ePromos News

The latest ePromos news.

TOP

ePromos Once Again Declared A Top Workplace In The Promo Industry


counselor best places to work

Well, folks, we’ve done it again. We’ve earned ourselves a spot on Counselor magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list. This makes the fifth year in a row that ePromos has been named a top workplace in the promotional products industry. We rank 55 out of 90 companies selected for the list (and out of about 35,000 companies in the industry.)

Here’s the cool part about this accolade – it was decided by our very own employees.

Counselor, the b-to-b publication for the Advertising Specialty Institute, directly surveys employees of promotional marketing companies for the straight scoop on what it’s like working for those companies. Only the highest ranking businesses have a shot to make the annual list.

ePromos employees got real on some big issues in the workplace: team effectiveness, trust in leadership, overall job satisfaction, and more.

When the scores were tallied up, ePromos surged ahead of other companies in the promo industry. We’re the highest-ranking New York-based company to receive the honor.

So, what’s so compelling about ePromos? Why do people genuinely enjoy working here?

A lot of reasons, actually, but perhaps the biggest (and most cherished) reason is that we have fun. It doesn’t feel like work when we head to the office or log on for the day. We work in a creative industry, and we’re proud to put our promo know-how to work for our customers.

We have fun in our individual jobs, and we also have fun as a team. Click through some of our Facebook photos and you’ll get a good idea of what it’s like working here. We have pizza lunches. We paint pottery. We even pack up and head to Mexico for incentive trips.

This is fun stuff – and it’s built right into the culture at ePromos. You can read more about our latest win in this press release, and if you’re pining to be part of our team, check out our job opportunities.


TOP

How Nonprofits Can Get Free Promotional Products: Introducing ePromos For Good


ePromos for Good

Could your organization use some free promotional products? Well, here’s a new way to score those free promos: ePromos for Good. It’s ePromos’ new charity program, and any 501(c)(3), accredited school, or accredited religious organization is invited to apply.

Here’s how it works.

Each month, we’ll reward a different nonprofit with $500 in free promotional merchandise. The winning organization can use the promos as it sees fit – whether it’s thanking donors, recruiting volunteers, or getting the word out.

The organization will also get free exposure on ePromos’ social media channels and right here on our blog.

So, why are we doing this?

It’s simple, really. We want to help organizations that are doing good do better with the help of promotional products.

Learn more about ePromos for Good and fill out an application form for your organization.

Tell us: What would you do with $500 in free promotional products?


TOP

Promotional Products, Outstanding People, And A Heaping Helping Of Creativity


I must say:  The promotional products industry is amazing! As I explain what I do to friends and family, I usually end the conversation with: “I get to play with toys!”

Our industry is led by incredibly talented people and overseen by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). Each year, these organizations release tons of interesting data.

In the next few months, ASI will be coming out with its 2014 State of the Industry report. The 2013 State of the Industry report is also jam-packed with useful information. It laid out 10 strategies for the promotional products industry.

I actually found the strategic article: “The Competitor You Can’t See” quite interesting.

With lines to ponder like: “[Name] agrees, but insists that the consultative sales model is far from waning in the ad specialty marketplace … You have customers who order and know exactly what they want … But a large majority of customers are looking for creative ideas.”

And …

“[Name] believes the tenor swings toward consulting … I believe that 90% of the people who are buying products want to feel they have an actual rep they’re dealing with because of the nature of the product.”

Photo via www.asipublications.com

Photo via www.asipublications.com

We are so misunderstood.  I believe people are still missing the point on at least what ePromos is and who we are as a company.

I had the opportunity to spend some time in our Minnesota office last week. The reason for my visit? Live up to a bet I made to the team. I ended up cooking and serving shrimp and grits – a Southern favorite (and now a St. Cloud, Minnesota, favorite).

hope at breakfast

That’s me on the left, serving up some good homestyle eats

If that wasn’t fun enough, I enjoyed talking and learning from the reps in the Minnesota office. The energy on the sales floor was higher than I have ever felt. We even had an impromptu contest that resulted in the best sales day for the dot com team in the history of ePromos.

Now if that doesn’t get a manager excited nothing will!

Being on the floor listening to the sales calls, I was hearing something like never before: a real creative buzz. Repeat customers calling in and asking for their personal rep, and the personal rep giving creative solutions to the customer’s needs.

I shared before that ePromos has a face, and it is serving up awesome creative ideas.

So go on thinking that we are just a turn and burn order-taking company, and we will continue dazzling customers with great value and creativity.

Man, I love my job!


TOP

In The Promo Products Industry, Pens Are Great But The People Are Even Better


ePromos employees touring the BIC facility

Have you ever gotten caught up in your day and found yourself being downright mean to a colleague on the other end of the phone? I wish I could say that I wasn’t guilty of that very thing, but alas that is not the case. However, as a promo products professional, I have learned that people are much more important than promotional pens, and most times when you put people first, the sale and the relationship come.

In the last month I have had the opportunity to witness others putting people before pens. The first example was on a trip to visit one of ePromos’ largest suppliers: BIC Graphic. It’s always a learning experience when you see how the pens are manufactured and decorated, especially seeing how the newest techniques are accomplished. But what was even more impressive was seeing the president of the large supplier know the names and situations on most of the 700 employees.

We toured four buildings, each building with a different decoration method or product offering. In every building, he would stop, shake hands with his employees, call them by name and most times ask how they were doing. I believe that was one of the most impressive things on the tour. It was a great demonstration of “people are more important than pens.”

Another example is the team at ePromos. It is always unthinkable when you get the call that a serious accident has happened to someone the team holds in high regards. In this case, it was a supplier rep who had been hit by a drunk driver. Luckily, the supplier rep was able to walk away with just some aches and pains, but the team wanted to show they cared. ePromos took up a collection in honor of our friend and donated it to M.A.D.D. on his behalf.

The longer I am in the industry, the more you become family. Yes, you. My co-workers, suppliers and customers. It’s you that makes selling custom pens (that will get a ton of impressions – so buy some) so awesome.

Members of the ePromos team visiting a supplier: BIC Graphic

Members of the ePromos team visiting BIC Graphic

 


TOP

Another Reason Why I Love The Promotional Products Industry: Professionalism


Optimized-tradeshow 17

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a tradeshow for our phenomenal sales team in Minnesota. As ePromos’ Senior Supplier Relations Manager, it is always a pleasure being around suppliers; especially 28 of our top suppliers. I always learn so much.

With any tradeshow, there are always last-minute things that happen. Shipments don’t come in, there’s thigh-high snow, ground blizzards, highs of -2 degrees, and rental cars that only go 40 miles an hour.

However, despite all of the above, the theme of this tradeshow was professionalism.

One example is shipping. You have to love it. Sometimes, you never know when express shipments will actually arrive. When a supplier’s display showed up eight minutes before the show was to begin, I witnessed direct competitors jump into action to help set up a display that normally would take more than an hour in five minutes flat. Professionalism.

Then life and business can cause situations where professionalism is necessary. Fifteen hours before the tradeshow was set to begin, a supplier rep (who had already arrived in Minnesota) was notified that his company had been sold. I was standing next to him when the owner called while the tradeshow was in progress to discuss his fate.

Instead of running out of the show, he said: “I am sorry sir, I am in the middle of a commitment to a customer. I can call you back at …” He performed the tradeshow on one of the worst days like nothing was going on. Professionalism.

I am honored to work with some of the top companies, but most of all top people. It’s another reason why I love the promotional products industry.

Here’s another reason why I think the promo industry is so great.

Check out a few photos from the tradeshow, and for more, click through the album on ePromos’ Facebook page.

tradeshow 2

Optimized-tradeshow 4

Optimized-tradeshow 15


TOP

ePromos’ Own Gives An Inside Look At The Crazy-Intense Sport Of Pond Hockey


More than 500 games were played on 25 rinks at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship

More than 500 games were played on 25 rinks at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship

As if the sport of hockey wasn’t intense enough, bring it outdoors on a frozen pond in the middle of winter in Minnesota. That’s the setting for the annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championship, the nation’s largest outdoor pond hockey tournament.

If you’re a sports fanatic and you’ve never played pond hockey (or at least watched it), you should. ESPN.com listed the tournament as part of its “101 Things Sports Fans Must Experience Before They Die.”

ePromos’ Karl Gilbert, a Brand Consultant who’s also a lifelong hockey enthusiast, was on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis last month, participating in his first-ever Championship.

Read on for his account of the sport he’s loved since childhood and his experience at the 2014 U.S. Pond Hockey Championship.

How many years have you been playing pond hockey?

I have been playing hockey since I was five or six. Pond hockey is just something we play for fun. This was the first time I participated in this tournament, so we were rookies in some sense of the word, but we had a good team.

How did you prepare for the Championship?

A lot of us play in men’s leagues in our towns, which helps keep our game sharp.

What do you enjoy most about the sport?

Being outside and playing hockey outside is something I did all the time as a kid growing up. If it was winter, and if it was a weekend, then that’s where my buddies and I would be – playing hockey on the outdoor rink (ODR).

What’s most challenging about it?

Having to be defensive. It’s easy to get lazy/want to be offensive because it’s pond hockey, but the actual tie breaker for any ties in the tournament is goals against. We didn’t really agree with that rule, being as we were the team that scored the most goals in one game and the tournament in our division, but it is something we learned and can use to our advantage next year.

How did you feel right before the puck dropped?

I felt good. Was all bundled up and ready to go since it was a bit cold!

Were there any outrageous moments during the game?

We had some teams try to start some stuff, but our enforcer, Mitch Ryan, put a few guys over the boards to restore peace out there.

How far did you advance? What was the final outcome?

We did not make it to championship Sunday, despite winning three of four games. We lost our first game 8-6 after we were up 4-0. We did not have any subs (you play with four guys on the ice and are allowed two on the bench), so that definitely hurt us. We won our next three games very easily (15-5, 33-2, and 16-7 I believe).

What does it take to be successful in pond hockey?

Creativity. Your team needs it to win.

Anything else to say about your experience or the sport in general?

Look for the team “The Warroadians” on next year’s Golden Shovel (the trophy for the tournament). We plan on going back and taking home the gold.

pond hockey team

Some members of Karl’s team (from left): Kyle Hardwick, Joe Harren, Karl Gilbert, and Gabe Harren

 

pond hockey 1

pond hockey 2

pond hockey 3