BFL&S: Are there any trends or changes occurring within the entertainment events and supplier niche?
Covitz: Definitely. I see more items going short-run digital and more emphasis being placed on security and counterfeit features.
Fleming: We used to sell so many white napkins, which was the standard not too long ago, despite all the colors we offered. But now, we see customers choosing colors that complement their brands, logos, themes or events. As a result, the amount of colors currently available is greater than ever.
Shanley: I see a lot more personalized materials. Instead of an invitation saying, “Please come to our event,” the message is much more targeted now due to the newer technology. Personalization is available at low costs these days.
BFL&S: What types of ideas should distributors suggest to clients when educating them about entertainment event products?
Covitz: Don’t wait until the last minute to choose a vendor. Design for specialty items takes time and many large events are done by committee. Promoter, venue, corporate sponsor, etc.—each has its own graphics department or company so distributors may receive artwork from numerous sources to prepare one product.
Shanley: Distributors should sell the fact that they are taking pressure off of their clients. Find chaos and go to end-users and figure out what is causing problems and then, tell them how to make their lives easier and how they can save money. Saving time is the biggest thing distributors have to offer.
Fleming: When selling to end-users, distributors should remind them not to look at the event in the moment, but to plan for the future. Ask them what gatherings they will have where napkins are needed. Emphasize that the cost-per-thousand goes down.
BFL&S: What advice do you have for distributors looking to sell into this industry?