ISS: Atlantic City: Why Go?

I met printer Andy MacDougall from Canada at a show and I’ve learned a lot from him the past couple of years. Go to a show like ISS Atlantic City and you might be as lucky and meet some fellow decorators that can teach you a thing or two.

I met Greg Jensen a long time ago at a show. I can’t tell you how great it is to have on your side a vendor that tells you the truth (especially about chemicals)  and that knows what he is talking about. Come to ISS Atlantic City and get to know a few folks like Greg who can really make a difference in your business.

You should try and attend the ISS Atlantic City trade show. If not this trade show, some other one you can get to. Hear me out on why.

Here are some paradoxes about our industry:

Your Fellow Decorators:

– The nit-wits and the misinformed. There is a wealth of misinformation out there about decorating. Check out Facebook groups, message boards, etc. and there are so many people doing so much wrong that it boggles the mind. Some folks are doing so many things wrong that it is a wonder that they ever get ink (or thread or a transfer) on a shirt and get it to stay there.

– The clever and those with advanced degrees from the schools of hard knocks. Talk to a group of decorators and you will learn so much from your colleagues that are creative, clever and intelligent. If you want to know how to do something, some other printer or embroiderer has done it and done it well and many of them are willing to share with you. We aren’t all competitors, most of us are colleagues and your colleagues are at shows not at your shop or your home.


Your Vendors:

– Crooks and morons: There are so many vendors that will sell you snake oil, products and equipment  that supposedly will save you so much time, give you incredible results, and make you millions of dollars, and well, yeah, they are lying or they know nothing. There are plenty of them out there and they visit all our shops on a regular basis. The bad ones run from uninspired to out and out thieves. If you haven’t seen them, you haven’t had your eyes open.

– The competent and the geniuses. There are so many vendors that will only tell you what they know, and will even admit freely to you what they don’t know. There are many good vendors who stand by their products and equipment no matter what the cost to them. There are vendors that know the business inside and out and will share all their information with you and really will act like true partners.  The good ones run from having basic solid information to some that I would actually say are saints and geniuses.

So how do you tell the jackasses that will bring you down from the folks that know the real deal and will help you out? It is so much tougher to BS you in person than on line. Go to the show and talk to as many people as you can and compare information. Ask other decorators about the vendors. Talk to a variety of other decorators and find out what they are doing. Go to the show and get all the information you can.

I used to say, “hey there isn’t a college you can attend to get this information, so you better get your butt to the shows.” Apparently there was a college with a program on screen printing that I didn’t know about and I was wrong. However, I just heard that now that program is closed, so I’m finally right, get your butt to the show.

The Ink Kitchen will be there, check us out, all the way down to the left. More on that before the show.


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