Author: nina

Branded Items Foster Connection During Turbulent Times

We’re all adapting to new circumstances affecting our daily lives, including the way we do business. Whether it’s handling student orientations or commencements virtually, exploring virtual options for conferences, or helping employees navigate remote working, promotional products are a great way to bring a bit of joy to these uncertain days.

Below we share some tips for fostering connection during this changing landscape.

Q: Educational institutions from grade school through the university level are reacting to the potential that graduations and orientations may be rescheduled or cancelled. Some are considering going “virtual” through videoconferencing. Since these events are traditionally an opportunity for students to celebrate success and show school pride with awesome swag, what are some of the ways promo can still be included?

The Class of 2020 is feeling this in a significant way. Now, more than ever, swag will have a strong emotional connection and can be a great way to connect incoming and outgoing students to their school, at a time when connection REALLY matters.

Q: As people rethink large gatherings, many conferences and events are considering going “virtual” through videoconferencing. Since conferences and tradeshows are historically distribution centers for promotional products, what can be done?

Now, more than ever, event organizers will need to maintain their connection with attendees and exhibitors, even if they aren’t meeting together. Delivering a special “swag bag” to participants ahead of an event or after a virtual conference is a great way to connect and maintain top of mind awareness.

Journals are a great option and can be populated with the content for the conference, uplifting thoughts, and areas to take note of important ideas. Often paired with a pen, some of the top-selling journals include a tech option that includes images that can be scanned with any smartphone for instant access to digital content.

Q: The number of employees working from home has sharply increased. How will this shift influence the types of promotional products that are in demand?

Companies have a great opportunity to support their employees and build the company brand with a workforce that has suddenly shifted to a work-from-home solution out of concern for employee safety. Gift packages are a great idea to connect a remote workforce. Including branded home office essentials such as charging cables, Bluetooth® headphones and wireless charging pads, as well as versatile branded apparel like half-zips, knit jackets, and polos reinforces connection.

Q: Are there any other upcoming product trends that should be on our radar? Anything related to “social distancing”?

A heightened concern for cleanliness will likely be the new normal. As we’ve all seen, this means an increase in hand sanitizers, especially those attached to carabiners for easy access while on the go. Also, look for an increase in employees bringing beverages and meals from home. Coolers, food and beverage containers, really anything that protects food from exposure will see greater use.

Gorilla Marketing Is Proud to Announce the Winners of the Just Do Good Campaign

Because they #JustDoGood, Students 4 Students and adQuadrant were selected to receive a Custom Swag Pack valued at over $2000.

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Students 4 Students Los Angeles helps college students facing homelessness to find shelter and get a solid meal. AdQuadrant raises money for Shatterproof, a non-profit organization that helps those battling addiction.

These groups exemplify the goal of the Just Do Good Campaign and will receive an awesome swag pack with 100 shirts, 100 lanyards, 100 water bottles, and 100 cinch back packs branded with their logo.

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Congratulations to the winners and entrants. And remember … whatever you do … #JustDoGood!

Just Do Good Campaign: Hugs in a Blanket

Hugs in a Blanket is a non-profit club created for students and the community come together to make and donate handmade fleece blankets to people (mostly children) in need. Last year in December, they donated 530 blankets to an elementary school in a disadvantaged area. In addition, their blankets have been donated to hospitals, foster care children, and even overseas to homeless elderly in Guatemala. Right now, we are currently working on making 300 blankets that will be donated to a camp for homeless and impoverished kids next year.

Hugs in a Blanket Club’s mission is to show love, care and support to children in need by making and donating no-sew fleece tie blankets. We hope to engage and encourage students to serve their community. Since starting in January of 2016, our Club has donated over 900 blankets to our local community as well as overseas.

Blanket Donations:
UCLA TIES for Families
Long Beach Millers Children’s Hospital
Carlson Hospital LAUSD
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Weigand Ave Elementary School
Charnock Elementary School
Children’s Hunger Fund
Cenilia Foundation

Just Do Good Campaign: Saving Hearts Foundation

For the Saving Hearts Foundation (SHF) #JustDoGood exemplifies what it means to persevere through the challenges that one may face in order to make a difference in the lives of others. SHF was founded by three UCLA undergraduate students in 2014 with the mission to prevent sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) through awareness, education, and action. SCA is the number one killer of student-athletes and the number two killer of individuals under the age of 25. SHF provides free heart screenings to individuals between the ages of 12 and 24 in the greater Los Angeles area to test for warning signs of SCA. Since 2014, we have screened nearly 4,000 individuals in LA and internationally and our teams have caught dozens of cardiac abnormalities. We also teach hands-only CPR and donate AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) to LA area schools. Our most recent contribution was the first AED placed in the Los Angeles Unified School District!

Through SHF we have had the opportunity to meet parents who have lost their children to SCA. The stories that we have heard from them have become our motivation to continue to our fight against preventable SCA. Many of their children had diseases that could have been detected by an EKG or echocardiogram like we provide during our heart screenings. Arguably even more frustrating is that some of them could have survived if bystanders knew to begin CPR or to locate an AED during their cardiac arrest. It is for these reasons that as long as SCA occurs, the SHF team will be an advocate for SCA prevention.

Of the many challenges that have been presented in creating and operationalizing SHF, none are comparable to the reward of helping others and saving lives. A mother once emailed us and stated, “By the grace of God and your event, I believe you saved my son’s life”. Her son had discovered he had a condition called Wolff Parkinsons White syndrome during our heart screening and had a heart procedure just one week later. It is occurrences like these that remind us of the difference that we can all make by challenging ourselves to #JustDoGood.

Just Do Good Campaign: UCR Student Recreation Center

UC Riverside takes great pride in being one of the only universities in the nation that offers free chair massages for their students. Tracy Smith, our lone masseuse from Australia, welcomes a line of students eagerly anticipating a much-needed massage. Although Tracy Smith provides a great amount of stress relief for our students through her massages, we believe that her impact stretches further beyond.

Her story as an Australian journey-woman who has traveled to countries such El Salvador and India in order to master her trade can act as a source of inspiration for our students. Tracy’s journey shows a dedication to her craft and a passion for not only excellence but helping others as well. Her altruistic nature shines through her motivation to work at UCR, despite having 2,500 private clients outside the university. Tracy’s story can teach students to be good for the sake of being good, and not just personal, monetary gain. It can drive our students to follow their passions and develop the work ethic necessary to make their dreams come true. Her explorations exemplify the lengths that students should go to for their goals and the importance of traveling in one’s own self-discovery. When one travels, one is exposed to the multitude of sights that the world has to offer. New perspectives on life are absorbed through not only these sights that are encountered, but the people that one interacts with as well.

In college student Alex Thomas’ paper “A Little Less Touch Starved,” he writes about Tracy Smith’s ability to fulfill a student’s lack of touch from a fellow human being. In his paper, Alex cites Kerstin Unvas Moberg, a Swedish doctor, and researcher, and states “Studies have shown that massages cause a buildup of oxytocin, which is sometimes referred to as the love hormone because its effects include receptiveness and closeness. It has also been discovered to have anti-anxiety properties. This program at UCR produces a population of those that will have lower blood pressure and pulse rate and higher levels of oxytocin.”

With a rise in oxytocin, students receive an experience far beyond what they can even imagine. They not only are given stress relief from their hectic schedules as full-time students, they are given the gift of touch. This gift of touch can fulfill the feelings of warmth and closeness that they may be missing out on, and a splash of much needed physical human connection that they may be missing out on. High levels of anxiety may also be decreased, which is a type of relief that is highly sought after due to the intense nature of the university experience. Life can be tough sometimes, and Tracy Smith gives these students an incredible package of reprieve, even if only for a couple moments. The impact that she has on the community is profoundly valuable, and ushers in feelings of love, closeness, and positivity, one massage at a time.