The Changing World of Awards

When I first started working at Presidential Environment 20 years ago the awards and gifts industry was very, very different. We had a very small selection of glass and crystal wholesalers that we worked with and the main distinction between the expensive and more budget friendly options were basically jade glass vs. optical crystal. Production times were long and custom jobs were a huge undertaking. The arrival of the internet, and more specifically e-commerce, started changing the game and the players quite dramatically. International delivery services also became more user-friendly and cost effective allowing the industry to open itself up to more competition south of the border.

Now you can buy your awards online with a simple search. Easy to use software programs allow you to visualize your award on screen with a few simple clicks of your mouse. Turnaround times have been greatly reduced with some companies offering customizable awards within 24 to 48 hours. This shift in the industry has been great for the end user but not necessarily so for companies like ours. We have however been fortunate enough to retain a core group of clients by offering creative, innovative designs and top shelf quality customer service. We are able to customize catalogue/stock items but our specialty is in designing new unique awards. This new global economy has allowed us to stay plugged into the trends in designs and materials. We are able to incorporate that into our custom designs and are better able to provide our clients with new relevant awards that help capture the company culture. Starfire crystal, coloured crystal, back painted glass, jade glass, honed natural stones, metal and refurbished wood are but a few design elements that we like to work with. Our experience and our artisan’s talents help to create new and exciting awards that recipients are proud to put on display.

Another emerging factor is 3-D printing. I am sure in the coming years this will impact the awards industry. To think that you can bring to life the ideas that were once just working concepts. This could be a game changer. This is evident in the way that digital printing has exploded in the awards industry. Logos and images that we were once too difficult to recreate on glass and crystal without being silk screened can now be printed directly onto your award. The advances in technology have truly changed the rules of the game and make it much more lucrative for people to jump into.

It would appear that our competition is fierce having so many awards and trophy shops popping up and readily available to assist you with your on-line order but that isn’t the case. People still value exceptional customer service and working with people who actually understand the processes and materials used to create their custom awards and gifts. Quality products and services speak for themselves.

– Tammy Kim