Historically the ISS Lengthy Seashore Expo has been the perfect and one of the crucial profitable embellished trade commerce exhibits. Individuals from everywhere in the world have flown in to stroll the present, study new methods, community, and uncover what’s across the nook.
The problem the present administrators had this 12 months was the lingering results of COVID restrictions. Lots of the veteran sales space exhibitors determined to not take part. Which prompted a cascade impact with regular attendees. It’s a fully comprehensible place. Nonetheless, these choices had been disruptive and had penalties that may final far longer than the present days.
However this text wasn’t about who was lacking. I’m a glass-half-full man. This 12 months I put my cash the place my mouth is by having a sales space for Shirt Lab Tribe on the ISS Lengthy Seashore Expo. It was a brand new expertise for each my Shirt Lab associate Tom Rauen and me, and in hindsight most likely an ideal one.
For this text, I needed to focus on who truly went. Why did they select to go? What did they see or expertise? Let’s speak in regards to the outcomes of the present!
Over the course of the three days that present as open, I actually spoke with tons of of individuals. I taught two courses that had been nicely attended, had some very fascinating dialog with of us coming by our sales space, and in addition spoke with a ton of parents on the networking occasions too.
The vast majority of the individuals I met had been from elsewhere apart from California, which signifies that they traveled to get there. I met individuals from dozens of states, however some of us actually needed to journey as they got here from Alaska, Canada, and even Hawaii.
At each interplay, I mainly requested a couple of questions. “How is the present?”, “What are you searching for?” and “Why did you determine to return?” Listed here are some solutions:
Legendary character Pete Junior proprietor of New Period Attire in New York mentioned, “I’m not going to let COVID cease me from hanging out with my buddies.” For him, it was the trade networking that drives the rationale to go to ISS Lengthy Seashore, not who was exhibiting. The connections and life-long friendships are what preserve Pete coming again 12 months after 12 months.
Darryl Garcia proprietor of Shade Tech in Salinas California had the same take. “Strive is a loser phrase. We’re both going to do issues or we’re not. There isn’t any making an attempt. Displaying up and collaborating is a part of that.” Darryl is a former UPS driver and is consistently studying new issues to assist his enterprise.
Ron Frieborn with Ron Frieborn Printing in Los Angeles, California was searching for sublimation blanks and to “broaden elements of gross sales.” He needed to satisfy up with trade buddies in-person and to search out out what’s new out there. Ron got here down for the day on Friday and had lunch with trade buddies that arrived for the ISS Lengthy Seashore Expo.
Justin Chief with JC Professional Design in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah was there to “particularly study in regards to the new Direct to Movie switch know-how and begin some analysis with a brand new potential workflow.” DTF has changed DTG as the favourite sort of merchandise to have in a commerce present sales space. They had been all over the place.
Kim Johnson with Paisley Jo Designs in Glendale Arizona attended all three days. She mentioned “I purchased a tag press, and love discovering distributors that I’ve by no means seen earlier than. Frankly, I didn’t suppose the present could be this good. The perfect half was the seminars, which had been higher than the opposite years.” Kim not too long ago moved her enterprise from Oklahoma to Arizona. She was very eager on discovering solutions and finest practices to develop her enterprise this 12 months.
Mike Woolbright with Categorical Tees in Stanton California mentioned that he was there to “consider discovering various stock distributors.” He appeared happy as a result of he was capable of “discover a new polo with an off-brand distributor.”
Alex Mammoser, the director of gross sales for Easiway Programs, mentioned that for “many individuals that got here by this was their first time at a present. It was good to have longer conversations with individuals as a result of it wasn’t so busy. We helped lots of people perceive and remedy some issues.”
Tim Gibson with Hanes agrees. “We bought to have extra in-depth conversations with clients and spend extra time with them.” He appeared happy to get pleasure from the truth that a number of the competing attire clean producers didn’t exhibit on the ISS Lengthy Seashore Expo.
Milissa Clark with Lane 7 Attire mentioned “Individuals got here with a objective, and so they had been on a mission. This 12 months there was much less tire-kicking and extra gross sales.” That’s what commerce exhibits are all about, proper?
Brett Bowden with Printed Threads and MADE Lab mentioned that he thought that “The vitality was good. There have been quite a lot of optimistic vibes for the trade. We bought to see some outdated buddies and we linked with lots of people. They loved studying what now we have to supply.”
Bruce Ackerman, the proprietor of Printavo, commented that “Friday and Saturday there have been lots of people. I hope that the success of this present kicks off individuals being snug with getting again collectively.” Bruce additionally mentioned that “whereas there have been fewer exhibitors, there have been so many DTF machines in cubicles. Evidently DTF is changing DTG. I ponder who will win that race?”
ROQ gear president Ross Hunter mentioned, “I felt just like the present went awesomely – a lot better than we might have ever anticipated within the atmosphere we’re coping with. I feel it was positively time for individuals to get out and see new gear, see new blanks, and get on the market and community with one another. Attendance was phenomenal. Our new sales space location, proper on the entrance of the present, was completely implausible. It was nice being proper within the entrance and everybody bought to see us first and work together. The entire expertise was extremely cathartic and unifying and we will’t wait to do it once more!”
Tom Rauen, co-founder of Shirt Lab thought that “it was nice to see the totally different ranges of individuals on their entrepreneurial journey. For some, this was their first present, for others they needed primarily to community and study.”
It was ROQ’s present. There have been smaller gear distributors equivalent to Vastex, Brown, or Epson…however with M&R not attending ROQ made fairly the impression. Their vibrant inexperienced presses and gear had been instantly upfront and had been swarming with patrons all the present.
What was attracting the gang? With the rollout of their next-gen DTG machines ROQ NOW and the ROQ Hybrid, it was troublesome to pinpoint the rockstar of the Impressions Lengthy Seashore Expo. However, positively one of many crowd-pleasers was the ROQ NEXT computerized display screen printing press that had a brand new tag printing mechanism that they name the Tagbot.
One other extremely apparent takeaway is the arrival of the Direct to Movie gear out available on the market. It felt like each different sales space was exhibiting off the know-how. And to me, this feels just like the early-adopter days of DTG. As Bruce Ackerman mentioned, it’s going to be fascinating to see who takes management of that gear market. Particularly since not one of the huge gear producers had been there exhibiting their model of the innovation.
One side that I did discover fascinating was within the Tools Zone sales space the place they had been exhibiting how one can convert an present Epson DTG printer right into a DTF (direct to movie) printer. DTF transfers create a brand new alternative to develop the usage of your DTG printer and improve your buyer base by adorning much more merchandise. DTF transfers are warmth utilized to a greater variety of substrates equivalent to 100% polyester and polyester blends. And are additionally simpler to warmth apply to extra merchandise like backpacks, tote luggage, caps, hats, patches, can koozies, neck labels, sleeve prints, and too many to say.
Whereas I’m optimistic that there can be extra commerce exhibits this 12 months, there can even be extra individuals having to determine to attend, exhibit, or keep dwelling.
As somebody who attended 4 commerce exhibits final 12 months, and one this 12 months, the individuals that truly attend are obsessed with being there. They need to study. Some are searching for solutions. All are prepared to speak about their issues and challenges and see if there’s a resolution on the horizon. So, if you’re asking me whether it is value it to go my easy reply is:
“Setting targets is step one to show the invisible into the seen.” – Tony Robbins
“If you wish to conquer concern, don’t sit dwelling and give it some thought. Exit and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
“The key to getting forward is getting began.” – Mark Twain
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