How to Use your Heat Press on the Road
If you’re keeping your heat press in your house or shop, you’re missing a big sales opportunity – and that is using your heat press on the road. Here are some examples of places you can take your press:
- Swim Meets
- Hockey Tournaments
- Gymnastics Meets
- Dance Recitals
- Band Shows
- Flea Markets
- PTA/PTO Fundraisers
- Last day of the sports season (for instance, last soccer games of the year)
- Friday night Football Games
Do I need special power outlets?
If your heat press uses 110 power, you should be good to go to take your press on the road. 110 outlets are standard fare. If you use our presses, the majority of them use 110 power unless you specified that you wanted a 220 version. Fusion, clams and cap presses are all 110 (note: the Air Fusion models are 220).
How many designs should I have on site?
For your first time out, there is nothing wrong with using a single design to test the waters. Once you get established, we commonly see 3 designs being offered: one that is specific to the event and two more general designs. For instance, for a gymnastics meet, you would have one for that particular meet, one that might be a gymnast with the words “I Love Gymnastics” and another with a gymnast that says, “I flip for Gymnastics.”
What about customization?
You can do this a couple of different ways – the easiest and quickest is to use a Peel n’ Press letters and Goof Proof® Numbers. If you own a cutter, you can also cut to order onsite.
What sizes should I carry in apparel?
This is where things can get really tricky. Will you be offering shirts like “Football Mom?” Or does the event skew towards the participants being the shirt buyers? Generally speaking, medium and large are usually about 60% of the total sales (split evenly between the two) – with the remaining 40% split evening between small and extra-large. Again, it’s very important to consider your audience. A gymnastics meet is likely to skew towards small (and even extra-small), where a wrestling tourney will skew towards large and extra-large.
If you’re curious about the distribution for a particular type of event, we welcome you to put the question out to our awesome Easy Prints Dealer group on Facebook. It’s closed to the public and the members are quite generous with their experience and guidance.
How should I price the shirts?
You’re probably following our pricing advice for day-to-day sales. Those are designed to keep you competitive and winning bids – while staying profitable. Special events are a different animal. You need to be compensated for the special effort it takes to press there – and let’s face it, these shirts are a bit of an impulse buy.
Think of what you pay for concert t-shirts. On a normal day, you’d never consider paying $40-$60 for a t-shirt, but it’s more about remembering a special day. Keep that in mind as you up-charge on your day-to-day prices. It wouldn’t be unusual to add 25%-50% on top of those prices.
What about taking payments?
While you could certainly only accept cash, you’re going to severely limit your sales. Most of our customers use Square readers to give them the ability to accept credit cards on-site.
How do I make sure it’s a success?
Even though you’re creating on-site, there no reason you can’t distribute pre-sales order forms. We talk extensive in this post about the importance of pre-sales and even give you a template to customize for your event. The order form accomplishes two things: it gives you a little peace of mind AND it actually advertises that you’ll be at the event. So, even if someone chooses not to order in advance, they know you’ll be selling on-site.
If you don’t have the opportunity to distribute pre-sales order forms, work with the event organizers to make sure it’s noted on their flyers and other marketing materials that you’ll be selling special shirts at the event. If you’re only taking cash payments, it’ll be important to note that as well.
The key to success when taking your heat press on the road is in prior planning. Our ebook, 10 Things to Know About Heat Printing at Events, covers everything you need to get ready for your event. From tips on what you need to bring, to explaining signage and getting customer traffic, this guide will supply you with the knowledge you need to profit on event day.
Have questions about taking your show on the road? Comment below and we’ll be happy to help.