How to Order Custom Event Shirts (for Events with Registration)


Each event is different and so are your custom T-shirt needs.

Making custom t-shirts and clothing for events is a lot different than for a regular business or when making shirts to sell to the public.

  1. Events are time sensitive. There’s no use for a shirt the day after a race!
  2. Events have a specific number of participants. In business extra shirts can be liquidated or used as promo items.. at events this isn’t a good option.
  3. Some events can take registration right up until event day! This means that sometimes guesswork and extras in your sizes could be NECESSARY – but your numbers can be planned well. Even planned perfectly up to a few days before the event.
  4. Lastly, sizing needs to be perfect. Each participant ideally will receive a shirt that fits them correctly. No one wants to feel left out and one unhappy person is louder than 10 happy ones.

With all that against us, it’s a challenge. You don’t want to host an event and either have registrants without a shirt, or to have hundreds of unclaimed shirts wasted on orders too large.

On a financial level, a mistake on what’s required (even just the wrong shirt sizes) can be disastrous for an event coordinators bottom line.

Even with all these factors it shouldn’t be intimidating. Through the years we’ve seen events go very smooth and we want to help you avoid mistakes in this area.




Co-ordinate with your custom event t-shirt printer:

For events where everyone attending needs to register, registration usually runs until the last possible moment to encourage as many sign-ups as possible. It can be a big challenge to get a promotional product order to be perfect because many events can double or triple in confirmed participation in the last few weeks as the deadline approaches.

Stay organized so you can provide your printer the details they need  as quickly as possible to make the event a success.

Whoever you’re working with will need to know as many details as possible leading up to the print date. They will need artwork from you, a final shirt style choice, an estimated order size and a scheduled print date. That lets them set-up before the shirts arrive, not everything hitting at the same moment.

For the printing to happen successfully at the last minute, the details need to be organized well in advance.


Take sizing information during registration:

The more information you have the better. By taking sizing information as part of the registration you’ll be saving time and money down the road.


End registration before event day:

If registration continues until the day of, you’ll be facing unpredictable numbers and complications. Shutting down registration before your event begins will ensure there will be enough shirts for your participants. If you still want to capitalize on those late to the table, add an extra a limited number of extra slots. You limit your potential surplus product this way.


Cotton T-shirts vs. Polyester vs. Tri-blend:

Typically fitness event shirts will be polyester based.

Everything else will be cotton based because cotton is the more cost effective. Even fitness events will occasionally use cotton to keep costs down but our recommendation is to work with your printer to find the right material for your event.

There are options besides, but between 100% cotton and 100% polyester you’re covered for nearly event possibility.

Sometimes you’ll want participants to walk away with a premium product, to associate your brand or event a premium level, and in those cases you can consider event T-shirts that are a tri-blend or a ringspun cotton.

When working with timelines of days/hours, find a local vendor:

A local vendor is important for 1 reason – You can work with them to turnaround orders in the fastest possible way.

In the past we’ve worked with races to print shirts the day before the event which ensures their registration is as complete as possible and they aren’t wasting a dime.

It’s important to wait as long as possible during registration to order because as mentioned newer events can double or triple in size in the last couple weeks in an unpredictable way. Remember not all vendors are so flexible, so consider more than just price when getting quotes.



Stay on top of your numbers, your registrants and your custom event T-shirts printer!

Communication is key to ensuring a successful order.

Realize that those extra shirts aren’t all that valuable depending on how specifically they are branded.

Even if you’ve chosen and printed premium T-shirt you’ll find it hard to give away “Ottawa Race Weekend 2019” event T-shirts in 2021!

Hey valued customer!

If this is your first order and you’re experiencing information overload, a great way to start is opening a line of communication with one of our reps.

You’re welcome to reach out to us at or visit the link below.

Looking forward to printing with you!