Atlantic City ISS 2012 Continues Trend

The aisles were packed, our booths were packed and there was a lot of excitement about heat printing in the air at the recent Atlantic City Imprinted Sportswear Show.

Some things have changed since my first ISS Show in Atlantic City in 1978 and somethings haven’t. Back in 1978, the conditions at the Deauville Hotel in Atlantic City were less than ideal. In fact Bill Windsor of ISS had shirts printed up that said “I Survived the Deauville” that’s how bad it was. But from a business standpoint, the booth was just as crowded back in 1978 as it was this weekend. It was just me and my wife Mary (I proposed to her at that show, another wonderful memory) working the booth. It was just a 10 x 20 booth but we barely saw each other since there were always so many customers in between. Thermo-FILM was the big draw at our booth back then. Today, 34 years later, the big draw was the unveiling of our new Hotronix Air Fusion, and there were plenty of people who just wanted to learn more about heat printing in general. It seems there is a new genre or category of entreprenuers at shows these days. We’ve met with them at the ISS Shows in Long Beach and Orlando and in shows in Germany, England and the FESPA in Spain. I haven’t figured out what to call them yet, but they are very business-savvy, they know what they want and they understand the benefits of on-demand personaliztion unlike any generation of heat printers I have ever seen. Many are women and many have existing businesses. It is great to see the excitement and it’s a blessing to be part of this ever-thriving industry. If anyone else has memories from the 1978 shows or other early ISS shows, please share your comments.

The Deauville no longer exists, it was imploded sometime in the 80's but it was an iconic Atlantic City beach hotel that was originally built in 1962.


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  1. Bill Windsor says:

    Hi Ted. Long time no see. I have fond memories of all the early shows. The best was pulling off the first show in Dallas. I rented the entire Dallas Convention center and reserved 1500 hotel rooms. I had no money to speak of, so I went to the desk in the corner of the master bedroom in our duplex in Atlanta and sold my butt off. Close to 5,000 people showed up, and the industry was born.

    In Atlantic City, I remember Jeff Cohen of PhotoLith had two girls walking around who brought a whole new meaning to a T-shirt and shorts. Funny what we remember. 🙂

    There was often some disaster that we had to deal with at shows — fire that closed our headquarters hotel in Vegas; show directories falling off the back of a truck and exploding all over Los Angeles; speaker passing out face down on the podium in London; Darth Vader appearance drawing such huge crowds in Anaheim that the folks coming to the show couldn’t find a parking place or get through the crows; not enough food on the riverboat in New Orleans, and all 1,000 people on the boat knew I was the one in charge!

    I thought of you last week. I was in a sign shop in Marietta, Georgia, and I looked up and saw a Stahls’ box. I first bought from Stahls in 1971. Barbara and I miss all you guys — what great memories!

  2. Ted says:

    Hi Bill,
    So good to hear from you. Thanks for reading and for your comment. Yes, I really wanted to attend the first show in Dallas but my father felt our business was more sports oriented at the time…It is great to remember the start of the custom t-shirt industry. You were the one who brought it all together under one roof and gave birth to an industry that is stronger than ever today. Thanks again for reading and we should get together and write down more memories. If you are ever in Michigan, please get in touch. Please give my best to Barbara.

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