Tony Gardner, Event Director of Printwear & Promotion LIVE!, tells us what to expect from this year’s show
Can you tell us the history of Printwear & Promotion LIVE!?
Printwear & Promotion LIVE! is the only exhibition dedicated to the UK garment decoration industry and has been providing an annual meeting place for printwear professionals – and those looking to get into the exciting world of garment decoration – for over three decades.
When you run a business – particularly in a constantly evolving industry – finding the time to investigate ground-breaking equipment releases, source new suppliers and keep up to date with the latest knowledge can sometimes prove difficult.
That’s why each year the show attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and further afield, as they are keen to take advantage of this unique opportunity to source new products from leading brands, get tailored advice from brand representatives and pick up expert information from globally renowned figures – all in a vibrant, dynamic and interactive environment.
After celebrating its landmark 30th anniversary last year, the show will launch into a new decade in 2020 with an unmissable event that continues its long-standing tradition of providing a hub for the latest machinery and equipment, garments, suppliers and knowledge.
How is the show developing and growing?
While P&P LIVE! has certainly grown over the years, it would be more apt to say the show evolves year on year. There are approximately 60-70 exhibitors who return to exhibit annually but each year there are a number of fresh faces that make their debut at the show – meaning the scope of the show is continually developing and, in turn, attracting new audiences.
Have there been any recent developments that have changed the profile of the show?
There’s a much stronger emphasis on providing education in addition to the usual products and services. Our exhibitors don’t see the show as an opportunity for a ‘quick sell’; it’s viewed more as a chance to meet with existing and prospective customers face-to-face, discuss individual requirements with tailored advice and ultimately, invest in long term business relationships.
We mirrored this emphasis on education in the show itself with the introduction of a number of highly informative and exciting feature areas – including two seminar suites – that provide garment decoration professionals and newcomers alike with the vital information and knowledge they need to ensure their venture is a success.
What can visitors expect to see at this year’s show?
Visitors will be able to explore the show’s lively exhibition floor, where there will be over 140 leading companies showcasing an array of garment decoration machinery, equipment and supplies.
Each year, exhibitors see the show as an opportunity to springboard their latest products onto the market so there will also be a number of UK and European exclusive product launches, which are well worth visiting the show to see!
Whether you’re on a lookout for co-ordinated team kits, tracksuits, sports bags, outerwear or promotional items such as water bottles, pens, mugs and more, you’ll find an impressive array of products ready to have any team logo or graphic emblazoned on them.
Among the 60 plus garment brands showcasing the latest styles from their 2020 catalogues is Finden+Hales, Tombo and Chadwick Teamwear – which will be launching its new five-piece stock cricket range on stand E62 alongside the company’s new signature teamwear range, Edge.
P&P LIVE! will also feature a number of exciting and informative feature areas so visitors can pick up both the tools and knowledge they need to get started with their new garment decoration venture.
What seminars and advice will be on offer to attendees this year?
The show features a number of interactive and informative feature areas, tailored to suit the varied requirements of our visitors.
In The Decoration Advice Suite, industry professionals will be sharing their expert advice across all types of garment decoration, while over in The Knowledge Centre, there will be plenty of business advice on offer covering topics including marketing and e-commerce.
The Screen Print Workshop will also return to the show, hosting live demonstrations and tutorials that will benefit screen printing beginners and the more experienced printer alike. The show will also feature energetic and lively displays of new season styles from a number of well-known brands in daily Fashion Shows.
How has the market changed in the last five years?
One of the most noticeable changes in the market in the last five years is the big push for sustainability. With consumers becoming ever more eco-conscious, the demand for environmentally friendly, responsibly sourced and sustainable garments is on the rise and growth is expected to continue long into the new decade.
This is evident in the number of ‘green’ ranges set to be exhibited at the show, including new styles from Écologie by AWDis on stand F10, featuring the new Ambaro Recycled Sports Tee made from recycled polyester, and the new Honestly Made range from Regatta on stand D40.
Visitors who are keen on increasing their own eco credentials will be able to explore products made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, cotton waste, recycled plastic fabric and upcycled yarn, to name but a few of the new materials entering the market.
Additionally, the demand for personalised products has increased over the past five years which has seen companies that may not have traditionally been involved in the market invest in a garment or product decoration add on. Take a sports organisation or retailer for example. While previously they may have sold replica kits or shirts, there’s a huge opportunity to open up a profitable avenue by tapping in to fanbases who want a variety of personalised products such as hats, mugs, pens and more.
What do you feel has been the show’s greatest success over the years?
The continued success of the show can be seen from two different aspects. Firstly, the show has experienced nine years of consecutive growth at a time when other exhibitions have either fallen by the wayside or had to downsize due to decreasing interest. The last two years of the exhibition even achieved record visitor numbers, with over 6,200 visitors attending in 2019. These two aspects go hand in hand to help contribute to the success of the show.
To what do you attribute your success?
The reason for Printwear & Promotion LIVE!’s success is the essence that the exhibition provides to visitors year on year. It is dynamic, interactive and vibrant and there’s an incredibly positive cycle in place, whereby the number of exhibitors grows and there is more for visitors to do and see and in turn, the number of exhibitors grows again the following year. The show provides visitors with the inspiration to develop and grow their own business and, in doing so, encourages them to return year on year.
What would you say to encourage people to attend the show?
The show is the only place that offers an array of incredibly important experiences under one roof. You can source all of the equipment and supplies that you will need to get started and pick up uniquely tailored advice from representatives on each stand. What’s more, with plenty of show deals and competitions available, coming along to the show may save visitors hundreds of pounds when purchasing new equipment!
I’m certain that those who take a day out of the office or their weekend to come along will quickly realise just how valuable their visit will prove to their business.
What trends do you predict will be popular in the among the year?
As mentioned previously, consumer awareness has been on the rise over the past few years and I predict that the demand for recycled, eco-friendly and ethical garments will continue to grow in the coming years.
One area in particular that I think will particularly be affected by this is the sportswear market, as advancements in technology will enable the production of garments that feature the same high quality, performance driven characteristics with a minimised environmental footprint.
Who will be exhibiting at the show?
With over 140 exhibitors, Printwear & Promotion LIVE! features the leading names in garment decoration. In addition to the companies mentioned previously – Chadwick Teamwear, Écologie by AWDis, Finden+Hales, Regatta Professional, Spall Sports and Tombo – visitors can also expect to see the likes of Fruit of the Loom and Just Hoods by AWDis at the show.
Additionally, there will be a number of trophy suppliers exhibiting including Cebrian UK, Crystal Galleries, Glenway Products, Goodwill Trophy Company and Trophy Distributors UK.
This is just a flavour of the broad range of exhibitors that will be at the show – a comprehensive list can be found on the Printwear & Promotion LIVE! website.
How can people obtain tickets to the show?
Printwear & Promotion LIVE! is free to attend and visitors can register to attend ahead of their visit using our quick and easy online registration form.
Simply head to the dedicated show website, www.printwearandpromotionlive.co.uk, fill in the short form and you’ll receive a unique barcode granting you access to the UK’s only exhibition dedicated to the UK garment decoration industry. Visitors can also register at the show on the day of their visit, but by registering in advance they can skip the queues and get straight into the action!
The show is being held at the NEC Birmingham on January 19-21.