"The PSI Show puts a human face on the market and gives a voice to the industry. This year's PSI underscored that point in an impressive way," said PSI Director Michael Freter as the three-day exhibition came to a close. With a total of 873 exhibitors (prior year 852 - plus 2.4%) from 38 nations and 16,290 visitors (prior year 16,234 - plus 0.3%), PSI cemented its status as Europe's most important industry meeting place. Major "returners", including international market leaders such as PF Concept, Mid Oceans Brands, MACMA, SENATOR, Klio-Eterna Schreibgeräte, New Wave and Promodoro Fashion, as well as nearly 100 new "shooting stars" served as unmistakable beacons for the new momentum that's propelling the international promotional products market forward. Also underscoring this trend is the representative PSI Industry Barometer, which from now on will be used to gauge the sector's mood throughout the year, as well.
Industry barometer shows upward trend
The analysis shows that more than half (51%) of the altogether 736 surveyed promotional products suppliers and distributors organised in the PSI considered last year's business trajectory as "trending upwards”, with one in three companies (30%) expecting at least stable development and only 19% noting declining business performance. This industry trend is in line with overall market data from the German-speaking countries: reaching EUR 3.48 billion (prior year 3.44 billion - plus 1.25%), turnover in the promotional products sector set a new record last year, according to the results of the industry monitor traditionally presented at PSI by GWW, the General Association of the German Promotional Products Industry.
Promotional products industry still trending up
What's more, the outlook remains positive. Some 61% of companies expect further increases in the just-launched business year; only 9% fear sales declines, with the remainder anticipating a steady economic trajectory. "This," says Michael Freter, "reinforces a trend, namely that, after some difficult years recently, the mood change we started noticing at last year's PSI is further picking up speed, including internationally." Apart from the classic sales markets in Western Europe and overseas, many suppliers are forecasting strong medium-term increases in cross-border trade with Poland and Russia.
Fresh, young promotional ideas in high demand
Regardless of whether it's a trendy canvas bag with an organic solar cell integrated into the "skin" that feeds its energy into a rechargeable battery system serving as a charging device and sending out promotional messages via NFC code - the so-called "Sunbag" - or an acoustic amplifier made from mouth-blown glass: the sky's the limit when for the ingenuity and creativity of the promotional products industry. Confirming this notion were the awards presented at the 53rd PSI for the PSI FIRST Club and the PSI Campaign of the Year. For detailed information on the award winning products and people, please visit www.psi-messe.com.
New: PSI Sustainable Award
Sustainability is an issue that's front and centre in the contemporary promotional products industry. With numerous suppliers presenting CSR-certified products, that reality was also reflected at this year's PSI. By now, nearly 60% of suppliers consider sustainability a topic of utmost importance, according to one result of the PSI Industry Barometer. "The promotional products sector knows how to deliver sustainability. What's missing right now is a common standard and a road map to navigate the jungle of certificates", says Michael Freter. Against this backdrop, PSI will invite submissions for the first-ever PSI Sustainability Award, which from now on will recognise companies, products and campaigns in a total of eight categories.
PSI, together with the GWW, has set out to enhance its educational efforts on compliance, announced GWW Chairman Patrick Politze at the PSI opening press conference. Experts estimate that the industry loses tens of millions of euros in sales every year because of excessive compliance rules. "Often it's because companies are tying their own hands, well beyond what the law requires," says Düsseldorf-based lawyer and compliance expert Andreas Riegel. Many of the measures practiced by individual companies aren't necessary, he adds. "There's considerable leeway here, and we have to start using it through proactive education," says Michael Freter.
The 54th PSI will take place in Düsseldorf from 13-15 January 2016.
Up-to-date image material from PSI for editorial use is available at www.psi-messe.com