Printwear

2020 Sublimation Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 The Sublimation Report • Spring 2020 a-e-mag.com • printwearmag.com A s a sublimation business owner, it's easy to get stuck in your comfort zone, decorating the products for those customer groups you feel most practiced at. Ornaments, sports awards, and personalized mugs are all great for sublimation and are in high demand. But if you want to grow your business, you need to push the envelope and think outside of these market segments. There are many niche markets out there that your sublimation services would be great for. The key is exploring what's available and doing your research so that when the time comes, you can offer products that fit these customers' needs. THE EVENTS NICHE Going outside your comfort zone means you can't be lazy. This is where you as the business owner need to get creative, not only in design, but in marketing. Who, what, where, and when — these are all important questions that your marketing plan should address when exploring unique niches. For example, you might not be a pet owner, but there are many events and local shows dedicated to pets that attendees can bring their pet to that you can cater products to. You can search for these events on Google by typing something like "pet events/ shows in my state or city." Bring your sublimation setup and display and take live photos of pets, both with and without the owners. You might even bring props, such as a chair back drop (I suggest you use a white or beige color as it takes less ink to print and will print faster, besides being neutral in color). You will be blown away at what pet owners will pay for when it comes to their furry friends. The next example of a niche market that carries prime poten- tial for sublimated products is specialty event shows, such as a corporate event or personal celebration. Again, do a local Google search of events like bridal shows, communion, and Bar or Bat By Michael Kaminsky Michael Kaminsky has been involved in the sublimation industry for over 25 years, and is a frequent instructor at conventions and contributing writer in magazines. He has watched the industry evolve before his eyes and is so excited to be part of its growth and technology with input on research, development, and so much more. He can be reached at michael@ sublimation101.com. Mitzvah shows. There are often show or party planners who host these events that shop vendors for products for their affair. These are the people you want to connect with. One that I think is interesting is livestock events, such as shows and rodeos. These owners take pride in their livestock and are eager to show off in any way possible, plus there are statewide and national events, creating a large net of opportunity. These The possibilities for expansion into different niche markets are vast. Pet shows and rodeos are a great way to get your products in front of new customers. IMAGE COURTESY SUBLIMATION101 Exploring niche markets for sublimation Go Beyond Christmas:

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