360 Degrees of Separation

August 12th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

An Online SEMA Tries to Bring It Together

By Emmariah Holcomb

When SEMA staff announced the cancellation of the annual SEMA Show, it regrouped and launched SEMA 360, a much smaller version of the event, but one that gave attendees the option of logging on to view the action from anywhere with just a few clicks. SEMA360 took place November 2 – November 6, 2020, and gave those who attended a chance to visit companies, sit in on educational sessions and more through its platform.

If You’re Considering Wraps

One session grabbed a lot of attention and involved two industry pros who gave tips on things business owners need to know before adding vehicle wraps to their list of offerings.

The online session was a casual open discussion between Craig Campbell, International Sign Association strategic initiatives director, and Justin Pate, president of the Wrap Institute.

“It’s an exciting time to look into adding it [vehicle wraps] and tinting windows allows for a smoother transition into vehicle wraps,” said Campbell.

The first step is education and understanding, according to Pate, who thinks those just starting out should have a mix of training. “Today there are many options when it comes to getting educated,” Pate said. “You should do a combination of online and hands-on learning, because one challenge is that mistakes in this area are expensive.”

“I agree you definitely need a mix of hands-on learning,” said Campbell. “Whether it be from manufacturers or distributors … or you can take advantage of online learning.”

Stretch It Out

The second step is knowing the material and how it stretches. “This is really important because if you stretch it too far it shrinks over time and you can get fingering on mirrors,” said Pate. “You have to know what the material can’t do.”

“It’s like the wrap is a sheet of paper and you’re trying to wrap a bowl with it,” said Campbell. “If you don’t have the skill [proper training] you’ll just end up with a mess.”

Before the pair began the third tip Campbell threw out a question —“Why wouldn’t you look into moving in this direction [wraps]? Maybe it’s a special issue, but there has to be something holding you back,” he said.

Pate agreed with Campbell’s point. “You have to have the right amount of space and resources before you dive into this, you can’t just wrap outside in all types of weather either; you have to be prepared,” Pate said.

Invest Money Wisely

The final tip centered on investments. Pate noted the importance of spending money on good materials, “because if not and you get the cheap stuff it’s just going to be harder to work with.”

“If you’re starting from zero and let’s say you want to get into commercial there’s a learning curve and it costs,” said Campbell. “The cost of equipment you have to get … you’ll probably be looking into the $50,000-$60,000 range.”

When you invest it’s also important to know that help is available.

“There’s something about the wrap industry that’s very connective; you build people up by sharing information like this and tips to get better,” said Pate.

Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor of WINDOW FILM magazine. You can reach her at eholcomb@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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