Sourcing City Show Draws Top U.K. Promo Firms

Outpacing Scheduled Appointments By 132%

Sourcing CitySourcing City is holding its second annual Marketplace event in Farnborough, England, this week and has already increased the number of suppliers in attendance by 50% and is outpacing scheduled appointments by 132% compared to last year's show. A key goal of Sourcing City's Marketplace is to build relationships – select U.K. distributors with sales in excess of 500,000 pounds are invited to the event and are required to set appointments, lasting 30 minutes, with suppliers.

This year, the sales of the distributors in attendance make up 43% of the overall sales of ad specialties in the U.K. market, 769 million pounds so far in 2012, up 2% from last year, according to a survey of 200 distributors by Sourcing City. "Marketplace, which started as a conceptual event last year, garnered amazing feedback and was really a game-changer," said Alistair Mylchreest, Sourcing City's CEO. "The distributor companies doing over a million pounds in sales each year are the ones who've really been focused on growing their businesses, and it shows."

Tim Andrews, president and CEO of ASI, which – along with PSI and Sourcing City – comprise the global promotional marketing and education initiative PromoAlliance, attended last year's event and made note of this year's gains. "This is its second year, and the growth is impressive – the show floor is probably up 30%, and there's an incredible buzz as people meet to discuss product lines and marketing solutions," he said. "The venue, just 30 minutes by train from London, is easy and convenient and the networking dinner, with the largest distributors and suppliers, is truly a 'not to be missed' event."

Andrews gave the opening address at the event and was also the keynote speaker at the networking dinner last night, attended by 200 suppliers and distributors. Andrews focused his remarks on the key sales metrics in the North American market and how product and market trends shifted in 2011, compared with 2007. "The last few years in the U.S. ad specialty market have been difficult, but people are beginning to be more confident," Andrews said. "According to a recent survey, ASI is predicting that sales in the North American promotional market will be $19.5 billion, nearly what they were in 2008 – $19.8 billion – which was a record year."

Sourcing City's LIVE! event will be held January 16-17, 2013. For more information, go to