Buyers Guide


1.0 – How to use wristbands in your marketing

Wristbands are like bracelets that are typically made from silicone gel or paper (Tyvek) material. Perhaps the best example of a popular branded wristband came on the scene in 2004. Livestrong bracelets, created by Nike, were yellow silicone wristbands (with the word “Livestrong” debossed on them) and became quite popular: more than 80 million of them were sold!

Wristbands make a great fashion statement. In the 2000s, silicone wristbands became a popular way for people to show support for a cause or charity. They’re also commonly used to show affiliation to a group, like a university or a club. Wristbands (in silicone and other forms) are also commonly used for events, such as concerts, festivals or fairs. They are most typically used as a form of access control and/or security. Branded wristbands can make a unique addition to your event or promotion. Refer to section 3.0 for more information on the uses of branded wristbands.

The way you brand your wristband will depend on the material:

• Silicone wristbands can be branded by screen printing (any colour) or by an embossed (raised) or debossed (sunk) engraving
• Paper (Tyvek) wristbands are branded by printing using black ink
• Fabric wristbands are branded by printing (any colour) or by weaving the design into the fabric
Your wristband can be branded with a logo, a name, a slogan or any other phrase. Typically, wristbands are branded with text, but symbols and simple images can also be applied.

In today’s marketing environment, it’s more important than ever to target customers in a way that appeals to them. Mass emails and large marketing campaigns have their place, but it’s also important to consider more personal, direct forms of marketing.
Colourful, vibrant branded wristbands are great for business promotions and for use in events. They’re often kept by users as a reminder of the event or promotion, giving them a long-term connection to your brand or business.
They also provide several benefits for you at your event, including:

• Guest management (determining who has what permissions, who bought a ticket, etc.)
• Shorter queues (easier identification of admission permission)
• Durability (don’t worry about attendees losing or damaging their tickets)
• Security and security (difficult to tamper with, easily identify groups)

Of course, branded wristbands also make for great brand awareness (particularly if they become popular, as evidenced by the Livestrong wristbands). After all – wristbands went ‘viral’ long before any YouTube video ever did!

2.0 – Where to buy branded wristbands

There are several providers of branded wristbands out there; however, it’s important to consider a range of factors when choosing a supplier. Consider the quality of the product. Not all wristbands are the same, and you want to work with a supplier who guarantees a top-quality product that will not rip, break or tear. You will also want to look for budget-friendly options. Wristbands Direct offers a price-match guarantee and free UK delivery on all orders. Also look for companies that have a positive reputation. Ask for referrals or use online review services like Feefo to investigate whether a company is known for delivering quality products on time and on budget. We may be a little biased, but with 50 years of combined experience in the market of branded promotional items, we like to think we’re the best option available on the market today.

As with most marketing services these days, your best bet for finding a supplier of branded wristbands is to look online. At Wristbands Direct, we offer a full range of wristband options – from silicone to vinyl, fabric to Tyvek. We have over three decades of experience in providing quality wristbands to charities, SMEs, universities and multinational brands. And we won’t be beaten: if you’re lucky enough to find someone cheaper, we’ll happily match any written quote.

Plain wristbands, particularly Tyvek or vinyl wristbands, can sometimes be found in high street shops; however, they are becoming increasingly trickier to find as more companies opt for branded wristbands (and with good reason, as they look more professional and are more likely to drive brand loyalty). If you wish to personalise or brand your wristbands, online is the place to go. If you would prefer not to buy online, simply give us a call – we can walk you through the process and put your order through manually.

3.0 – How to use branded wristbands in your marketing

Wristbands are most commonly used for entertainment events, like festivals, concerts and other large gatherings. Wristbands can easily replace tickets at these large entertainment events if they are printed and sent out to attendees beforehand. You can add your own number sequence to the wristbands to help with ticket control. Alternatively, you can swap normal paper tickets for wristband tickets at the gate to show that attendees have had their tickets checked and passed through security. The durability of wristbands means they’ll last a lot longer than normal tickets. Wristbands are also great ID options for entertainment events. They can be used to differentiate between VIP and general admission, or between staff, volunteers and attendees.

Like entertainment events, wristbands make great additions to corporate events. They can again be used as forms of identification or in place of standard tickets. Branded wristbands can also be given to conference attendees as a keepsake or handed out to booth visitors at trade shows. They also make for excellent marketing tools at grand openings to foster a greater sense of belonging and community.

Branded wristbands are a great cost-effective alternative to more expensive promotional products – particularly if being used in giveaways. The ‘cool’ factor of these wristbands makes them an appealing freebie in promotions.

Wristbands offer a great way to show your support for a cause, and many charitable organisations have used them as part of their awareness campaigns. Charities can have their name and/or motto printed on the wristbands to share a universal message. The famous Livestrong bracelets were worn in support of people affected by cancer. Wristbands can also be sold at charity events to raise both funds and awareness for different causes.

Get creative! Branded wristbands are a trendy, fun, vibrant way to show support for something. Branded wristbands are commonly also used for:

• Marathons and other sporting events (identification, tickets)
• Identifying VIPs (for spas and other hospitality businesses)
• Clubs and fan groups
• Universities and schools

Branded wristbands often go hand-in-hand with branded lanyards. The two make a great pair at events – whether entertainment, charitable or corporate. Check out our lanyard-focused division over at Lanyards Direct.

4.0 – Security features of wristbands

Wristband locks are clasps or toggles that fasten the wristband to the wearer’s wrist and prevent their removal. They can be single-use (i.e. once the lock is broken it cannot be re-locked) or multi-use (i.e. the lock can be removed and reapplied).
Our fabric wristbands come equipped with the following optional locks:

• Adjustable sliding clips (multi-use, great for adjusting size)
• Sliding barrel locks (sliding one-way with plastic teeth that prevent the lock from being pulled in the other direction without damaging the wristband)
• Plastic self-locking clips (pierces the fabric to prevent removal)
• Metal flat rings (can be crimped with a tool to pinch the wristband together)
Our vinyl wristbands also have a single-use clip, while our Tyvek wristbands are self-adhesive and cannot be re-worn once broken.

UV wristbands include a special material that glows under a blacklight. This offers a great security feature against counterfeit wristbands as you can shine a blacklight on someone’s wristband to determine whether it was indeed printed by your company. UV technology can be woven into fabric wristbands or printed with ink on vinyl and Tyvek wristbands. Please contact us if this is a feature you are looking for.

Security foils and holograms also prevent wristband fraud as it is a feature that is hard (and expensive) to duplicate. This effect is similar to what you will find on some modern currencies. They can be printed directly onto Tyvek wristbands or applied via sticker. Please contact us if this is a feature you are looking for.

Probably one of the oldest security measures in the book, barcoded wristbands allow you to identify whether a wristband has been duplicated. The barcode can also contain important identifying information on the wearer. Barcodes can be printed on Tyvek, vinyl and fabric wristbands. Please contact us if this is a feature you are looking for.

If you’re looking for a truly impressive wristband, why not use RFID (radio frequency identification) technology? RFID transmitters can be woven into fabric wristbands to allow them to be used for a full range of purposes, including cashless payments (great for music festivals) or to act as a scannable ticket (perfect if re-entry is required). This technology is great if you require wristbands for data collection or would like to create a more rounded, modern experience for your attendees. Please contact us if this is a feature you are looking for.

5.0 What kind of wristband do you need?

TYVEK Paper-based Durable, waterproof, tamper-evident (single use) 0 colours 100 1-2 working days
SILICONE Silicone gel Durable, waterproof 11 base colours + Pantone Matching 100 12 working days
PRINTED FABRIC Polyester Single-clip closures OR adjustable sliding clips Any (Pantone matching) 100 7 working days
WOVEN FABRIC Polyester Single-clip closures OR adjustable sliding clips Any (Pantone matching) 100 12 working days
VINYL Plastic Single-clip closure (single-use) 14 colours 100 7 working days(1 working day for unprinted)

Tyvek wristbands are inexpensive and tamper-proof wristbands. They are durable but are intended for single use only. They are customisable, but their branding potential is limited due to the use of black-only ink. These wristbands are great for single-day events or other single uses. They are waterproof, so are suitable for outdoor events. They are not suitable for multi-day events or promotions.

Silicone wristbands are a long-term solution, making them great for promotions, giveaways and generating brand or cause awareness. They are comfortable and long-lasting to help your brand stand the tests of time. Silicone wristbands can be printed, embossed or debossed. The size cannot be manipulated after production, and they have no specific security features (like a lock or clip); however, if sized appropriately they should not fall off wrists.

Fabric wristbands are the most popular wristbands on the market today thanks to their durability, security features and style. They are a great option for events as they are durable and can be re-worn, thanks to their adjustable sliding clips (optional; single-clip closures also available). Printed fabric wristbands are available in full colour, so your branding can be screen-printed onto the wristband. Alternatively, for a guaranteed long-lasting brand, your logo, slogan or message can be woven directly into the wristband’s fabric. We recommend fabric wristbands if you’re looking for something long lasting: something that will go beyond a single event to be used by wearers for many years.

Vinyl wristbands are the types of wristbands you commonly see in hospitals. They are simple, cost-effective and made of plastic. Vinyl wristbands are fastened with a plastic clip and the size can easily be manipulated. These wristbands are single-use, and so are best used for single-day events. They are not ideal for multi-day events (like festivals) or if you are hoping to generate long-term brand awareness through promotions.

6.0 How to use our website and order

If you’re not sure what type of wristband you’re looking for, have a read of section 5.0 which talks you through the options available at Wristbands Direct. Alternatively, browse through our four wristband categories using the navigation: silicone wristbands, fabric wristbands, vinyl wristbands and Tyvek wristbands. If you still can’t decide what wristband is best for your business and situation, give us a call. Our team of experts is on hand to listen to your needs and give their advice on the best option for you.

When filling out your “Build your order” form (see section 7.0), you will be prompted to add a logo, add text or upload a template detailing what you would like to be printed on your wristband. This section should explain any requirements, such as maximum character length. Additional artwork information can be found on our FAQ page.

Once you have identified which type of wristband you would like to brand and purchase, online ordering is simple.
On the product page, scroll down below the product description to find the “Build your order” form. There you can provide details like:

• Order quantity
• Wristband width
• Band colour
• Number of colours
• Upload text/artwork
• Clip or lock choice
• Whether you want your wristbands individually wrapped
• Desired delivery date
• Any additional comments

When you’ve finished filling out the form, click the blue “Add to basket” button at the bottom. Continue shopping or view your basket by clicking the blue and white shopping cart button in the top right of your page.
On the basket page, simply select your desired shipping method and proceed to checkout where you’ll be asked for your shipping and payment details.
We will always provide a mock-up of your wristbands before producing and shipping your order, so you can confirm that everything looks just the way you want it to.

If you prefer not to order online, you can order over the phone by calling our customer service team on 0203 195 8033. We’re on hand to advise you an all aspects of your order and manually process your order over the phone.

Wristband Direct accepts payment via credit card (including American Express), debit card, PayPal or bank transfer.

Our express turnaround service is available when you need your wristbands quickly. Simply add this option to your order during checkout or contact us for more information.

If your question hasn’t been answered in this buyer’s guide, please visit our FAQ page for answers to our most commonly asked questions.
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch! We’ll do all we can to find the answer.

Got a question? Let us help

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to guide you through the options available.

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