Unique Promotional Products

Promotional Products: Now For Something Different!

The next time someone at your marketing meeting suggests that you buy some promotional pens, we suggest you advise them of a suitable place to insert those pens! We’re in the back half of 2015 and it’s time for some innovative thinking when it comes to promotional products and items.

It is now harder than ever to impress someone or maintain a lasting impression through the use of promotional products. With so many suppliers peddling the same products, it’s time to start looking at more unique products to get the attention and exposure you’re seeking.

This is especially relevant as we move swiftly towards the end of 2015 and to the gift giving season. November to December is when the promotional product season kicks in to high gear, with company’s vying for exposure.

Promotional Products with a Difference

Hacky sacks

Remember these? They’re making a comeback! Hacky sacks are a fun product that will be well remembered by those who receive them. Especially those of us who recall being talented with them but then realise perhaps our hindsight glasses may be rose tinted!

Bounce balls 

A great alternative to the usual stress ball; bounce balls are exactly what they sound like, and will provide a memorable experience for the recipient.

Wet wipe cans

Great for waiting rooms, car dealerships, reception areas, events; canned wet wipes can be branded in full colour all around the product, providing excellent exposure. And who doesn’t want their brand associated with being clean and hygienic!?

Confectionery

Branded lollies, jelly beans, rainbow chews and mints are growing in popularity because they offer something a little be different. Being perishable and therefore with a limited lifespan, you might think to avoid looking at promotional confectionery, but that would be a mistake. Our customers report receiving great responses from prospects, customers and suppliers they have distributed these to.

Completely custom shapes

Rather than branding an existing product, why not generate a completely unique design for your stress shapes or USB sticks? In the building industry… why not a stress shape in the shape of a house? In the IT industry… why not a USB in the shape of a computer mouse?

More Promotional Products than you can shake a branded stick at!

There are literally thousands of options when it comes to promotional products and merchandise. The two best ways to come up with something new is to look around (almost anything you see can be sourced and branded) or to work closely with a professional and creative company like AAC ID Solutions.

For more information, call us today at 1300 797 478 or Contact us.

Promotional Products Gold Coast

Promotional Products Gold Coast

With almost 20 years experience operating from our Gold Coast Head Office, AAC ID Solutions has been serving local businesses with passion and commitment since 1997.

For all manner of products, including everything from clothing and apparel through to low cost promotional products and a wide range of promotional merchandise, AAC has truly become a one-stop shop for businesses on the Gold Coast.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT AAC TODAY

AAC boasts one of the most comprehensive networks of factory partners and suppliers in Australia, working closely to meet the needs of our customers. Whilst AAC was originally best known for it’s wristbands and lanyards, the range of services provided and products offered has expanded rapidly over the past few years.

Promotional Products Gold Coast

The AAC product range includes:

  • T-shirts and apparel, including polo shirts, jackets, hoodies and more
  • Headwear, including hats, caps and beanies
  • Promotional items such as slapbands, bang sticks, fan banners, pens, bags, water bottles, confectionery, stress balls and more
  • Promotional merchandise such as frisbees, hacky sacks, cowboy hats, beach towels, lip balm and more.
  • Specialist products such as swim caps, trampoline socks, branded drinking water and much more – no matter how obscure your idea is, AAC can do it!

How does the order process work?

AAC works a little differently to other Gold Coast based promotional product companies. Our team will listen to your requirements and then provide smart proposals and suggestions for products that will meet your business needs, as well as your budget.

When it comes to promotional products Gold Coast, AAC is your one stop shop. Based at state of the art facilities in Helensvale, with easy access to and from the M1, you are welcome to come visit our friendly team and to talk more about your requirements.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT AAC TODAY

RFID Cards for Hotels and Aquatic Centres

RFID Cards & Tags – Compatible with All Systems

In recent months, AAC ID Solutions has been inundated with enquiries from aquatic centres and hotels asking how to save money on their RFID cards and tags.The suppliers they have used for their scanning systems, turnstiles and doors, it seems, have been charging exorbitant rates for RFID consumables.

This is done on the pretense that only their RFID Cards are compatible with their systems. This is not true. The reality is that it is done to generate an ongoing cash cow for these suppliers, because the margins used are quite extraordinary. As insult to injury, often these suppliers supply RFID Cards and consumables actually branded to themselves, thus using their products as additional advertising exposure for their own companies!

Cost savings with AAC RFID Cards

Both the aquatic and hotel industries need to seek better pricing for RFID Cards and consumables. As a recent example, AAC reduced the costs to one aquatic centre by approximately $15,000 per year, and the same for a hotel group by over $50,000 per year! Simply by offering fairly priced RFID Cards for their access control systems. As an additional benefit – the cards were also branded to their venue, not to us.

The secret is this… RFID Cards for 99% of access control uses are incredibly simple and should not cost an arm and a leg. AAC’s RFID Cards are compatible with Links and VingCard systems.

If you feel that your hotel, resort, aquatic centre, event, festival, cruise line or gym is paying too much for RFID cards, contact AAC today to discuss how we can save you thousands of dollars starting now. Talk to AAC at 1300 797 478 or email [email protected].

AAC Custom Shirts

AAC Launches Custom T-Shirts

AAC is pleased to launch its new custom printed t-shirt service.

We have scoured the nation seeking the highest quality plain t-shirts and have secured access to wholesale rates for fantastic brands such as Gildan and Anvil. Our range includes a wide selection of styles, sizes and colours, with thousands of t-shirts, polo shirts, singlets and hoodies in stock for immediate dispatch.

Added to this, AAC can also offer world class t-shirt printing in an unlimited array of colours and inks, including the popular discharge method of printing which leaves the print area feeling smooth and soft.

Order quantities for custom t-shirts

AAC can offer its custom printed t-shirt service starting from just 50 shirts! What is the maximum number we can print? Well, we’ve never had an order that we can’t handle, so try us!

Turnaround time for custom t-shirts

Standard turnaround time is less than 2 weeks, but in some circumstances, jobs can be finished and dispatched within 4-5 working days.

Winter t-shirt printing special

AAC Winter T-Shirt Promo - custom printed t-hirts by AAC

AAC Winter T-Shirt Promo

For more information on custom t-shirts by AAC ID Solutions check out custom t-shirts, call 1300 797 478 or email us at [email protected]

Saving money on Lanyards

Save Money on Lanyards

The number of lanyards in Australia is astounding. So much so that even the Defence Force in Canberra made sweeping changes to their lanyard policies recently in an attempt to provide some measure of consistency.

And until we’re all equipped with in-built microchips and Google glasses to identify ourselves and others, lanyards are here to stay! Tom Cruise might disagree.

Lanyards Australia

Lanyards Australia

Given that lanyards are such a necessity, it would be prudent to determine a few strategies to save money on the purchase of these.

Saving Money on Lanyards Tip 1: KISS

The oldies are still the goodies – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID! Often you’ll see lanyards that have had all the bells and whistles (sometimes literally) integrated. Whilst a lot of lanyard features are integral to an event or venue, or to OH&S, often costs can be reduced by simply removing unnecessary attachments.

An obvious option to save money on lanyards is to use plain lanyards, without custom printing. For some smaller events, this can be a genuine option. But remember that a custom printed lanyard does provide great branding benefits and is basically impossible to replicate, thereby being more secure.

A more subtle option would be to review the artwork you have on the lanyard. Whenever budget allows, you should be going with a full colour heat sublimated lanyard, but this is more expensive than a simple lanyard with a one colour print. If a one colour print is feasible, try this as it will save money.

Reducing the width of the lanyard will also save money, but maybe only a small amount. But if you’re looking at several thousand lanyards, even small savings can add up.

Saving Money on Lanyards Tip 2: Don’t Pay for Them!

Pretty simple hey? Great, so moving on… oh wait, you want to know what on earth we’re talking about? We work with many events, venues and businesses that have their lanyards paid for by a sponsor; don’t forget what valuable advertising space a lanyard provides. At the right event or venue, this represents a great promotional opportunity for a relevant business. This may save the entire budget, or even just a portion of it – but money saved is money saved, and that money can then be spent on moving the staff Christmas Party from the local Hungry Jacks to Hawaii!

Saving Money on Lanyards Tip 3: Get Started Early

This is especially relevant if you are ordering a large quantity of lanyards. The earlier you start the ordering process, the lower your costs should be. This will allow your supplier the chance to use economy, or slower, freight options, thus reducing the price to you.

Saving Money on Lanyards Tip 4: Order More or Combine Orders

Do you require lanyards for multiple events or venues, or can you coordinate with others to create a “super order”? You’ll have great leverage over a supplier if you can request pricing for 2,000 lanyards instead of 200. If you work in a big company, or at an entity with multiple departments, ask around. The chances are that efforts have never been coordinated on lanyards with the goal of saving money. Not to mention, this will reduce admin and simplify the entire process.

Conclusion

Whatever you do with your lanyards, first and foremost make sure they are suitable for the purpose they are intended for. From there, if you can use any of the above tips to reduce your costs a fraction, then you’ve done well.

For more information on lanyards in Australia, talk to the identification experts – AAC ID Solutions at 1300 797 478 or [email protected]

Wristbands

Choosing Wristbands for Events

Almost every event in Australia uses wristbands to identify its patrons and guests. They also ensure that no one enters their event without authorisation. While this is especially crucial for paid events like music festivals and concerts, smaller events, parties and business conferences also require wristbands.

AAC ID Solutions is the leading wristband manufacturer, printer and supplier in Australia, and has been since 1997. We’ve seen events come and go, from the mighty Big Day Out, to a wide range of smaller community events. If anyone knows how to choose a wristband for an event, it’s AAC ID Solutions! So, as an event organiser, how do you choose the right type of wristband?

Choosing Wristbands – Length of your Event

The duration of your event will effect the type of bands you need to consider. The longer your event goes, the more secure and sturdy your wristbands need to be. Consider a multi-day music festival. Patrons will potentially sleep and shower with their wristband on, spending much of the day in the elements. The wristband used for this event needs to be very different to a wristband used to monitor one hour sessions at a trampoline park for instance.

Single day use wristbands

Any wristband can be used for a single day of course, but the most highly recommended are Australian Made Tyvek Wristbands. Tyvek bands have been used in Australia for 20 years, and chances are, you have worn one yourself. Further still, it is very likely that you have worn a Tyvek wristband manufactured by us! Tyvek wristbands are the perfect single day wristband. They are cheap, strong, bright and secure, and can be used in wet or dry environments.

Multi-day use wristbands

A multi-day event needs to consider plastic, vinyl and woven wristbands for their identification. Each of these are recommended for events that last two or more days. They will withstand the beating they take from multi-day use and retain their security and structure. AAC highly recommends woven wristbands for most multi-day events due to the exceptional security features that can be incorporated. More on this below.

Choosing Wristbands – How Important is Security to you?

Secondly, an event organiser needs to consider the importance of security at their event. Again, events will vary in this regard. A music festival where someone has paid over $100 for a ticket will treat security as a higher priority than a free community event.

Wristbands vary in their security rating, and there are additional steps that can be undertaken to further increase this. There are two elements to consider with regards security. Firstly, how secure is the wristband itself? Secondly, how secure does the wristband make your event? This would relate to anything plain (not custom printed), including plain Tyvek, plastic and vinyl bands. If the wristband you have chosen is readily available from multiple places, then it is easily replicated by those wishing to crash your event.

Low security bands

Low security bands include Tyvek bands that are not manufactured in Australia, plain wristbands with no custom printing and any other type of wristband that has been manufactured poorly. Avoid low security wristbands when your event requires high security access control!

High security wristbands

The most secure wristband products will be those with RFID chips or unique barcodes, and also woven wristbands. The nature of RFID and barcodes (more on these in the technology section below), mean that they are unique. They have also been integrated with smart access control systems to prevent repeat use or forgeries. Woven bands are secure because they are custom embroidered with quality threads. These threads can include metallic threads, and designs can also incorporate sequential numbering, special coloured closures and more.

Choosing Wristbands – How is the Budget Looking?

Of course, it is all well and good to say you want the most secure, high tech wristband available, but if the budget is looking a tad sparse then this does need to be taken in to account. Your lowest cost options are always going to include plain wristbands and any Tyvek bands. Wristband products that include technology such as RFID or unique barcodes will be more expensive, as will woven bands with extra security features. Your best bet is to discuss your budget with a trusted and experienced wristband supplier like AAC ID Solutions, so that an appropriate solution can be quickly offered.

Choosing Wristbands – Are you Integrating Technology?

As little as 5 years ago, this question would not have meant a thing! But, with the growing popularity of RFID and unique barcodes, especially in relation to access control, it is now an important question. The purpose of integrating your identification wristbands with technology is two fold: 1) it means your access control is automated, with scanners doing all the work, and 2) it means that you can also implement social media integration strategies at your event.

RFID and unique barcodes can be added to Tyvek, plastic, photo image adhesive and even small runs of plastic bands, so there are lots of options available.

Conclusion

Whether you’re new to event management, or have been in the game for years, it is important to consider the type of wristband that is used to identify guests and patrons. It may be time to change what you’ve been doing, so give AAC a call and we’ll make sure you’re on the right track.

Promotional Merchandise

Promotional Merchandise – Generating a Strong ROI

Promotional merchandise is used by a variety of events and venues to generate additional revenue. Especially common at expo’s and music festivals, promotional merchandise often consists of items such as custom printed t-shirts, caps, promotional bags and industry or event specific souvenirs.

The primary goal of promotional merchandise like this is to generate more revenue. Attendees at expos and festivals are often big fans of the event they are attending, and will often purchase the same branded products, specific to the year they have attended, every time they visit. The items themselves become treasured collectables.

Popular Promotional Merchandise

Here is a list of some of the most popular, and profitable items of promotional merchandise:

  • Custom printed t-shirts – wide variety of styles, colour and print choices are available. As a guide, limiting the number of print colours on a shirt will have the most dramatic effect on its cost. The majority of shirts are screen printed which means a new set-up is applied for every colour in the artwork, and for each new position of printing. This can add up quickly! For a soft-feel to your print, ask about discharge printing – AAC is an expert!
  • Promotional bags – a great low cost items because they can also be used to carry the other items people have purchased! Wide range exists again, from low cost non woven bags to executive and sport bags or satchels.
  • Promotional caps, hats and headwear – again a popular option, especially when it comes to an outdoor event or music festival.
  • Promotional glassware and drinking items such as stubby coolers, glasses, water bottles are popular because they get long term use after the event.
  • Event or industry specific items – these vary per event or industry of course, and really require the event team to consider the options. Good examples are branded animal shape stress toys for an agricultural event or a branded cowbell for a rodeo.

Choosing Promotional Merchandise

The planning of a merchandise stall at any big event is an immense undertaking. There are so many potential products to consider and those choices are important. This is especially true when the year of the event is part of the branding on the merchandise, or when each year includes a new branding concept. In these cases, whatever is not sold at the event represents lost revenue because it cannot be held and sold at next years event.

The right promotional merchandise should hit these targets:

  1. They should be relevant to your target market (the festival or expo attendees), with strong functional and emotional value.
  2. They should be well made. Buying low quality products, with poor print quality, fraying threads etc only reflects poorly on your own brand and reduces the potential selling price.
  3. They should generate a strong ROI. This means they should combine a good buy price with an excellent selling price. The fact that the merchandise is event specific generates a higher selling price already, but the focus should also be on items that maintain a high perceived value.

Often the focus needs to be taken away from “what you’d like to sell” and aimed towards “what will sell”. In 2015, this could even take the form of a survey sent to previous attendees – what products would they love to see. Forum chats are another great source of information, as are other events. See what works and then replicate it.

Whenever you are thinking about promotional merchandise – focus on one thing – ROI!

Promotional products and items

Emotional Marketing and Promotional Products

A key challenge for all marketers is to determine the motivation that steers buyers in a certain direction. There are countless books and articles that cover this. How does this effect the use of promotional products?

When I was at University (yes I can still remember that far back), my marketing lecturer referred to this as the “buyers black box”. The set of principles and influences that we have each garnered over the years that now play a role in the decisions we make.

This extends to the purchases we make. How do we choose who to buy from? What kind of packaging appeals to us? What brand do we want to associate ourselves with? Many of the internal influences we have are completely subconscious also, making it even harder for marketers to determine how best to sell their products and services.

“Our brains process 11,000,000 bits of sensory information every second. But our conscious minds can only handle about 40 bits per second. That’s a selection ratio of 0.000004%. What happens to those other 10,999,960 bits of information? We process them subconsciously”. Source -http://www.iconinternational.com.au/

As buyers we respond to both emotional and physical stimuli. We want products, services and brands to appeal to us on multiple levels before we make decisions.

A modern marketer needs to understand this to best approach their marketing mix. In previous articles we have discussed the role promotional products play in the marketing mix. It is crucial to a) get the attention of the buyer, b) ensure that you have created a positive/relevant experience and then c) make sure that the experience lasts, or is remembered for when it is time to make a purchase.

An oldie but a goodie

It is an oldie but a goodie – “don’t sell the features, sell the benefits”. An addition to that should be, “don’t just sell the physical benefits, sell the emotional benefits”. How does a product or brand make someone feel? Yes a branded water bottle may be made of strong BPA-free plastic (feature) and it may keep you hydrated (benefit) but the real reason it might appeal to someone is that it makes them feel active and healthy (emotional benefit). And THAT is where your brand will be associated if you use custom printed water bottles as promotional products.

Promotional Products

So what does this mean for the marketeer looking to use promotional products to increase awareness and improve brand recognition?

The key take from all this is to really analyse what you are trying to achieve with your use of promotional products. Who are you trying to reach and how is your chosen product, or selection of promotional products, going to achieve that? Are you appealing to a functional or emotional black box, and which will achieve the greatest impact?

The best strategy here is to consult with your marketing team, but also to liaise with a solution-driven promotional products company like AAC ID Solutions. By focusing on the end-result, and not just the product, you will achieve a greater ROI no matter what your goals are.

Contact AAC ID Solutions today to discuss your requirements – 1300 797 478 or contact us.

Promotional items

Thinking Outside the Box – Promotional Items

Promotional Items are commonplace in 2015. Almost every company, event and venue in every corner of Australia is aware of their existence and considers them in their marketing strategy. And, as with all other elements of marketing strategy, successful use of promotional items requirements some ‘outside the box’ thinking.

This is often a challenge for company’s. Even more so than individuals, company’s are afraid to try new things for fear of failure, or because they feel it is not consistent with their brand. But in 2015, when promotional items are so popular, wouldn’t it be great to stand out just a little and to consider more branded promotional products than just the good old pen?

Why use Promotional Items

Let’s look at your potential goals, because this is key when choosing promotional items.

Goal 1: We want to generate awareness of our company

Increasing awareness takes two forms; firstly to get your company in front of people and then secondly, to make sure they remember it. We’ve covered this topic before with regards making sure products are relevant i.e. don’t give out branded iphone cases at a retirement home expo. So, any and all promotional items will achieve the first part – your company will be in their hands. But how do you make sure it is remembered? By being unique. This is where products such as promotional confectionary or promotional lip balm come in. We’ve all been given pens, bags and standard items like that; often the product goes straight in the desk drawer. But something unique like a pack of jelly beans or a tube of lip balm is memorable and will increase the likelihood of your company being remembered.

Goal 2: We want to generate a ROI

This applies to a wide range of venues and events that use promotional items as merchandise. The goal here is to generate a strong return on investment, but also to sell as many products as possible. At many expos and events, popular items include t-shirts, hats etc but the products that offer the greatest ROI are those that are unique. Think branded cow bells for a rodeo, branded wine coolers for a vineyard and even custom printed ponchos for an outdoor event. Anything unique carries a premium, which will generate greater revenues.

Whenever promotional items are being considered, think outside the box. You’ll achieve your goals and provide something memorable for the recipient.

For more information about promotional items, talk to AAC ID Solutions – contact us today.

RFID Cards

RFID Cards On The Rise

RFID cards are everywhere.

From your local aquatic centre and gym to the next music festival or University Open Day, RFID cards are growing in popularity and prevalence. For good reason too!

As RFID technology has become more cost effective so have the accompanying RFID wristbands and RFID cards. Use of the cards has also grown to encompass not just access control, but engagement and social media integration.

More and more, events and venues using RFID technology are focusing on ways to add value to the user experience. On the flip side, the goal is also to obtain valuable data from users such as their activity patterns, likes, social media reach and more. Data is king in the new digital age, and this is no different when it comes to marketing.

Key uses of RFID cards in 2015

  • Hotel access systems – guest access to rooms and facilities often use simple RFID Cards that can be scanned at close proximity.
  • Aquatic centre or fitness centre access – simply used to scan for access to facilities, but also set-up to within their membership structure i.e. the visitor may have access to the pool but not the sauna due to their lower membership status.
  • University Open Days – for quick registration and information dissemination, visitors scan their card at each faculty and are sent information on their chosen course automatically.
  • Business events and conferences – engagement of participants and attendees with treasure hunts, but also information gathering with regards what parts of an event the attendee visited, breakout sessions etc
  • Music festival VIP areas – in conjunction with their identification wristbands, RFID cards can be used by VIP’s for special experiences offered by sponsors of the event itself. This might entail access to a VIP lounge for instance.

AAC ID Solutions offers RFID Cards with all major chip types, including Mifare 1k and Ultralight, as well as others. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

Promotional Products Sale

AAC’s Promotional Products Sale

Promotional Products on Sale

Promotional products and merchandise are important features of many marketing strategies. They develop brand awareness, improve relationships and even generate revenue in many situations. AAC ID Solutions prides itself on providing solutions to your needs – our goal has always been to listed to your requirements and then propose a unique promotional products to achieve your objectives. Below, we present some special sale items that are available for a limited time.

Promotional Products on Sale

Promotional Products on Sale

Click here to see all the promotional products in our range, including hats, silicone wristbands, promotional pens, stress balls, glassware and much more. AAC is constantly adding to its selection, and has access to an incredible number of products; just ask if you’re looking for something you cannot see.

Key uses of promotional products

AAC takes a very different approach to its range of promotional products, and are bucking the industry trend in a big way. Rather than presenting 10,000 products, our approach is to listen to what you want to achieve. We then propose a range of products that will work for you. Yes, we still promote the same wide range of water bottles, custom bags, USB sticks and more, but we’d rather talk to you about your requirements, and then work together to produce something special.

Our unmatched manufacturing and production capabilities ensure that no matter what your requirements and expectations are, AAC can exceed them time and time again.

Promotional Products are idea for running promotions, adding value to an existing product or service, or as merchandise designed to provide a return on investment. Many products purchased wholesale through AAC can be sold at 200-300% mark ups.

Terms and conditions of the sale

These prices are valid until the end of April 2015 for all orders approved and paid for by then. Basic or economy product in each range only. Single colour print for rugs, shirts and bags, full colour for lip balm. Ask us about bigger quantities.

Promotional products

AAC Expands Promotional Products Range

AAC has launched a range of new promotional products on its website.

Following growing demand from its existing customers, and an increasing number of enquiries to the company directly, AAC began taking steps in late 2014 to expand upon its range. This was undertaken via a thorough review of demand, and then meetings with factories, warehouses and other partners to ensure that all maintained the same levels of quality and consistency as demanded by AAC for its customers.

Paul Jenkins, Sales Manager, said “It’s a burgeoning market for AAC, and if we can offer a wider range of solutions to our customers, we’ll be able to further enhance our standing within the promotional products industry”.

“We have never wanted to be ‘just another supplier’ within this market” said Stuart Blott, General Manager, “the key to our success has always been offering a solution rather than just a product”.

The new range of products includes:

  • Branded apparel, including t-shirts, polo shirts and hoodies – strong partnerships have been forged with Gildan, Anvil and other brands to ensure that only the highest quality shirts and printing is provided. This new range has already been welcomed by the market, with customers ranging from festivals and events to resorts and local councils ordering t-shirts and hoodies from AAC.
  • Branded outdoor event products, including cooler bags and picnic rugs – outdoor events are booming in Australia, from music festivals and events at wineries, to movies in the park and other entertainment. Outdoor event products like these provide a relevant, targeted and (crucially) functional branding concept that can really reach a specific target market. When looking at promotional products, this is the kind of synergy that is needed between an event and a product.
  • Branded Skin Care Products including lip balms in tubes, pots and even sports ball shapes – we are a nation that spends a lot of time outdoors, in the sun and the wind. Lip balm is a popular product for men and women. Branding them in full colour to your company or event is another great way to get your message in front of a target market. Available in tubes, economy tubes, pots and sports ball shapes (tennis balls, basketballs etc), custom lip balm is growing in popularity.
  • Branded Swim Caps, including silicone and latex swim caps – it made sense that AAC, with hundreds of aquatic centres buying our Tyvek Wristbands, that we would ask our customers what other products we could assist with. All at once, they shouted “swim caps!”. And so we obliged; swim caps can be ordered in silicone or latex depending on your requirements, in a range of colours. They are easily branded with your logo, website or swim centre and therefore perfect for swim teams, or as an item of merchandise in your shop or reception area.
  • Branded socks, including trampoline socks – it’s a booming market, and trampoline centres are popping up all over Australia. As the leading supplier of wristbands and merchandise to these centres, AAC also launched trampoline socks in to the market in late 2014. The feedback has been exceptional. Trampoline socks include a non-slip rubber grip at the base and in many centres are compulsory.

As well as the inclusion of these new products, AAC has also expanded upon it’s range within existing products, now offering an even greater selection of hats and bags, with faster turnaround times than ever before. In some cases, bags are being printed and delivered within 3 days of an order taking place, though this is subject to the bag style, quantity and artwork.

For more information about any of the products above, or anything else you might require, contact AAC ID Solutions today at 1300 797 478 or [email protected]

2015 Wristbands

Wristbands in 2015 – What’s In Store?

2014 was an interesting year for wristbands, with technology again expanding within the market resulting in greater use of barcodes, RFID chips and other high security features. At the same time though, there were considerable cost pressures on many events, meaning that many more expensive identification solutions were not within reach.

After a big year, what do we here at AAC see in store for 2015?

Wristbands and technology

When we talk about technology with wristbands we are really talking about unique barcodes and/or RFID chips. The technology associated with wristbands remains a hot topic amongst the industry. Opinions are divided for many and it can no longer simply be a case of “events should use RFID wristbands”. There are just too many different types of events and different factors to consider. What type of events? Events of what duration? Who is attending the event? What sponsors are involved? More than ever before, the decision to use RFID on wristbands is very dependent on the individual event and their structure, goals and personnel.

Who is Using Technology on their Wristbands?

There was considerable growth from the corporate event industry, with many conferences moving in the direction of RFID. The key uses of RFID at conferences include to monitor movement of attendees; when did they enter and exit the main areas, what breakout sessions did they join, what guest speakers did they visit etc. Events also became very canny in putting together ‘treasure hunts’ and similar to encourage more active participation and engagement of attendees.

Fewer large music festivals used RFID in 2014, with some large events opting out of the technology. A large part of this trend was due to the lack of support and knowledge of system providers here in Australia; while being tech-savvy, they struggled with the logistics of scanning at music festivals. There have also been few system providers willing to offer cashless payment technology due to the risks of downtime etc, further halting the growth of the technology within that particular type of event.

2015 Events and Wristband Technology

So, peering in to our crystal ball, what do we see for 2015? Judging by the calls and emails we’ve had in the first week back after the holidays, business events will remain a core growth market for wristband technology. This is due to a few factors:

1. The cost of RFID vs the budget of many of these events or fairly low, so the technology is very much affordable. Many business events utilise smart phones (NFC compatible) as their scanning equipment, lowering the cost dramatically. Compare this to a music festival that requires 20+ scanning turnstiles to scan patrons, and you can imagine the cost difference.

2. The systems involved in business events are far more accessible and functional, with most running as applications installed on smart phones, with back-end systems easily adjusted and edited by the client themselves.

3. Corporate events generally try to outdo one another, and because they are often showcases for new products, or rare chances for teams and customers from multiple geographical locations to meet and exchange ideas, senior management often opt for something a bit special.

4. Spending the extra money on RFID at these events is often very much justified by the benefits, something larger events and music festivals have struggled to confidently claim.

Venues Using RFID Wristbands

A major growth area in 2015 will be venues using RFID and technology-enhanced wristbands. Aquatic Centres are a leading proponent of these wristbands. These environments involve a constant coming and going of members and visitors which is very hard to monitor for staff. The installation of turnstiles that operate via barcoded or RFID wristbands and cards allows:

a) fast and efficient access for members and visitors

b) lower staff levels to manage access control

c) a wealth of fantastic data for management to review, including demand trends, time cycles for visitors and other factors that can influence decision making with regards marketing, rosters and staff levels.

University Open Days are also a high growth market for RFID products. The challenge of an Open Day for University teams is that there are a great number of visitors (potential students / customers). They desperately need to obtain data from these visitors for future marketing efforts. The traditional method of queuing up at a registration booth is cumbersome. Volunteers with clipboards or those entering data in computers is slow and vulnerable to mistakes.

The use of RFID or barcoded wristbands and ID cards greatly improves the registration process, the centralisation of data collection and the accuracy of data. It is also a far more enjoyable process for the visitor and provides positive branding benefits for the University itself.. “look how modern we are!”.

Making the Choice

So how does an event or venue make the decision to move to RFID or barcoded wristbands? It really comes down to what you are trying to achieve. Too many events and venues begin the process of looking at technology like this without really determining WHY they are looking at it. That may seem strange, but the allure of technology often does this.

Once you have determined the WHY, look at the WHO – who do you need to assist you implement the plan? AAC can provide advice and assistance in this regard, with contacts galore within the RFID industry.

Key Elements of the Decision

Music Festivals – your most important first step is to consider access control; will you utilise staff, or turnstiles, or both? Will you consider a cashless bar? Can you attract technologically minded sponsors to potentially subsidise the cost of the technology by using it to engage with patrons? All of these factors will influence how you proceed.

Business Events – the cost of implementation for business events is fairly low. The key is determining how much value you will add to your event by using RFID wristbands or cards. Treasure hunts, monitoring attendance at breakout sessions etc are valuable, but how valuable are they to your event.

Venues – for venues, the costs can be higher but the long term value is immense, as discussed above. It comes down to committing to a higher expenditure now in the knowledge that there will be a return on the investment over time. This is especially true if you have data-savvy team members who can actually analyse and use the data that is collected.

Final word

2015 will see more growth in wristband technology. To discuss this further, talk to AAC ID Solutions, the leading wristband manufacturer and supplier in Australia.

Corporate Gifts

Corporate Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is that time of year when we spread good will and cheer to friends and family. The same should be true of your business with clients and customers, not to mention suppliers, partners, members and those elusive prospects!

Corporate gifts have been around for a while and is an excellent form of cost effective marketing. Recent studies have indicated that brand awareness is increased by the use of branded promotional products. Having your logo on any gifts will increase your brand recognition. The gifts will be hopefully used repeatedly, so clients and potential customers will be looking at your logo over and over again. In addition, many other studies have linked strong brand awareness to increases in business enquiries as well as sales revenue. It is clear, therefore, that branded corporate gifts are something to consider.

There is an enormous range of items that can be used as promotional products and corporate gifts. You may choose a product that represents your business. For instance, if you’re in a professional industry you may opt for USB sticks. If your business relates to sport, then you may choose a t-shirt or water bottle. The opportunities are endless.

As we have written about here, taking time to ensure your spending on promotional products is well thought-out will result in much greater ROI. For more information on the top 5 mistakes businesses make with promotional products, click here.

There are many influences on what type of corporate gifts you might decide to utilise, with the primary factor often being budget. If your budget is at the lower end of the scale, then you have to be creative with the type of corporate gift you choose. A gift such as a pen is a little standard and often not really regarded as a gift. However for the same or a little more, you can choose a stand out item like a frisbee. Fun for all the family and likely to stick around longer than yet another pen!

At the other end of the budget scale, you can choose high end products which people enjoy using and will be thankful for. These can include anything from a branded desk clock through to beach towels and more.

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Often, incorporating a holiday related theme to the corporate gift can work very well, particularly at Christmas. One consideration to take into account though is that a branded coffee mug with a Christmas design will not be nearly as interesting come February! As such it is important to consider the longevity of the product and how long it will be used by the recipient. Branded Christmas bottles of wine, chocolates, mints etc are a nice touch, and don’t stay around too long! However if the corporate gift you choose is a little more ‘permanent’ then choose wisely.

Corporate Gifts for your Customers

It really is the perfect time to thank clients for their business with a gift. It also provides a good reason to book a meeting with them and a follow up after the holidays. With most market places becoming increasingly competitive, finding ways to differentiate yourself and stay present in the minds of customers is crucial. As many companies have discovered, sometimes it doesn’t take much for a competitor to steal a customer away!

Using corporate gifts at Christmas is a great way to improve and maintain relationships with your clients while still promoting your business and brand. Having your logo on any gifts will increase your brand recognition. The gifts will be hopefully used repeatedly (as long as you’re branding the right kind of product for the right customer), so clients and potential customers will be looking at your logo over and over again.

Corporate Gifts for Suppliers

It’s important to build and maintain strong relationships with suppliers. Many businesses forget about their suppliers when it comes to gifts; however this group of people are the ones most likely to refer clients to you. These relationships should be nurtured and monitored constantly.

If they are supplying goods and services to your business, that usually means they will be supplying to your competitors and other local businesses. It’s important to keep your suppliers happy and stay on their good side. When you have those last minute jobs you need help with; they are usually the ones who stay to do it!

Corporate Gifts for Staff

Personalised corporate Christmas gifts are an ideal Christmas present for your staff. It’s important not to provide anything that is already available to customers and to think outside the box.

Depending on the particular industry or recipients, you may be able to incorporate some humour or inside jokes into the branding. This is vastly dependent on your team and industry though. In the overly politically correct world in which we live, it’s essential to be discreet when humour is used, particularly when it comes to employees.

The corporate gift for staff should say “thanks for the year” not “you are now a walking advertisement for our company”! Give them something they will appreciate and enjoy.

Corporate Gifts that double as Merchandise

The corporate gift you choose may be something you can also sell as part of your merchandise range. A great example here is of a gym. You may offer all ‘Exclusive’ members a gift such as swimming caps, towels, or bags. You can then use this merchandise as a new year incentive to attract new members, so it works as an added extra. It will have your logo on it, is relevant to the client’s needs and is seen as generous by the receiver.

If you work with pets, have a pets Christmas stocking which could include dog leads, Frisbees or water bottles. Create a bundle that provides exceptional value.

The final word

There is a large amount of corporate products available. If you are struggling to find the right one, or are simply overwhelmed by the total volume and sheer number of options available, then talk to someone at AAC ID Solutions.  Our team will work with you to find what you are looking for and help you achieve your goals. Using an extensive supply network, AAC will help you find the perfect item for your business.

Christmas Party Wristbands

Christmas Party Wristbands Becoming the Norm

Every year companies all over Australia host Christmas parties for their teams, as well as suppliers, members, customers and even the families of all these people. For some of the bigger organisations, these can become quite vast affairs, with attendance for many extending in to the thousands.

These parties will often include entertainment, food and drink, and so they become an obvious target for gate crashers. This is especially true when the event is held outdoors or in a publicly accessible location.

Because of this, many party planners are seeking ways to control access to their parties for the benefit of their attendees. Whilst party wristbands offer a core solution here, there are other ways to also control access at parties.

1. Event layout design and planning

The key here is planning. Can you organise your event in a manner that ensures control of the physical access to the party? Is it possible to design the layout in a way that attendees must enter from a certain direction, gate or area? If so, this is a great first step, because it allows you to implement the next couple of steps with ease.

2. Taking control of access

Now that your guests are entering your event in a manner of your choosing, you have control over the access. Have staff on standby to wristband attendees.

Party wristbands are a great solution for anyone who wants to manage attendees at a party of any size, from a gathering of 30 to a large event for hundreds of thousands.

From now until Christmas, AAC is offering a 50% discount on it’s Christmas Pattern Party Wristbands – buy now and be ready for some Christmas partying!