In this week’s blog post I will be telling you about the highlights of our trip to the Printwear and Promotion LIVE! expo at the NEC Birmingham.

girl in EV Designs Tiedye teeWe decided to go to the Printwear and Promotion expo this year, as I wanted to meet and question some professionals in the printing business. I do lots of research online, but it is sometimes hard to know who to believe and what websites are reliable. This is the main reason I was so keen to go to the expo. Specifically, I was looking for embroidery machines and I wanted to ask an expert what the best one for me would be at this stage of my printing business.

We set off at 8 am, picked up my friend on the way, and headed to Birmingham. The journey was about 3 hours long, and all the way there it was on and off snowing hard. At one point we thought we’d have to turn back. Luckily we made it there in one piece.

When we got in there, they printed off our lanyards, and let us into the halls. It was amazing, I found it so overwhelming, and I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I didn’t know where to go first.

printwear and promotion lanyards

What we saw:

Fashion show.
Screen printing set ups.
Embroidery machines.
Heat presses.
Digital printers.
Label makers.
…and lots more!


fashion show

EV Designs Brother Sewing MachineEmbroidery machines were my main focus at this expo, as I was hoping to buy one.
When we were walking around the printing expo, we saw so many embroidery machines, lots of them had multiple amounts of heads!
It was so satisfying to watch them.

We ended up at the stall, and started talking to a man there. I told him our situation and he was trying to sell me a Brother Embroidery machine. I already have a Brother Sewing Machine, so I was keen on potentially staying with Brother. But the machine he suggested was way out of budget at around £6,000 and then on top of that, the software I would need was £1,700! This for me was a bit of a reality check, and made me think twice about whether or not we are ready for this next step.

We also watched a talk from Karen Burrows (managing director of Maderia UK) talking about Embroidery. It was really interesting, but it showed us how much more there is to embroidery. It isn’t just thread, needle, and go. It’s much more complex.
We did however, realise how much potential we have, if we do decide to go into embroidery.

brother embroidery machine

After this expo, we have made the decision to grow our current business this year, doing what we already offer, and to aim to starting embroidery in 2019!
I feel very good about this decision, as by then I am hoping to have a bigger workshop, more followers/customers and more experience in the printing business.

EV Designs and Mug

Another part to the expo that caught our attention, was the mug heat presses. They aren’t too expensive, and the business opportunities are endless. The only thing that stopped me buying one, then and there, was the printers you need for them. At the moment we only have an inkjet printer for admin. But for printing mugs, we would need a sublimation printer. I need to do some research into these, as I’m not too sure how much they go for. But this could be something we look to offer next.



To sum up our trip to the Printwear and Promotion LIVE! Expo in Birmingham: