Short of getting potential customers to allowing your logo or message to being tattooed on their visible skin surface such as their forehead, giving away a product that they will voluntarily and maybe subconsciously wear is the next best thing. Promotional embroidery is an effective means of having your message seen by a lot of people over a great span of time, years perhaps if the garment or bag is taken care of properly.
Your custom message or logo on a polo shirt, hat or bag lasts a long time, which is something you cannot say about a television advertisement! I have attended and exhibited at a number of international trade shows, such as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Restaurant show in Chicago. Almost everyone has an embroidered shirt or upper torso piece of apparel on and many of those large companies hire pretty girls to give away hats or backpacks. Yes, backpacks! No small ticket item to be sure. Our company handed out about $50,000 of screen printed & embroidered tote bags, each with a 40 page catalog at both of the aforementioned shows.
If your business has a budget for this kind of promotion, the best thing you can do to get the best return on your investment is to plan early. What is the theme of your event? Is there a central message you want to make a statement about? You may choose to merely embroider your logo in a prominent location such as the left chest of a polo shirt or the front of a hat or other products. Those are safe and time tested locations. Try to use the fabric color to represent a color of the logo. That act can save you a lot in embroidery cost. Embroidery cost is based upon the stitch count. The fewer stitches the lower the price once your logo size exceeds a minimum. At True to Size Apparel the minimum logo price is $2.99 for up to 5,000 stitches. At 5,001 stitches the price goes up another sixty cents per 1,000 stitches.
If you have never embroidered your logo, do that as soon as possible so that there is sign off by department heads or senior management. You do not want to rush to a show with an order that may be considered a needless expense and perhaps be fired if the advertising cost is too high. You are talking about custom orders and haste on your part can cause waste. The embroiderer gave you what you ordered and there is no way that thread can be removed from fabric without leaving holes that cannot be covered.
If your promotional embroidery service order includes clothes for staff, you should order a blank medium, XL and perhaps other sizes so that staff can try them on before permanently altering the clothing with embroidery. It is rare for a size medium in one style to be the same measurement or fit in a different style. If there is too little time, your best bet may be to not order for this show, but to start now to be ready for the next show.