No matter your industry or job title, we can all agree 2020 was quite an interesting year, and the events industry was no exception. Some of us came up with fun and innovative ideas to transition events to be virtual, and as an industry, we even participated in and attempted to break the world record for the most people in a virtual meeting. Despite all the pivoting we have done, the innovative ideas, and the immersive activities we have offered, there is no denying it is impossible to replicate the energy from live in-person events. Fortunately, with millions of vaccines rolling out daily and many states beginning to lift their coronavirus restrictions, the prospect of live events this fall is looking more and more promising.
Even as we enter the (hopefully) final stages of this pandemic and begin to return to the office and travel and meet in-person again, the value of personal safety and the peace of mind that it offers cannot be understated. Throughout the country, attendees and staff members will have apprehension for face-to-face meetings and events. Personal Protection Equipment, or PPE, kits are a great way to distribute this peace of mind by combining an assortment of safe social distancing practice items tailored to your particular event or office’s needs.
Like many gift sets, a PPE kit really is a sum of its parts. In order to ensure you’re building the perfect kit for your particular needs, it’s important to get a quick idea of the items at your disposal and how they are intended to be used to protect the individual using them. The three most common elements you’ll see across almost every kit are a mask, sanitizer, and gloves, but there are some additional items you can include that can help personalize your kits towards your particular needs.
By now, you’re probably no stranger to the idea of masks as the first line of defense in protecting ourselves and each other from potentially harmful microbes in the air. We see them at the grocery store, at our offices, and even on our topical television commercials. As such, you’re undoubtedly aware that there are many different kinds of masks out there. When it comes to which of the many options available best suits your needs, the biggest factor to consider is reusability. Disposable masks are cheap, easy to use, and, when used correctly, provide reliable protection in a pinch. The limitations with this option are that the nature of its design makes it difficult to brand, and in most cases, the imprint area (if available) is small and may not be the best option for getting the brand awareness you’re hoping for. These masks also aren’t designed for reuse, and if these are for a multi-day event or these are masks intended to welcome your staff back to the office, a reusable mask option may be a better choice to include in your kit. Reusable masks are extremely popular and are likely the style of mask your most used to seeing. These masks are usually 3-ply or 4-ply cotton, so they’re able to be easily decorated, washable (and therefore infinitely reusable), and provide sustainable protection to the wearer. However, this type of mask’s material and the fact that it can potentially have decorating costs associated with it understandably make this the more costly of the two options. If you’re having trouble deciding between disposable and reusable masks - why not both? By layering a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask to get the same effect (do not layer two disposable masks as they are not designed to fit tightly to benefit from this layering). Make sure to check out our blog What Mask Is Best for You? to get an even more in-depth look at the differences between the different types of masks and which one will help your kit maximize its impact.
Another pandemic mainstay that you’re probably all too familiar with. Hand sanitizer has understandably been in high demand this past year. Keeping clean hands is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, so it’s no surprise that sanitizer is a must-have in almost every PPE kit. There are a ton of options in how the sanitizer is stored, transported, and applied, so you have plenty of flexibility in choosing the best option for your needs. Picture your attendees opening their kits and being able to attach the sanitizer you chose on their bags or belt to carry with them for the rest of their day at the office or onsite at your event because you opted for the carrier with the silicone carabiner. Alternatively, picture your employees or guests being able to sanitize shared equipment or spaces with a quick spray of liquid sanitizer. With all the options available, the success of a PPE kit can really be determined by which sanitizer your recipients will get the most mileage out of. If you’re looking for a great place to start exploring the different sanitizers at your disposal, make sure to check out our blog Which Sanitizer is Best for You?.
While the characteristics of gloves don’t vary as dramatically between options as sanitizers or masks might, their low price point and the fact that they offer an additional layer of protection that the CDC recommends in any social interaction, gloves are an easy way to give your kit that extra bit of protection that shows you have your recipients wellbeing in mind. Glove differences stem almost entirely from the material they’re made of. Rubber and latex gloves are water-proof, flexible, and scratch resistant (which makes them both different to tear) and are the common choice for most PPE kits. However, with budgets tight across the board right now, you may choose to opt for the cheaper vinyl option, which offers many of the same benefits as rubber and latex but is just generally more susceptible to tears. It should be noted that all gloves are only recommended for a single-use and should ultimately be removed immediately upon possible contamination to avoid spreading germs further. If protection is needed across several days or frequently throughout a single day, you may want to consider bulk kits for your selected glove choice or even a sanitizer/handwashing station in addition to the gloves.
If you find yourself onsite at an event or even just in an office with many doors, buttons, or high touch surfaces, you may want to consider the addition of a door opener tool in your PPE kit. A branded door opener is a great way to immediately associate your brand with a topical, thoughtful, and admittedly pretty fun-to-use gift. When selecting door openers, the main thing to consider is durability as they are available in both plastic and metal. These items are also available with various attachments such as bottle openers, styluses, key chains, or even all three, so it’s easy to personalize these to suit your priorities!
While gel and liquid sanitizers are most commonly used to clean our hands, sanitizer wipes are designed specifically to sanitize surfaces we may be sharing with other individuals. The average person touches over 140 unique items per day, and recent studies have shown that we touch our phones alone up to 100 times an hour, so keeping surfaces clean is paramount to limit the spread of potentially harmful germs. Sanitizer wipes are easy to use, easy to decorate, and are an affordable addition to any PPE kit. The downside with this option is that it is not reusable in the sense that there is a finite amount of wipes per pack, and the fact that each wipe needs to be disposed of after use doesn’t make it the most eco-conscious sanitizer option available.
Like the sanitizer wipes, Ultraviolet, or UV, sanitizers are a reliable way to clean any surface of germs that are spread by touching and are considerably more environmentally friendly because of their reuse capabilities (which in the long run ultimately makes this the more cost-effective option in the sense you’re getting a better return on investment than a pack of wipes). Just like the door opener, these items are available with a variety of optional features and can be personalized to enhance the sanitizer’s functionality and mobility. Having your employees being able to charge their phone on a UV sanitizer charging deck after a long day at the office or your attendees being able to quickly sanitize a door or table with a once over with the UV wand not only gets your branding out there but also helps to keep your recipient protected in instances where touching high contact or shared surfaces is unavoidable. If you aren't sure which sanitizer is right for your kit, check out our Differences In UV Sanitizer Explained Blog!
In situations where temperature stations aren’t possible or are not required, reusable forehead thermometers are a great addition to PPE kits. These thermometers are fast, accurate, and easy to use so recipients can monitor their temperatures at will. They are also reusable, making them a gift that is likely to be used at home. These items also make self-assessments safe, discrete, and easy. If an attendee is feeling under the weather, they can take their temperature in their room without having to be in contact with anyone else. Usually, the temperature strips themselves cannot be decorated, but the box they’re stored in when not in use can be. In short, thermometers are an affordable and practical choice capable of expanding brand awareness while providing some peace of mind to its recipient.
While masks are easily the most popular PPE item, did you know that they’re only effective when worn correctly? A properly worn mask firmly covers both the nose and mouth of the person wearing it. An easy way to check if your mask has a good fit is by cupping your hands around the outside of your mask and exhaling. A mask with a good fit will have no warm air flowing from the area around your eyes or the sides of the mask. Instead, you should feel warm air coming through the front of your mask and maybe even feel the fabric moving in and out with your breath. Mask extenders are a tool used to protect your ears from uncomfortable compression or friction caused by a mask and ensure a more tightly fitting, and therefore more effective, mask. These are a great addition to any PPE kit simply because of how well it synergizes with the mask.
What’s great about these kits is the content you choose isn’t necessarily limited to just PPE items. Perhaps your annual event traditionally involves a tech giveaway to attendees, or you were hoping to include some type of “welcome back” gift to your employees to show that you’ve missed interacting with them daily. Feel free to get creative when choosing your content as additions like individually packaged pens, drinkware, tissues, etc., can really help personalize a PPE kit and can serve as a much-needed reminder that more social times are on the horizon.
Premade PPE Kits
There are a variety of premade kits available that you may find are exactly what you’re looking for or may serve as a great starting point to get you thinking about ideas for your own kit:
This Concierge Essentials kit is a high-end kid that boasts a high level of protection. It provides two 4-ply cotton masks, a metal door opener tool, personal sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, and an individually packaged pen. For increased mobility or to upgrade this kit, you can add a bag or a tote. Small omissions or substitutions in a kit’s contents like this can change its functionality, so it’s always a great idea to prioritize what’s important to you regarding how you’re envisioning your kit is being used.
This is a kit that is built for longevity. The reusable cotton mask, personal sanitizer, and reusable thermometer all stored in the branded vanity, ensure your employees have an organized protection option they can store at their desks for use as needed.
This kit strives to prepare you for whatever situation you may find yourself in by offering several options of the contents included. A reusable cotton mask, a disposable mask, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes for any shared surfaces are highly mobile in the included drawstring sports pack. What we like about this kit is that it shows that you can have multiple items that serve the same purpose while simultaneously increasing the kit’s versatility.
This kit features a pair of vinyl gloves, sanitizing wipes, an antimicrobial pen, and a disposable 3-play mask. Perfect for one-time needs, this kit provides protection on multiple levels, and by making use of disposable options, it is able to provide thorough protection at a low price point. Having flexibility on reuse and decorating options is the easiest way to reduce a kit’s price point to work within your budget, and this is a kit that does just that!
As we mentioned earlier, you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to just topical personal protection items. Tailoring a kit’s content to include items that match your particular event’s theme or your company’s values helps make these types of gifts feel more personal. Consider something like a travel water bottle or eco-friendly collapsible drinking straws for your attendees to enjoy on their way home from an event, power banks to ensure your attendees or employees electronics are fully charged when they’re on-site for an event or back at the office, or something they’re sure to use long after the event is over like a branded webcam cover for a little extra security in-between zoom meetings. The possibilities truly are endless as to what you can include in these kits, and we’re more than happy to make some suggestions based on your event specifics!
While the country is beginning to open back up and cases of COVID-19 are decreasing, safe social distancing practices are still vital when it comes to limiting any further unnecessary spread of germs. Here at Madison Avenue, our customer relations representatives can help you nail down exactly what’s important to you regarding functionality, price point, and deadlines for your next live event or back-to-the-office needs.
All you have to do is contact us! - We would love to help navigate the selection process with you!