Europe’s Largest Promo Show Opens in Düsseldorf

PSI, the Germany-based association that runs Europe’s largest trade show, kicked off its 55th annual event this week in Düsseldorf, drawing 985 exhibitors – up 5.7% from last year – and nearly 20,000 attendees. The show’s last day, Thursday, is now “Industry Customer Day,” in which nearly 1,000 end-users were invited to attend.

In his welcome remarks during the opening press conference, PSI managing director Michael Freter noted that while geopolitical issues like the Brexit, Donald Trump’s election as the incoming president of the U.S. and the rise of nationalism throughout Europe can breed uncertainty throughout the global promo market, there continues to be growth. “Based on PSI's recent Industry Barometer survey of nearly 2,000 European companies, 76% of suppliers and 67% of distributors posted growth in 2016 over the previous year.” Freter noted that particularly viable growth markets for promo items in Europe include the automotive market, retail, the food industry, tourism, financial and insurance providers and the construction business.

Patrick Politze, president of GWW – Germany's promo association – also noted that sales in the German industry are now approximately 3.47 billion euros, which Politze called “stable but slightly stagnant.”

Trends at this year's show included an emphasis on health and wellness, personal technology like RFID devices to protect credit cards from being “skimmed” and “smart apparel” to monitor wearer's heart rate and pulse. Additionally, color trends leaned toward bright primary colors, as opposed to pastels, metallics and earthtones in past years.

“PSI 2017 was a great success in my view,” says John Lynch, CEO of the Poland-based apparel supplier Lynka. “I didn't see the official statistics yet, but we’re very satisfied with visitor traffic. PSI remains the crème de la crème of the European promo products shows.”

The 2018 PSI Show will be held from January 9-11.