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Small Medium & Large Wooden USB Gift Boxes – What size are you

Posted by USB2U on 25th March 2015 | Permalink

In response to demand from our Professional Photography customers we have introduced a range of new wooden boxes and they come in two different finishes and three different sizes and we think they’re amazing.

We officially launched or new USB gift boxes at The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham over the last 4 days and the response has been overwhelmingly positive with lots of customers placing orders for our new USB stick and Gift Boxes Bundles.

The primary difference between the two new ranges is the wood that the box is made from; one is made from Pine and the other is made from Maple, a hardwood. Both are from sustainable sources and both come unfinished (i.e. they are not varnished, stained or painted with a paint wash) but if you order them we will either print or engrave your logo on the box lid and on request we can also print or engrave your website address (or any other message) on the back of the box.

Small Wooden USB Gift Box

Small Wooden USB Gift Box – Maple

As standard we supply the boxes with a natural fibre filling (coconut coir for the small boxes and fine wood wool filling for the medium and large boxes) but of course you can discard the standard filling and use your own – lots of our customers do.

We’ve been selling the smaller boxes for nearly 2 years and they still remain the most popular boxes we sell but we were asked to source and supply slightly larger boxes that could have a couple of compartments in them; one compartment for the branded USB memory stick onto which a digital copy of the prints has been saved; and one compartment for some 6” x 4” prints. The medium (square) and large (rectangle) boxes are the ones with 2 compartments.

Square Maple Wooden USB Gift Box

Square Maple Wooden USB Gift Box

As you can see from these images the boxes, irrespective of whether you have them printed or engraved, look brilliant and will provide your clients with an amazing keepsake for their images.

The larger boxes are 250mm x 125mm x 50mm and the medium (square) boxes are 170mm x 170mm x 50mm. All of our USB gift boxes are held in stock in the UK and we do the print and engraving in-house. We don’t outsource any of the finishing to a 3rd party, everything is done by us because we have a slight “control freak” issue and we like to make sure that we control the quality and finish of our boxes (and USB sticks)!

If you’d like to see what your logo might look like on any of our boxes then please get in touch for a no obligation quote. We’re also happy to work up mock-ups for you free of charge and send out samples (note samples of the larger boxes may be subject to a small fee to cover the P&P costs).

Large engraved Maple USB Gift Box

Large engraved Maple USB Gift Box

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Personalised Keepsake Boxes & USB Sticks for Professional Photographers

Posted by USB2U on 24th March 2015 | Permalink

There are key events in everyone’s life when moments that you want to treasure forever are created. Whether it’s a wedding, the birth of a child, a baby’s first steps, the graduation of your children from college or university, a milestone birthday or an anniversary they all tug at the heartstrings and demand to be remembered.

The most popular way to capture these moments is on “film” albeit today when we take photographs we’re almost always recording the image digitally rather than capturing it on traditional films. Apart from a few diehards when was the last time anyone actually purchased a film for their photography. No, today we’re far more likely to reach for our smart phone or digital camera.

Arguably photography has gone through one of the fastest and most comprehensive paradigm shifts we’ve lived through. Kodak, the company that dominated the film and photography market for decades, is now all but dead and buried. Agfa, another huge player in the traditional 35mm film market has also disappeared from sight taking with it lots of large film processing companies.

Keepsake Boxes

Keepsake Boxes for Professional Photographers

What has survived, and in many ways has flourished, is the professional photography sector. With over 50,000 professional photographers in the UK alone it’s a sector that is still in rude health. We may all have easier and greater access to cameras via our phones and inexpensive digital cameras but when it comes to taking images of key moment in our life it’s a job most people prefer to leave to the experts. Owning a camera does not a photographer make!

If you’ve commissioned a series of photographs from a professional photographer then you’re going to want somewhere to store them. Albums remain incredibly popular but they’re not the only option. It’s not unusual to buy a “package” from a photographer that includes a small number of prints, an album to keep them in but also a USB memory stick onto which all of the photos from the shoot have been stored. The images on the USB stick might include images that you previously might not have had access to simply because of the print production costs. But because photographers now work almost exclusively with digital images you can often have all of the photos from your shoot as “electronic” copies even if you don’t get them all printed.

Personalised Keepsake Boxes

Personalised Keepsake Boxes

Engraved wooden keepsake boxes are a great way to store your photos and USB stick together with other key items from the day, e.g. copy menus, service sheets, plaster casts of your babies feet and hands and so on.

Some of the more commercially astute photographers are now offering their clients a bundled package that includes their services as well as the finished prints, and album, a branded USB memory stick and a keepsake box. As these images show when bought as a coordinated package they can look stunning.

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Power Banks – Energizing the Promotional Market

Posted by USB2U on 23rd March 2015 | Permalink

The promotional gift market in the UK is huge with estimates putting the total annual spend somewhere in the region of £1 billion. It did drop back a little a few years ago when the recession kicked in but all the latest indicators suggest its back on the up again and one of the products that is leading the charge is the Power Bank.

This relatively simple product is basically a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that is housed in an attractive case that lends itself to being branded with the logo or design of the company buying them as a “give-away”. They are primarily used to recharge smart phones but they can recharge any small portable electronic device including tablets, handheld games consoles, e-cigarettes, e-readers etc. etc.

Wooden and Metallic Power Banks

Wooden and Metallic Power Banks

You use them by plugging them into a PC or mains wall socket (using the correct plug adapter) to charge up the Power Bank and then when it’s charged you simply disconnect it and take it with you as an emergency power back-up. So, if for example your smart phone needs re-charging you use the supplied cable to connect the Power Bank to your smart phone and let it do its job. Within minutes a “dead” phone will have been charged enough to use and within 2 hours a dead phone will be fully charged.

Although smart phone manufacturers are constantly releasing new phones with a longer battery life we all seem to be using our phones more and more so it’s not unusual for phones to need charging at least once during the day. This is where a Power Bank comes into it’s own – it can genuinely be a “life saver”. Whether its just to get enough charge into your smart phone to post a message on Facebook or to make an urgent business call they are definitely useful and desirable gifts.

 

Promotional Power Banks

Promotional Power Banks

A word of warning though, if you are looking to buy promotional Power Banks for your company (with your brand printed or engraved on them) then please, please buy them from a reputable supplier. Ultimately a Power Bank is an energy store and if you buy purely on price and price alone you’re likely to end up with a product that “might” overcharge, overheat and potentially explode taking your brand with it!

Make sure the Power Banks you buy have been CE approved and comply fully with the latest RoHS legislation. Most import of all though is not to buy based on cost and cost alone – it’s tempting but unless you are prepared to take the risk of sending out potential “bombs” to your customers don’t do it!

At USB2U sell a wide range of promotional Power Banks (many of which we brand in-house) and all of which are fully compliant and backed by our exhaustive warranty and guarantee.

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USB Lanyards – Old Meets New

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

Promotional lanyards seem like they’ve been with us forever. If you’ve been to any trade show, conference, seminar or training program at any time over the last few decades then the chances are that you’ll have been given a name badge or ID badge that you can wear around your neck by attaching it to a lanyard!

Typically the lanyards are printed or embroidered with branding that dovetails into the event you’re attending. They’re simple, useful and relatively cheap items that help to reinforce the brand of the company running the event or they can be used to drive a revenue stream by selling the print area on the lanyard to advertisers.

They come in a range of different styles and sizes (the size variant is the width with the smaller lanyards starting at 10mm and typically moving up to a maximum width of 25mm in +5mm hurdles, e.g. 10mm, 15mm, 20mm and 25mm) Prices for promotional lanyards start around 35p each (subject to volume, the complexity of the design and the type of clasp attached to the end of the lanyard).

USB Lanyards

USB Lanyards

Lanyards (also referred to as neck-straps) are by no means a recent phenomenon. They were first used many centuries ago (often by the military) to attach a whistle, sword or pistol to the wearer’s uniform.

Historians tell us that lanyards were particularly popular with navy or cavalry officers who understandably were much more likely to lose their weapons or whistles if they were not “attached” to them. As their role in the military world diminished (whistles and “pistols” are not exactly cutting edge military tools these days) they have found a new role in the business world securing name badges to conference and seminar attendees!

A more recent development in the fairly narrow world of the lanyard is the USB Lanyard – this novel product combines all the benefits of a traditional lanyard with all of the benefits of a USB memory stick. Essentially it’s a USB stick integrated into the “clip” of the lanyard. The fact that you can pre-load data onto the memory stick and brand both the “clip” (the bit of lanyard that holds the USB memory stick) and the lanyard strap itself makes it an ideal promotional product. By using one of these products you can supply tons of marketing material, seminar notes, speaker slides etc. and simply pre-load them onto the “lanyard” – no more brochures to print, less waste, less transport costs, they’re a more eco-friendly solution and they are very popular with the recipients!

Just like any conventional USB memory sticks USB Lanyards are available in a range of different memory sizes starting from 128MB all the way up to 32GB.

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Custom USB Sticks to get your Teeth into!

Posted by USB2U on 17th March 2015 | Permalink

We spotted this image on a recent post by Viralands and it stopped us in our tracks in a ghoulish sort of way. As you might expect we’re strong advocates of pretty much all types and styles of USB sticks including fully customised versions but a denture-USB! Really! Surely there has to be a “is it in good taste line” (no pun intended) and this in this case the line seems to have been crossed.

It’s not obvious from the image if it’s a fake, a one-off prototype or just something that someone has knocked up to create a bit of a stir. If it is real then putting aside the slightly creepy design you can’t really knock innovation or the capability the flash drive would give you to discretely carry your data and back-ups around with you! The question is who would really want one and who would be willing (or daft enough) to wear them – they hardly fall into the James Bond (designed by “M”) category of must have spy kit.

USB Dentures

USB Dentures – A little bit radical

They’re more like something you’d give your grandmother but without wishing to be unkind to grandmothers we’re not sure how many would know what to do with a Denture USB memory stick!

The one thing most customized flash drives do is make an impact and we always suggest to our corporate clients that instead of buying standard models printed or engraved with their logo on that they commission fully bespoke ones instead. Surprisingly they don’t cost much more than standard versions and long gone are the days of expensive set-up fees and tooling costs. The only real negative of ordering bespoke sticks is that you need to allow more time! Whilst we’re incredibly quick at turning around printed USB sticks (as quick as 24hrs) we need around 3-4 weeks to design, proof, manufacture and deliver fully bespoke versions.

If you have got this amount of time before your event then do talk to us about fully customised flash drives. They can be made in the shape of pretty much anything. Over the years we’ve designed and produced hundreds including USB ducks, cars, trucks, boats, words, planes, strawberries, lips and bags just to name but a few.

You don’t have to worry about supplying finished designed to us all we need is a willingness to work with us and a basic idea – our in-house design team will take care of the rest for you and we’ll work with you until you are happy and your custom USB memory sticks have been delivered.

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Five Days and Counting – Come See USB2U at The Photography Show

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

The weather forecast for this weekend (according to the BBC) is “cool and breezy with scattered showers” so not exactly the weather for doing a great deal outside. The gardening and other chores can wait until things perk up a little and the promises you made to get your bike out or take the kids for a walk in the Spring sunshine to see the new season lambs might have to be put on hold – well for a few days at least!

This weekend your time, if you’re a professional photographer or budding amateur that’s thinking of going professional this year, would be better spent at The Photography Show in Birmingham. The show takes place at the NEC in Hall 5 and runs from this Saturday (21st March) until Tuesday (24th March) and it’s going to be massive. Last year over 29,000 professional and enthusiast photographers attended the show and the organisers expect this year’s numbers to be even higher.

USB2U at The Photography Show

USB2U will be a The Photography Show at the NEC this were

With a mission to create a “photography day out you’ll never forget” the organisers have pulled out all the stops to bring together a 4 day program that is rammed full of exciting, informative and education elements with plenty of fun and shopping opportunities along the way. There will be plenty of chances to have a play with some of the very latest kit, to hear first hand from some of the world’s most inspirational photographers (Tom Stoddart and Mary Ellen Mark to name but two) what makes them tick and how they approach their work.

There will be advice clinics (run by Bowens) and plenty of in-show seminars and workshops to help you brush up on your skills. If you do decide to go then don’t forget your own camera because there will be tons of photo opportunities throughout the event and of course there will be lots of competitions to enter with some amazing prizes on offer.

We’ll be there again this year (come see us on Stand H131) but having been overrun last year we’ve invested in a bigger stand this year! We’ll also have more of our amazing USB2U team on hand to talk you through our USB Memory Stick and gift box packages and there will be plenty of show discounts and offers that you can take advantage of.

We’re taking lots and lots of examples of printed and engraved USB memory sticks and examples of our new wooden gift boxes that we’re keen to get feedback on – we love them but we’d still value your opinion.

If photography is your thing then we’d strongly recommend making some time to come to the show later this week and if you do please make sure you stop by and say hello – we’d love to show you what we can do and if you’re an existing customer we’d love to catch up with you and get your feedback on our work.

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USB Books – So Long and Thanks for All the fish

Posted by USB2U on 5th March 2015 | Permalink

We love a good read and in our list of favourite books is Douglas Adams fourth book of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. It was first published in 1984 long before digital downloads and long before digital copies were available on products like USB memory sticks.

Today things would be so different. Whilst printed books are making a real fight of things the future is very much digital and by digital it’s not just downloads of e-books but all forms of digital distribution including USB memory sticks.

Ebooks on USB Cards

Ebooks on USB Cards

We’ve long been used to copying company handbooks, manuals, product sheets and marketing material onto the promotions flash drives we sell but recently we’ve seen a bit of an upsurge in the demand for new book launches to be set up on a card style flash drive and for a copy of the book to be pre-loaded onto it. We’re not entirely sure what then happens to these cards but our suspicion is that they are used at Press events or handed over across the tables at PR organised “lunches”.

They’re a great way to selectively distribute copies of a new book (before it’s officially available) without having to worry about doing small print runs or setting up secretive webservers with secure logins to allow a digital download. If you are targeting book reviewers and you can excite or enthuse them by giving them the “book” on something interesting and unusual like a USB book then you’re halfway there in terms of getting their attention- ok, we’re not saying they’re going to guarantee a 5 star review but it should help.

Music Releases On USB Sticks

Music Releases On USB Sticks

Of course it’s not just books that we’re seeing released on promotional USB flash drives. We’re also seeing lots of interest from small and large musical artists who are looking to release copies of their work on a well packed and printed USB stick. A great example is Peter Gabriel who commissioned USB sticks and boxes from us for his Back to Front Tour.

Some artists have gone the extra mile and commissioned fully customised versions with a “retro” twist like these USB Cassettes – they look amazing, they’re great fun and of course they generate lots of social media interest, chatter and likes which is half the challenge when you’re a young aspiring artist and you’re trying to use all channels to get your name known.

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Is Chinese New Year to Blame for a lack of Tartan at the Cricket World Cup

Posted by USB2U on 16th February 2015 | Permalink

We’ve been documenting over the last few weeks the challenges that Chinese New Year throws up for the promotional USB memory sticks market but even we didn’t think it would have an impact on the 2015 IIC Cricket World Cup.

Tomorrow is the day when the Scottish team take the field against the co-hosts (New Zealand) in Dunedin but unfortunately they’ll be doing so without their specially commissioned shirts that feature tartan on the sleeves. Not just any tartan either but tartan based on the clan of 19th century test cricketer Gregor MacGregor.

Unfortunately the shirts, which by all accounts were being manufactured and shipped from China, seem to have been delayed and our suspicion is that they’ve been caught up in the same Chinese New Year challenges that we’ve been warning about for weeks. From the various reports flying around it looks as though the Scottish Team just left things a little too late and had no margin for any delays. What a shame because the shirts would have looked great and Ben Fox, a team spokesman has apparently said “it’s unlikely they’ll ever see the light for day now”.

Our best wishes go out to Scotland for their opener tomorrow.

If nothing else this little episode should act as a warning to anyone looking to buy branded goods anytime around Chinese New Year – it really is a case of “buyer beware”.

Our advice is to buy from a local supplier that has what you want to buy in their hands and all they have to do is apply your branding/logo to them. You might end up paying marginally more but at least you’ll know you are going to get them. It’s no good saving a few pennies only for the finished goods to miss your deadline. That’s embarrassing for all concerned – ask the Scottish Cricket Team if you’re in any doubt!

If its USB flash drives with your logo on that you need then at USB2U we hold tens of thousands of them in stock during Chinese New Year and we print/engrave them in-house so we not only control the delivery but we control the overall quality/production.

Unfortunately we don’t supply branded clothing so as much as we might like to we can’t rescue the Scottish Cricket team – USB sticks with a dash of tartan on are not a problem!

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

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Have you got your USB Hearts ready for tomorrow?

Posted by USB2U on 13th February 2015 | Permalink

Our USB Hearts are a lovely way to say how much you care about your partner. Not only do they look fantastic but they can be supplied in a matching gift box with a printed personalised message on the box. The hearts sit snuggly in laser cut foam and there’s scope to drop in your own personalised gift card in the box.

Of course the real beauty of these USB flash drive hearts is that you can pre-load them with lots and lot of personal messages, photos and videos that chronicle your relationship so there is lots of scope to create what is effectively a digital montage which will hopefully surprise and delight your partner.

Create a digital story; load up the flash drive with photos of when you first met, music tracks that mean something to you both, films and videos of time spent together and some poems or words that express your feelings.

USB Hearts for Photographers

USB Hearts for Photographers

As you might imagine these USB hearts are incredibly popular with professional wedding photographers who use them to hand over their clients’ portfolios on. Photographers that buy them (and to be fair it’s not just wedding photographers) typically buy them in our stunning white premium gift boxes with their logo printed on the box – we can print them individually with the bride and grooms name and date of their wedding on the box as well but this needs a little more pre-planning and they do end up costing more because each one has to be set up and printed.

Another popular option is our “double pack” which is two hearts in a single large white printed gift box – an ideal way to present photographs to any bride and groom.

Of course these USB hearts can be used for all sorts of occasions but at Valentine’s Day they do come into their own! Longer lasting than flowers and something that (if you put time into what you load onto them) will show just how much you care.

USB Hearts in Gift Box

USB Hearts in Gift Box

If Valentine’s Day is not your thing then our hearts work equally well as a baby keepsake – get the USB heart engraved with your son or daughters date of birth, get the box printed with a photograph of your child or just their name and date of birth and load up the flash memory with lots of photos and videos that your child will cherish as they grow up!

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Fifty Shades of Grey Promotional USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 12th February 2015 | Permalink

Have your cravings for promotional USB sticks have been left unquenched. Are you feeling just a tad frustrated and still searching for the right model? Perhaps you’re not quite sure what you need or what would be good for your brand and you just need gently leading in the right direction.

Perhaps it’s just a case of whipping up your enthusiasm for these fantastic promotional products – the pricing won’t leave your scarred and you certainly won’t be tied up in any long term contract if you buy from USB2U.

Most of our customers, with little encouragement love the service they get and come back to us screaming for more – can we tempt you?

Our most popular product is the Twister model and whilst it comes in a huge range of colours some of our personal favourites are the range of blacks and greys – hence the fifty shades of grey of course (what else were you thinking it might be!).

50 Shades of Grey Twister USB Sticks

50 Shades of Grey Twister USB Sticks

The Twister (or swivel as some people call it) is a great little performer because it has no cap to lose, it can withstand a huge amount of punishment and it looks great printed or engraved with a logo. We carry them in stock in the UK and we can typically print and deliver them (with your branding on) in as little as 24hrs – we work well under pressure so if you do need your promotional sticks in a hurry please give us a call.

We think all of our flash drives look better handed out in a matching gift box and we have lots to choose from in a price range that goes from “free” (our plain white standard boxes are free) to top of the range premium glossy white printed gift boxes and printed presentation tins with laser cut custom foam inserts. Again, these are held in stock by us in the UK and we can print these (in-house) and deliver them with your USB sticks in the same 24hr timeframe.

Whatever your event or campaign is this year it’s time to drop your inhibitions and get a little more adventurous and order up some flash drives with your logo on. If you’re still a little unsure then rest assured because with USB2U you’re in safe hands. Honest.

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

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