With increased optimism in the European promotional market, this year's PSI Show, held at the Messe Convention Center in Dusseldorf this week, opened with a strong message: "Business is better." According to a recent PSI survey of 736 promo companies, 51% noted that business is increasing compared to last year.
"For the upcoming year, 61% expect the trend to continue," said Michael Freter, managing director of the PSI Show. "This indicates that after two difficult years with massive drops in sales, the European market is clearly gaining momentum."
The show, too, continues to grow with a 2.4% increase in exhibitors – 873 from over 30 countries, up from last year's 852. Additionally, many of Europe's largest suppliers – PFConcept, MidOcean, New Wave, Senator – who had refrained from exhibiting in recent years were back at the show as official exhibitors, joining such other prominent suppliers as Xindao, Elasto-Form and Giving Europe.
"There's no longer anxiety in the promotional industry in Europe; it's showing faith," said Ralf Oster, CEO of PFConcept. "PF was missed (when we hadn't exhibited for a few years) and now we’re surprising people with a new, fresh look and spirit."
Regarding market trends, eco issues are very much on the forefront of discussions, much more so than in the North American promotional market. Distributor attendees often query exhibitors about the chain of a product's development and if the items were created in an eco-friendly manner. To this end, PSI has created its first-ever Sustainability Awards, to be presented in categories such as "ecology" and "social issues."
"I found the PSI show to be very inspiring," said Mark Ziskind, COO of Top 40 distributor CSE (asi/) and a first-time attendee to the show. "The level of creativity on the suppliers' part, the retail oriented product offerings, and the overall sense of fashion was amazing. You really need to attend the PSI show to get a full understanding of the global marketplace and how we can all collectively take this industry to the next level."
Next year's PSI Show will be held from January 13-15. For more information, go to www.psi-network.de.