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USB2U News

Branded Technology Products for Student Recruitment

Posted by Sebastian LaPorta on 21st April 2016 | Permalink

At USB2U we appreciate how much time and resources Universities spend attracting new students to their courses. Open Days and University Fairs play an important part in the conversion process, and branded promotional products can help support the success of your events. Young people form their opinions quickly and your promotional products need to be of good quality and well presented in order to stand out and to ensure that your brand has a positive impact.

Promotional branded gifts offer the perfect opportunity for you to keep your institution’s name in front of your target audience. Tech products specifically are an essential part of our everyday lives and it is therefore no surprise that they are fast becoming some of the most sought after branded gifts. USB flash drives, Power Banks or Bluetooth Speakers for example – together with your branding – make great promotional products for the Higher Education sector.

Right now we have an exclusive offer for Higher Education: save 10% on all branded tech gifts and Power Banks. This offer is available until 31st May 2016. Call us to find out more: 0800 008 7079.

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We are ready for the 2016 UK Photography Show

Posted by Sebastian LaPorta on 14th March 2016 | Permalink

USB2U is exhibiting at the popular UK Photography Show at Birmingham NEC again this year. This is the third time we have been part of the show and we are looking forward it kicking off this Saturday!

USB2U offers the most popular USB sticks for professional photographers. Our creative memory stick concepts work particularly well when presented in bundles; these are combinations of memory sticks and stylish presentation boxes suitable for any occasion such as weddings, baby photos, anniversaries and more. They are becoming highly popular amongst modern day Photographers.

The presentation boxes are of high quality and vary from high gloss white presentation boxes to eco-friendly wooden boxes. All of them can be personalised with your logo or special message. Thanks to the large print area on the boxes they can be fully branded and additional design features can also be added in.

Here at USB2U we hold a large amount of stock of USB sticks and boxes in the UK making it possible to print or engrave items in as little as 24 hours. The memory sticks are Grade-A, high specification flash chips offering superior performance.

Be sure not to miss our daily competition

We also have some exciting show offers and competitions not to be missed. Each expo day we will do a prize draw and the winner will receive 10 8GB Woodland USB sticks and Photo Slide Boxes personalised with their logo. So four chances to win! The winners will be announced at the end of each exhibition day on Twitter  and and on Facebook.

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Storing data on glass for billions of years

Posted by Sebastian LaPorta on 24th February 2016 | Permalink

Very exciting data storage news by optical scientists from the University of Southampton who have developed a new revolutionary method called 5D optical memory. This means that up to 360TB of data can be stored on glass for billions of years, which could help mankind to be remembered ages after we are gone. As a comparison, 360Tb glass storage equals to 90 000 4Gb USB Memory sticks!

In order to store data in glass, scientists need to make use of nanogratings, which put simply, refers to a nanoscale grating created by shooting extremely fast femtosecond laser pulses of light at a material – usually metal or glass – to produce grooves or markings in it. In popular culture, this would be something similar to Superman using the laser beams in his eyes to store information in the memory crystals of the Fortress of Solitude!

The idea is that the femtosecond laser writes information into the glass by changing the way light moves through it, and each tiny dot created is able to store one bit of information. This 3D optical data storage method is similar to that used by CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs today, and the researchers have recorded a copy each of the Magna Carta, the King James Bible and the UN Declaration of Human Rights to glass to preserve them.

But to make glass digital data storage devices a viable reality, the researchers, including photonics and optoelectronics PhD students Aušra Cerkauskaite, Aabid Patel and Rokas Drevinskas, have now developed a method of reading and writing data to glass, using a five-dimensional (5D) digital data storage method whereby instead of tiny dots, the femtosecond lasers create self-assembling nanostructures. 

At USB2U we will await to hear when this data storage method might be available for commercial applications. One day we would love to say that our glass crystal USBs were true glass storage devices! Whilst it may not have the same storage capacity, a branded glass USB is the must have tech product of the year. With laser engraving, chrome metal casing and delivered in a stunning box it have a real wow factor.

Read full article here

 

USB2U's crystal USB

USB2U’s crystal USB

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Flash drive thrown into space

Posted by Sebastian LaPorta on 10th February 2016 | Permalink

3… 2… 1… Here goes! It was one of those memorable moments when two Russian cosmonauts from the International Space Station, Sergei Volkov and Yuri Malenchenko, threw a USB stick into space during a spacewalk.

For us this signifies a truly interesting example of the multiple ways in which USBs can be used in the world; not only for commercial purposes and transferring content, but also for capturing significant moment of human history!

The memory stick in question contained videos and scripts from last year’s 70th anniversary celebration of the Victory Day in Russia. This event commemorated the 70th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945, and was the largest and most lavish celebration ever held in Russian history.

During the moment when the USB stick was let go, on 3rd February 2016, the crew on board of the International Space station was flying some 250 miles above the southeastern Pacific Ocean, over South America and not far from the cost of Chile.

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Click here to see the video by BBC

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With only 50 days until Christmas NOW is the time to order your USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 4th November 2015 | Permalink

If you thought Halloween was scary that’s nothing compared to how quickly Christmas is approaching. With only 50 days to go its time to get organised, it’s time to think about what gifts you want to give to your staff and what gifts you want to give to your customers and the service staff (drivers, window cleaners, delivery drivers etc.) that support your business all year round.

If you procrastinate and leave it much later and you may struggle to get exactly what you want and more importantly you might struggle to get your Christmas gifts printed with your logo on and the gifts personalised with unique messages.

Assuming of course that you want to give a gift this year the next challenge is to decide what to give – favourites often include hampers, drinks and chocolates but increasingly companies that give gifts to customers and prospects are looking for something that carries their brand and will last beyond Christmas. If the gift can generate a bit of a “buzz” or “wow” factor when opened that in turn drives Social Media activity then so much the better! When giving gifts to staff branding is obviously less of a requirement!

USB Cards for Christmas

Give a Promotional USB Stick at Christmas

In the promotional gift sector 2015 has been the year of the Power Bank and we expect to see lots of these given away but equally we also expect thousands and thousands of branded USB memory sticks to be handed out. Whilst USB sticks won’t be for everyone when they are printed with a company logo and pre-loaded with a Christmas message they are a brilliant idea.

They work at Christmas not only because they still have a high-perceived value but because of the innovative ways in which you can use the massive amounts of storage on even the cheapest versions – include a short video message, an animated message or a message of thanks from a few key executives within your company or what about recording and loading onto the stick a “flash mob” message. Get creative, think what will inspire people, what will interest people and what will make them laugh and smile. (and take to Social Meida)

Anything you load onto the USB sticks can be made to “auto-run” – this means the content (the video for example) will play automatically when the USB memory stick is connected to any PC or Mac.

At USB2U we can not only supply your Christmas USB sticks but we also have lots of Power Banks that we can supply with your logo printed on. We even offer a personalisation and fulfilment service so you don’t have to worry about boxing them up and sending them out! Interested? Well, just give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options.

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Create a Long lasting Impression with Laser Engraved Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

Do you print or do you engrave your promotional USB memory sticks. Before you place any order please take time to at least ponder the question because the default option for most of our customers is to print them without giving a second thought to the engraving option. We try to stay agnostic over the “engrave versus print” debate and let our customers make the choice but there are times when we see a job and think you know what that’d look so much better engraved. Perhaps it’s out fault; perhaps we should be more forthright in our opinions and try to encourage our customers to consider engraving their design or logo. It’s never easy getting the balance right between gently coaxing and encouragement and just candidly saying you’re wrong.

Printed USB sticks do look absolutely fantastic; there’s a wide range of USB sticks that you can print on print on (compared to those that you can engrave on) and there is a growing range that allow you to pint on them in full colour with a print bleed right the edge of the flash drive. There is a “but” though and that is that over time the print will begin to chip, scuff and wear away leaving behind a logo or design that is barely legible. How long the print will last on a USB stick depends on what it’s made from and the printing process used to apply the design.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Printing onto metal USB sticks can be challenging because the metal surface needs to be cleaned and primed before any ink can be applied to them and then, ideally, they need to be baked in a commercial print oven to get the print to adhere properly. This obviously takes place before the USB sticks are assembled otherwise the memory and flash module would be “cooked” during the drying process.

No matter how meticulously you clean the metal, or how well your prime them before you print them they are particularly susceptible because when the edge of the printed logo is chipped the tension is compromised the rest of the print tends to flake away pretty quickly.

Digital printing or screen printing onto a plastic surface tends to offer a more robust solution but even these techniques won’t guarantee the print eventually failing.

By contrast laser engraving as the name suggests “etches” the surface leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a popular technique on a wide range of promotional products (including USB flash drives) but it’s a technique that is also widely used in industry to permanently mark medical devices, instruments, buttons, tags, car parts, bar codes and lots ore besides.

With engraving you will have to compromise on the colour the logo is produced in (but you can select a range of different coloured USB flash drives) but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that it will last the test of time.

In many cases engraving is not only a better and longer lasting solution but aesthetically it looks better which is why many wedding photographers are opting for engraved wooden USB memory sticks in preference to printed options. Our wooden versions are particularly attractive and incredibly tactile and when combined with our engraved gift boxes they make a killer package.

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

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Buzzzz – Wasps RFC include USB Stick in Members’ Welcome Pack for 2015/16

Posted by USB2U on 21st October 2015 | Permalink

Forget the Saracens there’s something special happening down the M6 at the Ricoh Stadium just outside of Coventry. New Stadium, a successful Secured Bond which raised £35m, a strong team, a growing support base in the midlands and the best looking New Members’ Welcome Pack bar none!

As a Northampton based supplier of Promotional USB Memory Sticks and staunch supporters of rivals Northampton Saints we’re gutted that Wasps have outgunned and out flanked the Saints with this brilliant membership pack – call us biased but we think the jewel in pack is the little black “Twister” USB stick that according to the Wasps website has been filled with tons of exciting content including; mobile phone and desktop screensavers and embedded links to video clips of the best tries of the 2014/15 season.

If we weren’t all die-hard Saints supporters we’d think very seriously about taking up one of their incredibly attractive (and cheap relative to the Saints) membership deals and not just to get a free USB stick! Some of us at USB2U live closer to Daventry and Rugby making the Ricoh Stadium arguably easier to get to than Franklins Gardens! – tempting…..

In the meantime we’ll just keep knocking on the door at Franklins Gardens and encouraging the marketing team to follow the lead of Wasps RFC.

Of course the perfect welcome pack as far as we’re concerned would be a pack that not only includes a branded USB stick but also includes a promotional power bank – these would be ideal to take to the game (or on those longer away trips) as a way of keeping you smart phone charged. After all as supporters we’re all encouraged these days to “Tweet from our seats” and to follow the team on Social Media. Not so easy to do if your phone is out of battery power hence why a power bank would be such a great members gift.

Get the power bank printed up in the clubs colours and include the URL’s or links to the various Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages and as a club you’ll have covered all the bases. They’re also a great option to sell in the Club Shop (either at the stadium or on-line) and they’ll make a welcome change from the usual mugs, caps, keyrings and mini rugby balls.

Wasps RFC USB Sticks

Wasps RFC New Member USB Sticks

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Get Pregnant, Break a Bone or Block your Drains – All ways to get a USB Stick

Posted by USB2U on 16th October 2015 | Permalink

Over the last decade or so we’ve seen USB sticks used for all manner of things but to be fair the majority that we sell are used for promotional purposes. However as CD’s and DVD’s become less and less popular we’re seeing USB sticks used as a direct replacement for them and the breadth of their use is fascinating. Every day we seem to get enquires from new clients who have a new twist on how they plan to use their USB memory sticks.

Some of the more interesting and unusual ideas include the supply of 4D baby scans on a USB stick. Prospective parents used to be happy with a black and white Polaroid photo of their baby scan but now the demand is for a digital copy of the scan is rocketing. Companies like Babybond, the UK’s first ISO Quality Endorsed ultrasound provider are now offering their 4D Bonding Scan results on a USB Memory Stick.

As pioneers of 4D Bonding Scans (and the supply of the scans on USB sticks) they remain at the forefront of innovation in their field. Babybond are strong advocates of the service because they argue that the scans, which are a combination of still and moving images promote levels of early mother and child “bonding” that were simply unattainable prior to the introduction of their service.

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

It’s a similar story with broken bones, torn ligaments and fractures – we’re now seeing companies that offer private MRI scans using USB memory sticks rather than CD’s/DVD’s. A digital copy of the MRI scan is supplied at the end of the assessment. Supplying a copy of the scan is not new but the supply of it on a USB Stick is. With less and less PC’s and Mac’s now shipping without a CD/DVD player it’s become important for many businesses to make the shift to USB sticks

Companies dealing with blocked drains are the latest to use USB Sticks instead of CD’s and DVD’s – its typical of these companies to send a CCTV camera into the drains to carry out a “survey” of the drains before they start digging them up! The subsequent digital “video survey” is then copied onto a USB sticks and supplied to the customer with a quote for the remedial works needed. Again the arguments for the use of a USB stick are the same; ease of use, size, cost and of course they can be printed up with a logo, brand and contact details.

The common thread running through all of these examples is the need to provide “customers” with high quality digital images – if you work in a sector or profession that might benefit from making the move from CD/DVD to USB Sticks then please give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

 

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Political Party Conference Time – USB Sticks at the ready

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

The political party conference bandwagon rolls on this week with the Conservatives holding their annual conference in Manchester. The anti-austerity protesters have grabbed the early headlines with a reported 60,000 people showing their unhappiness at a broad range of measures that the Conservatives are looking to introduce.

On the plus side for the Conservatives last years ban on Champagne has been lifted and the resounding victory they achieved during the last election will no-doubt ensure that the overriding mood during the conference will be hugely positive.

Of course during any conference (political or otherwise) there is much serious business to attend to and lots of information to disseminate to the attendees. The main stages and theatres at any conference tend to be surrounded by lots of “pop-up” stands organised by lobby groups, commercial organisations and groups that want to promote and sell their ideas or promote and sell their products and services.

Many of these, including at the main parties at the political conferences, will use branded USB sticks as the vehicle to disseminate their message. Historically you might have been handed a CD or DVD but today with less and less PC’s and Mac’s being sold with a built in CD/DVD reader USB sticks have become the de facto alternative.

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

The beauty of a USB stick is that they look great branded up with a logo and strap line and they typically have loads of digital storage (8GB is the norm these days for a give-away USB stick). This amount of storage means you can pre-load onto the stick all of your conference slides, speaker notes, video clips, marketing brochures and any press releases you might have prepared for the event.

By putting all of this information onto a USB stick there is no need to print the material, there’s less paper used and printed, less stuff to lug around in boxes, less petrol and transport costs and less waste! All these savings mean that the cost of the USB sticks can be more than offset and as a company or organisation you look much more professional, you can play the “eco card” and of course everyone loves being given a “freebie” like a USB stick!

If you’re a conference organiser you’ll find that USB sticks can be a real saviour. By digitising your content and loading it onto a USB stick you can extend your copy dealines, you can give your speakers a little more time and you can make last minute changes that you simply can’t do with printed material.

Whatever your political leaning branded USB memory sticks at a conference make sense! Order them now from USB2U – please.

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5 Common Mistakes People Make When Ordering Printed USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 10th September 2015 | Permalink

Printed USB memory sticks remain one of the most popular promotional give-aways with millions being handed out every year in the UK alone. The companies that buy these USB memory sticks often leave the buying decision right until the last minute with a growing number wanting their order printed and delivered within hours rather than days or weeks.

At USB2U we’re happy to oblige and turn around orders in whatever timeframe is needed and we’re fortunate enough to be able to print (and engrave) in-house from our own stock and of course we use our own design and print team to manage the whole process – keeping everything under one roof makes life that much easier and of course we have full control over the quality of the sticks, the printing and any data-loading that might be needed.

But, to achieve the often challenging deadlines we’re set it does help if a few simple things are done in advance and during the ordering/manufacturing process. If they can be then everyone’s stress levels and heart rates will easier to manage:

Here are the five most common issues that crop up that makes life more challenging that it needs to be:

  1. Poor Artwork – garbage in garbage out is a phrase more synonymous with the computer industry but it’s equally appropriate when it comes to printing anything – if the artwork you supply is poor then then final printed product will be poor. We’re good and we have some fantastic state of the art printing equipment but even we can’t get a good print from an image “grabbed” from your website or “cut and pasted” from Microsoft Office document. Before you place your order it really helps if you could make sure you can get high quality vector artwork files in any of the following formats; .eps. .ai, .pdf, .cad or .swf.
  2. A common attempt to “work around” this request is to cheat and save a .jpg or .gif file as vector file. Sadly this won’t help – all you do is create a low quality image that will result in a low quality print.
  3. Pantone references – if you need an exact representation of the colours in your logo then we’ll need you to supply the Pantone reference numbers for each colour. Without these the only option is to “best match” the colours. If you’re using our digital print service then the colours will always be “best match” because that’s how digital printers work. If this is likely to be an issue we can silk screen print the individual pantone colours for you but we can’t do this on any of our “Rush Services”
  4. Please be available – once you have committed to an order for printed USB sticks there are several stages that your order will go through and at each stage you (or a colleague) will need to be available to sign off the proof, to sign off any data that is being loaded onto the sticks and finally to make payment for the sticks. If you or another member of your team can’t be reached it may delay things and you could miss your preferred delivery date.
  5. Delivery address – please think about where your USB sticks are going to be delivered to. We ship 99% of our orders with UPS on a next day service but if you live in certain Post Codes this actually means two days. If for example you live in the Highlands or Islands or other remote parts of the UK then allow an extra day for delivery. Equally, make sure you double check the address you supply for delivery, offer a contact phone number and make sure someone is going to be in on the delivery date to receive the printed USB sticks. If you need delivery on a Saturday then please let us know because our standard deliveries are Mon-Fri.
Printed USB Sticks

Printed USB Sticks

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