NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference for Professional Apparel Decorators

September 13 & 15, 2018

Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium | Indianapolis, IN

Thursday 9 AM – 5:30 PM | Saturday 8 AM – 4 PM 

Cost $25/per class per person* or $150/per person for Full Conference (6 or more classes per person) 

Attend THE NBM SHOW as well, it is included with your registration!

In order to thrive in today's ever-changing world, embroidery and apparel decoration professionals need to be forward-looking. The NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference will help you master the skills to ensure that your business will have the agility and ability to thrive, not just survive. By attending these classes, you will have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the industry.


Embroidery and apparel decoration business owners will benefit. The program provides immediately applicable industry-specific knowledge to help you improve your profits, production workflow and digitizing abilities.


By attending this program, you will:

  • Be able to create a pricing structure so that you no longer have to guess to set your prices, and you will know what your target profit levels are and how to reach them.
  • Be able to hoop challenging products such as shoes, leashes, karate belts, purses, leather, boots and pant legs with confidence.
  • Be able to take care of your embroidery equipment so that it continues to create top-quality embroidery and run as a well-cared for machine.
  • Be able to create embroidery designs that sew efficiently in a production setting with the minimum number of stitches, color changes and thread breaks without compromising the quality of the resulting embroidery.
  • Be able to create small lettering that looks crisp and sews without issues.
  • Be able to know what stabilizers to use on the many different types of fabrics to control puckering, ripples and bad registration.
  • Be able to create maximum impact with applique designs that dramatically reduce stitch counts while increasing the overall impact of the design.

We want to help you make the right choice for your professional development, so please contact us at 800-866-7396 or embdigconf@nnep.com for personal assistance.

Register now online - click the green button below:

Attend any of the classes at NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference on Thursday and Saturday. You DO need to register to attend each specific class of the conference, as there is limited seating in each classroom. 

Classes descriptions* are listed below

Download the schedule here: NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference Class Schedule

Digitizing Mistakes to Avoid (offered Thursday & Saturday)

Presented by Frank Gawronski, Embroidery Educational Services Int'l. on Thursday

Frank's Class Description: What elements make a design run poorly? All designs should run smoothly, with very few thread breaks. Learn how to digitize/edit designs with these principles in mind and create "high performance" designs.

Presented by Erich Campbell, Black Duck Screen Printing & Embroidery on Saturday

Erich's Class Description: The common mistakes that everyone makes can lead to discoveries that make your embroidery special.  Learn how to turn problems into triumphs. We will take a design that looks good on the screen but runs badly, and turn it into a design that is a pleasure to run and puts a smile on your customer’s face.

Mastering Lettering (offered Thursday)

Presented by Erich Campbell, Black Duck Screen Printing & Embroidery on Saturday

How small is too small, Learn how to make a small letter work for you.  Learn how to create large letters that will be effective, easy to run, and will stand up to wear. Learn how to add volume to your letters without foam. Learn basic letter construction, what works and what does not, and how to hide travel stitches between your letters.

Advanced Digitizing - Performance Fabrics, Underlay Essentials, Dynamics of Density (offered Thursday)

Presented by Erich Campbell, Black Duck Screen Printing & Embroidery

Working with performance fabrics. Learn what your stitches are doing and how to make sure they are effective on the garment you are using.  Learn the effective use of underlays, what works and what does not. Learn the density to use and how extra stitches will impact the integrity of your design.

Pricing - Discover How to Set Your Prices Profitably (offered Thursday & Saturday)

Presented by Jennifer Cox, President and Co-Founder, National Network of Embroidery Professionals

Pricing is one of the topics we cover the most often with NNEP members and new embroidery professionals. Many embroiderers & apparel decorators are not sure where or how to set their pricing. Many new embroidery business owners guess, hoping for the best… You will never have to do that after today! 

I will give you a blueprint to help you develop a pricing structure for your embroidery & apparel decoration business. This will prove to be informative for you, by either confirming your existing pricing or by motivating you to refine your prices so that you are indeed making the profit in your business that you desire. Class attendees get: the Pricing Worksheet, the Job Profit Calculator and a customized spreadsheet to plug in numbers and generate prices easily.

Machine Maintenance, How to Set Proper Tensions to create Excellent Embroidery (offered Thursday & Saturday)

Presented by Frank Gawronski, Embroidery Educational Services Int'l.

Learn the basics of Embroidery machine maintenance. We will explore "How" the machine works and discuss simple fixes for any operator/owner. Thread tensioning is a very important operator skill set. Learn how tensions work and how to set them with confidence.

The ABC's of Applique Embroidery (offered Thursday & Saturday)

Presented by Bryan and Stacy Sesler, Midwest Punch Embroidery & Applique, LLC

From set up to finished product we'll take you through the Do's and Don't of a successful distressed or traditional applique layout.

Getting Started in Digitizing (101) (offered Thursday & Saturday)

Presented by Frank Gawronski, Embroidery Educational Services Int'l on Thursday

Franks' Class Description: Learn the basics of embroidery digitizing. Learn how "Auto digitizing" works. Learn the basic digitizing parameters; stitch length, density and how to use underlay. We will also explore the proper level of digitizing package that’s right for you.

Presented by Erich Campbell, Black Duck Screen Printing & Embroidery on Saturday

Erich's Class Description:  What you need to buy, what you need to know. What to ask for in a machine, and what to ask for in your software.  Learn what support you will need, and what training, so that it all works for you, and get a firm foundation that will last as you grow in your new profession.

Mastering Hard to Hoop Products & Understanding Stabilizers CANCELLED


Secrets for Business Success - Tips & Tricks to Save Time, Money, and Mistakes (offered Saturday)

Presented by Jennifer Cox, President and Co-Founder, National Network of Embroidery Professionals

Oh, what I would not give to have had the tips and techniques I am going to share here back when I was just getting started in our business! If there was a right way, and a wrong or expensive way to do something, you know that I picked NOT the best way, practically every single time. From how to prepare for sales calls, how to provide quotes to your customers, how to follow up with them, how to design your workspace, how to manage your time, and how to plan and prepare for the best and worst case scenarios - after this session, you will not have to personally experience the expensive (time wise or with your own money) mistakes that many people make. Accelerate your learning curve and your road to success by learning from our mistakes instead of living through them yourself. Class attendees get: Cold calling sales script, Secret Agent Joe Logo Strategy, Limits of Liability Samples.

Elements of a Good Design - What Works, What Does Not and What To Do About It (offered Saturday)

Presented by Erich Campbell, Black Duck Screen Printing & Embroidery

What will work when you turn that printed design into an embroidered design and what will not.  Learn your limitations, and learn how to take those limitations and turn them into features that your customer will love.


Thread Tensioning & Embroidery Troubleshooting (offered Saturday)

Presented by Frank Gawronski, Embroidery Educational Services Int'l

Learn how the various Thread Tensioning systems on your embroidery machine work and discover how to adjust them with ease and confidence. Learn how to troubleshoot those nagging problems that often lead to unnecessary thread breaks, thread looping, puckered designs and even damaged garments. Sharpen these important skill sets and bring more money to your bottom line.

Please Note: CALL to register for this specific class, or register for it AT the CONFERENCE, as it is a last minute schedule change!

*Class dates, times, presenters and subjects are subject to change without prior notice. All class participants will also be registered to attend THE NBM SHOW and must be at least 12 years old. No exceptions!

The NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference is co-located with THE NBM SHOW in Indianapolis in September. That means when you register to attend any classes at the Conference, you also will be registered for THE NBM SHOW going on at the same time, for no additional cost!

What will you discover at THE NBM SHOW? Click HERE to go to THE NBM SHOW website.

NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference Schedule - click here!

Make the MOST of your time at the NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference and THE NBM SHOW - 

  • Come to the Conference ready to discover better ways to make your business successful and to the Trade Show ready to do business with the suppliers.
  • Bring lots of business cards.
  • Prepare a wholesale/credit application that includes all the pertinent information about your company, such as your federal tax ID#, credit references, companies with whom you already have Net 30 terms established.  Download, complete and bring copies of this Wholesale Account Application.
  • Walk the entire trade show once. If you have time after that, walk it again, going in the opposite direction. Sounds strange, but many folks see things they missed the first time around!
  • If an exhibitor is busy, stop back when you can have the access and time you need to make sure that all your questions are answered.
  • Look at how products are merchandised, get ideas for your business.

Keep in mind that by registering for this event you are giving consent to the participating vendors at THE NBM SHOW and the NNEP to send you information about their products and/or services.

Please note: all young and future apparel decorators must be at least 12 years old and registered to attend the classes or enter the exhibit hall. No exceptions.

NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference attendees stay and save at the Westin Indianapolis, which is connected to the Indiana Convention Center by a skywalk. The group rate is $179 Standard. Group Rate Discount Deadline: August 9, 2018. Parking: $30/$42 valet; rates subject to change.

Make hotel reservations & travel arrangements

Whether you’re attending a convention, exploring the city, or a combination of both, you’ll find you can access many attractions on foot. Walk to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Colts game, or head to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse for a concert. Art aficionados and history buffs alike will find one of the best Native American and Western art collections in the world at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. If you’re traveling with children, the Indianapolis Zoo is a must-see and is also within walking distance of the hotel.


Visit the Convention Center's Parking & Directions page HERE for details.

FAQs for NNEP Conference in Indianapolis

For many embroiderers and apparel decorators, you often work in “isolation,” in more ways than one. Many folks do not really “get” what you do, even among your own family and closest friends. Even if you have a storefront, at times it is just you and the equipment. Isolation is one of the hardest hurdles for you to overcome as a business owner! If you are isolated, where do you get new ideas? Who can you ask when you have questions? How can you generate possibilities for fresh solutions, fresh ideas?

At NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference and THE NBM SHOW, you are immersed in embroiderers and apparel decorators! For the majority of attendees, this is the first or only time ALL YEAR, when everything you want to talk about makes sense to someone else! It is like finding an entire community of people who speak your native language – finally. NNEP events are often described as the industry’s “family reunion – the one you WANT to be at…”

Join the conversation, become part of the community – load up with new ideas, new friendships and new ways to think about your business. You will be very glad you did!

  • Hands-On Demonstrations
  • Pricing Classes
  • Software Demonstrations

Ready to make money (or more money) with apparel decoration equipment – embroidery, screen printing, digital garment printing, laser engraving, rhinestone setting, heat presses, sublimation?

Get recognition for the industry-specific knowledge and expertise you acquire at NNEP's Embroidery & Digitizing Conference! Every one of the classes counts towards your participation in the professional development program. You can even include your attendance at THE NBM SHOW!Professional Development Program