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In the Hot Seat – Michael Freter, PSI

Having just celebrated a decade at the centre of Europe’s promotional products industry, Michael Freter knows a thing or two about merchandise.

Q. What is PSI?

A. With more than 6,500 members, the Promotional Product Service Institute (PSI) is Europe’s largest network of companies in the promotional products industry. Member companies include manufacturers, importers, distributors, consultants and agencies. For more than 50 years, the PSI has supported these members in a wide range of areas to help them successfully master daily business challenges. Key services include: access to Europe’s most comprehensive promotional products trade show, electronic and in-person product research, various online services, a networking platform, professional training, and up-to-the-minute news. These services are essential in creating valuable market access and making companies more successful.

Q. How long have you been at the helm of the organisation?

A. Last week I had my tenth anniversary as managing director at PSI.

Q. How do you see the future of the promotional merchandise industry over the next five to ten years?

A. There is a huge structural change in the industry, which started a couple of years ago. The change is driven by the internet; a change of generations; a change in buying behaviour, and a 100% transparency of the market. Proven by industry figures, there is a consolidation with a decreasing number of distributors and a growing number of mergers.

The value chain from the past no longer exists. In five to ten years we will have a number of huge suppliers delivering full service to buyers direct. Additionally, I see a good chance for smaller distributors providing specialisms and additional services in their region.

Q. You have recently become a dad, how are you coping with that? And how do you relax away from PSI?

A. It’s a wonderful challenge at my age. It keeps me agile and shows me again, that there is a wonderful world besides the business perspective. Relaxation for me means, spending time in the mountains with the family hiking, climbing or mountain biking.

Michael Freter CV

  • 2008 – present – managing director, PSI
  • 2005 – 2008 – general manager sales and marketing, Lexis Nexis Germany
  • 1995 – 2001 – board member, IDG

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