The PSI Show, Europe’s largest promotional products trade show, was held in Düsseldorf, Germany, on January 7-9. The show featured 720 exhibitors and drew 16,367 visitors this year.

“PSI is the global ‘melting pot’ for a whole industry. It moves people, markets and billion-EUR sales on a global scale. This is what makes it unique worldwide,” says PSI Managing Director Michael Freter.

Attendance was down slightly from last year—17,602 visitors in 2019—which show management attributes to worsening market conditions for some industries that have been major buyers of promotional products, such as the automotive sector.

Sustainability was a sizable trend at this year’s PSI Show and has moved to the top of many exhibitors’ and attendees’ priorities. It was particularly visible on the show floor in the selection of materials, manufacturing processes and in the upcycling and recycling of products. PSI Director Petra Lassahn says, “There is a significantly greater willingness on the part of advertisers in the industry to dig deeper into their pockets for sustainable promotional products.” In 2021, PSI’s Sustainability Awards will be presented as part of the show.

Germany’s Gesamtverband der Werbeartikel-Wirtschaft (GWW)—the Confederation of the Promotional Products Industry—has released results of a survey that shows that sustainability plays a role for two-thirds of companies’ decisions in purchasing promotional products, and they are prepared to spend up to 10 percent more to achieve it. GWW President Frank Dangmann says, “I am impressed how the promotional products industry has anticipated and driven this development.”

The PSI Show’s home market is also doing well. Promotional products sales in Germany rose to €3.65 billion ($4.02 billion) in 2019, up from €3.58 billion in 2018. Dangmann adds, “Promotional products reach 89 percent of the population from age 14—unlike any other media. This reach puts promotional products undisputedly at the top of the rankings.”

Across Europe, the promotional products industry generates annual sales of €14.9 billion ($16.39 billion), according to the Techconsult Study “Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19,” produced in cooperation with PSI and supported by 13 partners and associations. The study revealed that more than one third of total European sales are generated by companies employing less than 10 people. Together with businesses employing 250 people or more, promotional products are the largest source of income for the sector, accounting for more than half of revenues combined.