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Tips for shopping for promotional flags

When you think of promotional flags, you’re probably thinking of the little national paper flags that fans are waving around at the world cup. They’re sometimes attached to the side mirrors of diplomatic vehicles too. While these are part of the family, there are lots of other options you may be unaware of. You can use buntings, feather flags, teardrop banners, fabric banners, and much more. Your selection depends on your promotional needs.
The most attractive feature of promotional flags is their ability to draw attention. Unlike regular banners, flags can flap in the breeze (or be flapped by fans). That movement grabs eyeballs. If you think about it, you’ll spend more time looking at a moving piece of paper or fabric than you would staring at a stationary one. The movement interests your neurons so you focus on it longer. This is good, because the longer customers are watching your ad, the more likely they are to retain your brand message.

Check your palette

Flags can come in a single colour or they can be patterned. Figure out the scope of colours that you need, based on your branding options. There are lots of different styles. Buntings and Bali flags are good for colour-coded displays. You could divide your venue into coloured sections, or you could weave a pattern of contrasting or complementary colours.
Be sure to ask about colours early enough. This ensures you can get a full selection in the volumes you require. Think about whether you want plain flags, or if there should be a visuals printed on them. Balis and buntings have a small surface area, so at best you can print a single letter, number, character, icon, or logo on each flag.
For this option, you could get different buntings printed with different letters of the alphabet and use them to spell out a message. Just make sure you have all the colours, letters, and numbers you need. Always have duplicates – you never know when you’ll need them. You should also ask about the availability and pricing of double-sided printing.

Think about your venue

The location of your event will also influence your choice of promotional flags. For indoor venues, paper buntings are adequate, but if you’re outside, you may want fabric. It responds better to breezes and movement. Feather flags rotate on their axis, giving you an additional element of movement, while Bali flags flap fabulously, offering beautiful colour displays.
Your venue will also determine seasonal banners. If you’re expecting rain, you could opt for vinyl. It’s waterproof and is less likely to leach colour than – say – a cotton or polyester flag. On the other hand, vinyl offers less movement than cotton or polyester, so you’d have to balance out your requirements. Similarly, vinyl and paper flags can offer a slightly more reflective surface than cotton or polyester.
This matters if your banners will be spot-lit for evening or night time events. Soft fabrics won’t catch the light as well as the slightly stiffer quality of glossy paper and vinyl. At the same time, you want banners that roll up or retract, because they occupy less space. This could be essential if your promotional gear is travelling a long distance, because you need to save on time, fuel, and storage space.

Make a promotion map

Before you make any purchases, get your promotional plan down on paper. Make a sketch of your venue, and of everything you need to brand, from booths and stands to stages and vehicles. This will give you an overhead view of the type of flags you need, the volumes, and the colour scheme. It reduces your chances of buying supplies you don’t need.
Seeing the entire venue design at a glance can also help you decide the types of flags that will work best for your set-up. It’s better to mix and match on paper than to go out and buy a hundred buntings only to discover teardrops would have worked better. As you shop, ask practical questions as well.
Find out how long it will take to print, whether your supplier delivers, if their flags are re-usable, and whether they have poles for different floor types (concrete, grass, turf, murram, wood, plastic etc.) For hand flags and car flags, ask if poles are part of the package, or whether they’re sold separately. After all, having to buy 10,000 disposable flag poles could ruin your budget, so ask, don’t assume.

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