When designing and ordering custom medals, a great deal of excitement and energy lead up to that special time when you watch your participants wear their medals with pride and accomplishment at the end of your event. That's why it's beyond disappointing if something goes wrong and your medals are incorrect, show up last-minute, or don't show up until after the event is over.
The good news is that most of these problems are easily preventable if you take the right steps. In addition to working with a poor medal vendor, here are 3 common mistakes that event directors make when ordering custom medals… and how to avoid them.
1. Underestimating the Ordering Timeline
No matter how efficient a medal manufacturer may be, custom work takes time. So when your medal vendor tells you, “4-6 weeks to get your medals,” that doesn’t necessarily mean you should only give yourself 4-6 weeks to design, order, and receive your medals. It is crucial you also allow extra time to design and approve your medal before your order goes into production.
Most customers want to receive their medals 1-2 weeks before their event for various reasons, like eliminating the stress of cutting it close or using the medals for marketing purposes. Once you approve your order for production, you can then expect it to arrive within 4-6 weeks*.
Too often, customers think the whole process -from start to finish- takes less time than it does, so they wait too long to start the design process or spend too much time over-analyzing every minute detail of their medal design. By the time they finalize and approve the medal for production, they're left wondering if their medals will even arrive on time, or they will pay rush shipping fees to ensure they do arrive on time.
Bottom line – always give yourself more time than you think. Start the process as early as possible, find out the ordering deadline that will secure on-time delivery, and set a firm deadline for you/your team to finalize your design and allow extra time for any unforeseen delays.
2. Waiting for an Exact Quantity to Order
Planning an event of any kind will come with challenges, and depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you might not know exactly how many medals you will ultimately need right away. You may not want to risk buying more than you need, but waiting could come back to bite you. In truth, having a few leftover medals can be much less expensive than not having enough medals, both in terms of actual dollars and potentially unhappy customers.
Waiting to place your order because you want to know your exact registration numbers may cause delays that may impact cost, on-time arrival, and marketing opportunities.
To avoid this pitfall, conservatively estimate (to the best of your ability) the amount you need to get the order put into production. Then, if necessary, order additional quantities as needed, and any rush fees for those add-on medals will be far less than expediting the entire order.
3. Overlooking The Details
You're busy planning an event and excited about your custom medals. It's easy to try to save time by approving your medal order quickly, glossing over the details, and moving on.
You might be surprised to learn that customers frequently approve incorrect information regarding:
- Order details like quantities, pricing, shipping and event dates, shipping addresses, etc.
- Artwork details like: misspelled words, incorrect dates, PMS colors, design version, etc.
Imagine going through the entire process, designing the perfect medal only to not show on time because you approved the wrong shipping address. Unfortunately, these types of mistakes happen more often than you might think.
If you happen to catch these mistakes after approving your order, you may need to pay extra fees to correct the mistake, if even possible. Taking a few moments to confirm all details before you approve them can save a lot of headaches!
Get Your Custom Medal Order Right the First Time
It all comes down to starting early, knowing your priorities, checking every detail, and getting expert advice from a proven vendor.
Now that you know a few of the most common ordering mistakes, you can avoid them by talking to a custom medal expert who will guide you through the ordering process.
With over 40 years as a leading provider of custom medals and awards, Maxwell Medals & Awards is proud to help people worldwide make memories and commemorate extraordinary accomplishments. To learn more, reach out to us and start the conversation.