Thousands of garment decoration professionals descended upon Halls 17 & 18 at the NEC, Birmingham from Sunday 20 to Tuesday 22 January to join the celebrations as Printwear & Promotion LIVE! marked 30 years in the industry with the biggest event in its history.
Commenting on the landmark number of visitors, show director Tony Gardner says: “I am absolutely delighted that we have exceeded 6,200 visitors for the first time, which is a new record in the show’s history. Following on from the record number of visitors last year, this year’s successes further endorses the decision to switch the show to January.
“We look forward to further building on this success at next year’s show!”
With an impressive footfall of 6,297 visitors seen over the course of the three day exhibition, companies that were exhibiting were naturally delighted and are already making preparations for 2020.
Mark Hobkirk, managing director of Hobkirk Sewing Machines, comments: “P&P LIVE! 2019 was another successful show for Hobkirks! The show gets better and better for us and this year we doubled the size of our stand to allow us to welcome customers old and new to join us. We cannot wait until next year, we’ll be here again!”
Result Clothing’s managing director David Sanders-Smith echoes this sentiment, saying: “P&P LIVE! continues to tick all Result’s boxes when it comes to footfall and quality enquiry; and it’s always great to share time with customers old and new so here’s to the next 30 years!”
In addition to over 150 exhibitors showcasing the latest equipment, supplies and garments, visitors were also spoilt for choice with a number of exciting and informative feature areas – including two knowledge-packed seminar theatres, Screen Print Workshops, the Bag & Headwear Decoration Advice stand, daily Fashion Shows and the brand new adrenaline-filled Skate Ramp.
As a must-attend event on the calendar of anyone involved in the garment decoration and promotional sectors, many P&P LIVE! 2019 attendees were not first-time visitors – but still proved highly impressed by the show’s 30th anniversary spectacular.
Having visited the show four or five times, Gareth Gladwin of DTB Europe explains his reasons for coming back year on year: “I mainly come to see what others in the industry are doing. It’s interesting to see where we are in the market and whether we are on the right path. I always find the show interesting – there is always something that catches my eye. I have enjoyed the show this year!”
With so much to be seen, many regular visitors noted the need for a ‘gameplan’ including Lara Seal, Sally Pate and Emma Wall of Shires Equestrian, who say: “This was our second time at the exhibition. We came with a plan of action and found exactly what we were looking for. We have recommended the show to others in our industry and some of them came along this year. We find the show useful and would definitely come again.”
Dorian Tranter and Louis Georgiou of Essential Embroidery commented on why the show is a must-attend for them: “It’s a great way to connect with suppliers. This year we have discovered some new and interesting pieces and there seems to be more of an emphasis on environmentally-friendly clothing at the show, which is great for us. Each year we bring the sales team to meet with suppliers and to see the new products. Nothing beats touching and feeling. We enjoy coming and feel the exhibition is important for the industry.”
Visitors travel from far and wide to attend the only exhibition dedicated to the UK garment decoration industry. Katja Montola and Tiina Ratilainen of SkyPro Oy comment on what makes the show well worth the journey: “We have come all the way from Finland to attend! We have found plenty of new products and ideas for us to take back. We love Next Level Apparel and are so pleased to have found them! We love the show and would definitely recommend it to others.”
P&P LIVE! is not only a one-stop-shop for those already invested in garment decoration, but a great place to start for those looking to dip their toes into the vibrant sector.
Roy Marshall of arthouse25.co.uk, who attended the show to source uniforms for his colleagues, comments: “It was my first time at P&P LIVE! and I found it to be brilliant – try stopping me coming back!”
With a vast array of easy and affordable equipment and supplies on offer, the show is perfect for start-ups looking source the perfect set-up for their new venture. Ed Worley and Ruth Hewitt of P-Nut London comment: “It was our first time at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! We are planning on starting a new clothing brand, so we thought we would come to check out new clothing suppliers and the different print techniques. From what we have seen of the exhibition we would definitely come again.”
Tanya Reynolds, Untame Domain and Dan Gurner, Precision Design and Print, were also first-time visitors to the show following a recommendation from one of their suppliers, Merlin Transfers, who were exhibiting at the show. Speaking on their experience, Tanya and Dan say: “We have found the exhibition really informative – there’s so much more clothing here than we realised there would be. We came to source a new clothing supplier, we are very interested in Next Level Apparel and Écologie by AWDis. We loved the Skate Ramp – it really shows the flexibility of the clothing. We would definitely come back again!”
Printwear & Promotion LIVE! will return to Halls 17 & 18 at the NEC, Birmingham from Sunday, January 19 to Tuesday, January 21.