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Impressions Expo Long Beach 2020: Part 2

The Show Floor

There are so many good reasons to attend a trade-show: Learning, networking, socializing, talking shop, happy-hours, fancy dinners, parties, bars, etc.  Ok, ok, let’s not forget why we are there in the first place: the show floor.  Companies expend tremendous resources to exhibit at a trade-show.  It’s not just the cost of the booth space, they have to pay for travel, shipping, drayage, temp labor, power, and so on.  Have you ever wondered what it takes to get those big presses to the show floor?  It’s insane.  Exhibitors send their best people whom work tirelessly throughout the show and return home exhausted and behind on their day-to-day work.  This is all done in an effort to get your attention, to meet you and to show you new products, and most of all, to scan your badge!!!  I kid, their main purpose is to connect with you.  The show creates a valuable opportunity for them, but also for you.  By walking the show floor, whether it’s for a few hours or a few days, you can, in a very efficient manner, keep up to date on industry trends, find new sources, learn about new products and services, meet face-to-face with the people you buy from, negotiate pricing, get special deals, etc.  What would either be impossible or take you weeks and lots of travel you can accomplish all in one place over the course of a few days, and in the best communication way possible, in-person. And, you can do all of this while bumping into your industry buddies and meeting new peers.  We bring you…the trade show floor.

On Monday we shared Part 1 of this multi-part series on Impressions Expo Long Beach 2020.  For Part 2 we’re sharing images from the show floor…

At the show you get to see in-person the newest styles and newest colors of all of your existing suppliers and usually a few you didn’t know about.

And how does that new shirt print DTG? Well, you might just find out right then and there.

Just because it is work doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

Perfect example of a benefit of a trade show. You see everyone on the street wearing Champion products. At the show you can see all the styles available in our decorator channels.
Many suppliers will treat you like a king (or queen) at trade shows, though usually not so literally as Champion did at Long Beach.
You have heard that Tajima makes a solid embroidery machine, but at the show you can see a single head, and see a bigger machine, run one yourself, talk to the mechanics, and generally really kick the tires on it.

When I think of SanMar I think of the people working there. When else can you meet all of them in one place?
We all should be pushing our suppliers on sustainability issues, and in this case SanMar is very upfront on their efforts.

A trade show is a tremendous place to see great samples of some of the best work, in this case PolyOne has a veritable art gallery set up. This is great to see the full capabilities of the inks and to get your own creativity going.
Here’s our buddy Jay DeMarco of PolyOne. We could give him a hard time by email or phone, but so much for fun to do it in person.
Don Newman is a legend in the industry and at a trade show he is there to ask any question you want of him. I’m surprised sometimes that people don’t take more advantage of this type of situation. For a plane ticket and an affordable hotel you have the best and brightest at your disposal.

Besides taking your normal suppliers to task regarding sustainability, you can also find suppliers like econscious that are all about it.
SPSI was doing crazy fast job changes on the MHM press. You can hear about it, but so much better to see that kind of thing in action, as seeing is believing.
In California you are no longer limited to having a friendly beer with your suppliers.

Need to find USA made garments for your customers? US blanks was there.

Even when you might not be quite ready to buy, the trade show give you a chance to see the latest technology, like the Saati laser exposure unit.

Seeing that many of us are screen printers, it is extremely interesting to see all your options for coaters, stretchers, and exposure units.
As mentioned earlier, the show gives you access to the best and brightest, in this case Ross Balfour of Saati who has decades of high level experience in screen printing.
Los Angeles Apparel, if you are looking for USA made, the newest fashions, or for garments made under good labor conditions.


One of the most knowledgeable (and humble) folks in the industry, Dave Dennings of KIWO. seek him out at some future show and learn a few things.

Screens are boring, and essential. All your good suppliers will be at a show like Long Beach and have no fear of talking to satisfied customers obviously, but also will talk to you about any issue you might have. GSF are that kind of stand-up supplier.

If you are looking for a new supplier, nothing like getting to look them in the eye and ask them tough questions.
Transfers are one of the most exciting developing technologies and at this point I would not want to miss a show as there are new products coming out all the time, in this case from FM Expressions.

Talk about stand up folks, Douthitt and their direct to screen unit in the background.

Another humble guru on film and emulsion, Kevin Kauth of Chromaline.

Another case of a new product I had not seen previously, aerosol pretreat for DTG from AlbaChem.



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