Trophies2Go Blog

    Employee Recognition Blog & Award Ceremony Ideas

    • Announcing our new Promotional Products Website!

      Our new promotional products website, check it out!

      We had a big summer, closing our Issaquah showroom and consolidating in our Renton production facility.  Now that we are all settled in our space, it's time to focus on growing our business!

      Tom and I decided to launch a new website for promotional products, full of great personalized items for businesses, schools, and organizations.  To get to our new site, just click the top box on our navigation banner that says "Promo Products" and you'll be directed there!

      leather journal book We recently completed an order of these beautiful journals for EO Seattle.

      There are so many fun items on the site, all from the best vendors in the country.  Reusable bags for shopping, drawstring sports bags for schools or teams, every kind of personalized pen imaginable for your staff or customers, team spirit stuff for schools such as rally towels and pompoms, office supplies from notepads to mouse pads, lanyards for trade shows, and drink ware such as coffee mugs to BPA free water bottles are all on the site, plus so much more!

      If you already order awards from us and need personalized products, please think of us. our same outstanding customer service team of Janice, Mika and Mike can help you choose the perfect product for your need, all within your budget.  We would love the opportunity to work with you.  Browse our new promo products site, there's so many fun things to see!








    • Breast Cancer Awareness Gifts and Awards

      Award the hero in your life this awesome bad-ass trophy!

      October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is awesome because not only is it giving awareness to a great cause, but also my favorite color is everywhere – PINK! It’s fun to see the pro players in pink and our local athletes, both boys and girls, with pink socks and jerseys. Even my daughter Audrey’s cheer squad has pink pom poms and bows to participate.

      Even though getting in the spirit of awareness is fun, it’s also a life or death cause that deserves serious attention. Cancer has touched my life with my mother, mother-in-law, aunt and grandmother-in-law. Luckily my MIL was able to catch her breast cancer early for a full recovery, we are very lucky and blessed!

      If your organization is hosting a fundraiser, an event, or some other occasion for Breast Cancer Awareness, consider one of our personalized PINK products as a prize or participation give-away. We just added a new Cancer Awareness Gifts category which includes many pink personalized gifts, such as pink clipboards and pink tumblers, pink custom glitter medals, and even a Cancer Superhero Trophy for celebrating a survivor or top fundraiser!  Award someone special who is kicking Cancer's butt!

      There’s no other way to say it - cancer totally sucks, so let’s find a cure!

      Cheers! Jessica






    • Are You Looking for Trophy Alternatives?

      The kids on your sports team have been working hard all season and deserve some recognition!  If you’re looking for a way to say ‘great job’ without awarding a participation trophy, you’re not alone.

      Looking for something other than trophies for your team this season? If your kids are older and have already covered their room with trophies, you may be looking for something new and different.  Here are some top ideas of alternatives to trophies for your team, such as the Strideline Socks featured below! Let us know how we can help - give us a call at 877-926-4700.

      Top Trophy Alternatives

      Everyone on your team will love Strideline Socks! Contact us for details.

      Bag Tags - Full color bag tags are great for travel or for gear bags.

      Drink Tumblers: Engrave a sport ball image (like soccer) with the player's name and these tumblers will be used all year long!

      Trading Coins & Pins: Unique to your event, create lapel pins or coins give to participants or to trade with other teams.

      Logowear: T-shirts, socks and other logo wear are cool gear to show off your team!

      Gear Bags - Everyone needs a place to shove their stuff; a useful way to keep track of player's equipment.

      Acrylic Display Cubes: With options for football, soccer and volleyball, display a game ball with pride. Makes a great coach's gift!

      Ball Stands: For footballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs, these solid walnut stands include a small engraved plate.

      Medals or Dog Tags: Kids can wear them or use as a zipper pull for gear bags and backpacks. See football, soccer, and volleyball options.

      Photo Collages - Remember the season with a photo each player can frame.

      Presentation Matters

      Even if you aren't awarding trophies to your team, make sure to put some meaning behind your gift.  Don’t just hand them out without praise.  When presenting a small token of the season, make sure to talk about each player's dedication, hard work and never quit attitude. Be sure to mention something different yet specific for each player.

      On my daughter’s soccer team, the coach will start by saying, “This player was a real hard worker. She came to every practice and game ready to give it her all.  Her defensive moves …”  By this time the whole team is guessing who it is and screaming the girl's name.  This way she’s being recognized by the coach AND her teammates at the same time.  Visit my post Making Sports Trophies Meaningful for even more tips.

      Whether you’re getting trophies, medals or some alternative recognition, enjoy the end of your season!

      Cheers! Jessica

      Editor's Note: This post was originally published on November 6, 2012.  It has been updated for content.

    • Top 8 Tips for a Chili Cook-Off

      Planning a chili cook off? Whether at your work, your church, or at home with family and friends, hosting a cook off can be a daunting task, believe me, I know.  Every year we host a chili cookoff for our group of college friends and we even did a chili cook-off for our holiday party here at Trophies2Go one year!

      Below I've shared my favorite tricks I've learned from hosting chili cook-offs.  I hope they help you with planning your competition.  It starts with a little preparation ahead of time and then having the right tools at the event.

      Top 8 Tips For A Chili Cook Off

      Make it easy by serving in crock pots. Make it easy by serving in crock pots.

      1. Serve Chili In Crockpots. Have your contestants bring their chili entry in a crock pot, then plug in the pot to reheat. You can use cute numbers to label each entry so that it's a blind tasting.

      2. Extension cords. It's helpful to have a couple of extension cords handy in case you don’t have enough power outlets. Also, with all of the crock pots plugged in, be aware of blowing a fuse. We haven't had this problem at our events, but it's good to have a plan just in case.

      3. Dish Up The Chili For Your Judges. In my experience, it gets quite busy in the kitchen, with guests or judges dishing up their chili and everyone milling around. My solution is to create a plate of numbered taster cups and dish up the entries ahead of time (see below).

      4. Use Taster Cups. Before guests arrive, I prepare my "taster cups". I tape small plastic or paper cups onto a paper plate with the entry number written in sharpie on each cup. At the event, I fill each taster cup with the correct entry, leaving a spot in the middle of the plate for a palate cleanser, such as crackers, cornbread, or corn chips.

      Small tasting cups attached to paper plates are a great way to serve chili for judging. Small tasting cups attached to paper plates are a great way to serve chili for judging.

      Also, be sure to judge the chili with the correct accompaniments. For example, if the chef wants cheese added to the top of his/her chili, by all means add it when filling the cups.

      After filling with chili, I hand out the plates to the judges. This not only eliminates chaos in the kitchen, but it also disguises whos chili is whos. After judging is over, everyone can go back for a bowl (or two) of their favorite.

      5. Have Enough Serving Utensils. Each chili entry needs its own ladle and spoon. Ladles work great to dish up bowls of chili, but are too big to fill taster cups. Instead use a smaller teaspoon for that task.

      6. Create An Easy Way to Judge. For our cookoff, we give each person 2 poker chips. They have 2 votes for their favorite chili. Adults get one color of chip, the kids get a different color. Then votes are counted and prizes are awarded. I've also seen score sheets used. They can be found online at Chica and Jo's website.

      An engraved cutting board makes the perfect prize for your chili champ!

      7. Ad Hype With Prizes and Awards. That’s where we come in! We offer chili cook off awards in every price range, from blue ribbons to engraved cutting boards. Browse the chili section of our website to see all the choices. My favorite is the Annual Chili Cook-Off Trophy; that's what I will give the winners at our chili cookoff later this month.

      8. Don't Forget The Decorations! This is what adds the extra touch to your competition. Ideas for chili cookoff decorations include chili peppers, stock pots and southwestern themed décor. Having an occasion to decorate for is always fun too - such as hosting on a football game day or someone's birthday. Check out our Trophies2Go Chili Cookoff pinterest page for even more ideas!

      I hope these 8 tips help you plan the perfect event. Feel free to share what worked for you, or if you have other ideas, add them below. Wishing you a wonderful chili cook-off!

      Cheers, Jessica

      Editor's Note: This post was originally published on October 10, 2014.  It has been updated for content.

    • Halloween Costume Party Award Ideas

      Ready to host a Halloween Party?  Get ideas at today’s blog post for hosting a  Halloween Costume Party!  I'm going to be tailoring this post to an adult party; If you want to read about kid’s party ideas, read my past post Prizes and Awards for Halloween Contests.


      Mummy Halloween Trophy Our hand painted mummy trophy will be a hit at your Halloween costume party!

      Besides your invite list, the first thing to figure out is a theme.  At my costume party last year my theme was "Halloween", original, I know.  If I host one again this year, I would definitely choose a theme so my guests can plan their costumes and people can get creative!  Some possible themes include:

      Well Known Couples: There are thousands of combinations from history, pop culture or even items that go together (think Salt & Pepper, Peanut Butter & Jelly)  I found great couples costumes for sale at Costume Craze to spark your imagination.

      TV Shows/Movies: Game of Thrones, Marvel characters, NFL Football, Walking Dead, anything popular could be included.

      Monster Party: Vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein: everyone comes in a "dead" costume, with fake blood and gore.

      Star Trek vs. Star Wars:  Epic battle for the best iconic (and nerdiest) Sci Fi space adventure!

      Nightmare Before Christmas: Make a creepy Christmas theme just like the movie.

      All About the 80's:  Movies and Music.  Think hair bands, Devo, Top Gun, 16 Candles; so many ways to get creative!

      Food & Drink:

      Halloween Finger foods Halloween "finger foods" are easy to eat and don't require plates or utensils!

      I’m always a fan of food - and especially drinks - at a party.  People get munchy and it's a great opportunity to reinforce your theme with creative snacks and cocktails!

      Food:  Apps and small finger foods are always good to have as they are easy to eat and don't require plates and silverware.  Punchbowl has a list of “finger food” recipes that are perfect for your guests to snack on. There are tons of cute Halloween food ideas online, Pinterest is a great source.

      Drinks:  I'm always a fan of a tasty themed cocktail.  Get “bloody” Halloween cocktail recipes here and again there's always ideas on Pinterest.  It's really the best for finding fun drink recipes!


      Competition is a great way to get your guests involved in your party as long as you have a prize for the winner!   We create many Halloween awards for “Best Costume” and here are some possible categories to include at your next Halloween party.

      Best Costume Categories Include:  "Scariest Costume", "This costume fits my personality", "Cutest Costume", "Va Va Voom!" or "Sexiest Costume", "Most Creative Costume", "People’s Choice", "Funniest Costume", "Best Group Costume", "Penny Pincher", "Best Couple", "Most Original", and lastly "Cheesiest Costume".

      This year our Graphic Designer Lori N has created some awesome limited-edition, hand-painted Halloween trophies, perfect for your contest winner.  We offer fabulous green witches, grinning jack-o-lanterns, wrapped mummies and creepy zombies!  Also check out our custom Halloween medals, a perfect best costume prize!

      For more ideas, check out Halloween Party Ideas from Punchbowl, they have tons of great suggestions to get your creativity flowing.  Also check out our Trophies2Go pinterest page where I’ve pinned cute decorating ideas, recipes, crafts and also my favorite trophies and medals for a costume contest.  I hope your Halloween is full of treats, that's no trick!

      Cheers! Jessica




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    Trophies Awards