Trade Only National Show organizers have announced that despite adverse weather conditions, the event’s seventh iteration was its most successful ever. Held January 23-24 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom, the show attracted thousands of industry attendees.
“It has been an incredible few days,” says Nigel Bailey, event director for Trade Only. “The show has just kept growing and is now one of the biggest and best promotional product tradeshows in the world. With over 80 percent of space now reserved for 2014, we are already hard at work planning to make next year’s event even better. Feedback from suppliers and distributors alike has been universally very positive. ”
There were more suppliers exhibiting than before, with 345 stands and nearly 2,000 staff. The show benefited from an international flavor, with representatives from 52 countries.
Gail Kilcoyne, exhibition manager for Trade Only, adds: “It has been amazing and we have all been working non-stop. The reaction from everyone has been terrific with a ‘blitz spirit’ prevailing, as everyone was determined not to let the snow get the better of them. Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who has been a part of this great show in any way.”
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) Annual Awards Dinner organized by Trade Only on the second night of the show enjoyed record attendance, too, with 900 suppliers and distributors on hand and with musical performances from pop artists Alexandra Burke and JLS. The dinner saw awards for Brand Addition, Liquid Lens, LSI, Senator and Outstanding Branding, with a live vote for Campaign of the Year won by BTC Group and Personality of the Year won by Nigel Bailey.
On January 22, almost 150 delegates attended the inaugural bpma Education Day, endorsed by the show, which included sessions by Cliff Quicksell, MAS, and a rousing closing address by Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI. During his session, Bellantone spoke on three areas that industry thought-leader PPAI was focusing on in the industry today: emphasizing promotional products’ position as a true advertising medium, advocating for the industry with good standards and practice, and help the association’s members better compete with other media.
Bellantone also took part in a lunchtime World Leader Keynote panel, joining Hans Poulis, president and CEO of the European Promotional Products Association; PPAI board member and MadeToOrder CFO Rod Brown, CAS; Carol De Ville, MAS, The Branding Company president and Promotional Products Professionals of Canada board member; Frank Murphy with the BTC Group; and Neal Beagles of bpma.
The next Trade Only National Show will be held at the Ricoh Arena January 22-23, 2014.
Ahead of the Trade Only National Show, Bellantone was interviewed by Promotional Product Distributor, a magazine serving industry in the U.K., about PPAI, his role at the Association and the challenges and opportunities for promotional products. Click here to download the issue and the article.