Why Buying at a Trade Show Makes Sense

As those of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter already know,  EnMart will be exhibiting at the NNEP Embroidery Marts in Houston and Nashville later this summer.   We’re very excited about these shows,  partially because we’ll be debuting a new booth design and partially because we’re bringing a lot of product to sell and there will be some great savings to be had in our booth.

If you’ve never purchased anything at a trade show before,  you may not know there are several reasons why this type of purchasing makes sense for a lot of businesses.  For one thing,  many companies,  EnMart among them,  may offer discounts or special deals that are available to trade show attendees only.   There are a couple of reasons for this practice.  One is that we want to sell the stuff we bring to the show,  and another is that we want people to visit us when we go to these shows.  Offering discounts or deals is a great way to move merchandise and to get people into our booth to learn more about us.  It’s really a win-win for everyone.

Another reason to buy at a trade show is that you get to see the merchandise first hand.  You can talk to people who actually use the items they’re selling and you can see the machines put through their paces.  Videos and webinars and all the rest are very useful,  but nothing is a substitute for actually being there and watching someone use a piece of equipment.   Trade shows also let you compare products,  so you can find the items that best suit your budget and your needs.

Buying at a trade show also allows you to avoid shipping charges.  EnMart plans to have several of our QuickStartR packages and a few of the Ricoh 7000 printers in our booth in Houston and in Nashville.   We’ll also have paper, Hanes Sublimation Maker software and other products.   Whether you purchase a package or simply buy a few packs of paper,  you’re saving the cost of shipping.  Buy enough product and the savings can really add up.

Finally,  the biggest advantage to buying at a trade show is simply this,  you get to talk to the experts.  Each business and each person will have slightly different needs,  and talking with someone who uses the products they sell will help you find the products that are right for your business. Talking on the phone is useful and talking via e-mail or live chat can be helpful,  but nothing really replaces standing face to face and talking with an expert.

EnMart will be in Houston at Embroidery Mart South and in Nashville at Embroidery Mart East.  We will announce booth numbers as soon as they are available.   I hope everyone who is attending those shows will stop by and see us.

Where Do I Find Customers for My Sublimated Goods?

As some of you may already know,  EnMart has done several trade shows in the last five week.  We’ve been to the NNEP Trade Show and Garage Sale in Dublin, OH.    We’ve also had the pleasure of exhibiting at the DAX Shows in Kansas City and Minneapolis.  At each show,  we’ve sold several of our printer packages,  and seen a lot of customers get a start on sublimation.   We’ve also heard a comment that went something like this: “well, now I have the system, all I have to do is find some customers”.   Since that comment has been made a time or two,  I thought today would be a good day to talk about how to find customers for your new sublimation business.

The first thing to remember is that there are a lot of goods that can be sublimated.  There are, of course, garments.   There are also a wide amount of goods that can be sublimated,  everything from mugs to mousepads,  jewelery boxes to jigsaw puzzles.  Sublimation also gives you the freedom to imprint your items with everything from realistic photo images to fantastic original artwork.   The item you sublimate is your canvas,  and the only restraints are the size your printer can print and the size of the item on which the image will be placed.  Since there are such a wide variety of goods that can be sublimated,  there are also a wide variety of places to find customers for those goods.  Whether you’re selling individual items to individual customers,  or creating job lots of goods for local shops,  customers can be found almost anywhere.

The second thing to remember is that you can always find helpful hints and tips on how to find customers or establish yourself in a new market.  Sawgrass Ink offers an array of webinars that will help you figure out how to enter new markets, or how to make the most of a market in which you are already established.     The company also offers seminars at almost every, if not every, decoration trade show out there,  so if you’re attending a show,  make sure you take the time to stop by a seminar.

A third thing to keep in mind is that we are always here to help.   I often write posts about finding customers, target markets and publicizing your business on this blog, and its sister blog, EmbroideryTalk.    Our technicians and sublimation experts are also available to answer questions or provide guidance.  We have been creating sublimated goods since the early 1990s, so we are familiar with changes in the marketplace and with the range of options for sublimation.   If you need help figuring out how to grow your sublimation business,  we can provide advice that will help you move in the right direction.

Finally,  you should know that starting out in sublimation doesn’t require a huge investment.   If you purchase our QuickStartR package, and you already own a heat press,  you can start sublimating quite economically.   For those who want the option of printing larger graphics,  our Epson Workforce 1100 package may be a good choice.    The main thing to remember is that starting out in sublimation does not generally require an outlay of thousands of dollars,  and the learning curve for sublimation is not as steep as it is for some other decoration disciplines.

For more information on how to find customers,  please read these posts:

5 Tips for Finding Sublimation Customers

Gift Shop Goodies

Think Outside the Box with Sublimation Blanks

Group Identification through Sublimation

Target Markets for Sublimated Products

Get Started with Sublimation: Target Markets

Deals and Specials and EnMart

One of the questions we often get asked when people place orders is what deals and specials we have available.   I have to confess that we don’t,  as a general rule,  do a lot of time sensitive specials.   We tried monthly specials for a while,  but they didn’t seem to make that much difference in how people bought.   In our minds,  it seemed more reasonable to offer quantity breaks and package pricing that was offered all the time,  not for a specific period.  That way our customers can benefit from reduced pricing at any time.

If you’re interested in purchasing a sublimation printer package,  we have a couple of economical and useful packages available.   The QuickStartR package features the Ricoh GX e3300N printer.   This package includes the printer,  one complete set of SubliJet ink, one pack of 8.5 x 11 Mpres paper, and one USB cable.    If you are interested in printing 13 x 19 prints out of the box,  you may want to check out our Epson Workforce WF 1100 Sublimation package.  This package  includes an Epson WF 1100 printer,  1 kit of the Sublijet ink,  1 Quick Connect Bulk System,  1 pack of Mpres 8.5 x 11 paper,  1 pack Mpres 13 x 19 paper, and 1 USB Cable.

For those who would prefer to create their own package,  we offer the “Your Way” Discount.  To receive the discount,  you must purchase something from four of the five sublimation categories listed on our site.   If you meet the criteria,  we will manually apply a 5% discount to the entire cost of your order.    If you spend over $2000,  the discount increases to 10%.    The “Your Way” discount offers you the flexibility to create the package you need,  and the savings to make putting a package together yourself worthwhile.  As always,  if you need assistance in creating your package,  just contact us.  We’ll be happy to help.

Finally,  I can’t forget to mention the quantity discounts that are offered on our products like sublimation blanks and sublimation paper.    These discounts are designed on the principle “the more you buy,  the more you save”.   Quantity breaks generally exist at case quantity breaks.  To see the quantity breaks for a particular product,  simply click the quantity break link included in the product description.    Products without the quantity break link do not currently have quantity breaks available.