The Schoolwear Show will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this October. Find out why you should attend this uniformly inspiring event

This autumn, the Schoolwear Show will celebrate its 20th birthday. The annual three-day event, which kicks off on 15 October 2017, has been a fixture in the garment decoration calendar since being founded by schoolwear companies William Turner, David Luke, Rowlinson, Gymphlex and Banner, which continue to run the show today.

This year, new companies Innovation Schoolwear, Labfax, Lorna Lowe, Optimum Sports and Your Embroidery Designs will be exhibiting, along with regulars such as Tie & Scarf Company, Prestige Schoolwear, PenCarrie and Result Clothing. According to the Schoolwear Show administrator, Cath Gibson, the event, which is a launchpad for many new schoolwear products, is timed to coincide with the new school year and gives visitors the chance to understand the pricing structures for the following 12 months as well as the opportunity to network with industry colleagues.

“The show hosts a selection of top suppliers of daywear and sportswear,” explains Cath. “With the changes of supply and currency on one hand and the opening of more academies and schools changing status on the other, it has never been so important in the history of the industry to make sure you are up to date with what is going on in the market.

“It has become a great focal point for retailers and suppliers to review the previous Back to School season and discuss future plans and opportunities,” she adds.

Visitors to the show can see a wide variety of exhibitors and discuss future plans

All visitors to the show are offered a complimentary hot lunch in the on-site restaurant, while free coffee and biscuits are available in the coffee lounge – the lounge has been expanded thanks to its popularity last year.

There are two events to celebrate the 20th anniversary, the first of which is a Strictly Schoolwear dinner dance event on the Sunday night. Hosted by the Schoolwear Association (SA), the fundraising event will take place at the Village Hotel Solihull. “There will be professional dancers demonstrating their skills, adding to an extra special occasion where the whole trade can relax and enjoy the evening together,” explains Cath. “Tickets are available by contacting the SA ([email protected]) and everyone is welcome.” The dinner dance will also be host to the judging of the inaugural SA Awards, of which there are four categories: Best Schoolwear Specialist; Best Schoolwear Supplier; Best Digital Schoolwear; and Outstanding Service to Schoolwear. (Note: the awards are open to SA members only).

The second event is the Monday night Wine Down, which, as the name suggests, will be a relaxed networking event with wine.

Those wishing to attend the show can register online for free entry at www. theschoolwearshow.co.uk. Visitors that don’t register in advance will be charged a £10 entry fee per person. The show organisers recommend visitors go to the Schoolwear Show’s website to look at the exhibitor profiles in advance to make sure they get the most from the show.

The show will be held at the AIS, The Cranmore Park Conference & Event Centre, Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, Solihull B90 4LF. There is good access from the M6, M5 and M42, Birmingham Airport and rail networks, along with free parking. There are also a number of hotels with competitive rates for show visitors.

The show’s opening hours are Sunday 15 and Monday 16 October 9.30am to 5.00pm and 9.30am to 4.00pm on Tuesday 17 October.

www.theschoolwearshow.co.uk