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What Does Your Pen Say about You?

Your pen habits say something about you

Do you think twice about lending a pen to a coworker? Or readily share yours because you want other people to get hooked on your favorite brand? People have their quirks when it comes to pens. We think these isms really say something about you. Want to know what your pens say about you?

Ballpoint Pen

You don’t question a classic, you’ aren’t picky, and you’re up for anything. You wouldn’t hesitate to share your pens because you probably have a whole stash, and you don’t hold things tightly.

Drawer of Random Pens

You know the quality is in the writer, not the thing they write with. Plus, you may like to pick the pen that suits your mood. You’re even more laid back than the ballpoint people, but it might be time to clean out your stash. There’s a good chance that half of your collection has dried up.

Multi-Colored Permanent Markers

You either just moved, or you’re really into labeling things. Like really into it, so much so that color coordinating is a high priority. You sleep better knowing things are in their place and bring order to your world.

multicolored, multifunction pens

Multi-Function Pens

These pens are super functional even though the levers can get stuck as you shift from red to blue. You don’t care, because you like to keep your options open and your pages colorful. You write things with varying levels of significance and meanings and want your nuance to stand out.

Rollerball Pens

This choice may be associated with borderline snobbery, but the benefits out weight the stigma in your mind. You like your words to appear boldly. Your ideas quickly transpire through ink that moves fast, and you like having smartpens to accompany your brilliance.

triangular shaped highlighter

Triangular Highlighter

You know how to go for the gold when offered a bunch of free objects at trade shows. There’s a good chance that highlighter outlives your dog, but that’s okay with you. You just hold onto the good stuff and enjoy it as long as you can.


You’re easily captivated by a sense of nostalgia. Or maybe you’re just willing to own the fact that you aren’t flawless and need to erase and begin again sometimes. You and your work are approachable and adaptive to change.

Blue-ink Pen

you like to mess with the status quo and make your mark distinctive from everyone else. You aren’t disturbed by the sight of an entirely black and white sheet with touches of blue. If this isn’t you and you love your blue pens, you might just feel extra protective of your pens, and like that a rogue blue ink sighting gives away a possible pen thief.

Fountain Pen

You like to own your fancy. You’re not ashamed of your love for the finer things. If you aren’t that fancy, maybe some relative gave you a fountain pen for a momentous occasion, and you just couldn’t let quality go to waste. Either way, you give off the feeling that you’re an aspiring Dickens.

Brandnews is the official blog of Chotchkes.

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Industry Trade Shows are Going Virtual: Here’s What to Expect

At a Glance

  • Virtual trade shows have become more sophisticated while in-person events are not possible.
  • Virtual trade shows may feel incomparable to in-person events, but for the current climate they offer great ways to collect leads, display products and establish new business relationships
  • Learning to adapt to the virtual platform will ensure your relevancy in the evolving economy and prosper your brand

With in-person events forgone for the foreseeable future, virtual trade shows offer an adaptation to quench our craving for interactions. Though the virtual substitute can’t replace those meaningful handshakes, they have many features that will spark new business relationships and generate sales. Here’s an idea of what we can expect from the platform and understand the impact on the promo industry, with help from Jessica Del Rio, the event manager for the upcoming Sage Show, a promotional products trade show.

Many Ways to Communicate

Virtual events offer a variety of ways to connect. Live showrooms have moments where exhibitors speak with more than one person at their showroom or lounges. Virtual events accomplish the same over group chat rooms, one on one chat and video call. In showrooms and lounges, you can speak to the room’s audience to address significant questions or break off into one to one meetings to discuss deals. In these One to One meetings, attendees can meet with distributors and talk specifics about products. At the Sage Show, everyone can also schedule meetings at a time outside the trade show. In addition to this, Sage will group people into lounge areas by local areas. This way, attendees feel a closer connection while remaining far apart.

More Attendees and More Data

Virtual events can allow for more attendees because the barrier to entry is lower: the cost or time involved with travel can’t impede anyone. Jessica Del Rio shared that Sage expects the same number of attendees at their virtual rendition of Sage Show. In addition, virtual events offer more data on who attended your panel, presentation, or showroom and how long they stayed. Every move within the virtual landscape is traceable. Through this data, exhibitors will walk away with an understanding of the pieces that make their brand successful, even though they may not feel a perceivable reaction from buyers through a screen. At the Sage Show, exhibitors will also receive chat logs so distributors can draw out useful tidbits from a conversation or read exactly what a potential buyer shared.

Sage World Show Lobby, Courtesy of Jessica Del Rio

Custom Booths and Showrooms

As a distributor, expect to work with specific software to create your showroom to display products, videos, and demos. This platform still allows your customers to walk through your unique landscape. Expect a 3D simulated environment that is entirely customizable. These spaces offer you the ability to put your brand name throughout and create demo areas. The Sage Show will have a leader board in the main lobby to tally up distributor interactions like initiating chat features or scanning their badge. Attendees will feel incentivized to get the most out of the experience.

Educational Sessions

Virtual trade shows do not compromise on insightful educational sessions for the industry. Some trade shows even allow for extended access to these sessions after the event. Though the Sage Show doesn’t plan to make speaker content available later, they have made it easy to enjoy the sessions during the show. Speakers pre-record their message so they can chat with attendees anytime throughout the show, and attendees don’t have to accommodate their schedule to attend.

Sage World Show Product Pavilion, Courtesy of Jessica Del Rio

Promotional Products Included

Though promo products can’t be passed out as readily in a virtual setting, there are ways to integrate promo into the experience. After an attendee finishes their visit to your booth, they can be promoted with a “thank you for attending” message with space to fill out their shipping info and choose a gift to receive later. This interplay won’t feel as spontaneous and exciting, but attendees will remember your interaction when they receive their free promo in the mail. Jessica Del Rio says the Sage Show allows potential buyers to request samples, which are easy to access because every item is in Sage World. They also plan to continue having a product pavilion with top products from the industry, that are “cool and fun” so everyone can stay on top of trends in the promotional world.

Secure Lead Capture and Payment

Virtual events allow lead capture to be faster, easier, and more reliable. Most platforms have systems in place to track attendees’ contact information and gather lists of buyers to follow up. At the Sage Show, an attendee can click to have their badge scanned when they enter the booth. This action will generate a lead for the supplier. Some platforms guarantee a minimum amount of leads. For any deals you want to make on the spot, virtual trade shows embed eCommerce platforms into the event to allow your brand to secure transactions at the end of a deal.

Extended access to Content

VIrtual Tradeshows are typically shorter, some as few as two hours. The Sage Show is six hours. Following the live event, some platforms allow participants can access any content they missed or revisit showrooms, panels, and presentations. Different trade show mediums offer varying levels of access to the information after the event and lengths of exposure, from 30, 60, to 90 days afterward. The Sage Show makes leads accessible to exhibitors any time after the show.


Virtual Trade Shows will feel different but can be a great asset to your brand. Expect the emergence of these events to create a safe option anytime a pandemic or natural disaster disrupts plans for in-person trade shows. Adapting to virtual shows can ensure your brand will prosper no matter the circumstance. These online experiences will also make you appreciate shared spaces and handshakes even more in the future.

BrandNews is the official blog of

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Which Face Mask Is Right for You?

At a Glance

  • Now everyone needs to wear a face mask but PPE guidelines can be confusing
  • Following the process of evaluating your needs, evaluating the mask and finding an efficient source can help you get the best PPE, for the best price and the quickest turnaround

COVID has changed the world’s perception of face masks, making them a regular part of everyone’s lives. With masks becoming a necessity, finding the mask that fits your needs has become more difficult. PPE can get in the hands of your team if you understand your needs, evaluate the right mask, and find a supplier that is committed to efficiency.

One thing is obvious in the PPE supply chain: medical professionals are still struggling to find adequate PPE and fulfill their needs promptly. The supply chain is working to produce more PPE for the sake of fighting the spread of COVID, but it is even more crucial to get the right PPE to healthcare workers as quickly as possible. To simplify the process of getting face masks, you should:

1. Evaluate Your Own Needs

Are you wanting to promote your brand? If you are a business and looking for a way to promote your brand, cloth masks provide safety and follow CDC guidelines for everyday use in public spaces. Though mask guidelines can be confusing, it’s clear medical-grade masks need to go to healthcare professionals. Your brand can still deliver high-quality protection with cloth face masks.

Are you working directly with COVID patients or providing care to potentially infected people? Surgical masks offer protection but do not filter .1 level microns. N95 masks are the optimal choice for healthcare workers, which is why these are in even shorter supply. KN95 masks pass standards created by China that are similar to N95. Some KN95 masks are approved for use by NIOSH and the CDC. If you’re curious about the capabilities of specific KN95, the CDC has tested most KN95 masks and published their findings. N95 masks are the optimal choice in the medical field but if these are out of sight, an approved KN95 mask can offer the right protection.

2. Evaluate the Mask

Searching for the best-branded cloth mask? Look for options that have more than one layer, offer room for a paper filter, and are washable. Breathable fabric and comfortable ear loops are ways to win big with your customers.

For medical-grade masks, you can easily make sure the face masks measure up. Every medical-grade mask receives an approval number by CDC or NIOSH. Approved PPE will have the approval number listed on the mask. Suppliers also show approval information in their description, whether the mask is made in the states or abroad. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of a mask, there are ways to identify counterfeit masks. The CDC and NOSH have done the work to ensure that you will have the resources to evaluate any possible masks and put them through the test. Be sure to do your homework so your team can be protected well.

3. Find the Most Efficient Source

For cloth masks, many suppliers are at the ready and offer great options. Be sure to ask about the timeline for receiving the face masks. If a great mask will take a long time to arrive at your doorstep it is not a great mask. Prioritize efficiency.

Receiving your PPE quickly is as high of a priority as finding the right mask. Masks that are on the ground in the U.S. might be able to ship more quickly, but they can be harder to locate. Masks in China will take longer to arrive, but in many cases these suppliers are easier to find and more prepared to ship. Both options will provide you with effective, sterile equipment. Consider both options and be ready to act once you find the right supplier.


Information about PPE is ever-evolving. The world is trying to find the most effective and efficient way of getting PPE in the hands of healthcare professionals. The CDC and NIOSH are committed to keeping us informed and guiding us through the process. By evaluating your PPE needs, assessing the mask you find, and finding an efficient supplier, you can offer the best equipment for fighting coronavirus together.

BrandNews is the official blog of

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Building Customer Loyalty and Influencing Sales during Coronavirus

Coronavirus has posed a challenge for brands to connect with consumers, but promotional products can bring innovation into your relationships to build brand loyalty and prosper your business.

Connect with Consumers and Build Relationships

We are now deep within pandemic life and most of us are accustomed to the new means of relating to the world. With a more secure and streamlined way of communicating, people are seeing benefits from the ease of working from home. But the monotony of zoom, email, and phone calls may leave you feeling burnt out and trapped with limited means of reaching people. Most interactions now involve a specific purpose, which makes it hard to reach out to simply to show you care.

Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, facing the same problem together has its unlikely benefits. This current climate offers a unique setting to relate to existing or potential clients. Many are in a frenzy looking for stable things in their life to hold onto as situations evolve. Lacking community solidarity built through workspaces, places of worship, and gyms, people are also seeking reminders that though they are isolated, they are not alone. With a desire for stability, trust, and community, it’s a great time to build and establish new relationships in your field. If you prove your strong value of relationships, the people you hope to capture will feel more inclined to lean in, listen, and join your brand.

Promotional Products can Establish and Affirm Relationships

You can attempt to establish stronger relationships in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic with virtual messaging, but your efforts may only add to the noise swarming around your audience. If you aren’t sure how to affirm your business relationships or establish a new connection, promotional products are a great way to convey your care and desire to help. Coronavirus stripped every bit of physicality from communication and forced it to go virtual. Promotional products will safely put an object in someone’s hand that will inform them of your brand and prove your desire to cultivate a relationship. They also prove your brand is fun and engaging at a time when everyone wants a reason to smile. Promotional products will break the flow of typical messaging that populate our inbox and our lives during this pandemic.

Think about captivating their attention with universally needed products like PPE, hand sanitizer, or a wireless power bank. Add something new to their home life such as stress balls, adult coloring books, or a cozy blanket. Contributing a new element to people’s established landscape can benefit you now more than before. With everyone spending more time at home, your personalized item will noticeably differentiate the moments before and after your brand entered your audience’s sphere.

Now is the Time to Invest in Customer Loyalty

Promotional products have proven to establish a greater sense of loyalty to your brand. Not everyone has the means or insight to build brand loyalty in the current environment. Relationships that benefit from your focus during coronavirus can establish a more reliable connection than ever before. Others in your sphere may have stopped surveying new opportunities, which gives you a greater reason to take initiative and stop waiting for the phone to ring.

Learning how to innovate can create a more substantial, more adaptable, and more prosperous business moving forward. People will remember the brands who showed them compassion when times were tough. As the pandemic evolves, that same audience will want to continue their positive relationship as they continue business with you. As your circle of loyal followers grows you’ll also instill a sense in all parties that everyone has an opportunity for growth, no matter the climate.

In Conclusion

During coronavirus, relationships are more important now than ever. Thoughtful promotional products can prove that your brand will stick by people’s sides. Consumers don’t like to change as circumstances go up and down, they want brands that will shift with them as life’s moments happen. That means this challenging moment is an opportunity for your brand to build loyalty.

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