Picture collage of custom medals.
Placing your order at the wrong time can lead to stress and disappointment. Don't let it happen to you!

Ordering custom medals is a lot like catching a flight. 

Guess your departure time and you risk missing something important, like a holiday or a family reunion.

Similarly, guessing when to order your medals can cause complications. 

We at Badges And Medals have seen first-hand the chaos that can ensue from a timing misstep, from rushed orders that cut down design options to late arrivals that spark last-minute panic. 

We understand how important it is that you have a projection based on precise calculations and standard industry timelines. That's why we wrote this article. In it, we list what actions you need to take and when you need to take them to ensure your custom medals arrive on time. Plus, we've included a user-friendly calculator to help you quickly and easily pinpoint the perfect day to place your custom medal order.

When should you order custom medals for your event?

In general, ordering your medals 30 to 37 days before the event is your safest bet.

This allows enough for your chosen supplier to design, make and mail your custom medals. It also includes a seven-day 'grace' period, giving you time to sort the medals before the event, even if there's been a slight hold-up in shipping.

However, there's no downside to ordering your medals before this.

Custom medals don't go out of season, unlike other custom products, such as wedding dresses, so if you have a design that you love, you don't have to wait to order it. Ordering early can save you money, reduce stress, and even give you time to look at a sample medal, so you can see if a supplier's design and materials are up to your expectations.

How to quickly calculate the best medal order date? 

To help you pinpoint the best time to place your order without any guesswork, we’ve developed a free calculator.

Just enter your event date and the type of medal you’re after, and the calculator will quickly determine your ordering date. This will ensure you have everything in place ahead of your event.

your most frequently asked questions, answered

Steps to take before placing your medal order:

To make things even easier, here’s a timeline of what to do before that order date:

45-46 days before the event: Pick your favourite medal type

When you're gearing up to order custom medals, the first step is similar to shopping for shoes - you must look at the different types and decide which one best fits your event. Just as you select sneakers for running, boots for rugged work, or sandals for lounging at the beach, the type of medal you choose should resonate with the purpose and theme of your event. 

Among the most popular medal types are custom metal medals, custom wooden medals and custom insert medals. Each of these offers distinct advantages:

Metal medals would suit those who:

  • Want a medal that will last for decades.
  • Want as much design freedom as possible.
  • Want a high-quality, expensive feel.
  • Are hosting a large event and want to save money.

Insert medals are best for those who:

  • Are short on time and have a small recipient list.
  • Are hosting a small event on a tight budget.
  • Live near a facility that can recycle the medals.

Wooden medals are the right choice for those who:

For a more in-depth analysis, read our post: 'Which Medal Is Best? Metal Vs Wooden Vs Insert Medals'.

40-45 days before the event: Choose a medal supplier

Once you've selected the type of medal that best suits your event, the next step is to choose a reliable medal shop

This can seem overwhelming at first, given the number of suppliers available, each promising exceptional products and services. However, with some focused research, you can find a supplier that meets or exceeds your expectations. 

Here's some tricks you can use to narrow down the list:

  • Focus on suppliers who specialise in the type of medals you need. If you're after custom wooden medals, for example, rule out suppliers that focus on insert medals.

  • Look for companies with a long history in the industry. They have had longer to refine their skills, often resulting in better designs and faster production times.

  • Check the quality of a supplier’s work by requesting samples or viewing their past products online. Make sure that their design standards meet your expectations.

  • Investigate a supplier's reputation by reading customer reviews and case studies. This can help you find red flags that may conflict with your event's goals.

  • Choose a supplier whose values align with those of your event. If sustainability is important, for example, opt for a supplier that practises eco-friendly manufacturing.

  • Check if the supplier has a product guarantee or refund policy. These policies protect you if your custom medals arrive broken, wrong or late.

  • Make sure the supplier's pricing aligns with your budget. Request a free quote and ask about any extra costs, such as shipping, to prevent any surprises later.

  • Reach out directly to suppliers to discuss your specific needs. This can help you gauge how quickly they respond to inquiries and how well they answer questions.

Check a supplier's social media to see if you like their designs.

37-40 days before the event: Brainstorm unique designs

While many award suppliers, like us at Badges And Medals, can design a medal for you from scratch, having a concept ready can speed up the process and add depth to the final product. 

We recommend taking a few days to brainstorm some medal designs and discuss them with your team, then compile the ideas into a document. The ideas don't have to be realised - even telling your supplier that you'd like your medal to incorporate landmarks from the city where your event is will help them design.

Here are thought-provoking questions to help spark ideas:

  • Who is the intended recipient? Consider the age, interests and tastes of the recipients to make your medal more personal and relevant. For instance, if the medal is for children, opt for a lighter medal featuring interactive elements like 3D designs or vibrant colours to better captivate their imagination.
  • What colours or symbols are important to your event? Think about if these can be added to your medal design. For example, the Nike Melbourne Marathon has long included the Melbourne Cricket Ground in its medal designs - which you can see here - because the ground is where its races start and end.

  • How can you make your medal stand out? Think about unique medal materials, unusual shapes, or innovative designs you can use to differentiate your medal from others.
  • What can you afford? If you're having trouble coming up with a design, try narrowing your options. An easy way to do this is to consider what design elements might be out of your price range. 

Or, for a list of ideas, read our article, ‘Top 5 Places To Find Medal Design Ideas’.

An example of some design ideas you might send to your supplier. 

30-37 days before the event: Order your custom medals

Now that you've made decisions about the type of medal you're after, chosen a reliable supplier, and thought of a design, it's time to place your order.

Ideally, you should do this 30 to 37 days before your event, depending on the type of medal you choose. However, you may need to add on three to five more days if you want to spend more time on your medal's design or if your design is a bit more complicated.

Use our free calculator to help you pinpoint the best time to place your order.

your most frequently asked questions, answered

What if you don’t have enough time?

Timing is essential to ensuring your custom medals arrive without a hitch.

At Badges And Medals, we understand this more than most. Our guide has been crafted to ease your concerns, providing you with a clear, actionable timeline so you can ensure your medals are delivered on time. 

If you find yourself with less than a month to go before your event, don’t worry - we have you covered. Read our article, '2 Ways To Get Custom Medals Fast,' to learn how you can secure last-minute custom medals in time for your event.

read: ways to get custom medals fast