Running a live screen printing event can be exciting. Spectators love watching a screen printer ply their trade. For many people they’ve just never seen screen printing done before. Let alone done in public. They are fascinated by it. They have so many questions about it. It is strange and new. They want to know everything there is to know about it.
Live screen printing events give exposure to screen printers and they can be profitable at the same time. We discuss everything that there is to know about screen printing at live events and give you some helpful tips along the way.
Where Can Live Screen Printing Be Seen
A live screen printing event can be shown almost anywhere. Which means that it is possible to set up live screen printing at fairs, festivals, and even conventions. Anywhere that you can get an audience is a place that you can screen print. Comic book conventions, sci-fi conventions, high school carnivals, and even design conventions have all had screen printers do in person events.. Corporations love to hire screen printers for in-person events. They make for great entertainment. Plus they can give away company swag.
This would work great at rock concerts and flea markets. It doesn’t really matter what the event is. The booth just needs to be in the vicinity of a large group of people.
Contact shows that are looking for vendors. For other events it may be important to contact event planners. They will want specific details so put some consideration into your offerings. Have price lists or sales specifics ready for them. Know the details of space, electricity, storage, setup, and teardown. This will all be important information for the event planners.
What is difficult about live screen printing?
With live screen printing a screen printers shop is being taken on the road. And just like in a screen printers shop there are so many things that can go wrong. Screen printing may look simple, but it has a lot of variables that can make it difficult. Let alone making it difficult to perform in front of a crowd. Things break. Supplies run out. There are so many potential problems that it can become quite volatile in the moment.
With that being said, screen printing live is not for everyone. It is part work, part performance, part sales, and part networking. Not everybody is a performer. Not everybody is a screen printer either. When you are screen printing in front of people you will have to be interacting with them. Talking and working is difficult for some people. Let alone working under pressure. Consider whether this is the right thing to do before jumping right in.
How to Prepare to Screen Print Live
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is so much that needs to be considered. The screen printer must have all of their supplies plus extra supplies in case they run out. Equipment must be transported and set up. It also needs to be in good working order. A bad machine can hurt the show. Have change when people pay in cash and a way to take credit cards. Ultimately, the screen printer must be prepared. There are so many variables to consider. Start with a list of items that are normally needed in a shop then add things needed to run a trade show booth to the list.
It is important to also have good signage. It would be difficult to explain how a screen printing booth works every time a customer walks by. The focus needs to be on printing shirts. The more people that see the screen printer spinning the more that will want to be involved. Take extra shirts and designs to print while waiting for customers. Keep the machine moving as much as possible. A screen printing machine that is constantly moving will attract potential customers.
Remember to prepare for the long day also. A chair will be needed. A break will be needed. Lunch will be needed. How all of these things happen is up to the screen printer to determine. The day can be long and there will probably be some downtime.
How Many Designs Should for a Live Event?
Bring as many designs as stations on the press. If it is a four color press bring four designs. If there are more screens than stations a screen printer will end up swapping out screens often. That will get to be difficult if they have to do it over and over.
How many blanks do I bring?
This is always a guessing game. Narrow the color choices to a few different colors. Then consider how many of each of those colors to print. If a screen printer is lucky then they will sell out of shirts. If not then there will be a lot leftover. It is better to have leftover shirts that can be sold at a later date. Don’t lose a sale while there.
Network at These Events
While a screen printer is there to sell shirts, it isn’t the only thing that happens at these events. There are a lot of people at these events. There are business owners and industry experts who may be in need of your services. Strike up as many conversations as possible. Hand out business cards. There will definitely be customers who have other uses for a screen printer. This is a great place to market a screen printing business.
Put on a show
There are many people who have never seen screen printing before. They are in for a treat. A show can generate more sales. So put one on. Include audience participation as well. It is similar to being a street busker but selling shirts. Talk with everybody.
It is even possible to let people screen print their own shirts. Let them pull the squeegee. Let them make their own shirt.
Create an experience
This is perfect for nonprofit functions, but could work for any sort of large party or corporate event. Sell an entire show that includes the live screen printing and a number of shirts included in the price. That way everybody attending the event will get a brand new screen printed shirt as a memory of the event. The shirts and the screen printers time will already be paid for.
The Final Word on Live Screen Printing
It is possible to take the show on the road. There is money to be made by screen printing live. It just takes preparation So be prepared for all possible things that can happen during the event. Create an experience for the customer that is different from every other attraction at the event. Treat everybody as a potential customer and watch the money roll in.