Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Does show artwork matter?

Every year, for every show, we debate amongst ourselves whether the artwork that we print at shows needs to be changed.  Usually, the amount of time we have before we have to ship determines our choice of artwork.  The shorter the time, the more apt we are to send the old stand-by designs.  The question we always have is , "does it matter to the customer on the show floor, and does the art sell more machines"?  So we ask you.

Theory #1

The point of artwork is to give the sales people a tool to show off the features of the machine.  For example, we have run a 3 color round design for a couple of years.  The design is a butt-register and is difficult to set-up and hold.  We feature that design on the MasterPrinter and the ElectraPrint to explain the micro-registration and registration gate features of the machine.

We print a simple 2-color design on our smaller presses to teach new printers that printing can be a simple process.  This design shows easy set-up and wet-on-wet printing.

The idea is that these designs will help our sales staff sell machinery because the customers will see the features and benefits of the machine.  This has worked out pretty well.

Theory #2

The best artwork is one that grabs attention from the aisle.  The cooler the design, the more people we will get to talk to.  Working the percentage numbers on the floor.

Our competitors do offer some great looking art.  They only print at scheduled times and they sell the shirts.

These designs are more costly to run, they may not emphasis the features of the machine and they may hide any number of printing errors and still look great.

We have tried this technique at the most recent shows.  We do get a great crowd.  We sell enough shirts to cover our costs of the garments and the artist's time and we have sold machines.  Nice.

The Debate
So, in your opinion, does the artwork make a difference at a trade show when you are shopping for new machinery?  Or are we just attracting the attention of shirt collectors?  When you see us at a show, please let us know.