Live Activation, Go!

So you went to a rock show, and you got a shirt because the show was special. And then you went to this incredible destination, say, with a giant mouse that you want to hug (no not the one that wants to give you pizza and nightmares), and you got a shirt there. Because that place was special. And then you got to help your friend with the thing they are struggling with, and you ran a distance for them, and you got a shirt because what you did was special. And now it’s time for you to host something big, and you want to offer people something, like a shirt, to make it special! But you want to make it fresh. That’s where we come in and print a shirt on the spot for you. We call this a ‘live activation.’ We’ve done a lot of them and guess what? They’re all special. We arrive at your event at least two hours before doors, take up about 64~ square feet with our printing press (up to two colors), a small dryer (that runs 120v, 15a), and a table or two. We can serve about 80-100 guests an hour. The experience lies in the fact that no one knows how a shirt is printed. When they see it, there is a sort of magic to it. They’ll never forget it.

There are two approaches to live printing t-shirts at your event. One method is to sell shirts. The advantage of this is that there’s no guessing on inventory. What type of event is this good for? An event that charges for admission and other amenities. A concert, festival, or conference. Why? People are expecting to spend money, and what more to purchase than a limited edition shirt they can only get at the show. Other ideal situations? An event for charity. People love to give, but also receive a token in return. The bonus? That shirt they bought has your charity’s design on it, which is an open invitation for the wearer to share your story with others.

The other approach to live screenprinting? Actually giving the guests at your ‘activation’ a shirt for merely showing up. You purchase the shirts before the event for all of your expected attendance, or put some excitement into the event; perhaps free shirts for the first 100 attendees. This is solely a marketing move and in our experience money very well spent. What type of event does this align with? Any event that has FREE admission, FREE activities, and FREE food or drink. When people show up to an event like this, you will want to cater to them. The last thing they desire is to reach in their pocket for an otherwise provisioned time. We can’t unravel the psyche around this, but a free shirt will make a person attending an event feel celebrated. Social science tells us that if you want someone to like you more, hand them a warm beverage. Now, try that with a warm shirt! We could shoot before and after pictures of a person who receives a free shirt with a fresh design on it.  

Check out some of the images below to see the various venues we have adapted to. Hopefully, this helps give you an idea of the space it takes for live activation.

Activation for FR Distillery and visit Fort Worth at the Houston Rodeo. Over 1200 shirts across three days.
Activation set up in foyer.
Gateway Church Student Conference. Three-day sell-out event.
Official Shirts for Circles Conference in Grapevine TX.
Official ‘Festicle’ merch for Brain Dead Brewery.
Visit Fort Worth at SXSW. A line out the door for hours of printing across two days.
Multi-day Gateway Men’s Summit set up in their bookstore. A very profitable event.
An extremely compact set up for Blade Craft Barber Academy. Very loud and good vibes.
Fayateville, AR for Transplace Shippers Symposium.
Mercy House Gala, contributing to their non-profit.
A cozy corner for CMN Men’s Summit.
San Antonio, TX at The Witte.
Printing Totes at the Clive Bar, ATX.
Private Sales Meeting, give away event Dallas TX.
Nurse Practitioners of TX conference show floor, ATX.
TX Whiskey Wednesday Holiday edition, Fort Worth, TX.
Get in the van! No time to explain!

All of this looks and sounds great, but what’s the cost? Upfront, it’s factored by how many people you expect, how long the event is, and how far away it is. We’ve performed around the corner for a handful of people. We’ve also set up for South by Southwest and served 1500 folks across three days. Let us know the details of your event, and we’ll help decide if live activation is the right choice for your event, or if directly printing in-house is better.