This week we continue our “Ask the Expert” blog series. I recently discussed apparel giveaways for events with Royleane Allen, CEO of 413 Strengthgear, Inc. 413 Strengthgear was established in 2003, and Royleane has 15+ years of experience in the industry. She offered excellent advice on ordering T-shirts for both the experienced and new event planner!
- “This is my first time ordering T-shirts to give participants at my event. What general tips can you give me?”
The first thing to consider is the demographic of people attending your event so your vendor can design and source the best product for your attendees. A couple of questions could be: Are attendees mainly male or female, what is the age range and what type of event are you hosting (ministry, outdoors, entertainment, etc.)? Knowing these elements will allow your vendor to help narrow down a design catered towards your audience.
- “I’m not a graphic designer by nature – how do I know what color T-shirt to order?”
There is not a right or wrong when choosing a T-shirt color. We typically show the trending colors for that season and then go back to what type of consumer will be purchasing or receiving the T-shirts. Figuring out gender, age group, style preference, etc., help determine what will be best. For example, someone 50+ might like a more classic color such as heather grey or navy. Right now someone in their 20s might like colors currently trending such as mint, mango or island reef.
- “I forgot to ask for T-shirt sizes in my registration process. Any advice on how to order when I don’t know what sizes I specifically need?”
For an adult event, when ordering unisex T-shirts, a very general retail ratio would be a breakdown like S-1, M-2, L-2, XL-2, XXL-1.
- “I have a limited budget. What are the best cost-saving measures when it comes to designing T-shirts?”
T-shirt pricing is based upon the garment style, the number of imprint locations, the number of imprint colors in each location and the quantity being ordered. To help lower cost, limit your number of imprint locations and colors. The garment style plays a large part of the cost, based on what brand and type you are ordering. Ask what the best price point garment is that your vendor carries, and they can direct you accordingly.
- “Other than T-shirts, what are your top three non-apparel giveaways you recommend for event attendees?”
Our top three non-apparel giveaways are coozies, hand sanitizer and pens. Other close follow-ups would be sunglasses, chapstick and lanyards.
It’s amazing to see Royleane’s passion for her job. It’s definitely more than just designing an awesome T-shirt! She sees camp/conference merchandise as opportunities to open doors that may spark conversations about an experience at camp so others may have the opportunity to go and experience them, as well! What might happen if we decided to think of our conference giveaways as more than just something to hand out, but rather an opportunity for attendees to later share about life change?