Tutorials & How To's

How to bulk order print on demand t-shirts for events

March 14, 2023
min read
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Are you in chargeof ordering custom printed t-shirts for your next company event? Or maybe youare organizing a race or a charity event that will have unifying t-shirts?Ordering for many people you don’t know can be stressful, but with the rightplan, you can do it smoothly and with ease. Keep reading!

Considerthe timeline

First thingsfirst, you need to get in order your timeline. Look at the date the event ishappening. Most likely you will need the shirts before that date. Will youdistribute the shirts on the day of the event or a few days before? Dependingon that plan, decide the best date when you need the shirts ready and deliveredby the supplier.

Talking aboutsuppliers, it is best to start looking for them in advance. You need to knowthe production and delivery timeline so you can plan accordingly. Also, if youare hiring a designer for the image you are putting on t-shirts, make sure youknow their capacity and delivery time.

Once you know allof this information, you can create a timeline and set yourself due dates, wheneverything needs to be ready. For example,

Date 1, You havefound a supplier and know their requirements

Date 2, Thedesigner turns in the final design

Date 3, You turnin the final t-shirt count and design to print on demand supplier

Date 4, Youreceive the printed t-shirts

Date 5, Peoplecan receive their t-shirts

Date 6, The eventday

When creating atimeline, it is best to work backward – start with the event date and planother dates according to that.

Workingwith a print on demand supplier

Once you havefound a print on demand supplier (for example, us, printseekers.com!) you canopen the communication channel and start working with your personal manager.That is one thing we strongly believe in – every client of ours has to havetheir own dedicated manager. It makes communication flow easily, creates agreat understanding of client needs, and in the end saves time and nerves onboth ends.

To start working with ustoday, reach out and we will contact you promptly!

6topics you need to communicate about with your print on demand supplier

Here is a list of topics you need to cover incommunication with your print on demand supplier. It will help you get the bestresults in the right amount of time!

1.   When the t-shirts need to be ready

When the supplier knows the due date, they cancalculate the best date when you need to turn in the final order (the t-shirtcount, sizes, design, etc.) depending on their production and shipping speed.

2.   Approximate size of the order

Even if you don’t know the precise number oft-shirts you will need, you know approximately how big of an event you areplanning. Is it for 30, 100, 500, or more people? The supplier must know whatthey need to get ready for, so when the printing starts they have the rightamount of t-shirts and they can give you a precise estimate of how fast theycan print everything.

3.   T-shirt style and color

There are several t-shirt styles. Not only you canchoose male, female, or unisex t-shirts, but you can also pick out the fabric, theneck style, and the fit. You can also choose a t-shirt color that suits yourevent the best. The sooner you can provide this information, the better.

4.   Delivery

Make sure you communicate clearly how the t-shirtswill be delivered, so there is no confusion.

5.   Bulk order discount

It is no secret that printing a lot of items with one design can get you a bulk discount. Ask your personal manager about it and make the best deal!

6.   Ask questions

Don’t be shy to contact the supplier manager aboutdifferent details when it comes to bulk printing. They have the experience andthey definitely can answer lots of burning questions.

Preparedesign files ahead

Technology can be tricky and you definitely don’twant to delay the printing process by a minor detail like not submitting theright file format to the print on demand supplier. To make sure that doesn’thappen, definitely check with your manager what files they accept andcommunicate this information to the designer.

Also, a good practice is to send in the printingfiles in advance not last minute. That way the print on demand supplier cancheck the files and see if everything is fine and looking good.

Howto choose sizes for t-shirt bulk orders

How to choosesizes for t-shirts for an event depends on the event you are organizing. Is ita company event and the t-shirts are for employees? Or is it, for example, acharity event where you will hand out t-shirts on the spot?

Howto choose t-shirt sizes for employees

If you needt-shirts for your company’s employees, it is easy – ask everyone for theirsizes. You can create a Google form with just a few questions – a person’s nameand t-shirt size. Unfortunately, it cannot be anonymous, because you have toknow which size is intended for who, once you will distribute the shirts.

Howto choose t-shirt sizes for public events

For public events, there are a few options for howto choose sizes for t-shirts.

Askfor a t-shirt size

If the event hasa pre-registration, you can ask for a t-shirt size in the registration form.However, remember that there will be a due date when you need to turn in theorder to your print on demand supplier. It means that if the registration isplanned till the last moment, you won’t be able to provide last-minuteattendees with a specific shirt size. But you can, for example, make choosing at-shirt size a bonus for those who register early.

And for thelast-minute attendees remember to order t-shirts based on average sizing or youcan use the registered attendees' sizes as a guide for what sizes to order forthose who register later.

Predictsizes based on average

If there is nopre-registration for your public event, you have no choice but to get t-shirtsbased on average sizing. You can follow this approximate guide of what sizespeople wear in the U.S. For example, from a sample group of 100 people:

●     1 person wears size XS

●     7 persons wear size S

●     28 persons wear size M

●     30 persons wear size L

●     20 persons wear size XL

●     12 persons wear size 2XL

●     2 persons wear size 3XL

Also, keep inmind the nature of your event and your target group. For example, the averagesizing for teenagers (if it is a school event) might be different than foradults. If it is a race you are organizing and a lot of attendees are amateuror professional athletes, the sizing can also differ.

Go asize up!

Remember that ifyou don’t know the exact t-shirt sizes of attendees, it is better to size up.It also works in the favor of today’s trend of oversized style. And thinkinglogically, it is more comfortable to wear a t-shirt that is slightly bigger,than a t-shirt you cannot really fit in.

Whatt-shirts to choose for a bulk order

It all of coursedepends on your preference and the type of event. However, here are a few tipsthat will help guide your choice.

Chooseone type of t-shirt

To make thingseasier for yourself, the supplier, and event attendees, choose one type oft-shirt. The easiest solution is to choose unisex t-shirts, but you can also gofor separate female and male shirts in the same design.

The onlyexception for choosing one type of t-shirt is if you are ordering t-shirts foremployees. If you are willing to put in the effort, you can ask them to fill ina detailed questionnaire about what t-shirt style they want. Start with lettingthem choose the neck style and keep going more specific from there.

Chooseneutral colors if applicable

More people willlike the t-shirts and they might choose to wear them outside the event if youmake them in neutral colors like black, white, beige, etc. Mostly, just becauseneutrals will look good on almost anyone, while bright colors have specificundertones that will not work perfectly with everyone’s completions.

But that ofcourse depends on your event and your specific needs. Sometimes you will needto coordinate the color with the event or the company logo and that is finetoo.

Whatto print? Pro tip

Even though thedesign and creative part of what to print on t-shirts is up to you, here is onepro tip on how to create a t-shirt for a public event that people love, willwear outside the event, and what you can reuse next year!

Avoidgetting a specific year printed on the t-shirts

By not adding ayear to the design, you ensure that you can reuse the same t-shirts next year.If that is an annual event, even attendees can reuse their last year’s shirt!It works well not only financially but also environmentally.

Even if the eventis not annual, by adding a year you make the t-shirt tied to that time. Yes,vintage and retro are in style right now, but it applies to items that are atleast 20 years old. If the shirt has last year’s date, it just won’t feel freshand trendy, and won’t get used that much.

The onlyexception is if you are printing t-shirts, for example, for a music band’stour. That way a t-shirt with the year and tour places can be a great triviaitem.


The key elementsto ordering t-shirts in bulk are time planning and communication with the eventattendees and the print on demand supplier. Plan ahead, get the wheel rolling,decide on the t-shirt sizes, create a design, order, and celebrate your eventwith custom t-shirts!

To work with us as a print on demand supplier, leave us amessage and your personal

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