boxthecity Holiday Edition | Putting the city in a box
Meeting & Event Planners
Prepare for Holiday Merchandise Mayhem!
The 2021 Holiday season is just around the corner, and for the first time in 18 months, in-person events, trade shows & conventions are beginning to flourish. This is an exciting & challenging time for industry professionals. As we move forward with preparations for successful group functions, it is imperative that event leaders are made aware of potential setbacks.
Reports from industry leaders forecast massive worldwide supply-chain bottlenecks around the Holidays.
You have probably heard the news about large discount depots having to raise prices. Dollar Tree, the last of the big dollar-store chains, selling products for $1 or less, was forced to break it's promised price point by adding $1.25 and $1.50 items in some stores. They attribute the inflation to rising freight costs, labor issues and lack of raw materials.
This situation has caused major labor disruptions in China and other nations that are home to manufacturing facilities. Those same factories produce many of the gifts and promotional products for business events in North America. Furthermore, the shortage of cargo-port employees & truck drivers is slowing the delivery times across the country.
This is creating a domino effect, causing major shortages and delays for promotional products and attendee gifts. It is estimated that the promotional merchandise industry will probably get back to normal midway through 2022 when labor and inventory catch up. and the pandemic wave recedes.
Here are a few suggestions for making sure your event gifting shows up on time.
Remember the Golden Rule:
You Get What You Plan For...
The items most affected right now are tote bags, backpacks, neck pillows, journals, and drinkware.
Drinkware in particular has been among the most popular business gifts since the start of the pandemic because they are a good fit for virtual meeting attendees.
This shortage includes planners who try to buy products made in the U.S.A.
Suppliers are trying to satisfy current orders with smaller staff rosters. This is causing production backups like never before.
The main issue is that many event planners are waiting until they get an idea of their attendance numbers before contacting their suppliers.
That strategy will not work at this moment.
Ideally, planners should begin scouting communications early. Perhaps twice as far out as normal. Focus on getting artwork finalized and items chosen. It is imperative to get that order into the production schedule with the proofs approved. Adjusting the final quantities can be done later on.
In fact, you should consider ordering more than less.
You can always reduce the number once the supplier has committed to the larger number. If you order on the low side, but then need to increase quantity, supplier inventory might already be allocated elsewhere.
Another suggestion: Keep it Local!
Come up with a wider choice of product possibilities for a given event. Focus on regional suppliers . Even if you order early, you might have to choose alternate items to ensure they will arrive on time from reliable sources.
Finally, obtain order confirmations and delivery-tracking numbers as soon as possible.
This request confirms the reality that your shipment is running according to schedule, or that you need to make alternative plans. Don't get caught empty-handed the day before the event begins.
Begin your journey now...
The team at boxthecity is happy to answer any questions you may have. We are prepared to make your event a success!
Are you ready?
Contact Us To Get Started
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