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Selling Custom Decoration Products & Services at Events

Selling at events can be a great way to make extra money quickly.  Most event printing is performed by shops that use a heat press and screen print transfers, and they often print products at the event.  Sporting events, car shows, and festivals are the most popular events for printing and selling decorated products. There is a high volume of foot traffic and people typically carry cash with them. This makes transactions quite simple. 

The determining factor in an event being successful for a product decorator is the preparation. So be prepared and take the time to ensure that the products you will sell at the event are something that the market will be interested in purchasing.


Selling decorated products at an event is a process that begins with having the right supplies and inventory at the event.  Selling at nearly every event will require the following: a till / cash register, tables, tablecloths, extension cords, and a power strip.  It is better to bring extra supplies that you think might come in handy than to find yourself lacking when you arrive at the event. It is better to bring something and not need it than to need something you did not bring.  It is highly suggested that you using folding tables, which you can purchase at most home improvement and office supplies stores. If you are going to be heat pressing transfers at the event, then make sure that you take a reliable press. Also, take a table that can handle the weight of the press.  


It is important to consider your target market when it comes to stocking inventory for an event.  Focus on the style of products, size breakdowns, and product colors. For example, people who purchase shirts at a car show will usually require bigger sizes than customers who buy shirts at a marathon or triathlon.  Neutral colors like black, navy, and gray are popular for most events, and extra inventory in those colors can likely be used at a later time. Stick to conventional colors unless you know that a certain market has demand for others. The big takeaway here is that you must consider who you are selling to when making your preparations to sell at an event. 


Artwork is typically one of two things. It is either a stock transfer design or a custom design that focuses on the event. Stock transfer designs may be purchased through Pro World, where there are hundreds of designs to choose from. Pro World sells several different Ford & Dodge licensed transfers that work well at car shows, and athletic designs that may be sold at sporting events. Stock designs are a little more safe when it comes to costs since you can potentially sell them at another event. Designs that focus on the event itself have a higher risk and reward potential. People love purchasing apparel that represents where they were on a certain day. However, if the design or product scheme is not liked by the market, then you will be stuck with costly prints. 


Events are a great place for decoration shops to make extra money because with a heat press you can decorate on demand and not get stuck with any printed inventory. Make sure that you bring enough blank products and transfers to satisfy your potential market. It is a good idea to be able to offer a selection of designs and products to your customer’s, but there is such thing as too many products. It is important not to overwhelm your customers. If you are going to be heat pressing transfers at the event, then try to print as far away from where your customers are as possible. Doing so decreases the chance of a customer accidentally touching the heat press, and if there is any odor from printing then it will be hard to smell. It is often a good idea to have a product or two already printed for each size. If you are selling shirts that feature a design specifically for the festival, then customers need the opportunity to grab and purchase the shirt quickly.  If you are printing onto cheaper t-shirts, then your commitment is a lot less than a sweatshirt, for example. A situation in which you have multiple people waiting on you to print a shirt because you do not have any printed inventory is not optimal. 

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