The 2019 PSI Show Draws A Growing International Audience, New Ideas
The PSI Show, Europe’s largest promotional products trade show, was held this past week in conjunction with PromoTex Expo, the international trade show for promotion, sports and workwear, and viscom, the European trade fair for visual communication. Together, the shows featured a total of 1,084 exhibiting companies representing 38 countries and drew 17,602 visitors to Dusseldorf, Germany’s exhibition center.
Michael Freter, managing director of Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, calls the number of visitors, “An outstanding result that makes a clear statement on the international level—A real power pack that represents virtually all the key players across all areas of visual, textile and haptic advertising—the trendsetters and innovators of the market.”
Petra Lassahn, director of the three shows, adds, “The time was ripe to create a new, central hotspot for all things advertising and selling, without losing sight of the independent existence and identity of each of the respective industries.”
PSI accounted for 772 exhibitors alone, down from 925 the prior year. However, combined with PromoTex Expo—partially a PSI spin-off—a total of 899 exhibitors retail exhibitors participated andan additional 185 exhibitors took part in this year’s viscom,
Visitor numbers increased across all three show days. The 17,602 visitors attending represented 81 countries and a 1.5 percent increase from the year before. Some 58 percent of visitors travelled from outside Germany, one in seven of them from overseas. Among the show’s attendees were 1,012 industry customers who, upon being invited by distributors, had a chance to visit PSI on the last event day. Among the show’s visitors, 13,217 visited the PromoTex Expo and 9,647 checked out viscom.
“The power of promotional products are recognized globally, and it’s always good to learn from European colleagues and the different ways they go to market,” says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, who attended the PSI Show with PPAI Incoming Board Chair Brittany David, MAS and Association Executive Vice President Bob McLean. “Our presence at these events not only enhances PPAI’s reputation as a global leader, it gives us an opportunity to share best practices, research and advocacy from our association colleagues from around the world.”
David adds, “The PSI Show identified several industry “megatrends” for 2019 that I found interesting, like sustainability—recycled PET, products made from sugar cane, etc.—and how the push to buy local could decrease in logistics. I look forward to seeing how the market responds to these developments.”
Another trend highlighted at the show was the idea that “digital only” is an out-of-touch concept. Freter says, “Zeros and ones alone don’t make marketing. What we’re currently experiencing is something of a haptic revolution. These days, in the age of digital reproducibility and arbitrariness, people are looking for brand experiences that are real and multisensory. This is a megatrend which of course has a positive impact on the promotional products industry.”
At the show, GWW, the umbrella association of the German promotional products industry, released data showing that industry sales in Germany grew two percent over the past year. For the previous fiscal year, the GWW calculated industry sales of €3.58 billion (prior year: €3.5 billion). GWW President Frank Dangmann says, “Promotional products reach 89 percent of the population over the age of 14—more than any other medium. With this kind of reach, promotional products are the undisputed leader.”
Germany’s development matches the findings of market analysis designed to capture Europe-wide trends, according to which the promotional products industry turns over €14.9 billion in Europe annually. The Techconsult study “Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19”, which was conducted in cooperation with the PSI and supported by a total of 13 partners and associations, shows that more than a third of total European sales are generated by micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees, making them the industry’s main source of revenue alongside large companies with over 250 employees. Together, both account for more than half of all sales.
Next year’s PSI, viscom and PromoTex Expo will be held in Düsseldorf on January 7- 9.