Final Report : PSI 2017

Jan 18, 2017


Abschlussbericht  | PSI 2017

So much for being 55 and showing your age. With six per cent more exhibitors, nearly eight per cent more visitors and a share of international visitors that’s climbed to 57 per cent, PSI continued its growth trajectory and once again posted new records at the 55th event. In total, organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland counted 988 exhibitors (prior year: 932) and 18,094 visitors (prior year: 16,810). For the first time, industry customers invited by promotional products distributors were granted access to PSI on the last day of the event. Until now, the show had been reserved exclusively for promotional products professionals.

The promotional products industry has always been creative. But this time it seemed as if everyone had agreed to put an extra helping of fresh ideas and innovations on top. Need some examples? How about sweet advertising made from marzipan, produced in the 3D printer, with limitless designs, fully in line with the customer’s taste. Or enamel mugs featuring a vintage look, branded with sandblasted engravings and produced by a young company from Saxony. Or never-before-seen worldwide innovations like the “Smart Writing Set”, which uses an app to merge the writing culture of a notebook with the digital world by transferring handwritten texts to smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Four halls packed with innovations and inspirations

“An impressive fireworks of creativity was ignited – celebrated almost – at PSI; it just gets you in the mood to work even more intensely with promotional products. If you can’t find ideas here, you’ll have a hard time finding them at all”, Michael Freter, the visibly delighted PSI director, said at the end of the three-day exhibition. Because where else can you find all this? Sneakers with stylish prints, available even for production runs of a single pair. Children’s drawings on bread boxes that come alive as virtual worlds thanks to smartphone-based augmented reality software. Or textiles with top-quality finishes. Be it in the electronics segment; in the textiles sector; in the “classic” paper, office and stationery product range; or in the housewares and food area – all four PSI halls were brimming with innovations and inspirations.

Customers from every corner of the globe: 57 per cent share of international visitors

PSI visitors from around the world appreciate all that, even if they have to travel a long way to get to Düsseldorf. Like Fanny Martin, the managing director of Versopub Ltée. No less than 9,349 kilometres separate her agency on Mauritius from the exhibition halls in Düsseldorf. She attended for the 15th time already: "PSI always has been and still is the show for us. It’s a must. Without going far, we can meet the industry’s market leaders and see trends and innovations.” And Fanny Martin is by no means an isolated case: by now, 57 per cent of PSI visitors come from outside Germany. And nearly ten per cent of them can “hold their own” against Fanny Martin. Because they, too, have to hop on an intercontinental flight to get here – be it from the US, Brazil, South Africa, Japan or India.

The market and customers are rewarding PSI for having taken a path toward renewal in recent years by presenting PSI with a new “look and feel” as a lifestyle event. The most visible sign is the PSI Textile Area with the CATWALK, the stage where textiles and accessories are put into the spotlight. In the next hall, at the GUSTO Tasting Pavilion, advertising is turned into an indulgence. “This just gets you in the mood and shows how ‘sexy’ promotional products are and what possibilities they harbour”, says Michael Freter.

Great response at Industry Customer Day

PSI drives at the same goal with the “Industry Customer Day” on the last day of the event. For the first time, industry customers holding invitations from promotional products distributors and specially marked tickets had a chance to attend PSI. More than 1,700 customers of promotional products distributors showed up and were – like Stefan Hölzel, the marketing director of PSD Bank – enthralled by the diversity of the promotional products range: “I’m here as an industry customer, and I’m just about overwhelmed by what’s offered. There are so many producers here. Here my colleagues – marketing directors dealing with advertising materials – are turning into children again. I know why I have a promotional-products broker who advises me. Because the assortment is gigantic.”

“The Industry Customer Day is one of the most massive campaigns for promotional products that’s ever been launched in the history of our sector”, says Michael Freter. The Industry Customer Day concept was developed under the leadership of the GWW, the umbrella organisation of the German promotional products industry, by its trade show task force; represented in that group are promotional products consultants, wholesalers, suppliers, brand manufacturers and the PSI Network. Their goal is to further stimulate the promotional products market: “We very much welcome that advertisers invited by consultants can see for themselves what kind of a performance our industry is capable of delivering. Because nowhere else does the industry do a better job of presenting itself than here at PSI”, says GWW chairman Patrick Politze.

Promotional products industry expects sales to grow

With industry sales of €3.47 billion in the past fiscal year, the promotional products industry asserted itself as a stable fixture in the German advertising market, almost seamlessly continuing the run that led to the current record, which was set last year. Nearly half of all companies now deploy promotional products as part of their marketing campaigns, according to the Industry Barometer, the annual survey presented by the GWW, the umbrella organisation of the German promotional products industry.

And the promotional products industry is looking to the future with optimism. The PSI’s latest European industry report, for which the PSI Institute surveyed 1,958 companies in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Italy and Spain, confirms that notion. Altogether, 76 per cent of suppliers (prior year: 62) and 67 per cent (60) of promotional products consultants in Europe recorded year-on-year sales increases in 2016. By contrast, 14 per cent of suppliers (24) and 15 per cent of distributors (20) registered a drop in sales. The majority of companies expect sales to grow over the course of the next five years. The figure for suppliers is 87 per cent (84), for promotional products consultants 84 per cent (83).

The next PSI Show will take place in Düsseldorf from 9 to 11 January 2018. More information, please visit

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