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Awards with Meaning

Organizations have much to celebrate: employee milestones, promotions, industry awards, individual accomplishments and team achievements. If you are planning an awards ceremony, you can choose from a variety of imprinted items to honor achievements, include acrylic, glass or crystal awards.

Acrylic awards, like the Star Acrylic Award, are made from a resin that reflects light and can be imprinted or etched with an organization’s logo, the recipient’s name and the date of the award.


Acrylic awards represent a budget-friendly way to honor multiple recipients of the same award. For example, acrylic awards are an ideal way to honor everyone on a winning team, a sales group that meets its goals or a department that goes above and beyond to make something happen.

Like acrylic, glass awards can also be imprinted or etched with an organization’s logo, the award recipient’s name and the date of the honor. Glass awards, like the Captivate Starfire Glass Award, are weightier and reflect light more brilliantly than an acrylic award.

Glass awards serve as the perfect reminder of significant annual achievements. For example, an organization might present a glass award to honor an employee of the year or those employees who have reached certain milestones within the organization.

Known for its clarity and beauty, crystal is one of the most popular materials for awards. Crystal awards are often used to celebrate significant achievements or contributions by employees, volunteers, donors or other organizational leaders. Crystal awards can be engraved with the organization’s logo, recipient’s name and date of the honor.

For example, the Soaring Star Crystal Tower Award (available in sizes from 8” to 14”) is the perfect way to honor silver, gold- and platinum-level performers. Consider an engraved crystal award as a way to honor significant contributions, outstanding employee performance or lifetime achievement awards.

Whether your organization’s awards ceremony is a red-carpet style event, an awards banquet or a fun-filled office pizza party, the key to making awards ceremonies memorable is showing genuine appreciation for the efforts of those being honored.  While awards can provide a tangible reminder of the honor, applause, a special event and front-and-center recognition are the real keys to making an awards ceremony successful.


PS – Using the same style award from month to month, quarter to quarter or year to year can create a sense of camaraderie or connection among recipients who’ve won the awards each year and demonstrate the consistent performance associated with the achievement.

Reduce hospital-acquired infections with patient involvement

Reduce hospital-acquired infections with patient involvement

Healthcare facilities can be a breeding ground for dangerous infections and illnesses. Globe and Mail health reporter Andre Picard writes that 250,000 Canadians become sick while in care each year, and between 8,000 and 12,000 die as a result.

Healthcare facilities are very aware of this problem and are actively working to change it. While protocols are in place to reduce these risks, the benefits of involving and empowering patients in their role in infection prevention and control may further the efforts. Here’s how:

Partnering with patients
Reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections involves a partnership between healthcare providers and patients. Here are some simple things patients can do to help lower their risk of illness and infection while visiting the doctor or staying in a hospital or nursing home:

  • Education is key: Let patients know what their care should look like so they know when prevention protocol isn’t meeting quality standards. Provide a folder that includes handouts detailing what they can expect from their healthcare provider, and outline the patient’s role in reducing the risk of infection. Include this folder in a welcome basket complete with hand sanitizer, tissue, wet wipes and a toothbrush cap to help stop the spread of germs.
  • Pre-admission precautions: If a patient is anticipating surgery, they can make modifications ahead of time to reduce their risk of a hospital-acquired infection. Lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling diabetes can greatly reduce the chance of infection. Talk to patients ahead of time and help them with their goals by providing support and literature on quitting smoking, weight management and managing diabetes, when appropriate.
  • Keeping hands clean: Proper hand washing can be one of the easiest things we do to stop the spread of germs. Health Canada recommends that hands be washed with soap for a minimum of 15 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective at removing bacteria. Post proper hand-washing protocol on posters and display by sinks, in waiting areas and in restrooms.
  • Remind patients it’s OK to ask: Encourage patients to remind their healthcare providers and visitors to wash their hands upon entering the room. Provide staff with a button they can pin on their scrubs that reads “Clean Hands are Healthy Hands,” as a visual hand-washing reminder for both staff and patients.
  • Keep ill visitors at bay: Tell your patients to ask friends and family members that aren’t feeling well to hold off on visiting. Picking up a cold or virus while in the hospital can lower immunity and leave patients more susceptible to further illness.
  • Make your patients feel comfortable communicating: An open dialogue between patient and healthcare provider is a must when partnering together to prevent infection. Many patients are apprehensive about asking questions or speaking up about concerns in order to avoid appearing difficult. Encourage your patients to voice their comments by routinely asking them if they have questions or concerns. And when they do speak up, thank them for their feedback. If a patient is unable to communicate due to illness or injury, promote the use of an advocate that can speak on their behalf.

Remember, it takes a team approach to prevent and lower the risks of healthcare-acquired infections. Patients who understand their role and actively participate in prevention measures will be less likely to pick up an infection or illness, improving their outcome.

Picard, Andre. “Concerns over treatment of infections.The Globe and Mail. N.p., 27 April 2013. Web. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2013.

"It’s Your Health: The Benefits of Hand Washing.Health Canada. 14 March 2012. Web. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2013.

MacDonald, Ilene. "Patient education may be key to reducing hospital-acquired infections." FierceHealthcare. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. Retrieved 18 Oct. 2013.

Boyd, Tara. "Six Steps to Educating Patients About Infection Control.Infection Control Today. N.p., 08 April 2013. Web. Retrieved 18 Oct. 2013.



Awareness Month of Awareness
Months Month

World Aids Month
Operation Santa Paws
Quince and Watermelon Month

Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month

Safe Toy and Gift Month
Spiritual Literacy Month

Take a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking

Tomato and Winter Squash Month

Universal Human Rights Month

Worldwide Food Service Safety Month

Clerc-Gallaudet Week: 1-7

Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7

Recipe Greeting for the Holidays
Week: 1-7
Tolerance Week: 1-7

Human Rights Week: 10-17

Halcyon Days: 14-18

Christmas Bird Count Week: 14-1/55

Gluten-Free Baking Week: 15-21
Posadas: 16-24

Saturnalia: 17-23

It’s About Time Week: 25-31




1: Advent

1: Day With(out) Art Day

1: XTERRA Championships

1: World Aids Day

2: Cyber Monday

2: International Day for the Abolition
of Slavery Day

2: Special Education Day

3: International Day of Disabled Persons

4: Special Kids Day

5: Bathtub Party Day

5: International Ninja Day

5: International Volunteer Day for
Economic & Social Development

6: National Day of Remembrance
Action on Violence Against Women

6: St. Nicholas Day

7: Faux Fur Friday

7: Earmuff Day or Chester
Greenwood Day

7: International Civil Aviation Day

7: Skywarn Recognition Day

8: Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

9: Worldwide Candle Lighting Day
9: World Choral Day

9: International Anti-corruption Day
9: Weary Willie Day

10: Dewey Decimal System Day

10: Human Rights Day

10: Nobel Prize Day

11: International Mountain Day

11: UNICEF Birthday

12: Gingerbread House Day

12: Poinsettia Day

13: Asarah B’Tevet

13: Pick a Pathologist Pal Day

14: Day of the Horse

14: International Shareware Day

14: Monkey Day

15: Cat Herders Day

16: Barbie and Barney Backlash Day

16: Free Shipping Day

16: Zionism Day

18: Answer the Telephone Like Buddy
Elf Day

18: International Migrants Day

20: International Human Solidarity Day
20: Mudd Day

21: Underdog Day

21: Crossword Puzzle Day

21: Forefathers Day

21: Humbug Day

21: Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

21: World Peace Day/Winter Solstice

21: Yalda

21: Yule

23: Festivus

24: Christmas Eve

25: A’Phabet Day or No ‘L’ Day

25: Christmas

26: Boxing Day

28: Holy Innocents Day

28: Pledge of Allegiance Day

29: Tick Tock Day

30: Bacon Day

30: Falling Needles Family Fest Day

31: Leap Second Time Adjustment Day

31: Make Up Your Mind Day

31: New Year’s Eve

31: No Interruptions Day

31: Universal Hour of Peace Day

31: World Peace Meditation Day

Everything Old is New Again: Promotional Euro Bumper Stickers

When I was a child growing up in the UK, summer holiday trips into Europe always required my dad to make a trip to the auto store to get a Euro Bumper Sticker.

When affixed to the back of your car, the simple, easily recognizable black-and-white stickers denoted our country of origin. On long road trips, we would pass time by trying to identify stickers from as many countries as possible.

Today, the stickers are no longer required for modern vehicles because the country of origin appears on the license plate. But, these stickers have grown in popularity here in the U.S. as promotional products.

In fact, these bumper stickers are popping up everywhere, highlighting not only vacation destinations, but also colleges, sporting accomplishments, special events and locations. For example, if your organization hosts an annual road race or relay, the Removable Euro Bumper Sticker a great giveaway.

Walkers, runners, bikers and triathletes can proudly display their athletic accomplishments while promoting your event.

Removable Euro Bumper Stickers can also be beneficial products for cause-related organizations, giving volunteers and donors a simple, visual way to showcase their support.

As the popularity of these bumper stickers continues to rise, children may even have a new game to play on long car rides, all while drawing attention to your organization, event or cause.


Switzerland Country Tag Source: By Samwaltz at en.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Promotional Inspiration from Pittsburgh’s Giant Rubber Duck

The giant rubber duck that’s floating in Pittsburgh has grabbed national headlines. It’s not the only organization capitalizing on the popularity of the bathtub toy.

In Chicago, the Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby raises funds for Special Olympics Illinois by selling racing rubber ducks to sponsors. (Watch the video.) Thousands of spectators watch as 45,000 yellow rubber ducks splash into the Chicago River. Ducks that reach the finish line first win prizes for their sponsor. This is a brilliant way to bring people together for a good cause and have a little competitive fun in the process.

Organizations of all types may be able to take inspiration from these animal-themed promotions while creating events of a more manageable size.  Here are a few ideas:

Imagine a flock of logo-emblazoned rubber ducks floating in a fountain or pool and greeting visitors to a special event or open house. The ducks could serve as a fun reminder of the event, long after it is over.

An organization launching a new health or wellness program could distribute a Paws and Claws Lunch bag. This bright reusable lunch tote is sure to make people smile.  The promotion would work equally well with elephant, kitten, puppy, owl or penguin bags.

Or, bring an eye-catching promotion to an event or tradeshow. Turn a giveaway into a game by attaching the names of prizes to the bottom of some animal-themed key chains.  Display the promotional keychains en masse on a table. Visitors who provide their contact information or complete a task can take home a keychain. When they turn over the keychains, some lucky winners will find a winning number attached.

If you’re not a fan of ducks, you can choose eagles, cougars, cows, cats or many other animal styles. No matter which you choose, these friendly promotional products are sure to turn heads.


Suggested tags:

A Pop-culture Frenzy Afloat in Pittsburgh

A floating rubber duck that is 54 feet high is calling Pittsburgh home for three weeks.

The bird first appeared in Amsterdam, the native country of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who specializes in turning oversized versions of animals and everyday objects into public art projects. The rubber duck has been traveling the world, making stops in Hong Kong, Belgium, France, New Zealand and Brazil and creating a pop-culture frenzy along the way.

I was fortunate enough to see the duck on a trip to Hong Kong. Since then, I’ve had this picture of the duck as my screen saver. It’s been fun to see people stop, laugh and ask questions. (Is it really that big? That’s crazy. Why is it there?)

Why is this giant rubber duck such a huge hit with crowds? Simply put, this floating wonder makes people smile and gets them talking. If you’ve ever worked on an event, marketing campaign, or trade show booth, you know how hard it can be to do that. This duck does that with ease.

The reception for the rubber duck in Pittsburgh is expected to be warm as visitors from across the United States travel to Pittsburgh’s International Festival of Firsts where the duck will be anchored for several weeks. If you’re heading to Pittsburgh or somewhere nearby, you might want to add a stop to your travel itinerary. And, if you are planning an event or promotion, the rubber duck is a good reminder that sometimes a simple idea can make a big splash.


A Stylus with a Purpose

With mobile devices growing more popular every day, it’s easy to see why some of our best-selling promotional pens are becoming fan favorites when paired with a stylus. Stylus pens are still relatively new, so customers don’t have a drawer full of them at home. Not only that, but how often can you give customers a high-tech giveaway for less than a dollar?

Stylus pens get people talking (“Where’d you find that? May I have another one to share?”) and give a “wow” factor at trade show booths by making organizations seem modern, with it, and up-to-date.

Take the Curvy, for example. This long-time promotional pen favorite becomes a modern, cutting edge giveaway with the addition of the stylus to the top. The Curvy Twist Stylus Pen retains its stylish appeal but gains high tech functionality.

The same is true for updates to the Javelin Stylus Pen.  Pens are an old favorite at seminars and conferences, but these multi-purpose promotional pens let attendees jump between taking notes and checking emails back at the office.

And, with the Krypton Stylus Pen, you can use a paper tablet and a mobile tablet at the same time. There’s no need to put down your pen.

If your customers are ink-free, mobile-only types, the Stylus with Cleaning Cloth makes an even better giveaway. When customers twist it open, they’ll find a handy microfiber cloth inside. It’s the perfect tool to keep devices smudge-free.

If you really want to make an impression, you can now provide three useful technology tools in one stylish gift. With the Stylus USB Pen, a stylus, pen and USB drive come together, creating in one smart giveaway.

Imprinted items like this help your organization project a modern image and get people talking about your giveaways, your booth and your brand. And, that’s exactly what you want at your next trade show or event.


Never Lose Your “To Do” List Again

If people in your office have sticky notes all over their computer monitors or laptops, they’ll love the Post-it® Notes 6 x 4 To Do list. This oversized sticky note keeps all of those to-do items in one place.  Your team can place them anywhere and move them repeatedly.

These list-making helpers would also make great giveaways at conferences and workshops, helping attendees keep track of their takeaways. The 4imprint exclusive ‘To Do’ list is just one style of 6 x 4 repositionable notes, which are also available in an Executive Style and Flowers.

These promotional products are available a variety of colors. If you’re looking for something customers will appreciate, these updated Post-it Notes help add a little convenience to teams’ busy worlds.


Cheaters That Are Winners

Cheater glasses have been around forever, but they’re new as promotional products. (If you haven’t used them before, cheaters are reading glasses that are available without a prescription.)

Available in the Central Park Readers style, these promotional products are both funky and useful.  Modeled after a pop culture trend toward heavy, large frames, celebrities and public personalities alike have been sporting this style of glasses. And, they’re useful. As a giveaway, that means they’ll bring your organization to mind again and again.

Imagine providing these in a dimly lit restaurant, to help customers read the menu. Banks, mortgage companies or title companies could offer these to customers to help them read contractual fine print. Churches, synagogues or faith communities might provide these to help those who need a bit of help seeing worship materials. Each time recipients grab the pair of cheaters from their purse or pocket thereafter, they’ll be reminded of the organization that provided them.

When you order cheaters as a promotional product, the order is split into three lens strengths: light, medium and strong. So, you’ll be able to offer your customers just the bit of reading help they need. And, like other great promotional products, these will be used again and again.


Tech Giveaways

Looking for the best tech giveaway? Our single port USB car charger is hot and it makes you look cool.

This handy device can be used in your car to charge anything from MP3 players to phones. These are popular giveaways because they’re small, affordable, and lightweight to carry home.

The media charging station is another great giveaway for corporate travelers.

These promotional products are unique and convenient. And, they help customers remember your brand every time they charge up.


A New Twist on Calendars

If you’ve ever felt like promotional calendars weren’t made for you, it might be time to take a second look. A new line of promotional calendars is emerging that’s modern and fun.

This Tattoo Art Calendar is one example.

This calendar puts a new twist on an old idea. Each month in the calendar features a different tattoo masterpiece. These amazing body art creations will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Even if you don’t have a tattoo, you’re bound to appreciate the artwork.

Tattoos aren’t the only option in this new line of modern calendars. The Extreme Sports Motivational Calendar is another update to the classic calendar.

Traditional promotional calendars often feature motivations that aren’t widely relatable. This promotional calendar does the opposite, by featuring ordinary athletes in extraordinary places. And, the message isn’t really about athletics at all. It’s about achieving what’s important in life, and that makes this calendar resonate across age groups and demographics.