Reaching Your Current and Future Customers


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Today we want to talk about Reaching Your Current and Future Customers. In the past, most of us have clung to the concept of conventions and shows. But today and in the near future, are there better ways to reach your customers? What are some other options to explore? Dane Clement and Jay Busselle will be joining in on the conversation to give their opinions.

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Reaching Your Current and Future Customers

Aaron: Today we want to talk about Reaching Your Customer – Current and Future. In the past, most of us have clung to the concept of conventions and shows. But today and in the near future, are there better ways to reach your customers? What are some other options to explore? Dane Clement with Great Dane Graphics and longtime friend of the show Jay Busselle will be joining in on the conversation to share their thoughts.

Aaron: Jimmy Lamb with Sawgrass:

In this digital age, it seems like we have forgotten about the power of face-to-face interaction.  You really can’t judge people, companies and equipment effectively without a personal connection.

But it goes further than that.  NETWORKING is a huge component of Trade Shows.  Nothing beats striking up conversations with others to share ideas and experiences.  So much better than an email.

Some of my best working relationships started with a casual conversation at a Trade Show.

And you can’t forget about the educational aspects.  Live seminars are better than live webinars – hands down.  I’m not knocking webinars – as I do a lot of them – but it’s just not the same as being in the same room with an instructor and your peers.  Which also means you can ask as many questions as you want in order to get the information that you need.

Terry: Ryan Moor, president of Ryonet


BEST place to meet with customers by far, face to face is so important and a relationship and we appreciate every chance to get together, at a show it’s a ton at once which is so cool!


WAY too many shows for the size of industry. If you look at the number of shows, number of customer base, and the industry revenue from a supply side the shows per revenue and the shows per customer are drastically lower than other industries, what this does is maximizes the effort of the distributor but minimizes the impact of each show and also makes the show a less valuable experience for the customer, fewer vendors, lower quality training, little after hour event options.

What if we could create a better show experience in this industry, something like a tech conference, it is happening, people are doing more of it, Thread X, Print Hustlers, and ISS Long Beach are the top three by FAR!! Not that the other ones are bad, but more of the same with less bang as ISS Long Beach.

My wife votes for less trade shows seriously it’s like were in the military or something LOL

Pros and cons of trade shows

Aaron: Let’s start by talking pros only of doing trade shows.

Terry: OK, let’s talk about the cons, the drawbacks, of exhibiting at trade shows. Let me start with a quick comment from Lon Winters with Graphic Elephants:

Terry, you know the drill better than most.

Pros – Exposure, Networking

Cons – Expensive, out of office time, not generating revenue from other sources.

Thoughts to cover

  • Costs
  • Cost not to do them
  • Depends on what you’re selling
  • Introduction of new products and technology
  • Industry recognition
  • Doing seminars and training – paid or free options?

How else can we get in front of a customer?

Aaron: So let’s discuss either alternatives or additions to trade shows

Terry: Let me start with some comments from Alan Howe at Saati about, not exhibitors, but potential attendees.

My opinion on show attendees:

I am still amazed at the Decorators that have never attended a show or worse those companies that do not invest in their biz by attending and taking advantage of the information, networking, seminars etc. when some shows are right in their backyard. Unbelievable!

I always hear:

Too far to go! ( truth is there is probably a show within 1 day of you)

Wrong time of the year! (We make time for the things that are important to us) It’s never a good time: too busy, too slow, too cold, too hot.

Thoughts to cover

  • Road shows (Brother when they introduced their first DTG)
  • Open houses and classes – what I’m doing with Atlas tomorrow
  • Webinars
  • YouTube
  • Is there a reasonable reappropriation of our budgets to best reach customers?
  • ColDesi example of completely pulling the plug… and trying to compete with Orlando

How has and will social media change the future of the trade show?

Terry: It’s a different world than it was even 10 years ago. With Amazon, with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more. How is this new tech world going to impact how we reach out to customers?

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This show is brought to you for a full hour by:

Specialty Graphics Imaging Association – SGIA will continually strive to be the foremost resource for information and education within the specialty imaging industry. SGIA supports the digital and screen printing community in the USA and Canada by providing services and activities specific to their interests. While the majority of SGIA services and activities are specific to US and Canada, SGIA will continue to partner with national and regional associations around the globe to continually develop the international community. The SGIA National Affiliation Program brings together a multinational community to enhance awareness and encourage the exchange of information. Supporting the Leaders of the Digital and Screen Printing Community

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