March '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 33 of 106

NETWORKING Whether through organized meetings, after-hours events, or chance encounters in the booths, there's no better place to meet the people you need to know than a trade show. Even things you might achieve over the phone or via email may resolve more quickly in person. Need to make inroads with a distributor to get a rep to visit with samples during their next area sales run? A trip to a vendor booth will usually net you a contact with the person who can make that happen, plus, the handshake and personal information exchanged will usually get you a priority reply when your contact gets back to the office. Need to find a technician for repairs on your equipment? Once again, a firm request at the booth can have you on the list for the next service call-back and give you a name and reference for the next time you need help. What you may not expect is the value of networking with your peers. Trade shows tend to bring in decorators from a wider area than you'd usually be in contact with, which allows you to talk shop and share ideas with a host of non-competitors. Moreover, the show may provide a neutral ground on which you can meet decorators from your area with whom you could do business or 2 0 1 7 M A R C H P R I N T W E A R || 29 There is no replacement to seeing machines run- ning in-person. Obvious- ly, manufacturers want to show off their best goods, but regardless, you will get a better idea of a piece's capability.

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