Sourcing City (UPIC: SCITY) brought industry suppliers and distributor company leaders together October 7-8 for Sourcing City Marketplace 2015 at the FIVE Show Centre in Farnborough, UK. Now in its fifth year, the two-day trade event is exclusively for individually invited promotional merchandise industry VIP’s from professional distributors with revenues in excess of £250,000 ($387,000).

Attendees representing a combined sales of over £300 million met with around 100 suppliers on the show floor. The combination of pre-booked appointments and meetings during the show’s Runaround Sessions ensured that over 2,000 focused conversations took place. Sourcing City’s philosophy for the event was,“Traditional exhibitions tend to focus purely on product…suppliers have a more important story to be told, as every supplier has services and processes that can help a distributor be more efficient and profitable, but the distributors do not always know. The concept at the Marketplace is that suppliers focus their conversations on a lot more than the small range of key products they have with them.”

Skip Burke of U.S.-based The Sourcing Department, LLC, attended for the first time. He says, “The unique format of Sourcing City Marketplace provided an opportunity to have quality meetings with over 15 key decision makers in the UK market...[it was] very cost effective.  And the show staff could not have been more helpful.  It was a beneficial experience for an American newcomer.”

David Kershner of Impression Europe adds, “We saw 35 companies over the two days and used the sessions to either review activity and sales YTD with key accounts, or explore sales and growth potential with others. A prerequisite for me in any working day is utilizing my time productively with an emphasis on activity that will grow sales for both our customers and ourselves. The two days were perfect in this respect. The show is very well organized and a credit to everybody at Sourcing City who I know work extremely hard to make it so special.”

Day one ended with a reception and networking dinner, which brought together more than 200 people from industry distributors and suppliers to meet and connect with their colleagues. The Sourcing City Marketplace will return to the FIVE Show Centre in Farnborough in September 2016.