Have you been landed with the job of getting all the club trophies engraved this year? Maybe you’ve done it all before and know exactly what you are doing. But what if this is your first time?
Where do you begin to sort things out? With a bit of luck the previous club member the with responsibility of sorting the trophies each year is still around and can pass on their knowledge, but this may not always be the case.
Trophy engravers receive dozens of boxes of trophies every year to add names and dates to. Usually it is pretty straightforward, but there are a few niggles that could easily be avoided with a little pre-planning.
Even if you have been the person dealing with your club trophies for years, it is worth reading this article, you may be able to pick up a tip or two.
In this post we provide 15 tips to consider, ensuring the trip to your trophy engraver is as smooth as possible…for both of you!
15 Tips Your Trophy Cup Engraver Wants You to Know
1. Do label all your annual trophies.
Label all the cups and shields individually with the exact engraving and format required. Use some soft tape or easy-peel label. If it is a perpetual cup, consider using tie on labels and attach to the handles. If it is a wooden shield, stick a label on the back. A separate list can be supplied with notes, but please don’t expect your engraver to figure out which is which. Trophies are often called one thing but known by another name. Your engraver does not want to have to play a guessing game.
2. Do double check your spelling.
Make sure the writing is clearly legible. Remember to check the year is correct, as your engraver will be working with trophies from both the current and previous year. Once engraved it cannot easily be removed and may be expensive to resolve, so check your spelling carefully. Trophy engravers will engrave the details exactly as supplied. They see all sorts of unusual names and spellings, so don’t expect them to spot mistakes automatically.
3. Do show your trophies a little love.
Wrap them in some old tea-towels or bubble-wrap if putting all together in one box. Even an old newspaper will do. Cups and shields are easily damaged clonking around loosely in a cardboard box and those handles are not easy to reattach.
4. Do check your cups are clean inside before taking to your trophy engraver.
It might have seemed a really good idea and such fun to drink a couple of pints from that cup after a few drinks on awards night. Not so nice for the trophy engraver dealing with the sticky residue left inside twelve months later!
5. Do ask the winner to sign for their trophy with contact details.
It makes it so much easier for you to go back to them next year to chase up their return if you have a record of their name, address, email and telephone number. A simple form for them to fill in when they come up to receive their trophy will do it.
6. Do check your club insurance for cover while the trophies are out of your hands.
Your trophy engraver is very unlikely to have insurance cover for trophies left on their premises. If the trophies are in the possession of your members for months on end, rather than stored in a locked trophy cabinet on your premises, consider making it a requirement that they add it to their household insurance if not already covered.
7. Do keep a record of the names on each trophy.
If anything should happen to them and they ever need replacing (such as fire or theft) it would be such a shame to have lost all that history. Much better to have recorded them than trying to remember who won what and when.
8. Do allow at least a couple of weeks for your engraving to be completed.
Certain times of the year are very busy for trophy engravers, particularly April, May, October and November. If you need to retrieve all the trophies from your members, start chasing them at least six weeks before hand. The last thing you or the engraver needs is a last-minute rush. If you need any new cups or repairs, you need to allow time for this too.
9. Do collect your large trophy orders promptly.
Storage may be an issue during busy periods, so your engraver would appreciate if your trophies are collected as agreed. If you think those boxes were taking up a lot of space in your spare room, spare a thought for your engraver if they have several clubs in at the same time.
10. Do speak to your local trophy engraver about custom trophies.
When accepting that kind offer from a club member to make and donate a trophy for the club, it is worth asking them to hold off (if not too late) until they or you have spoken to your trophy engraver. It can save a lot of time and trouble later, as your engraver can suggest the best way to ensure it is suitable. A beautifully lathe-turned hardwood base is a nightmare to attach plates to! A custom-made plinth band is extremely expensive, but your engraver can sell you a standard-sized plinth band for you to pass to the wood-turner, who can then turn the wood to fit it. Be sure to ask them to make the base detachable so that the band can slide off for engraving if possible.
11. Please don’t stick the label with your engraving instructions directly over the area you want to be engraved! It could be mislaid or damaged on removal.
12. Please don’t glue the round disc under your cup base to the base, or the cup to the base. The cup usually needs to come apart for engraving and is designed to do so. The same goes for the metal plate on square based trophies. If it is stuck too hard it can be damaged when the engraver removes it for engraving.
13. Please don’t buy a one-piece pewter cup as an annual trophy. Pewter is extremely soft and does not stand the test of time being repeatedly squeezed into a vice. Not held tight enough and the trophy can slip. Overtighten the vice and the trophy is easily crushed! Keep pewter cups for one-off presentations, or just don’t get them engraved year on year.
14. Please don’t be tempted to leave it until the last minute to get your trophies engraved.
15. And please don’t expect them to be engraved while you wait, unless pre-arranged and agreed.
And there you have it. All the information you need to prepare your trophies for engraving!
Need some inspiration for your club trophies? Whether it be resin sports figures, economy trophy cups or a new perpetual (annual) trophy, head on over to our trophy selection.
Not sure what sort of trophy to buy as a new annual award? Read our blog post How to Choose a New Annual Trophy for some ideas.