The January move for Printwear & Promotion LIVE! proved to be a great success. A total of 5,918 visitors flocked into Halls 17 & 18 at the NEC Birmingham from Sunday 21 to Tuesday 23 January to discover new products and equipment, as well as the garment decoration industry’s latest clothing lines.
Event director, Tony Gardner, commented: “As anticipated with January being a little quieter for the industry as a whole, the earlier dates enabled even more to attend and despite snow on the first day, we were delighted that visitor numbers were 300 up on last year and surpassed our previous high achieved in 2015! Once again our exhibitors put on a real show with the quality of their stand presentations and the 150 stands were an excellent showcase for and a reflection of the vibrancy of the printwear market.”
Visitors were spoilt for choice with the number of new equipment launches at the show, ranging from direct to garment printers such as the Brother GTX and the Ricoh Ri 100 to embroidery machines including the SWF KS tubular series featuring 1,200spm and the super compact SAI from Tajima.
J&B Sewing Machine Co managing director, Robert Miller, who was exhibiting the new Brother GTX DTG printer, commented: “We have never been so swamped with potential buyers. We were overrun with people excited to see the new Brother GTX and we printed non-stop for the three days of the show. Even in the first few days post show we have secured a number of confirmed orders so we are extremely happy.”
The show also saw a number of new exhibitors showcasing their products and services for the first time.
Owner of Start2Print, Steven Galbraith, who is already planning a return in 2019 with a bigger stand, commented: “We spoke with many people wanting to get started in the trade that were just after a little advice. Over 500 people visited our small stand over the three-day period.”
Familiar faces and new arrivals
Printwear & Promotion LIVE! 2018 was attended by both returning and new visitors alike. Janette Gibbons, Sara Easton and Emma Crowhurst, owners of EJS Products, returned after attending the show for the first time last year. They commented: “We made the effort to take the time out of our busy workload and come this year; it’s definitely been worth it! It’s great to have both clothing and equipment all in one place. We came to source new technology and garments, and if there is something new out there it’s going to be at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! We came with a lot of questions, but are leaving with a lot of answers.”
Mark and Katy Spence, owners of Linear Signs and Graphics, visited Printwear & Promotion LIVE! for the first time this year, saying: “We have never been to the show before, and it has been very eye-opening. We specialise in signs and graphics, but starting to venture into garment decoration and hoping to conquer that market as well. We were very impressed by the quality and number of exhibitors and will return next year.”
Exclusive feature areas successful as ever
Debuting at the 2018 show were two new seminar theatres: The Knowledge Centre and The Decoration Advice Suite. Providing information on how to develop a garment decoration business and the best ways to maximise profit when it comes to decorating garments, both seminar theatres proved to be a success.
Other show features included the ever-popular Fashion Show, sponsored by Regatta, showcasing the latest garments in sportswear, outdoor clothing and workwear, the Screen Print workshop and the Bag & Headwear Decoration Advice stand sponsored by Beechfield Brands.
Next year will see Printwear & Promotion LIVE! celebrate its 30th anniversary. The show is provisionally planned to take place in January in Halls 17 & 18, so watch this space for further details.