable member, whose business was just outside of Cleveland in Warrensville Heights, OH, was 92 years old.

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Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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