If you’ve always wanted to take your heat press to an event, but weren’t quite sure how to go about it, here are some tips to help you take advantage of this lucrative way to sell custom apparel. Traveling with your heat press isn’t always easy, but it’s usually worth the effort. There are literally hundreds of thousands of outdoor fairs, craft shows, sports tournaments, air shows, car shows, pet shows, wine festivals, music fests–you name it–going on across the country. It’s the perfect time of year to try your hand at event marketing, and take your heat press with you.
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Heat printing at events is something that many of you have tried with success and something that others ask us about everyday. Between Transfer Express, Stahls’ Blog, StahlsTV and this blog, we’ve shared a lot of information on the subject.
First things first. If you’re wondering what type of heat press you should take on the road, here are some things to consider, courtesy of Ben Robinson at Hotronix:
1. The weight of the press. If you have to lug it around I wouldn’t recommend a Fusion or Swinger unless you are going to be inside for several days and anticipate a heavy workload. (or if you have a trailer or van)
2. Your space. Clam-style presses are usually preferred for printing at events, especially if you only have a small 10 x 10 booth that may restrict a Swinger.
3. Lastly this is the only time we recommend fewer bells and whistles. Keep it simple. Even if you have a Fusion or Air Fusion in your shop, when your power source is coming from a generator or long extension cord, you want a press that will get the job done on as few volts as possible. All these considerations spell out a MAXX 15 x 15 clam or you can upgrade to a 16×16 auto clam. No matter what you decide to travel with, I would definitely recommend a Hotronix Caddie to wheel around your event and back to your transportation when you’re finished.
Thinking about bringing a cutter to the event? Not a bad idea as long as you bring someone to run the cutter and create designs. You want to be well staffed, especially if you run into the desirable problem of having too many customers. Stahls’ customer Travis Killough took his cutter and heat press on the road, armed with a good supply of CAD-CUT GlitterFlake. If you didn’t think basketball fans would go for glitter, you’re wrong. The ability for a customer to choose the design, colors and material is a huge selling feature. We have seen time and time again at events how excited customers get when they are able to make a shirt according to their specifications.
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Using a generator to power your heat press.
here are a few tips when selecting/using a generator:
1. Make sure you use heavy duty power cords
2. The generator needs to power all the things you are using in your booth
3. Add up the wattages of all your equipment. Hotronix presses with a platen size of 11 x 15 or higher use 1800 watts.
4. Get a generator that provides at least as much wattage as all of your electric equipment.
5. Generators have a starting and continuous rating and you need to make sure the continuous rating is higher than what you want to power.
6. For one heat press you will want a minimum of 2000 watts for your generator.
Transfers are another fantastic solution when printing and selling at events. You can offer several options, and customers select the transfer they want. Just decorate as you sell. It makes better financial sense to have extra transfers on hand than to be stuck with screenprinted shirts that no one wants after the event is over. You can offer different price points for one color designs and two-color designs. We’ve seen simple t-shirts sell for as much as $40, and sweatshirts for over $75 by the time the buyer gets done adding all the personalization! You can also bring CAD-CUT designs that are ready to apply. There are options for all types of fabric, including performance wear.
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If the event is sports-related, make sure you have different sizes of stock numbers on hand. Athletes have a great attachment to their jersey numbers and they often want it on other articles of clothing. Even parents will proudly add their child’s jersey number to a shirt.
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