THREADX 2019 delivers energy connections and education

SGIA’s second annual conference by and for garment decorators focuses on branding, networking and building business.

There were no squeegees, mesh or presses at SGIA’s THREADX 2019 (San Diego, February 17 – 19). Rather, 154 leaders in apparel decorating were there to push their businesses to new levels with sessions focusing on branding and design.

“The industry has plenty of very good hands-on workshops for garment decorating. THREADX is about the other side of the business: marketing, business strategies and design. It’s about the things that make you stand out in the marketplace,” said Christina Rosado, Community Development Manager, SGIA. “That includes everything from corporate culture to product lines, so we brought in speakers who would challenge the ways attendees think about their businesses.”

Consequently, the agenda covered design trends with well-known designers Aaron Draplin, Benny Gold and Bobby Hundreds, but it also included a panel of Major League Baseball marketers discussing how shifts in purchasing and promotional trends in sports impact the apparel industry. Another panel explored on-site printing events.

“This event unlocked my thinking and reminded me of what we’re really doing,” said attendee Francesca Diaz Fischer of Pig & Rooster Press. “Every single session reengaged me with different a-ha’s.”

The program also included business innovators. Zazzle Chief Fulfillment Officer Charles Ohiaeri spoke of Zazzles’s use of digital print to advance made-to-order manufacturing and become the most personal brand in the world by consistently meeting customer demands. Brian Adams of Olympus Group focused on employee engagement and building a culture that breeds success. And Phoebe Cornog and Roxy Prima of Pandr detailed what they discovered as they learned how to run their business.

Throughout it all, networking reigned supreme. Attendees sat in conversation areas built for sparking connections and idea exchanges. Emcee riCardo | Crespo, a branding expert in his own right, facilitated participation. Special events such as a cruise on San Diego Bay furthered the experience.

Justin Lawrence of Oklahoma Shirt Company said, “This event gives us access to leaders and people we can’t normally reach out to, and there was space and time to meet up and talk shop.”

“By sharing ideas, success stories and failures, attendees established and strengthened relationships. That’s beneficial personally as well as professionally,” Rosado added.

THREADX 2019 was made possible with the support of Diamond Sponsor Ryonet + Roq, Platinum Sponsor Jerzees, Gold Sponsor Bella + Canvas, and Supporting Sponsors BBC Industries, Chromaline, Coastal Business Supplies, Denco Sales, GSG, IT Supplies, Lawson Screen & Digital Products, Melco, Nazdar SourceOne, PolyOne Corporation and SAATI.

THREADX 2020 is scheduled for February 23 – 25 at The Saguaro in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sign up to receive details as they become available.