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Category: Etiquette

Tradeshow Trick-or-Treaters

act-halloweenEvery tradeshow has them: trick-or-treaters!  We may think of trick-or-treaters as little kids seeking candy on Halloween, but if your company exhibits regularly at trade shows, public events, or expos, there are plenty of people ringing your doorbell year-round.

Not all of them are interested in your business. Instead, some visitors to your booth at tradeshows and events are potentially just looking for their version of Halloween candy-your promotional products! So, how can you tell the genuine business prospect from the customer in costume?

Here are ACT’s tips for dealing with trick-or-treaters and ensuring that you don’t leave your next trade show feeling like a friendly ghost instead of a frightened one:


1. Don’t Leave All Your Candy in That Bucket On the Porch: Resist the urge to set up a table or swag display that makes it easier for trick-or-treaters to ‚Äėring the bell’ and flee without showing interest in your business.
2. Learn to say ‚ÄėBoooo!': Teach your employees and booth operators to discern between actual interest and swag hunting trick-or-treaters.
3. Ask Them to Say Please Before You Hand Out That Candy Corn:¬†¬†Kids aren’t the only ones who¬†sometimes need reminders to be polite. Get potential trick-or-treaters to sign up for your email lists, listen to service presentations, or fill out data surveys before you give away those promotional products.¬† Remember, truly interested customers will be happy to find out more about your business.
4. Go For The Haunted House Approach: Make receiving your promotional products part of a larger journey with the rewards at the end. Ask your customers to complete a task before mailing a customized promotional product, for example. According to a recent article in ASICentral, interactive promotions are a great way of gauging actual customer interest. Barb Barchum described her experience: “Last year, we sent out 1,200 seed packages and said ‘return this empty seed packet to receive one free set-up on your next order,’ Oh my goodness, did we receive empty seed packets – I would imagine we gave away 100 or more set-ups. I would say that self-promotion worked!” Like a Haunted House operator, you might have a smaller, but ultimately more devoted, group of participants with promotions like these.

Whatever your promotional needs, A Creative Touch¬†is here to help you survive the spooky world of trick-or-treat! And, we’re sending you best witches this Halloween!

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Ford and Their Lapel Pins

act-ford-pinWhile surfing the net one day, I stumbled across a wonderful story about a promise and a lapel pin.¬† It’s an excellent example of the power of marketing with lapel pins.¬†

But it’s more than that.¬† It’s about having a face for your brand, about delivering what you promise, and about staying true to old-fashioned¬†grassroots efforts like word of mouth¬†marketing (everything old is new again!)¬†to grow your business.¬†

The story involves an exchange between two people: Robbin Phillips, president of Brains on Fire and author of the original blog post; and Scott Monty, the head of social media at Ford, celebrated for his work in word-of-mouth marketing.  When Robin met Scott Monty for the first time, they had a brief conversation where she asked for a Ford pin that Scott was wearing on his lapel. He took her card and took a minute to discuss cars with her.

When the¬†pin arrived in the mail (with a note from Scott), Robin was so impressed she talked about it and she wrote a blog post about it.¬† Perhaps one day, she’ll even buy a Ford!¬†¬† All because of a lapel pin….

The Magic of Pin Trading

act-disney-pin-trading-emblemCollectible lapel pins have been popular Disney souvenirs for decades, but it wasn’t until October 1999, to mark their Millennium Celebration, that The Walt Disney Company introduced the now wildly popular phenomenon of Disney pin trading.

Not surprisingly, when Disney does something they go all out. They have thought of everything for this theme-park-inspired sport, including an official pin trading etiquette guide!

To join in the Disney pin-trading fun, you have to start with something to trade. If you don’t already have a Disney collectible pin, you can get started with a handy starter set, a lanyard and four collectible pins. Pin traders wear the lanyards around their necks, using them to display their pins. Others secure their collectible lapel pens to hats, vests or sashes. Pins not intended for trading can be attached with secure screw-on locking backs which prevent them from becoming accidentally dislodged while riding the attractions or walking through the park. Pins for trading are best left with the original backs, which are easily removed.

To execute a trade, you simply approach another pin-displaying guest or a Disney Cast Member and make your request. Guests at the park can decline a trade, but Cast Members cannot refuse. In fact, they are required to make at least two trades per day!

Trading pins are available at kiosks in the park, at Disney stores, in the resorts, and online. Thousands of pins have been produced since the trading program began, featuring everything Disney‚ÄĒfrom characters to movies to theme park attractions. They range in price, style and availability, including special limited-edition pins. Each one bears a stamp on the back that details important collector information such as the limited edition number and copyright.

act-disney-wet-paintThere is an entire culture around pin-trading and lots of terminology specific to Disney pin trading. For example, there is a limited edition ‚Äúsurprise‚ÄĚ pin known as Wet Paint. Only one thousand of these pins, depicting the wet paint sign used at Walt Disney World were produced. They were introduced as a ‚Äúsurprise‚ÄĚ at certain kiosks and store and they are highly coveted. In fact, it is referred to as the¬†Holy Grail and it¬†typically sells for more than $200 on sites like eBay.

Another pin highly coveted by traders is the “Continuing the Pin Trading Tradition” pin. This pin cannot be purchased. It is awarded to guests by Cast Member Leaders at Disney resorts when they witness positive Disney Pin Trading etiquette or when they see a guest promoting the spirit of Disney Pin Trading. Disney has indeed worked its magic, creating an entire kingdom of faithful subjects who are devoted to the thrill of pin-trading. You can learn even more about the Magic Kingdom of Disney pin trading by clicking here.

How to Wear a Lapel Pin

Lapel pins add a nice touch to a jacket while making a statement about the groups or ideas that you believe in and support. What’s the best way to wear a lapel pin? And, where exactly should place a lapel pin on your suit?

As with most fashion accessories, there are no steadfast rules, but here are some general guidelines:

If there is a button hole sewn into the left lapel of your suit or jacket, that’s where the lapel pin should go. If there isn’t one, then you should place your lapel pin about one inch down from your tie knot and about four inches over on the lapel. Most people wear their lapel pins on the left (over the heart) to show that a certain group, cause, or country is near and dear to their hearts. For more information on the proper placement of a lapel pin, read this article from

Of course, lapel pins need not be worn only on the lapel. Men may opt to wear a lapel pin on a tie in lieu of a tie tack. Women can wear lapel pins on blouses and scarves. Many pin collectors prefer to wear the pins on lanyards.  Lapel pins may also be worn on hats or baseball caps. They can even be pinned onto a favorite tote bag or knapsack.

Make sure that your lapel pin is properly positioned and securely fastened to your clothing so it will not spin or fall off as you move throughout the day. This is especially important if you are wearing a patriotic flag pin. If the flag pin is upside down or crooked, it could offend some people.

Remember to remove your lapel pin from your suit or clothing each day. If a lapel pin is left in certain fabrics for an extended period of time it could leave an unsightly permanent pin hole.
Most importantly, enjoy wearing your lapel pin. A lapel pin is an ideal way to break the ice, create instant rapport, and express your interests and your personality.

Do you have any other ideas or favorite ways to wear a lapel pin? Please share them with us here!

Tell us all about your special lapel pin story! Fill in our Online Form or print out a Paper Form and mail it to us.

Click here to email your lapel pin photo.

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