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The Printwear & Promotion Show LIVE 2017 – worth the trip?

The Printwear & Promotion Show LIVE 2017 – worth the trip?

It’s always good to keep up to date with the latest equipment and trends, no matter what business you’re in. This year, for the first time, we decided to head up to the NEC in Birmingham for the annual Printwear & Promotion show.
Having worked in other sectors before coming to the embroidery and print industry, I’ve been to a number of different shows like this and, to be honest, I wasn’t convinced this trip was going to actually be of any benefit apart from the standard free pens (who doesn’t love a free pen?!) and the break away from the office. I was wrong!

So, what was so great about the show?

  • The freebies – not just pens…we came away with mugs, hoodies, t-shirts and even personalised towels from AJS Embroidery. Not to mention the prosecco, beer and nibbles at the PenCarrie Bar… Result!
  • Meeting our current suppliers – when you deal with suppliers over the phone and via email all year round, it’s so refreshing to actually meet them in person and build on that relationship by putting faces to the names. Good to see you AJS Embroidery, Eskimo EPOS, Ralawise, PenCarrie & Rowlinson!
  • Meeting potential suppliers and partners – we’re always aiming to do things better and by having an abundance of industry related businesses all in one room it was such a great opportunity to hear what they have to offer there and then, from digitisers to clothing and accessory suppliers, embroidery and print suppliers to ecommerce support providers…they had it all.
  • Seeing the machines running and checking the quality of the embroidery and print produced from them – it was great to see the newest models and all they can do.
  • Discovering all the latest vinyls, threads, clothing and accessories – giving us so much food for thought about what else we can offer our customers.
  • Bamboo clothing – just wow! Nakedshirt gave us a feel of their organic, bamboo shirts…I’m sold!
  • Glitter and animal print vinyl – oh, the fun that could be had!
  • The glorious American Bald Eagle at the ORN clothing stand - now THAT was an exhibition!
  • An endless supply of ideas – literally every stand we visited inspired us in one way or another and we have come back absolutely buzzing with ideas and plans on how we can offer so much more to our current and prospective customers.

The not-so-great bits?

  • WE! WANT! EVERYTHING! – like kids in a toy store, we now have a wish list as long as our arms. P&P LIVE 2017, you have a lot to answer for. Is it too early to write my letter to Santa?!
  • Not enough time – we went on Sunday, not wanting to take a day out of the working week but, in hindsight, we could’ve done with staying and going on Monday too. There was so much to see and experience at the show that when booking next year, we’ll definitely do it over two days.

So what now, after P&P LIVE 2017, for SpeedStitch?

Having just invested in 2 brand new Tajima embroidery machines from the lovely people at AJS Embroidery, and rearranging the workshop, one would think that’d be enough development for now, but after our trip to P&P LIVE 2017 we are hungry for more. We have been listening to our customer needs in terms of embroidery and print production and how we can meet their needs, and also in terms of the variety of garments they want us to supply. Our business plan will need slight adjustments going forward, but more developments are certainly in the pipeline and we are already looking forward to P&P LIVE 2018.

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