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Is bigger better?

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As an awards supplier, I am asked every day "What size trophy should I get?". 

My typical responses are: "what is your budget?"What did the recipient do to earn this award?"  "How much is the entry fee?"

Budget plays a big part in determining the size of your awards.  Do you need 100 awards or just 1?  Getting 1 award is easy to budget for but getting 100 awards is a little trickier.  Having a set number of awards needed can make budgeting easier but what about extra awards?  There always seems to be 1 more person coming that you did not account for in your budget.  If you budget allows, smaller but classier trophies might be the way to go.  


Participation trophies are typically smaller trophies, usually 8 to 10" tall.  While they are inexpensive, generally ranging from $4 to $8 each, needing 100 or more of them can add up to a big trophy bill. 



How about medals?  Medals are available from as low as $2.50 and can be engraved with the event name, date and other custom information.  Medals are easier to transport to the event and  easier to store.  Recipients, mainly their parents, also appreciate the ease of displaying medals at home.  


Participation awards can seem to be redundant if you are holding multiple events during the year.  But keep in mind, the recipients practiced, possibly paid an entry fee, put time and money into their sport and attended your event.  Their efforts should be awarded each and every time.  With so many other events being held every month, they chose yours to attend.  Acknowledge their efforts and they will continue to attend YOUR event.  Keep your bigger awards for the big titles, MVPs, team captains etc...

If you are holding an event that requires an entry fee, like a pageant, when putting together your awards keep in mind the entry fee that they paid.  If they paid $100 to enter your event and only receive a $2 medal or trophy, will they return next time?  While the participant might not know the return of investment numbers for the event, their parents do. 

 When attending pageants, I hear this all of the time after the pageant:  "I paid $100 and all I got was this little trophy!"  Yes, they are entering the pageant with the goal to win the big title and award but they also expect to receive something substantial for their time and money.  

What to do to keep them coming back to your event?  How about putting together smaller items for those not receiving the big titles?  For example, one pageant we attended gave the following to their participants whether they won a big title or not:  participation trophy, princess key chain, goody bag, small tiara and princess shirt.  We added together the retail cost of the participation package and it came to $20 a person.  While not big and costly awards, giving several items made the recipient feel special and the parents happier.  Just an idea!

While choosing your awards can be a daunting task, put yourself in the recipients place.  What would YOU want to receive?  Do you want a big 6' trophy that is the same at every event or would you rather have something different and unique but a little smaller?  Something to think about when planning your next event!

Until next time,


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