Late spring and early summer are enticing times of year to get outside and enjoy the weather in our Mid-Atlantic area. While the weather is never easy to predict, as anyone who has lived here at least a year can testify, this time of year is usually more disposed to outdoor activities than high summer.
Businesses who want to sponsor outdoor community events, or events strictly for their own employees, need to consider how they can ensure that runners, golfers, cyclists, boaters and others can stay safe while still enjoying outdoor activities. Staying safe includes taking simple precautions against the weather, bugs or other potential threats. Sunscreen is always a sensible precaution when temperatures rise, even on a cloudy day. Lip balm eases dryness from winds or other inclement weather and bug spray deters those pesky insects from getting too close. Visors or caps provide practical protection against the elements while making a simultaneous fashion or corporate statement. And whatever the sport or outdoor activity – be it a fast-paced run, or a more leisurely stroll, a round of golf or a kayak paddle in the lake, hydration is always important. Water bottles or individual can coolers can help to ensure that there is always a supply of water on hand. For a large outing, such as a company picnic for employees, large coolers on wheels may have a place and are practical when transporting a large quantity of bottles or cans.
Organizers of large events may consider providing individual reusable cups (rather than throwaway paper or plastic cups) for refreshments dispensed in bulk rather than individual cans or bottles of water or soda. This is not only less wasteful and more environmentally friendly, but easier on the budget. There is also less to clean up and dispose of at the end of the day and much less chance of littler!
Depending on the event, organizers might provide t-shirts or polo shirts to participants, so that everyone is clearly visible and has a shirt to enjoy wearing many times long after the event is over.
Small first aid kits with anti-bacterial wipes and Band Aids are always a practical gift that will be appreciated and kept. Outdoor activities may pose a challenge regarding how to look after valuables. Consider clothing with key or other pockets or special pouches for valuables.
Organizers want to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable event. It is always a bonus if employees/participants go home with a useful reminder of a day well spent. T-shirts, visors, or other items mentioned above can be customized with an imprint of the sponsor or event organizer and are likely to be reused many times and kept for a long time after the details of the day’s activities have been forgotten.
As an example, a regional bank was looking for the right promotional product to use that would promote their bank long after their sponsorship of a 5K run/walk in their community was over. A promotions professional showed them how they could triple their marketing/branding ROI by giving out the “Slap-Wrap Combo”. This combo product (see image) comes apart and contains three different reflective safety promotional items. One is a Slap Wrap that slaps easily around the wrist, a second is a zipper pull and the third is a set of lace tags for shoelaces. All three areas can be imprinted. The bank loved the idea and the product and has used this product again in subsequent events. It is an excellent example of a low-cost product that promotes safety (all three items are reflective) for runners/walkers/other outdoor enthusiasts while providing terrific visibility for the bank sponsor.
For more ideas on how to stretch that marketing dollar and make an impact at an outdoor event, please contact Oxford Communications, your local resource for practical promotions that help to keep our community, employees and residents safe while enjoying the great outdoors.
The author, Judith Harley, owns and operates Oxford Communications, in Alexandria, Virginia. Oxford Communications provides branding for businesses, associations and non-profits through the use of custom-imprinted promotional items, corporate apparel and business gifts. Oxford Communications is known for providing creative environmentally-friendly options for clients. The website is www.oxfordpromos.com and the telephone number is 703-922-4193.