Share your skills at WrapFest (Silverstone Racing – Northamptonshire UK)

Calling all wrapping industry professionals and experts – applications to speak at WrapFest 2023 are now open

 

WrapFest 2023, the brand-new vinyl installation and vehicle wrapping event from FESPA, is inviting wrap pros to apply to speak at its first ever event. The event, which will take place from 26 – 27 April 2023, at the Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire, will feature an exciting educational line-up including a conference, demonstrations and workshops.

Advance wrap and detail enthusiasts with unique experience in vehicle wrapping, including those working for manufacturers and distributors, trainers, installers, as well as experts in car detailing and paint protection and tinting services, are encouraged to register to join a fast-growing list of conference speakers.

The speaker programme will provide fresh insights and perspectives on how companies can grow their business, improve current skills and services and explore new revenue streams. The inaugural event will focus on market expansion, material innovations, marketing and social media, sustainability, nurturing and identifying new talent, and fleet and commercial vehicles, but speakers are encouraged to submit their own ideas based on their experience and expertise.

WrapFest 2023 has also opened sponsorship for manufacturers and distributors to deliver sessions on practical tips and techniques, in one of seven areas within the pit-garages of Silverstone. In addition to showcasing their products, these companies will also be able to host sessions in the area throughout the event.

Finally, organizers FESPA, who will be hosting independent demonstrations of vehicle wrapping installation in their own designated pit-garage, are looking for experts to host additional sessions.

By registering for either speaker or demonstration opportunities, successful applicants will also benefit from excellent networking opportunities with international premium installers specializing in vehicle wrapping, livery and fleet graphics, car detailing, paint protection and window tinting services, as well as printers and sign-makers looking to expand into the market and increase revenue from vehicle wrapping.

Commenting on the conference programme, Duncan MacOwan, Head of Marketing and Events, FESPA, said: “We are delighted to be launching WrapFest and offering opportunities to many industry pros to showcase their incredible skills at the event.

“The conference programme and demonstration zones are integral features of the event, providing attendees with cutting-edge insights into the latest industry trends from some of the most influential representatives. This is a great opportunity for the best talent in the business to make a real impact at a first-of-its-kind event for the fast-growing wrap industry.”

WrapFest is run by FESPA, a federation of trade associations and event organizer for the digital, textile, screen printing and related industries. At the heart of its mission, FESPA seeks to share information and foster connection among the stakeholders of the industries where it is present and re-invest its profits in events and conference programmes to help achieve this and drive the market forward.

 

To apply for a speaking slot or to deliver a session at a live demonstration at WrapFest 2023, please click the following link: https://www.wrap-fest.com/conference/call-speakers

How to qualify a wrap shop (or, in other words, is the wrapper any good)?

Over a many years of experience wrapping we have some common questions that a wrap buyer should take time to ask.  A wrap is a custom made product and is not a mass-produced item bought off a shelf.  As such, wraps are created by craftsmen who are personally and closely linked with the quality of their offerings.  When connecting the purchaser of a custom product with the maker of a custom product it is vital to educate and communicate in a way that keeps both parties on the same page.  Nobody likes being disappointed in their expectations and nobody likes thousand dollar surprises (on either side). 

 

Dedicated Shop / Facility? Has this business dedicated time & money to creating a controlled & professional environment for providing wraps?

Full Time or Part Time? Is this a professional who feeds his/her family perfecting their craft or a hobbyist looking for extra money on the side?  The motivations and vested interest in delivering a quality product can certainly be effected by the answer to this question.

What specific films are they using? A professional wrapper should know precisely the vinyl films they are using and why. They should know the difference between low-cost calendared films and higher priced cast films. They should know the differences and pros/cons of each when it comes to cost, conformability, durability and longevity.

Are they using manufactured specified and matched products? A proper (and warranted) product must be produced using correctly matched manufacturer films. Mixing & matching components may lower the cost but will also lower the quality and destroy any potential warranty claim.

Does the wrap shop provide examples of the specific colors?  A custom printed wrap for a commercial project should have a Live Proof for color approvals and a color change wrap should be tied to the manufacturer’s color ship book(s).

Certified Installers? (Just attending a class does not equal certified). A certified installer has to demonstrably prove their ability to properly install using the manufacturers film(s). Plenty of experienced and competent installers do not have a recognized certification; however, they are not able to claim a manufacturer’s warranty if an issue arises. So, not a deal breaker (especially if the shop has an excellent reputation) but a question certainly worth asking.

Fully bonded & insured? Any damage or issues that may arise with your project will be incredibly difficult to resolve if the shop you choose does not have full coverage. No insurance should be a big red flag.

What is their current workload / how long to get the wrap done? Wraps require specialized products, time to process and prepare those products, time to prep the vehicle and, of course, time to do the wrap installation itself. These all impact schedules and a reputable shop should have a clear & reliable picture of their current capabilities.  Now the choice is yours… is the best shop in town worth waiting an extra few weeks…?

Do they require you to fully & thoroughly wash the vehicle before arriving? (they should… experienced wrappers do not like wasting hours of valuable time scrubbing bugs and road grime off your vehicle before they can start their work).

Do they warn you about potential issues regarding temperature extremes? In the winter, ambient temperatures will negatively affect bonding. Reputable shops will insist on making sure the vehicle stays in a controlled environment before heading out.

Do they back up their work? What is their policy if something fails, pops loose or peels back? Note, we are not talking about external damage or failure to maintain the wrap here. A wrap shop can not be expected to be responsible for events outside their control.

Is there a clear understanding that a wrap is NOT paint? Vinyl wraps are, by their very nature, a covering going over stable surfaces.  The films have thickness as well as limits to flexibility and ability to stretch.  Contrary to common misconceptions, the thickness of a wrap film does NOT cover-up surface damage / chips / dings /dents etc.  A wrap will actually make that area more noticeable because it is adding a little bit MORE size to the problem.

Does the shop clearly explain how to maintain your wrap?  The local weather, road conditions, washing techniques and even the direction you park each day can effect the life of your wrap.  

Can I see example(s) of your work that is more than 6 months old? An excellent way to gauge a wrapper’s work is to get a personal look at a project wrapped at least 6 months prior.  Look for details like un-wrinkled corners, absence of bubbles/dirt/debris under the vinyl, no failed recesses, clean/straight trims, perfectly controlled seams if present, no white-out or obviously stressed areas, and check for edges that would be typically hidden.  

 

Yes, I know, it’s a lot to take in.  Custom products are simply more complicated by their nature.  That being said, it is in everyone’s best interest to be as informed and knowledgeable as possible.  We all win in the end.  Keep Wrapping!

HEXIS Americas’ new 4,000 sq. ft. Training Center

Introducing HEXIS Americas’ new 4,000 sq. ft. HEXIS Americas Training Center.  

Learn and grow your business while HEXIS offers 3-day BODYFENCE (paint protection film) and 3-day SKINTAC (color-change) vinyl training courses in Atlanta, GA.  Our Certified HEXIS Trainers will teach you the tips, tricks, and techniques to working with HEXIS film and provide business solutions.  Each class is limited to 12 students (maximum) with 2 Certified HEXIS Trainers and 6 full-sized cars so that each student receives 1-on-1 hands on training.  Beginners and advanced installers welcome.

 

Each student will receive a HEXIS Bag of Shag Tools and marketing goods, apparel, lunch each training day, and a Certificate of Training.

Ask about our Certifications.

 

For more info:

  

HEXIS Americas

850 Progress Center Court

Suite #150

Lawrenceville, GA 30043

 

Email:  info@hexisamericas.com

Phone:  770-402-3538

Website:  https://www.hexisamericas.com/training/

Contact:  Christen Hughes (Marketing Manager)

Arlon Introduces 3 New Virtual Application Demos featuring FLITE Technology® Products

Placentia, CA – May 10, 2021 – Global manufacturing leader of graphic films Arlon Graphics has announced 3 new virtual application demos launching May 18 running through July 29, 2021. These demo events allow vehicle wrap installers to get hands-on with Arlon’s FLITE Technology® films and interface with our Technical Experts conveniently and safely. The 3 demo topics are:

  1. Wrapping with cast films featuring SLX+ and SLX Cast Wrap
  2. Installing reflective films with ease featuring IllumiNITE Wrap
  3. How to wrap a vehicle with calendered film featuring Fusion Wrap

 

In December of 2020, Arlon launched its first virtual demo, and it was extremely well received prompting the company to expand its schedule and topics. Each demo is 30 – 40 minutes and includes a product introduction, a technical application tip, and ends with a live Q&A session for participants to interact directly with one of Arlon’s Technical Solutions Experts, Ritchie Daize, Louie Calma, or Matt Braswell. Each registrant receives a complimentary demo kit prior to the event which contains Arlon branded wrap tools and printed samples for each participant to follow along with.

 

“Our goal is to continue to bring forward educational events to connect our brand with sign shops and installers alike,” says Nicole Witt, Director of Marketing, The Americas. “Our FLITE Technology vehicle wrap products are in the hands of so many installers now that we want each and every attendee to feel confident in their first application using our products,” says Ritchie Daize, Sr. Technical Solutions Manager for Arlon Graphics.

 

To view the schedule and register for one of Arlon’s Application Demos, visit: info.arlon.com/demos. For more information on Arlon’s complete product line, visit: arlon.com.

3M – Training – LOWEN Certified – 2022

Official Webpage: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/graphics-signage-us/resources/installer-training-testing/preferred-graphics-testing-dates/#lowencertified

Trainers: Ray Carlson, Alex Stillwell

 

white illustration of a window film and fleet vehicle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 3-5
January 10-12
January 17-19
January 24-26
January 31-February 2
February 7-9
February 14-16
February 21-23
February 28-March 2
March 7-9
March 14-16
March 21-23
March 28-30
April 4-6
April 11-13
April 18-20
April 25-27
May 2-4
May 9-11
May 16-18
May 23-25
June 1-3
June 6-8
June 13-15
June 20-22
June 27-29
July 6-8
July 11-13
July 18-20
July 25-27
August 1-3
August 8-10
August 15-17
August 22-24
August 29-31
September 7-9
September 12-14
September 19-21
September 26-28
October 3-5
October 10-12
October 17-19
October 24-26
October 31-November 2
November 7-9
November 14-16
November 21-23
November 28-30
December 5-7
December 12-14
December 19-21
December 28-30

squeegee icon for 3m preferred installer emblem

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 6-7
January 13-14
January 20-21
January 27-28
February 3-4
February 10-11
February 17-18
February 24-25
March 3-4
March 10-11
March 17-18
March 24-25
March 31-April 1
April 7-8
April 14-15
April 21-22
April 28-29
May 5-6
May 12-13
May 19-20
May 26-27
June 2-3
June 9-10
June 16-17
June 23-24
June 30- July 1
July 7-8
July 14-15
July 21-22
July 28-29
August 4-5
August 11-12
August 18-19
August 25-26
September 1-2
September 8-9
September 15-16
September 22-23
September 29-30
October 6-7
October 13-14
October 20-21
October 27-28
November 3-4
November 10-11
November 17-18
December 1-2
December 8-9
December 15-16
December 22-23
December 29-30

white illustration of a vehicle and a color swatchbook

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 25-26
February 22-23
March 22-23
April 19-20
May 24-25
June 21-22
July 26-27
August 23-24
September 20-21
October 25-26
November 21-22
December 20-21

squeegee icon for 3m preferred installer emblem

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 27
February 24
March 24
April 21
May 26
June 23
July 28
August 25
September 22
October 27
November 23
December 22

3M – Training – GeekWraps – 2022

Official Webpage: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/graphics-signage-us/resources/installer-training-testing/preferred-graphics-testing-dates/#geekwraps

Trainers: Kenny Calman, Kathy Calman, Jose Valldejuli

 

white illustration of graphic film and fleet icon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 17-19
January 24-26
February 7-9
February 14-16
February 21-23
March 7-9
March 14-16
March 28-30
April 4-6
April 18-20
April 25-27
May 9-11
May 16-18
May 23-25
June 13-15
June 20-22
June 27-29
July 11-13
July 18-20
July 25-27
August 8-10
August 15-17
August 29-31
September 12-14 
September 19-21
October 3-5  
October 17-19
October 24-26
November 14-16
November 28-30
December 5-7

squeegee icon for 3m preferred installer emblem

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 20-21 
January 27-28
February 10-11
February 17-18
February 24-25
March 10-11
March 17-18
March 31 – April 1
April 7-8
April 22-23
April 28-29
May 12-13
May 19-20
May 26-27
June 16-17
June 23-24
June 30 – July 1
July 14-15
July 21-22
July 28-29
August 11-12
August 18-19
September 1-2
September 15-16
September 22-23
October 6-7
October 20-21
October 27-28
November 17-18
December 1-2 
December 8-9 

3M – Training – 3M Corporate Headquarters (St. Paul) – 2022

OFFICIAL CLASS Webpage: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/graphics-signage-us/resources/installer-training-testing/preferred-graphics-testing-dates/#maplewood

TRAINERS: Nate Place, Todd Straub, Phil Aquin

 

January 10-12
January 31-Feb 2
March 7-9
April 4-6
May 2-4
June 6-8
July 11-13
August 1-3
September 12-14
October 3-5
November 7-9
December 5-7

emblem for 3m preferred installer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Each test is one-day.

January 13-14
February 3-4
March 10-11
April 7-8
May 5-6
June 9-10
July 14-15
August 4-5
September 15-16
October 6-7
November 10-11
December 8-9

January 24-25
March 21-22
May 16-17
July 25-26
September 19-20
November 14-15

 

 

 

emblem for 3m preferred installer

 

January 26
March 23 
May 18 
July 27
September 21
November 16

3M – Training – Wrapix Imaging – 2022

Official Webpage: 3M FACILTY DETAILS and LINK

TRAINER: Adam Sumner

 

January 17-19
February 28 – March 2
March 28-30
April 11-13
June 13-15
July 11-13
August 8-10
September 19-21
October 17-19
November 14-16

January 20-21 
March 3-4
March 31 – April 1
April 14-15
June 16-17
July 14-15
August 11-12
September 22-23
October 20-21
November 17-18

white illustration of a vehicle and a color swatchbook

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 10-11
January 13-14
February 21-22
February 24-25
March 21-22
March 24-25
April 21-22
May 16-17
May 19-20
May 23-24
May 26-27
June 20-21
June 23-24
July 18-19
August 15-16
August 18-19
September 12-13
September 15-16
October 10-11
October 13-14
November 7-8
November 10-11
December 5-6
December 8-9
December 15-16

squeegee icon for 3m preferred installer emblem

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 12
January 15
February 23
February 26
March 23
March 26
April 23
May 18
May 21
May 25
May 28
June 22
June 25
July 20
August 17
August 20
September 14
September 17
October 12
October 15
November 9
November 12
December 7
December 10
December 17

Training – Digital EFX Wraps – Roland

Inside the Wrap Shop” Classes…

March 21st – 24th 2022 @EFX WRAPS
April 18th – 21st 2022 @EFX WRAPS
May 23rd – 26th 2022 @EFX WRAPS
June 20th – 23rd 2022 @ EFX WRAPS
Sept 26th – 29th 2022 @ Richard Childress Racing Headquarters NC
Oct 10th – 13th 2022 @ EFX WRAPS
Nov 14th – 17th 2022 @ EFX WRAPS

SPECIAL OFFER / DESIGN INSPIRATION: https://www.mixcloud.com/djdallas11/

So you wanted to be a hot-shot wrapper huh?

I am angry, so forgive me if I rant. You gave notice after only two weeks on the job and then really screwed me when you didn’t even show up the next day. I know why you quit; it was hard work, harder than you thought it was going to be. The funny thing is, you worked an easy position and never even worked on a crunch project, funny right? The sad thing is you don’t even know how hard it really is, or what it truly means to be a wrapper.

It’s not all your fault; they didn’t really prepare you for this in school did they? They didn’t warn you that being a great wrapper requires first being a great helper. They didn’t tell you about the sacrifices you have to make, the hard work, the hours, the dedication, the commitment, the lack of sleep, they didn’t warn you. You thought you would start up and be like Jim Miller or Justin Pate in a couple years, that’s all it should take right?

I know, I know, learning how to use your knife, trim a good line, or learning how to properly clean your surface is boring.  It’s way cooler to get right to wrapping bumpers and showing off Instagram photos of perfect corners right?  I’m too old school anyway, no perfectly plotted templates, no wrapping with 3 more people to help you out, no 250 specialty tools, boring really. Who wants to learn how to properly set knifeless tape or practice how to efficiently weed & mask graphics, so boring and tedious.

Well, I need to tell you a few things. One day, just maybe, you will be a lead wrapper or own your own shop somewhere. You will need to train and motivate the people who work for you, guide them, lead them, teach them, and inspire them. One day, you will spend more time looking at a profit-and-loss statement than you do your next car lay. You will miss prepping your kit, making a plan of attack, dry fitting the first side, even sharpening your squeegee edge. You will spend time in marketing meetings, staff meetings, partners meetings, vendor meetings, all kinds of meetings. You will spend more time in the office than you really want to; spend time outside of the shop promoting your business, do marketing, engage in social media, agonize over film and labor costs, kiss your significant other goodbye while they sleep because you have to be at the shop early for some insane reason, and somewhere in there make sure you are delivering top-notch wraps. You will miss weddings, birthday parties, graduations, all kinds of things. You will alienate your friends and family because you don’t write or call enough. There are no sick days, personal days, breaks; this is not like a 9-to-5 job; get over it.

Get ready for years of sacrifice, hard work, and stress. Learn as much as you can, read everything, ask questions, write things down, save your money, show up to work early and offer to stay late, come to work on your day off just to learn how to attack a section differently or watch a new technique video. Try everything you can, over and over, and ask other wrappers so many questions they get annoyed.

Take care of yourself and sleep as much as you can and skip after-work drug/liquor binging, so you wake up ready and on time. Travel and experience another shops if you can, wrap with them, attend the industry events. Learn to appreciate the time you have right now, enjoy the ride, the process, don’t be in a hurry to be the world’s best wrapper or make a lot of money. It’s not about that and it never will be unless you are exceptionally talented and lucky. There is only one Rob Ivers or Marcio Oliveira or Joffrey Van Der Jagt or Dan Antonelli, and they all have worked extremely hard to get where they are and continue to do so. Enjoy all the crap that comes with this life, embrace it, learn to thrive on it.

One day, when you are a wrap shop owner, there will be an epiphany so powerful you will have to sit down. You will understand everything every trainer or former boss yelled at you; you will understand why we work the way we do; you will understand why our profession is so wonderful, so unique, and it will hit you hard. I can’t tell when or where this will happen but I promise you it will if you work hard and keep your head down and do what your more experienced wrap family tells you.

So keep this in mind when I give you a hard time and push you, criticize you and refuse that day-off request. Maybe the next job you have, you will suck it up instead of leaving them short-handed with a 50 vehicle fleet starting the next day.

(Full disclosure & credit that I didn’t originally write this in total.  I sourced the base structure from a respected chef by the name of Marcus Meacham and modified it to fit our wrap industry lives.  The basic premise resonated very strongly with me as I saw it applying so, so well with our wrap journey)