More exhibitors, more visitors, more internationality: PSI on track for more growth

Bigger, all business and full of great ideas for advertisers: PSI is still booming. An exhibitor increase of eight per cent, a trade visitor increase of 3.7 per cent and a share of international visitors that’s climbed to 55 per cent mark the best result in six years for Europe’s largest trade show of the promotional products industry. Organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland recorded a total of 932 exhibitors (prior year: 878) and 16,810 visitors (prior year: 16,218).

One look around the four exhibition halls sufficed to realise that lots has changed since PSI embarked on its path of renewal. The changes were well received. Visitors and exhibitors alike can feel that “their” PSI is on a wonderful new trajectory – rejuvenating itself, highlighting trends and taking up the hottest topics of the industry. Take, for example, the CATWALK, the venue inside the TEXTILE AREA where exhibitors effectively showcased fashion and accessories as advertising media. Or the GUSTO tasting pavilion, which revealed how indulgent advertising can be. Another example: the PSI Institute Best Practice Forum, whose jam-packed presentation programme provided promotional products consultants with real-life support for their daily business.

“The path toward new growth is paying off; the industry’s self-confidence is on the rise”, said a delighted PSI Director Michael Freter at the conclusion of PSI. Exhibiting companies are going along with the changes: international market leaders such as PF Concept, Mid Oceans Brands, XINDAO and MACMA, which were all on board again displaying their promotional products in ways both representative and original; renowned “returners” such as Falk&Ross and KARIBAN; and nearly 100 new “shooting stars”, many of them at the inventors’ area in Hall 12. They all stood as beacons of the new momentum in the promotional products market and the sector’s changing self-image.

Industry sales of €3.48 billion in Germany
With total industry sales of €3.48 billion in the last fiscal year, the promotional products industry stood its ground as a stable fixture in the German advertising market. Without skipping a beat, the sector managed to repeat last year’s record-setting result of €3.48 billion. Nearly one in two companies are deploying promotional products in marketing campaigns now, according to the findings of the Promotional Products Monitor, which the GWW, the umbrella association of the German promotional products industry, traditionally releases at PSI. “If it wasn’t for tax discrimination and unnecessary irritations due to self-imposed compliance guidelines at individual companies – which in some cases go far beyond those stipulated by law – the industry would be in an even better positon”, said GWW President Patrick Politze at the PSI press conference.

PSI Industry Barometer indicates upward trend
The outlook remains positive, as reflected in the Europe-wide PSI Industry Barometer, the representative survey of more than 1,500 companies presented at PSI. According to the study, 62 per cent of suppliers and 60 per cent of promotional products consultants in Europe recorded sales increases over the year before. Only 24 per cent of suppliers and 22 per cent of distributors noted declining sales. In the medium term, more than 80 per cent of suppliers and promotional products consultants forecast sales to increase over the next five years, half of them pegging the number at above 10 per cent. The automotive, food, financial and insurance, construction, retail, and tourism industries are considered the most important advertising-consuming sectors with the highest growth potential.

Widening of PSI’s target audience in 2017
Agreed upon by the GWW trade show task force, the concept to widen PSI’s target groups from 2017 onward was well received all around. Starting with the upcoming PSI, the idea is to give promotional products consultants the option of inviting their customers to attend the show on the last day of the event. The task force unites representatives of advertising-media consultants and wholesalers, suppliers, brand-name manufacturers, and the PSI Network.

“We’re very pleased with the notion that consultants would invite advertisers to give them first-hand insights into our sector’s strong performance. Nowhere else does the industry do a better job of presenting itself than here at PSI in Düsseldorf. In my view, conveying this impression to corporate decision-makers is the most important signal our industry can send. And we do indeed need to boost our visibility. What’s more, as an association we were delighted to collaborate with a body comprised of suppliers and distributors to develop this concept”, says Patrick Politze.

All customers visiting PSI as distributor invitees will be qualified and accredited ahead of the show. They’ll also receive specially marked admission tickets. Suppliers will still be obligated to adhere to the indirect distributorship model. To accommodate these plans, the PSI’s event days will be changed so the show will run from Tuesday to Thursday starting in 2017.

“This decision is rooted in a great sense of responsibility for the industry and in mutual trust. Distributors still hold the reigns. Our objective is clear: the PSI Show wants to whet customers’ appetite for even more promotional products. But something else is equally clear: this hunger will still be satisfied by promotional products consultants”, says Michael Freter.

New event days Tuesday to Thursday: the 55th PSI will take place in Düsseldorf from 10 to 12 January 2017.

Up-to-date image material from PSI for editorial use is available at

Note: PSI’s visitor, exhibitor and floor space figures are calculated and certified according to the uniform definitions published by FKM – German Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics.

Exhibitor statements on PSI:

“PSI 2016 was excellent! We saw lots of traffic at our exhibition stand and a great response from our customers. We’ll definitely be back in 2017.”
Peter Stelter, Country Manager Germany-Austria-Switzerland, PF Concept Deutschland GmbH

“We leveraged PSI to launch our new campaign. We presented ourselves here with lots of infotainment, and we succeeded in showing our customers who we are and what we do. We are Reflects! That means we see ourselves as playing on the same team as our customers. That’s the benchmark we want to be measured against in terms of innovation, service and reliability. PSI 2016 was an excellent platform for that. We were very satisfied with how busy our stand was, and we had lots of vigorous discussions.”
Meinhard Mombauer, Managing Director, LM ACCESSOIRES GmbH

“PSI 2016 brought the visitor numbers to our stand that we had expected. We invited all our existing customers in the run-up to the show. This is about deepening our business relationships, introducing our new products and figuring out our collaboration model for coming years.”
Alexander Ullmann, Managing Director, uma Schreibgeräte, Ullmann GmbH

“2016 was even better than 2015. Lots of international visitors were here, with Italy being represented particularly strongly. The second day was stronger than the first one for us, which we think has to do with the fact that customers first participate in scheduled meetings – one after the other – and only then go out and look for some new things. Our concept of showing new products only worked out pretty well and was met with lots of interest.”
Kim Köhler, Managing Director, Kandinsky Deutschland GmbH

“We were engaged in some great in-depth talks with customers. We presented lots of new stuff here – not just products but also the new topic ‘Branded Reality’, which addresses questions such as: What can a catalogue do, and in what areas can promotional products do more? Customers responded positively to this approach.”
Christian Huff, Managing Director, MACMA Werbeartikel oHG

“We returned to PSI in 2016 after three years, and we’re very pleased – especially because we gained lots of new customers. Overall, this year’s show stood out because of its internationality and high-value contacts.”
Michael Kienast, Head of Marketing, Falk&Ross Group Europe GmbH

“The atmosphere was amazing. We came here to present our new ‘Love Sales’ communication concept, which was well received by distributors. There is no other place where you’ll find such a broad audience of international contacts like you do here at PSI. About 50 per cent of the visitors at our stand were from outside Germany. We were able to meet all our trade show objectives.”
Uwe Thielsch, Sales Director, koziol »ideas for friends GmbH

“This is our first time at PSI in our new configuration as BRUNNEN & EILERS Promotion. We’re satisfied with the way the show went and with the traffic at our stand. We had high-quality, high-value discussions.”
Andreas Helmsorig, Managing Director, BRUNNEN & EILERS Promotion Service GmbH & Co.KG

“The trade show went very well for us, both in terms of the number of contacts and the intensity of our talks – whether it was to present new products or talk about how last year went. PSI is the right place for us to work with our key accounts on determining our strategy and assortment for the year ahead.”
Heike Lübeck, Marketing Director, Geiger-Notes AG

“We’re extremely pleased. PSI 2016 was highly international; lots of visitors from Scandinavia and from Arab countries stopped by our stand. Demand for our new paper products was particularly strong.”
Maximilian Kornhaas, Sales, MAXX Factory GmbH

Statements on PSI 2017:

“Making the third event day an industry day will bring additional potential to the show. From the beginning, we’ve supported a third open show day, which of course must be organised. Distributors don’t have to be afraid. This issue is being discussed among a broad consensus group of distributors and suppliers in order to prevent discount pricing from reaching customers and ensure that talks only concern assortments and products. And it goes without saying that orders should be placed through distributors, as before. This is simply about better representing ourselves, and the open day is definitely going to be very valuable for that.”
Thomas Hertranft, Managing Director, Lediberg GmbH

“PSI is the leading trade show in Europe, and I believe that the entire industry – distributors, exhibitors – will benefit if we get a broader audience here, if trade visitors from the industry are here, and if they’re ‘routed’ through the trade show. This will be an advancement for the entire sector. I believe it will boost the entire industry.”
Markus Sperber, Managing Partner, elasto form KG

“We’re here at the most amazing promotional products showcase in Europe. I look forward very much to PSI’s expansion next year, to the chance to welcome those at our stands who are paying for the whole thing: the users of promotional products. And I’m sure this will also bring us a great deal closer to our goal – advancing promotional products.”
Jürgen Geiger, Member of the Board of Management, Geiger-Notes AG

“We’re excited to see how PSI 2017 will develop. We’re big advocates of the idea of an industry customer day because we believe we’re in a competition with other advertising media. The ability to assist our distributor partners in explaining in-depth the benefits to their customers is a real help to us as a manufacturer. I believe the cooperation between distributors and suppliers is tried and tested. And if customers learn about this from a duet, the result should be significant ongoing sales.”
Kim Köhler, Managing Director, Kandinsky Deutschland GmbH

“I think it’s great. Industry customers can get an impression along with advice on what’s possible. Because some industry customers do sometimes tend to underrate promotional products just a bit. Promotional products represent only a small portion of the advertising budget, so this gives us a chance to enhance the standing of promotional products.”
Christian Huff, Managing Director, Macma Werbeartikel oHG

“In particular, I look forward to the third day at PSI, and I believe being allowed to consult the industry along with our distribution partners for the first time here in Düsseldorf will greatly stimulate the event. We’ll now be able to directly consult the users of promotional products without abandoning the distribution channels of recent years. That’s going to be an exciting project – and we really look forward to it.”
Uwe Thielsch, Sales Director, koziol »ideas for friends GmbH