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Pouring, Door-to-Door

Big Ink Display Graphics finds a new way to connect with its clients: beer.

Big Picture

Big Ink Display Graphics (, located in Eagan, Minnesota, decided that the best way to gain a close relationship with its clients was through one-on-one meetings. And beer – lots of beer.

In order to do this, the signage and wide-format digital print shop’s sales team opted to bring happy hour straight to their client’s door, calling it Big Ink’s Door to Door Pour.

“I originally came up with the idea after visiting one of our clients, a creative firm,” says Tom Trutna, president of Big Ink. “As I was taking a tour of their newly remodeled offices, their principal told me about how popular the new built-in kegerator was with the creatives (and others) in the firm. It dawned on me that, yes, typically folks in creative firms like craft beer, and that by creating an environment around this we could demonstrate exactly what we do: help clients create branded environments.”

Big Ink sent a teaser e-mail asking “Thirsty?” showing only part of the custom logo – created by Mind Spark, a Minneapolis design agency – on a beer glass. Two days later, a mailer was sent out that explained the program and invited clients to call the shop to find out more. Then, a member of the sales team contacted the client to set up an appointment and get input on which local micro-brew beer they preferred.

The events, held in conference rooms, creative departments, and warehouses, come complete with a wrapped kegerator, promotional banners, printed coasters (that clients may keep), beer glasses with the custom logo, and an interactive station with an iPad that features a shop tour and examples of recent projects.

The take-home coasters were printed via Big Ink’s Canon Oce Arizona 550 XT using pre-cut blank drink coasters sourced online, says Trutna. The kegerator wrap was printed using the shop’s Mimaki JV-3s and printed on 3M Controltac 180-C with laminate; the banners were printed with its PrinterEvolution Evo 33 dye-sublimation printer onto Fisher Textiles heavy knit. All graphics for the portable happy hour were created by Mind Spark.

Big Ink has held five Door to Door Pour events outside of the office and some in-house. They even helped its customer celebrate its 14th year in business. “When we offered to bring the Door to Door Pour, they decided to build a whole celebration around it, and almost 100 employees, vendors, and family members showed up,” says Trutna.

“It's a unique way to show off what we do in a fun, non-sales-y environment,” he says. “It’s a great way to just say ‘thank you’ to our customers without just dropping off a box of donuts or bagels.”

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