How to Buy the Perfect Award

The desire for validation is one of the deepest human needs. Everyone wants to know that he or she is a valued part of some organization, has done a good job, or has achieved a certain degree of success in sports, academics, business or other field of endeavor.

Giving recognition is therefore one of the most powerful means of rewarding effort, saying thanks, building loyalty, and encouraging performance. Tangible awards — trophies, plaques, ribbons, medals, and other personalized items — have proven to be the most effective way to give recognition, even better than money or gifts.

Members of the Awards and Personalization Association (APA) are committed to providing the highest level of professional service. They can help you give the perfect award to all sorts of achievers. These recognition experts are familiar with the latest awards products and technology and can show you exciting, cost-effective new ways to recognize performance. They have lots of ideas for awards that thrill recipients and make them proud to show others. They can recommend a variety of programs to encourage and reward achievement by students, employees, athletes, volunteers or members. No matter what your budget or need, they can help you find a standard or custom award that’s right for those you want to recognize — and for you.

The professional advantage

The advantages of working with an APA awards professional are clear:

  • knowledge of the latest products and techniques
  • the highest quality of awards and recognition items
  • comprehensive, worry-free service
  • innovative ideas and custom programs

ARA professionals are your best source for quality awards. Through APA they keep informed about the latest recognition products and technology available. They regularly build their skills in APA seminars and workshops designed to keep them at the cutting edge of the industry. Many have achieved professional certification by meeting the requirements for Certified Recognition Specialist (CRS) and Certified Recognition Master (CRM) designation.

ARA experts have the knowledge, equipment, and professional attitude needed to offer you the best awards service possible. Trust them with your needs. You’ll find they give you the most recognition for your money.

The perfect award

The key to successful recognition is selecting the appropriate kind of award. To do so, you first need to be aware of its purpose — of what you want the award to do.

  • Do you want to show gratitude, recognize membership, mark service to an organization, encourage achievement, or reward accomplishment?
  • Do you want to emphasize the activity, contest, or competition for which the award is given, or the organization giving the award?
  • Do you want to create a sense of common belonging, or mark someone for distinction?
  • Do you want to symbolize the achievement, establish a stronger identity for your organization or match the personality of the recipient?

Then you have to decide what kind of item would be most appropriate for the reason you’re giving it and for the person who’s receiving it. In deciding whether to give a plaque, trophy, pin, desk accessory, or other item, keep in mind that an appropriate award is:

  • representative of what is accomplished
  • attractive enough to keep in the recipient’s home or office
  • consistent with the purpose and image of the organization presenting it
  • right for the activity and the level or importance of the achievement
  • in line with the organization’s budget
  • well crafted with the highest quality materials affordable

Many choices

Because of their training and experience, APA recognition experts can guide you in choosing the right awards for your purpose. There are many ways to recognize people, and the best are not necessarily the most expensive or the first that come to your mind. ARA awards professionals can show you a large variety of the latest products and advise you how the many marking methods now available can be used to make distinctive awards that are perfect for your needs.

APA awards specialists can help you get the most with the funds you have, or determine how much you should budget to meet your objectives. They will also help you schedule your orders to get what you want when you want it without having to pay rush charges. It’s always best to allow as much time as possible for an order so your awards dealer can get all the materials and use all the processes needed to create exactly the award you want.

To give you some idea of the many choices you have for awards, here are of some of the most common recognition items and what they are typically used for. Of course, any of these can be used for a variety of purposes, depending on the type of award preferred.

  • Trophies and trophy cups. A traditional favorite for sports awards.
  • Plaques and certificates. The choice for many achievement and volunteer recognition awards, now available in many different materials and styles.
  • Medals, medallions and pins. Available for all sorts of sports and activities, including a large variety of academic, professional, and volunteer purposes.
  • Ribbons. These marks of excellence come in a variety of shapes, from elaborate rosettes to simple flat strips foil stamped with various designs and messages.
  • Desk accessories. Personalized with names and logos, these items are popular for corporate recognition, service awards and member recognition.
  • Custom awards. Truly unique, these items often incorporate glass, acrylic, stone, and other high- end materials to produce artistic awards the recipients will treasure forever.

These are just some of the possibilities. APA awards professionals can also show you a variety of advertising specialties, embroidered emblems and letters, and personalized gifts or clothing that would be perfect for your recognition needs. And if you don’t see something you like, don’t be afraid to ask for their suggestions. APA retailers are experts in coming up with “something different” that will make recipients feel real special.

Part of what makes an award memorable and appreciated is the way it is packaged and presented. APA awards specialists can show you how to plan for presentations that enhance the perceived value of the item received.

Many marking methods

APA recognition experts can offer many different ways of personalizing awards to produce the look you want at a price you can afford. You can choose a variety of marking methods ranging from classics like engraving, hot stamping and screen printing to high-tech new processes like laser engraving and sublimation, which produces full-color images on many kinds of items. Depending on the materials involved, you may prefer the look of sandblasting, acid etching, embroidery, photometal process, color filling, pad printing or a combination of methods.

APA awards professionals can tell you what processes will work best on the materials you select to produce the perfect award for your needs.

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