If you grew up in the late 80’s or early 90’s the title of this blog probably gave you a little jolt of nostalgia. In true “Field of Dreams” fashion we recently discovered that if you print it, people will in fact come.
On March 22, we had the pleasure of hosting the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at our shop in Urbana. We were thrilled to see a parking lot over-flowing with cars throughout the event. These events, hosted by Chamber member businesses on a monthly basis, are networking opportunities for local business professionals. In addition, they provide the host business (in this case, us) the opportunity to showcase what they do and how they do it.
We invited people to be part of the printing process all the way from choosing the apparel to the actual production. Attendees had the opportunity to choose between an orange or navy t-shirt and the artwork that they wanted to use to decorate their shirt. Then, they could watch as their shirt was produced in real-time, right in front of their eyes.
For us this was a chance to invite people into our world. To let them see our shop. And let’s be honest, to show off some too. The Mark Cuban cardboard cutout in the corner of our lobby was a great conversation starter. Just over a year ago, Campus Ink received an investment from Cuban to bolster our efforts in the NIL (name, image and likeness) space. Following Cuban’s investment, we announced a $2 million dollar investment round in late 2022.
With a shop full of clients, customers, friends and newcomers alike, our staff told our story loud and proud. We shared tales of how these investments helped forge the Campus Ink name in the NIL world. How we went from being licensed with just one school last year to 15 schools just a year later. Tales of vocal highlight reel athletes to silent superstars making waves in their sports.
This event also gave us a chance to connect with local customers. In a digital age, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned face to face conversation. We love hearing from Champaign-Urbana businesses. New initiatives that they’re launching. Excitement and anticipation for upcoming events. Ideas that they have. Projects that they’re working on. Reminiscing past jobs. These are conversations that are easy and organic when in-person, but that rarely happen via email.
Thank you to everyone who made it out to our event. We loved showing you a small scope of what we do, how we do it and why we do it.