Out on the road

Visitors experiencing the benefit of attending the Swindon roadshow

The series of Promotion & Branding Shows organised by GS UK provide the ideal opportunity to meet with suppliers on a one-to-one basis and to view new product launches in an intimate environment. P&P editor Melanie Attlesey attended the Swindon leg of the roadshows to find out more.

For over 19 years GS UK has been hosting roadshows. Known formerly as the Autumn Roadshows, the series of mini events took on a new life in 2016 under the new name Promotion & Branding Shows.

Many original exhibitors such as Fruit of the Loom and Beechfield Brands still use the roadshows to this day as a vehicle to reach customers such as yourself.

Manning the Beechfield Brands stand at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Swindon was Ashford Blake, commercial executive. Explaining the reasons for Beechfield’s ongoing support of the roadshows he said: “We find the roadshows very successful. Roadshows are definitely more personable, as you get that one-to-one interaction with customers. We can have real engaging conversations about our product range and services.”

The roadshows were initially set up as a way for GS UK to demonstrate its own products and machinery, such as embroidery machines, DTG printers and laser cutters. Now nearly 20 years later, 20 different companies have signed up to join GS UK on tour this year, including several new additions such as Just Cool by AWDis and DTB Europe.

Why visit?

Caroline Jones, event co-ordinator, explains why the shows are well worth a visit: “The shows provide the perfect opportunity for visitors to spend time sourcing the products to suit their business needs, they can ask questions and gather technical information relevant to their own specific application. For exhibitors it is a great chance to raise their brand awareness, meet customers, get feedback about their products and also show any new products.”

Caroline continues: “We try to have a good balance of businesses at the shows, for example this year we have a range of apparel companies, workwear, headwear suppliers, soft toys, sportswear, bag suppliers alongside suppliers of embroidery machines, direct to garment printers, dye sublimation printers and transfer technology. This varied selection of exhibitors ensures there is something of interest for all existing garment decorators and anyone thinking of setting up a new business venture.”

The location is above all the most important factor when it comes to deciding where to hold each leg of the roadshow. Swindon was selected as a new location for 2019 and the hotel was chosen for its proximity to the M4 motorway.

The busy Dye Sublimation Supplies stand

During my visit to the Swindon event, I found the atmosphere to be relaxing, with a definite buzz in the air around the middle of the day when lunch was served. I was assured by several of the exhibitors that although the Swindon event appeared to be a little quieter than other events have been in the past that the Irish and Scottish editions of the roadshows were very popular with visitors. Caroline adds: “Visitors to the Ireland and Scotland shows find them really useful to see the machines, products etc. locally without having to take days away from their business travelling to large venues/shows.”

Where next?

The next roadshow will take place at Hilton Hotel London in Croydon on September 25, closely followed by Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow in October.

Visitors to these remaining shows will be able to see the following: new colours from Neutral in its core garment lines; GS UK demonstrating the latest Version 19 release of the Ethos embroidery software; DTB Europe showing  its range of dye sublimation bags; new autumn/winter products launched with BTC activewear and Ralawise from Stormtech; mid-year product launch of workwear crossover garments from Result Clothing; Russell showcasing a number of new products including the 430M/F cross jacket available in two colours, the 440M/F hooded nano jacket available in four colours and the 441M/F mens and ladies nano body warmer.

All in all you can’t go wrong if you visit one of these roadshows. With free parking, a free lunch and that all-important one-on-one interaction with your local rep, there really should be no excuse for taking a day out of the office to attend.

For more information on the upcoming roadshows visit www.promobranding.events

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