BPMA puts UK companies on the map at PSI

BPMA members were straight into the New Year building business with the traditional trip to the PSI exhibition in Dusseldorf.

The event hosts exhibitors and visitors from around the world, and is an important event for merchandise companies to launch their product portfolios for the year, meet clients and colleagues, and drum up trade. With the UK leaving the EU on 31 January, the event took on a greater importance for UK businesses, as evidenced by continued Government backing for UK promotional merchandise businesses to attend as part of their export drives.

Again, this year, the BPMA’s Daniela Arena processed funding applications to the Department of International Trade. One of the BPMA’s objectives at PSI was to support the UK suppliers and on Tuesday night the BPMA hosted an exclusive meal for those DiT funded suppliers and Briman members. BPMA members, industry colleagues and international friends also popped along to the BPMA stand, which this year had an elevated presence and offered coffee and meeting areas.

A drinks reception was held on the Tuesday with G&Ts at the BPMA stand. We were so pleased to have approximately 100 people attend the drinks. The BPMA’s CEO Jon Birrell attended a ‘leaders of the industry’ breakfast meeting on the Wednesday morning, joining fellow global associations and major players, ensuring the UK stays firmly on the map and closely involved in collaboration, regardless of Brexit. With the European promotional products industry generating annual sales of €14.9 billion in Europe, according to PSI research, it is important to stay at the centre of activity.

PSI’s study reveals that more than one third of total European sales are generated by micro companies employing less than ten staff. Together with major enterprises with over. 250 employees these micro companies are the main source of income for the sector, accounting for more than half of turnover.

The show confirmed that sustainability is a mega trend that has moved to the top of priorities. The selection of materials, manufacturing processes, and the recycling of products meant that the theme has never been more visible. “There is a significantly greater willingness on the part of advertisers in the industry to dig deeper into their pockets for sustainable promotional products,” said PSI director Petra Lassahn. For this reason, the PSI Sustainability Awards will be presented as part of the trade show from 2021, thereby moving even closer to the PSI show.

As well as business, UK visitors were able to enjoy socialising with their industry peers. On Wednesday evening the BPMA and Sourcing City joined forces to organise a Mexican evening which took place next to the Irish pub. We were pleased to have sold out having booked the entire restaurant. The feedback has been very positive so watch this space for social events at PSI 2021.

Overall, numbers for the show were slightly below the 2019 levels with the organiser Reed Exhibitions registering 16,367 visitors from 81 countries, all flocking to see the latest innovations and trends from 720 exhibitors.

Next year’s PSI takes place in Dusseldorf on 12-14 January, 2021.

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