We've attended a lot of trade shows so far this year and enjoyed seeing so many people and talking about our favorite things (caps)! Here’s a quick summary of our trade shows in 2023.
We saw similar trends across all the promo product shows we attended this year. Here are some of our biggest hits and what we saw the most interest in.
Ladies’ fit caps: The interest in ladies' fit caps makes it seem like more fit-to-size hats are becoming popular. The ability to customize the hat all the way down to the comfort of it being made just for your head is rising. No more wrinkles in the back or dents in your forehead.
Rope Caps: Rope caps were big at every show, as this is a growing trend in headwear. It’s an extra bit of style and decoration you can add to a cap. This is a nostalgic technique we are excited to see trending again in all locations and business types.
Dad Caps: The dad cap came back in 2018 and has stuck around with the nostalgic ‘90s and early ‘00s retail trends. These dad hats are traditional 6-panel unstructured caps. It’s usually made of heavy-washed cotton or other weathered fabric with small hits of branding on the front, side, and/or back.
Sustainability: Everyone has been working towards sustainability, and consumers are looking for it as well. They want caps that will last, they want caps made with sustainable materials, and they want caps that are ethically made overall.
7-panel or camp hats: Surf and Skate brands, as well as a variety of different segments of businesses looking for unique promo caps, are looking to hit a younger target audience with the 7-panel caps.
Soft colors: soft colors are popular, hitting women, gen z, and millennials. These trending colors match what WGSN predicted.
Simple fabric patches: Patches' claim to fame started in the ‘60s but became an instant classic. The simplicity combines well with the cost-effectiveness and the ROI on the marketing with this decoration choice. (Sublimated or embroidered)
Workwear: We are loving the workwear trends and so is everyone else! We have lots more to share in our Spring Market Guide. This was popular with southern customers.
Promo Product Resources
SHOT Show was the big kahuna for retail shows, and it is evolving from an outdoor tradeshow to a tactical and gun manufacturing show. Custom hats were a big hit, with interest in full mesh and mesh overlay caps.
Custom Hats: Customization is key. In the world we live in, there is always a way to get exactly what you want. The demand for custom hats has risen with the understanding of new longer lead times in the post covid era.
Mesh: Breathability, regulating temperature, yeah, yeah. But look how cool? Full mesh hats and mesh overlay caps are taking the retail scene by storm, especially in tactical and gun manufacturing and outdoor sports brands. They look cool, and they’re unique to the hat industry.
Sports vendors are beginning to lean to fit into the baseball aesthetic with their booths. In team and outdoor sports, there is high demand for completely custom looks to help teams stand out and look great.
OC Sports Resources
Overall, the industry differences and regions defined the popularity of the different styles of caps we offer. Our reps were excellent. We met with new and existing customers and built our relationships. We look forward to the rest of an excellent year.
Stay tuned for our Spring Market Guide Release!