Final Report PSI 2019: Successful premiere of the world of advertising and selling

10 January 2019

Kick-off event exceeds all expectations:

A successful debut for the World of Advertising and Selling

PSI continues positive trajectory with 17,602 visitors

One visit, all the perks – a brilliant idea, well received. Featuring a total of 1,084 exhibiting companies, the new trade show network consisting of PSI, PromoTex Expo and viscom underscored its ambition of becoming Europe’s largest combined event for advertising and selling. More than half of the exhibitors came from outside Germany, representing a total of 38 countries.

“An outstanding result that makes a clear statement on the international level. A real power pack that represents virtually all the key players across all areas of visual, textile and haptic advertising – the trendsetters and innovators of the market”, says Michael Freter, managing director of Reed Exhibitions Deutschland.

The new trade show network turned a long-time dream of advertising pros and marketers into a reality: six exhibition halls filled with creativity and inspiration, live performances and future labs, structured into three events, covering nearly the entire range of “below-the-line marketing”, and all of that under one roof with PSI, the leading European insider event for the promotional products industry; a repositioned viscom, Europe’s leading trade fair for visual communication; and the newly created PromoTex Expo, conceived as the international trade show for promotion, sports and workwear.

“The time was ripe to create a new, central hotspot for all things advertising and selling, without losing sight of the independent existence and identity of each of the respective industries”, says Petra Lassahn, the director of the three shows.

All told, PSI counted 772 exhibitors (prior year: 925). Combined with PromoTex Expo (127 exhibitors) – partially a PSI spin-off – a solid 899 exhibitors participated in total. An additional 185 exhibitors took part in this year’s viscom, which turned out a vibrant event after its redesign. The foundation for success was the increase in visitor numbers across all three show days.

PSI with 17,602 visitors from 81 countries

Attracting 17,602 visitors, PSI once again was right on target with an increase of 1.5 per cent (prior year: 17,342). Among them were 1,012 industry customers (prior year: 1,200) who, upon being invited by distributors, had a chance to visit PSI on the last event day.

Once again, the level of internationality was remarkably high: Some 58 per cent of visitors travelled from outside Germany, one in seven of them from overseas. The sea of flags representing the participating nations at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre was correspondingly colourful. A total of 81 countries showed their colours in Düsseldorf, turning the trade show into the centre of the promotional products world for three days.

With that, PSI once again set the tone for a dynamic start into the new business year, as one of the market leaders, Stephen Gibson, the CEO of midocean, points out, reflecting the sentiments of many PSI exhibitors: “We were extremely busy and had more visitors than we expected. We approve that PSI is making changes. If initiatives such as the parallelism of the three trade shows help to acquire new companies, we support them.”

“Digital only” – that’s so yesterday. This year’s PSI showed that again: “Zeros and ones alone don’t make marketing. What we’re currently experiencing is something of a haptic revolution. These days, in the age of digital reproducibility and arbitrariness, people are looking for brand experiences that are real and multisensory. This is a megatrend which of course has a positive impact on the promotional products industry”, says PSI director Michael Freter at the conclusion of the three-day industry exhibition. Trending right now are promotional products that are sustainable and high-quality as well as those that merge the digital and analogue worlds.

Industry sales in Germany grew another two per cent

This assessment is reflected as well in the latest industry data, which traditionally is published at PSI by the GWW, the umbrella association of the German promotional products industry. For the previous fiscal year, the GWW calculated industry sales of €3.58 billion (prior year: €3.5 billion), an increase of two per cent. That result cements the pole position of promotional products as the advertising medium with the strongest reach, emphasises GWW president Frank Dangmann: “Promotional products reach 89 per cent of the population over the age of 14 – more than any other medium. With this kind of reach, promotional products are the undisputed leader.”

Market data on the European promotional products industry

This development matches the findings of the first market analysis designed to capture Europe-wide trends, according to which the promotional products industry turns over €14.9 billion in Europe annually. That’s the finding of the Techconsult study “Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19”, which was conducted in cooperation with the PSI and supported by a total of 13 partners and associations. The study shows that more than a third of total European sales are generated by micro-enterprises with less than ten employees, making them the industry’s main source of revenue alongside large companies with over 250 employees. Together, both account for more than half of all sales.

Political initiative being readied in Berlin

Invited to Düsseldorf by the PSI, Markus Herbrand, a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, and a permanent member of its Finance Committee, dropped a political bombshell at the PSI press conference. “The current tax treatment of promotional products with value limits and record-keeping requirements is toxic to the industry”, says the politician, who belongs to the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), adding: “Hardly anyone understands anymore whether corporate non-cash gifts fall under the value limit of €10, €44 or €60, for example. What’s more, some requirements date back to the 1960s and have become obsolete by today’s standards.” At the trade show tour following the press conference, Herbrand gathered first-hand information in talks with exhibitors.

His impression: “The German promotional products industry is solidly positioned for the future. Particular credit for this goes to dynamic small and medium-sized companies and quality products ‘Made in Germany’. But don’t let that fool you – because the industry is in a tough competition, especially with manufacturers from Asia. There’s an urgent need for policy-makers to better understand that tax policy affects location policy. That’s why the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag has drafted a motion to clean up this confusing morass of error-prone and burdensome requirements. The goal is to cut unnecessary red tape in the tax law. Doing so will help Germany as a business location overall and ensure that companies can get back to focussing on their core tasks.”

PromoTex Expo with 13,217 trade visitors in top form right from the start

PromoTex Expo made its debut in top form: with 13,217 trade visitors from 39 countries, the event instantly catapulted itself into the group of leading European trade shows. “A fantastic start in terms of visitor numbers and international reach and relevance. The fact that almost half of the visitors – 45 per cent, to be exact – travelled from abroad is a powerful vote of confidence. The market is rewarding our new concept. A clear mandate to continue spreading our wings in the European league of trade shows”, says Michael Freter.

A fresh start for viscom: Over 30 per cent more visitors

viscom, too, finished with a result that picked up on the successes of years past. With 9,647 visitors (2017: 7,231) from 53 countries and a 24 per cent share of international visitors, it reached new heights. It’s a result that made Petra Lassahn, who’s been with viscom since 2006, exceedingly happy: “After three years that were anything but easy, we succeeded in reversing course. Focussing on the core areas – signmaking, large format printing and print finishing – and developing new live formats and presentation forums was key in achieving this turnaround. viscom is once again a winning trade fair.”

Next year’s PSI, viscom and PromoTex Expo will take place in Düsseldorf from 7 to 9 January 2020.

Note: PSI’s, viscom’s and PromoTex Expo’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.

PSI Testimonials:

“We had excellent traffic. The quality was great, too. We’d actively invited our customers, which paid off. The atmosphere at the show was extremely positive. We heard optimistic voices, especially from distributors. We’re pleased that so many exhibitors returned to PSI, which meant you could also see the competition haptically in the space. Now we’ll have to make sure we’ll carry this momentum forward into next year. We already rebooked and look forward to the next PSI.”
Alexander Ullmann, CEO, uma Schreibgeräte

“The topics of sustainability, short distances and ‘Made in Germany’ are current market trends. The fact that we covered these at our stand was very well received. A great mood prevails, despite recent ‘warning lights’ in the global economy. The level of internationality was very high again: we had numerous visitors from both Europe and overseas. In our opinion, staging PromoTex Expo and viscom concurrently with PSI is a good approach. We’re hoping this will lead to even more synergies in future.”
Marcus Sperber, Managing Director, elasto form KG

“The trade show was well attended, and we had interesting conversations. We felt that the level of internationality was even higher this year. Our new products were very well received by distributors, and sustainability is a winning topic, too. The atmosphere at the show was very positive. We noticed a positive mindset for 2019, especially among distributors.”
Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar, Managing Director, HALFAR SYSTEM GmbH

“The show seemed to be well attended. We were extremely busy and had more visitors than we expected. We approve that PSI is making changes. If initiatives such as the parallelism of the three trade shows help to acquire new companies, we support them.”
Stephen Gibson, CEO, midocean

“The show was very positive for us. We had lots of customers at our stand and received excellent feedback. Holding the three trade shows concurrently is an asset for visitors from the printing segment, since it enables them to learn about the selections and new products in the different industries.”
Ralf Oster, CEO, PF Concept

“The visitor numbers matched our expectations 100 per cent. PSI is the industry event for us. It’s an important platform for the German and for the international market alike. We were thrilled by all the positive customer feedback and are very satisfied overall.”
Meinhard Mombauer, CEO, REFLECTS GmbH

“We engaged in great background discussions, both with existing and with prospective customers. Overall, we had lots of traffic and met many fellow distributors. We noticed that people were particularly interested in new areas. It appears to be a logical cross-fertilisation of complementary offerings.”
Kim Köhler, Managing Director, Kandinsky Deutschland GmbH

“Our assessment of the efforts to make the trade show more attractive and include all market players is a positive one. Our motto at this year’s show was ‘Advertising Impact Tastes Good’, and we thought the show tasted good, too. Our highlight was Web2Print, which is something distributors can play around with. Small-quantity finishing is an absolute trend, and we optimally cover that area. That’s how we develop new target groups. Having all three shows take place concurrently also helps to develop new target groups, so we see this as a very positive development.”
Fritz Haasen, Managing Director, Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. KG

“The important customers we expected were there.”
Harry Saffer, Managing Director, Schwan-STABILO Promotion Products GmbH


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