Signature Pins Blog

8 Tips for Your Most Successful Trade Show Yet

Trade shows are still a reliable way to grow your small business, with a tendency to give you more bang for your marketing buck than many other forms of advertising. However, without proper forethought and planning, trade shows can drain your budget and leave you with little to show for all your time and effort. Here are a few strategies for making your next event worthwhile.

1. Choose a show that's right for your business. Don't select events blindly; talk to show organizers first to find out what kinds of people are likely to attend. Ideally, you'll want a conference attended by the very customers you're targeting.

2. Spread the word. Many trade shows will provide you with a list of registered attendees along with their contact information. Blast out a short and to-the-point email saying that you'll be at the conference (include your booth number). Sweeten the pot with a special incentive / offer, such as a gift or a discount.

3. Create a persuasive elevator pitch. When a visitor pauses at your booth, you have literally seconds to capture their attention. Prepare a few words (30 seconds or less) to describe what your company does and/or the products it sells. Be sure to emphasize what sets your brand apart from the competition.

4. Keep your booth display simple. Make sure that your exhibit is a fitting representation of your company. Don't overwhelm visitors with wordy displays or complicated imagery. It's a good idea to work with a graphics and/or copy professional to make sure your messaging is concise and compelling.

5. Dress for success. Your employees should wear attire that is comfortable and non-restrictive, but that also accentuates your brand and company culture. For example, if your signature colors are green and white, wearing green and white clothing can help reinforce your brand image.

6. Have a plan for capturing leads. Capturing leads is essential in getting a return on your trade show investment. Make sure you have a solid plan for collecting pertinent details from visitors and that your staff is well trained on this plan. By using one of the many lead-capturing software programs available today, you can collect information right on your iPad and have it sent directly to your database.

7. Give things away. People love free stuff! But instead of passing out cheap water bottles with your logo on them, choose promotional items that have a bit more staying power—like lapel pins or key chains. These items can be custom-made in an eye-popping array of shapes, designs, and materials… and they’re designed to last. Recipients will be proud to wear or carry these jewelry-like pieces everywhere they go, giving your brand exposure far and wide.

8. Follow up diligently. Once you've captured leads, you'll want to "strike while the iron is hot." That means getting in touch with all leads as quickly as possible, while you're still on their minds. If show organizers send you a list of attendees a couple of weeks following the event, use that as another opportunity to follow up.

Make your next trade show count by ordering your custom lapel pins or custom key chains today!

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.


Q&A: Choosing the Perfect Lapel Pin

No longer “one size fits all,” promotional pins have come a long way in recent years. But with all the options available to you, getting started can feel overwhelming! Never fear – we’ve answered some of the most common customer questions to help you get the lapel-pin ball rolling.

What style of lapel pin is right for my needs?

Today, there are lapel pins for every occasion. Here is a quick guide:

  • Soft enamel: Extremely durable and vibrantly colored, enamel pins are ideal for baseball trading pins (or any other sport) or promotional giveaways.
  • Die struck: These elegant-looking pins have an etched, classic look that shows off the beauty of the metal they're made from. Perfect for recognizing achievements and years of service milestones.
  • Cloisonné: With a look that resembles fine jewelry, this pin style is ideal for corporate recognition and other high-end applications.
  • Silkscreen: The design on a silkscreen pin goes all the way to the edge, eliminating the need for a metal border. They're easy to make into custom shapes and sizes.
  • Offset printed: This dramatic and detailed pin style is well suited to designs that feature gradients and drop shadows.


What can I use as my lapel pin design?

When it comes to a design for your pin, the sky’s the limit. The various styles of pins available today allow you to get as creative as you’d like. Some ideas for what you can feature on your pin include your brand logo, a photograph, artwork, an inspirational slogan or motto, or years of service. Many reputable pin vendors offer in-house design help at no additional cost.

What size pin should I order?

While lapel pins come a wide array of sizes, the most popular pin sizes range from .75” to 1.0”. As a general rule of thumb, smaller pins are more suited to corporate use. Pins used for promotion or fundraising purposes tend to be larger and more “showy” in order to grab people’s attention. If you’re having baseball trading pins made, the larger the better! Typically you can have lapel pins made in sizes up to 2 inches.

How can I make my pin stand out?

Beyond an exceptional design, there are elements you can add to your pin to make it truly distinctive. These include simulated gemstones in an array of colors, sliders, danglers, and even bobble heads! Add-ons like this are a great way to appeal to sports audiences as well as teens.

Will I have different options for attachments?

Many vendors offer a variety of attachments, which is the mechanism on the back of the pin that allows you to attach it to clothing and other items. A traditional butterfly or rubber clutch is usually the default attachment type. If you want to upgrade to something a bit fancier, prepare to pay an extra fee per pin. Examples of attachment upgrade options include a deluxe clutch, safety pin backing, or magnetic backing. Some vendors can even turn your lapel pins into cufflinks!

In the market for custom lapel pins? Visit the Signature Pins home page to get started.

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.

Celebrate Earth Day (with Help from Signature Pins)

As global warming becomes an increasingly hot topic, many companies are getting serious about adopting practices that minimize their impact on the environment. Earth Day – April 22nd – is the perfect opportunity to promote your company’s green-ness to customers and the community. Here are a few ways you can do this affordably with our products. 

Eco-Friendly Lanyards

Our line of Earth-friendly lanyards are made from corn (yes, corn!). They’re 100% biodegradable, with a decomposition time of 2 to 3 years after being buried underground. Just like our original lanyards, these can be customized with your company or store’s logo and colors. Hand them out to booth visitors at trade shows, gift them to customers who spend over a certain amount, or include them in a “welcome swag bag” for new clients. You can also give them to students, teachers, and staff to celebrate the fact that your learning institution is environmentally responsible.

Lapel Pins

  • To promote your Earth-friendly business practices: Have cardstock created on recyclable paper, with information about your company’s green practices. Your lapel pin can feature your name and logo along with a special Earth Day slogan.
  • To announce new eco-friendly policies: If you’ve just rolled out green policies at your place of business, Earth Day is a great time to announce it! A custom-designed lapel pin can effectively get your message out to customers and local community without generating a lot of paper waste. It makes a great complement to your advertising or marketing campaign.
  • To reward customers who recycle: When customers return reusable packaging or containers to your business, it saves you money and helps save our planet. On Earth Day (or that whole week), present recycling customers with a custom lapel pin for their hat or clothing. They’ll feel appreciated with this “thank you” token, and your business will get extra publicity when they wear it!
  • To inspire others to be more green. Is your business a model for eco-friendliness? If your team speaks at conferences, holds workshops, or attends trade shows regularly, hand out custom lapel pins with an “earthy” message on it to all your attendees. Every time they look at it, they’ll be reminded of your mission.


Green Silicone Wristbands: Are your students or youth group members taking part in a special Earth Day activity? Recognize their participation with fun, trendy silicone wristbands emblazoned with an inspirational message. These bracelets are made of durable, snap-proof silicone that’s seamless for a high-quality look and feel. Plus, they come in an array of styles kids and teens love–including swirled, debossed, and even glow in the dark!

Our promotional products can be tailored to your exact specifications – so that they accurately represent your vision and brand. Best of all, they’re available at a price that fits virtually any budget. If you want to get your green message out to the world, Earth Day and Signature Pins make a great combination!

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.

Showcase Your Eatery with Custom-Designed Lapel Pins

Do you own a local restaurant, bar, deli or café? Struggling to get new customers in the door? The restaurant business can be a tough one. While advertising via TV, flyers, newspaper ads, and radio spots is still effective, it helps when you have that little extra something to make your place stand out from the crowd.

That “something” is custom lapel pins. These tokens can be produced in bulk at a very budget-friendly price. What’s more, you can get as creative as you want to be. Here are a few ways you can use lapel pins to stir up a buzz about your eatery:

Thank New Customers for Trying You Out

Many people are reluctant to try a new place to eat, especially when they have a long list of tried-and-true favorites. When they take a chance and sample your menu, be sure to express your gratitude! Once they’ve finished their meal or drinks, have your waitstaff present each diner with a lapel pin featuring your establishment’s name and logo. Customers will appreciate this friendly gesture of thanks and be more likely to return in the future. Plus, your snazzy pin will be an instant conversation piece when they wear it about town. It’s a great way to spread the word!

Note: If you do a lot of takeout, place a container of pins by the register with a sign welcoming customers to help themselves to one.

Promote Weekly or Seasonal Specials

Do you serve up cozy holiday cocktails in the winter months, or fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie during the month of July? If your eatery has signature offerings that only happen for a limited time, a lapel pin can help you let everyone know. Have one created with an image of your food item (note: offset printed pins make it possible to duplicate a photograph). Then have your servers display the pin on their clothing during their shift to remind customers to “try the special” during their next visit.

Create a Rewards Program

Have several different lapel pin designs created (e.g. 5). Each time a customer dines at your café, present them with a new pin. Once they collect all the available pins, the person receives a free meal (or cocktail) on the house. This is a fantastic idea for rewarding customer loyalty!

These days, lapel pins are available in a jaw-dropping array of sizes, styles, colors, materials, and finishes. An experienced pin vendor will offer design services to help you create an eye-catching token people will love to wear. You may even be able to add simulated gemstones and other touches that make your pin really “pop.” Plus, you don’t even need to order them that far in advance. An established manufacturer will be able to have your custom pins ready to ship within as little as 7 business days.

Don’t wait—give your eatery an added “taste of success” by ordering your custom lapel pins today!

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.

Use Ribbon Awareness Pins to Make Your Community Healthier

Awareness initiatives have proven to be effective in fostering healthier communities. The great news is, you don’t need a multi-million-dollar budget to help spread the word about your cause to patients, clients, or neighbors. Custom awareness pins are a memorable yet affordable way to make people aware of certain health issues. With the right design and quality, these pieces are proudly worn by recipients everywhere they go, promoting your cause around the clock!

Here are a few ways you can use custom ribbon awareness pins to generate a serious buzz:

Hand out pins at health screenings (e.g. cholesterol or high blood pressure check or cancer screening). This is a fun way to congratulate the patient on being proactive about their health and also encourages them to tell others to get screened, too.

Have your staff (e.g. nurses, tech assistants or office team) wear their pin to work each day. These eye-catching ornaments are a great conversation piece and can generate important discussions with patients.

Pass your pin out at a blood drive to thank people for their donations and help get the word out about the pressing need for blood.

Mail your pin to patients that have not visited your office in awhile to remind them to make an appointment. Bulky envelopes are more likely to be opened by the recipient!

Gift your pins to senior centers, churches, and other local organizations serving at-risk populations. They can then hand out your pins to provide essential health reminders.

Hand out your ribbon awareness pin to people getting flu shots. People around town will see them wearing their snazzy new pin and will be prompted to get their flu shot as well!

Choosing the Right Pin Vendor

A manufacturer who is experienced with ribbon awareness pins can help you create an eye-catching, jewelry-like token that people are eager to wear on their clothing. Reputable vendors typically have an in-house design team (no need to hire a costly graphic artist to create your image). They can work with you to choose the right size and shape of pin as well as colors and wording that complement your unique vision. You may even be able to add special shapes (such as hearts) and sparkling simulated gemstones that lend flair to your design and support your message.

Various presentation options may be available as well, such as a luxurious velvet box, cost-effective poly bag, or thick card stock with a custom design and message. Although it’s best to order your pins well in advance of when you actually plan to use them, many vendors offer a rush service to accommodate those tight deadlines.

Lapel awareness pins are crowd-pleasers that will continue to get people talking days, weeks, and even months after you give them away. Plus, they won’t break your budget! Why not order yours today?

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.

6 Ways to Use Lapel Pins to Promote Your Small Business

Did you just open up a new eatery or store in your community? Want to get the word out, quickly? Consider the power, reach, and affordability of custom lapel pins. These versatile tokens are ideal for attracting new customers and strengthening relationships with those you already have.

Creating a stunning lapel pin for your business brand isn’t hard—if you have the right pin vendor. A reputable manufacturer will offer pins in a wide variety of styles—from die struck to cloisonné. Established pin companies typically have a graphic design team that can help you finalize your design and choose just the right look. Many even offer special touches like simulated gemstones or unique attachments. Find out the turnaround time before you order your pins. Some vendors provide a rush service if you’re in a time crunch.

Once your pins arrive, here are some ideas for putting them to work for your small business!

  1. Send them out with your sales representatives. If you’re trying to get your foot in the door with valuable new clients, lapel pins are a great “leave behind” to help you make a winning first impression. After all, who doesn’t love getting a free gift?
  2. Include them in new client “welcome” kits. While many businesses hand out the usual pens or fridge magnets, you can stand out by giving new customers a branded lapel pin. Its uniqueness won’t be lost on them!
  3. Hand them out at community events. Local parades and festivals provide a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about your organization. Pass out your lapel pins to let your neighbors know you’re up and running.
  4. Use them as a discount vehicle. If you own a retail store, hand out a lapel pin to your first 100 customers. Explain that if they wear your pin next time they come into your shop, they’ll get an exclusive discount on their purchase.
  5. Pass them out at trade shows. Skip the usual promotional giveaways at your next trade show (who needs another water bottle?) and surprise your booth visitors with lapel pins instead.
  6. Incorporate them into direct mail. Make your next direct mail package more successful by inserting a custom lapel pin! This creates a “bulky” mailing that’s more likely to be opened by curious recipients. They’ll be even more delighted when they discover their free gift inside.


What’s the beauty of lapel pins? They’re not only affordable (costing as little as a dollar a piece, depending on how many you order), they’re tiny little mobile advertisements for your business. That’s because when people wear them on their person, they give exposure to your brand name wherever they go!

So if you’re a small company with a small budget, custom lapel pins are a great option for telling the community that you’d love their business. And a super way to let locals show how much they appreciate your company and willingly spread the word on your behalf.

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom lapel pins, visit today.

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