Actively shaping the textile market: The promotional textiles value chain at PSI 2017

They’re among the most sought-after products at PSI: textiles. More than 40 per cent of PSI visitors come to PSI with a particular interest in textiles. And in 2017, they’ll get more of them than ever before, thanks to yet another expansion of both the Textile Area and the Textile Finishing Area in Hall 10. As a result, Hall 10 will serve as the show’s big fashion hub. Numerous renowned manufacturers, wholesalers and end-users will be on hand to showcase their latest collections and state-of-the-art technology.

From basic to individual

RolyStanley & Stella, Stormtech Europe, Roly Gor Factory and New Wave will be among the major textile providers returning to PSI. “Expansion into international markets has become increasingly important for the development of our company in recent years, and we’ve got a lot of new products in this area. PSI is the largest event in the European market, so we practically consider it an obligation to come back this year”, explains Dolores Cávonas, who works in Roly Gor Factory’s marketing department. New Wave similarly considers PSI “the best opportunity to present our large and diverse brand and product assortment at a glance”, according to New Wave’s associate director Andre Bachmann.

Both companies have several new highlights in store for visitors. “On the one hand, we’re showcasing the diversity of our many collections, including 12 from our catalogue, while underscoring the significance of our Sport Collection. On the other hand, we want to demonstrate that we also offer bespoke contract production. All products carried in our extensive catalogue can be customised. Upon request, though, we can even start from scratch with any of our products and manufacture them specifically for our customers”, says Dolores Cávonas. As a special highlight, New Wave will introduce the James Harvest & Frost collection of men’s shirts. This collection, says Andre Bachmann, “is one-of-a-kind in the market, and we look forward to visitor feedback.”

Gustav Daiber will also be at PSI to showcase their versatile product range. “For Daiber, PSI has always been the freestyle event, because it’s well established that textiles have invariably been considered some of the most popular promotional products. Here we always find the perfect forum for our products and our entire company”, says Gustav Daiber managing director Kai Gminder. Other well-known manufacturers presenting their highlights at the trade show include Tee Jays, ID® Rexholm, KARIBAN and SOL’S.

Wholesaler brand diversity

T-shirtWholesalers will also be represented in PSI’s textile hall. Participants will include the likes of Falk & Ross and Lynka. “For us, PSI is the biggest promotional products trade show of the year. Participating in this event is part of our long-term strategy, which consists of actively helping to shape textile market trends. It’s also a great opportunity to meet our customers face to face and show them all our new products for the upcoming season. The same is true for new customers. To really understand the quality of our work, you have to see it – touch it, even”, explains Lynka’s senior marketing specialist Krzysztof Szum.

From product to promotional product

Without finishing, a promotional product isn’t a promotional product. BROTHER Internationale Industriemaschinen, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial sewing machines and printers at PSI 2017, will reveal market trends and advancements. ZSK Stickmaschinen can look back on more than 100 successful years in textile machine engineering. Custom-made machines are a big part of their standard repertoire. Visitors can get details about the Krefeld-based company’s portfolio right at their exhibition stand.

About PSI

At PSI, the Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry, promotional products professionals gain an overview of the trends and innovations of the industry. In addition, special exhibits and show areas are dedicated to an in-depth look at promotional labelling, printing and finishing technologies, inventions and innovations, and much more. At PSI 2016, 932 exhibitors from 38 countries presented their companies to 16,810 visitors. Following a change in show days, PSI 2017 will take place in Düsseldorf from Tuesday, 10th January, to Thursday, 12th January.


Meeting Counter sold out: Promotional Product Consultants welcome New Industry Customer Day at PSI 2017

The diversity of promotional products is reflected by one figure: 2,366 – the number of different product groups showcased at the PSI trade show every year. Diversity you simply have to see for yourself to appreciate. On Thursday, 12th January 2017, industry customers will be given the first opportunity ever at the PSI trade show (10th – 12th January) in Düsseldorf to convince themselves that promotional products are so much more than just ballpoint pens and mugs. On the last day of the trade show PSI promotional product consultants will have the chance to invite their customers to PSI 2017 allowing them to see the vast variety of the advertising tools that are “promotional products”. The interest taken in including this target group is huge.

One indication of this is the fact that the 40 meeting counters in front of Hall 9 and on the gallery of entrance concourse Nord are already sold out three months before the start of the event – even though the number of counters has now also been increased.

Man1One of them is DIE6 Promotion Service. “I think industry customers are not nearly aware of the variety of promotional products available. Their presentation at PSI will therefore create more respect for the industry and tremendously upgrade the consultants’ work because they are the “scouts” guiding customers through that virtually unfathomable sea of promotional products. This will presumably not enlarge or boost the market. The industry customers who are invited by their consultants to the trade show can already relate to promotional products anyway and also know how to selectively use them in campaigns thanks to their promotional products consultants,” says DIE6 CEO Holger Kapanski and adds: “It must be borne in mind that consultants and exhibitors need to show a professional approach to industry customers. By this I also mean a “serious appearance” alongside solid advice. If this goes wrong the industry would undersell itself and impact its image rather negatively. Compliance with the jointly agreed principles of the umbrella organisation GWW by all parties involved in the sector will make or break the success of future PSI trade shows. Here, above all, the organiser is called upon to ensure this through awareness raising and control.”

Man2Gunnar Sprinkmann welcomes the current changes at the PSI trade show. “This Industry Customer Day was long overdue since our industry has so far failed to open up to our customers with this highly representative event,” explains Gunnar Sprinkmann. He has opted for a Meeting Counter “in order to welcome our visitors personally to then walk the show with them.” He sees particular advantages in “presenting the most comprehensive line-up of articles and ideas the market has to offer” to these customers. “Furthermore, this way our customers gain first-hand information which also helps our competence as consultants.”

Man3“When we get a chance we also want to join the fray and since we invite our customers selectively we also want to receive them exclusively; this means as soon as they enter the halls, we want to be at their beck and call,” explains Florian Mansard of mansard werbemittel, who is also capitalising on the opportunity to welcome his customers at a counter. Companies with a counter include Kaldenbach, Creativ Werbemittel, Präsenta Promotion while PRESENT PERFECT and CRIMEX, Art Surprise, Plan Concept as well as Kandinsky and S&P Werbeartikel have also succeeded in securing one of the limited counters. Even distributors who have not reserved a counter have benefited from the offer to invite customers: S-trend Werbeartikel, Präsentstudio SOENNECKEN and Röhrs Werbe-Service are just some of these.

For their part there is also avid interest from industry customers. Since the Ticketshop went online for industry customers in early September, many invitation codes have already been redeemed. Over 200 registrations were received just one week after the Ticketshop opened.

About PSI

At PSI, the Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry, promotional product professionals gain an overview of the trends and innovations in the industry. In addition, special exhibits and show areas are dedicated to an in-depth look at promotional labelling, printing and finishing technologies, inventions and innovations plus much more. At PSI 2016, 932 exhibitors from 38 countries presented their companies to 16,810 visitors. Following a change in show days, PSI 2017 will be held in Düsseldorf from Tuesday, 10th January, to Thursday, 12th January.


Zagwear comes to the UK

In October, Zagwear, one of the world’s leading fully integrated product-based marketing agencies announced an expansion in response to international demand with the opening of a new office in the UK.

Zagwear has been focusing on greatly expanding its international presence in recent years as demand for its products grows internationally. The new office will be situated just outside of London and will act as a hub for the region.

“The opening of Zagwear’s UK office is an important step toward helping our enterprise clients grow and thrive in new markets and compete on a global scale,” said Toby Zacks, CEO of Zagwear. “We are excited to be able to offer Zagwear’s integrated promotional marketing services and compliance and responsible sourcing programs on a global scale, reducing risk for our current and prospective clients while also helping them grow their brands.”

The UK was a logical location for the company’s expansion, as many of Zagwear’s clients have a presence there; in addition, the location will serve as the gateway to other countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Having an office with experienced staff in the UK will allow for more collaborative relationships and will lead to more successful results. In addition, Zagwear looks to introduce their services to prospective clients in the UK, helping them grow beyond their borders.

The new team will support its clients’ needs through cost-effective promotional products, innovative custom premiums, proprietary technologies, e-commerce, fulfillment, and other marketing and distribution services. With relationships with major distribution channels and a global supply chain of countless factories and manufacturing facilities spanning key markets in Asia, Mexico, India, Turkey, and Central and South America, Zagwear is committed to helping clients drive sales, market and build their brands.

Laltex Promo's Chris Nelson with award

Laltex Promo win supplier award for super swift lead times

If you ever doubted the saying ‘Time is money’, just ask Laltex Promo. They were the proud recipients of the Fluid Branding supplier award for Deadline Champion 2016.

Chris Nelson, Laltex Promo’s national account manager, said: “We love working with Fluid Branding and it’s great to be recognised for our commitment to short lead times and our ability to react quickly. Thanks to Matt, Miles and the Fluid Branding team, it was an honour to accept the Deadline Champion supplier award on behalf of the company.”

Large UK stock holdings, slick I.T. systems, an internal print shop and efficient, expert staff at every step along the way, are all strings to Laltex Promo’s bow.

With the recent launch of the Priority Service, Laltex Promo and its sister divisions Bags HQ, Source It and Pencom offer a range of specially selected promotional products available for despatch in just two working days with a print or engraved personalisation.

Neil Horner, divisional head of Laltex Promo, said: “From sales to warehouse, I.T. to print shop and everyone in between, we would like to thank our fantastic team for their dedication and hard work – without them, none of this would be possible.” logo

Allbranded enters the Spanish market

The fast growing promotional products supplier allbranded has just entered the Spanish market, bringing with them their advanced online shopping platform. The company is innovating the branded merchandise industry in five different countries now with more to follow.

Following the success of their web shops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the UK, they are now looking to help Spanish business owners advertise their companies with promotional products.

The new addition to the fleet of allbranded websites offers Spanish customers the ability to browse over 20,000 promo goods online. Users are able to upload their logo and pick their desired customisation options (including colour, print types and quantity) all from the comfort of their home or office. You will find dedicated sales representatives ready on the live chat or by the phones to answer any questions and help out shoppers.

This is yet another big step for allbranded with many more to follow, with plans to establish the brand in more markets in the near future.

Allwag's supplier event

Allwag Promotions’ magical night

Earlier in October, Allwag Promotions delighted suppliers by hosting a unique event to show appreciation and gratitude to their key suppliers who have supported the company, whilst raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Allwag Promotions treated all eighty five guests to a delicious three course meal at the Lion Inn, Chelmsford, where the talented magician, Nick Crown, amazed everyone with table-to-table entertainment followed by a mind reading show.

The night was well received by the suppliers, who highlighted the event as “one of a kind”. Angela Wagstaff, director of Allwag said: “This has been an amazing night! We are delighted that so many people have travelled so far to support us. It’s a great opportunity for us to say thank you to the people we deal with on a day-to-day basis so we can work our magic for our clients!”

Thanks to the generosity of all those who attended a total of £1,025 was raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a UK charity dedicated to improving the lives through support, care and advice for young people who are living with cancer.

Gilt Edged Promotions

Gilt Edged launches a brand new look

30 years in business is an impressive milestone for any company, and Northampton based promotional products company Gilt Edged are marking the occasion with a fresh new look.

‘Every day we talk to our customers about the importance of branding, which made us feel that it was time we refreshed our own!’ explained Anne-Marie Cook, group marketing director. ‘We wanted our brand to shine brighter and to reflect our core values of innovation, quality and customer focus and this is exactly what we have achieved.’

Gilt Edged Promotions started manufacturing diaries in 1986 and have customers that range from large corporations to small businesses, charities, schools and sports clubs. They continue to provide their own range of diaries, calendars and notebooks but with continued innovation, diversification and investment now offer a vast range of branded products that inspire and help businesses to promote their products and services. This includes thousands of promotional gifts, technology products such as USBs and power banks, branded clothing, uniforms and workwear. Today they are known as a forward-thinking, innovative promotional products specialist who puts their customers first; focusing tirelessly on quality, service and delivering inspiring solutions.

To see their new look for yourself, visit

Anne Gobled

SPS France welcomes Anne Gobled to the team

SPS France was delighted to welcome Anne Gobled to their team, taking up the role of sales manager, France from 1st October 2016.

Anne has many years’ experience in the promotional products industry and has spent the past eight years promoting British made products across France as part of her previous business, GB Connection.

Phil Morgan, SPS CEO commented: “We’re really pleased to welcome Anne to SPS. Her knowledge of the French marketplace is fantastic, and we’re confident Anne will help to grow the SPS France brand. Anne has already created many successful business relationships across the country, and we’re delighted that she will be representing the SPS France product range which includes products made both by SPS and High Profile.”

SPS is seeking to increase its market share across Europe, thanks to the strong relationships the company is building with key partners, alongside the extensive, high quality product range that is manufactured at its UK sites.

Prior to running GB-Connection, Anne was based in the UK, and has an excellent insight into the manufacture and supply of British made products. Anne commented: “Whilst working in the UK, I was impressed by the quality and professionalism of the British manufacturers, which is why I have been promoting their products for almost a decade. As part of SPS France, I’m looking forward to focusing on the great range of products we have available, in particular the drinkware range, KitsUK products, plus the capacity for creating bespoke products.”

Waters creative agency logo

Waters champions doing business in Welsh

Swansea-based creative agency Waters is on a mission to impress on Welsh companies the importance of using the Welsh language in business, not only to broaden the bottom line, but also to improve their customer relations.

In 2014, the Welsh government released figures revealing just under a third of all private sector employers felt that the Welsh language skills of their workforce had benefit to their business.

And Waters really took the message to heart. Having a high number of clients who either offer services in Welsh, or who speak it internally and externally, Waters decided to stress this as a unique selling point.

“We pride ourselves on our staff being able to communicate and design work in both English and Welsh – as well as the majority of our staff being Welsh university graduates,” said Waters’ co-director Rhian East.

Bangor University recently launched a BA degree course to encourage students to support the Welsh language and bring a bilingual skillset to the workplace.

Soopa Doopa Branding directors Jake Scott-Paul (left) and Gavin Lambert (right)

Soopa Doopa’s scoop at East Cambridgeshire Business Awards

Soopa Doopa Branding were rewarded for an exceptional year of growth on 14th October at the Ely Standard East Cambridgeshire Business Awards 2016. Not only did they win the Small Business of the Year award but they were then crowned with the Overall Business of the Year award, claiming the grand title of “winner of the winners.”

The awards ceremony took place in the stunning Lady Chapel at the famous Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire.

The judges recognised the substantial growth achieved by the company – made up of just two directors, Jake Scott-Paul and Gavin Lambert along with one part time member of staff – having grown from a turnover of £750,000 in 2014-2105 to a massive £2.1 million in 2015-2016.

The awards’ winners were decided on a points system and Soopa Doopa were later told they had achieved maximum points by one of the judges.

Both the directors were extremely proud to have been acknowledged for their hard work and thanked both their loyal customer base and suppliers for helping them achieve such phenomenal growth.

Jake Scott-Paul said: “It’s been a huge year for us; absolutely fantastic. And to win these awards is the culmination of all our hard work. We’re very proud: its great news and at no point during this record growth did we lose site of our core values: service, service, service.”

Gavin Lambert said: “This is completely unexpected. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved in a short space of time and already there are plans for much more to come in the future.”

Debbie (third from right) with pals (l-r) Marie, Claire, Michells, Yasmine and Caren.

Gal pal team in fitness fundraiser

When Debbie Jones’ brother-in-law, Mathew Rimmer, was taken seriously ill, she decided the best way to fight back was to get fighting fit. She enlisted a group of gym pals from Cheadle and took on the Les Mills Live event in Manchester – six classes of gruelling exercise in a single day.

Debbie and her friends began the day with a taxing 45 minutes of Body Pump, which they followed up with GRIT Cardio. “It’s a 30 minute, full-on High Intensity Interval Training class full of burpees, jumping squats, press ups, shuttle runs etc,” explained Debbie. “I’m not sure how we managed to pull ourselves together after that but we did and followed it with Body Attack, Body Jam, Body Combat and Sh’Bam.”

All the sponsorship money is destined to help Mat on the road back to health. In 2015 he suffered a brain haemorrhage as well as an infected abscess caused by a piece of a heart infection he carried breaking off and going to his brain. A two-week coma and further infections followed and complicated his recovery, which is ongoing.

Paralysed on his right side and having his speech affected, Mat faces a life with disability. So Debbie and her sister Jan started looking into specialist therapies that could aid Mat, which come at quite a cost.

So all Debbie’s sweat and tears were well worth it as she and the girls raised just over £4,800 to put towards Mat’s recovery.

Debbie’s JustGiving page is still open and can be found here.


PSI 2017: More space, more time, more diversity

PSI 2017: More space, more time, more diversity

It’s nearly sold out, even though it’s bigger both in terms of space and exhibitors. We have expanded special areas, introduced a new communication tool that makes everyday trade show activities easier and already registered several hundred customers for the first Industry Customer Day. With that, PSI 2017, which will take place from Tuesday, 10th January, to Thursday, 12th January, is already emerging as a very promising event three months ahead of its start.

Industry Customer Day well received

The widening of the target audience through the inclusion of industry customers is an opportunity for the industry, and everyone’s been jumping at the chance. Not just industry customers themselves – distributors too have positively responded to the new Industry Customer Day on the last day of the show. All the meeting counters located outside of Hall 9, which are intended to provide a place for distributors to meet their customers, have already sold out completely – and that is despite the fact that we’ve added even more counters than originally planned. Additional counters will now be available on the Gallery near the Exhibition Centre’s North Entrance. A large number of invitation codes have already been redeemed since the opening of the ticket shop for industry customers in early September. In the first week alone, more than 200 registrations came in.

At the show, industry customers will get a comprehensive overview of the diversity of promotional products along with a chance to participate in the supporting programme, which has been specially tailored to the interests of industry customers on Thursday, the last day of the trade show. Topics such as “can-dos” for promotional products will be addressed.

Textile Area expanded yet again

Textiles have been the focus topic of the trade show for two years now. More than 40 per cent of visitors at the last event said they were particularly interested in textiles: reason enough to make the already sold-out Textile Area in Hall 10 even bigger! This is where exhibitors will present the current state of the art along with an outlook on the future of promotional textiles. The entire textile industry value chain from classic suppliers to wholesalers to end-users will be covered in a single hall. Integrated again in the Textile Area will be the Textile Finishing Area and the Catwalk with professional models presenting participating exhibitors’ promotional textiles on the runway. The supporting programme will have just as much to offer for textiles pros. For example, visitors can turn to Stefan Roller-Aßfalg from the Academy for Textile Finishing for information on textile certifications and other topics.

From idea to product

The PSI Show wouldn’t be what it is without creative and useful innovations: the entire process chain from idea to marketable product will be on display at the expanded Newcomer Area in Halls 11 and 12. This area was also enlarged, with the result that more space is now set aside for inventors, first- and second-time exhibitors and young companies bringing fresh ideas to the market. Plus, PSI partners such as the PSI Design Forum, manugoo and the Innovation Forum, as well asrepresentatives from iENA, the DPMA (the German Patent and Trade Mark Office), German Customs and Aktion Plagiarius will be on hand at the Innovation Competency Centre in Hall 12 to share information on topics such as promotional products design, product safety, import regulations, plagiarism and many more.

The exclusive product premieres launched by the participants in the PSI FIRST campaign will be showcased at the PSI Institute – Competence Area in Hall 9. For the fourth time, 50 exhibitors will have the opportunity to present their new products to an international industry audience. Each debuting product will be automatically nominated for the People’s Choice Award. Then the choice will be up to visitors: they will decide who will win the award. At the conclusion of the show, all 50 newly launched products will be added to the Product Finder 3.0 as specially marked PSI FIRST products.

New communication standards with dMAS

For the first time, PSI in 2017 is providing exhibitors with a sophisticated tool aimed at one thing above all: generating business. Provided in collaboration with dMAS GmbH, the digital tool enables instantaneous connections between suppliers, distributors and industry customers. The dMAS Notes scanning app, for example, can be used to easily collect contact information and conveniently export it into exhibitor CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. In addition, as soon as a PSI trade show badge is scanned, the automatic visitor recognition feature immediately indicates whether stand visitors are industry customers and, if so, which distributor invited them – without having to hand over industry customers’ complete contact information to exhibitors. That way, exhibitors can pass on any requests directly to the respective distributor.

About PSI

At PSI, the Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry, promotional products professionals gain an overview of the trends and innovations of the industry. In addition, special exhibits and show areas are dedicated to an in-depth look at promotional labelling, printing and finishing technologies, inventions and innovations, and much more. At PSI 2016, 932 exhibitors from 38 countries presented their companies to 16,810 visitors. Following a change in show days, PSI 2017 will take place in Düsseldorf from Tuesday, 10th January, to Thursday, 12th January.

Outstanding Branding founders Sarah Penn and Andy Thorne

Outstanding Branding LLC’s Office Launch

The multi award-winning promotional merchandise distributor Outstanding Branding is set to take a bite out of the Big Apple by opening an office on Park Avenue, New York.

As the demand for global solutions from their clientele has grown, Outstanding Brandnig founders Sarah Penn and Andy Thorne declared that opening a New York office was a vital part of their strategy.

“We are lucky to have signed on offices in a fantastic part of a fantastic city,” said CEO, Sarah Penn.  “The proximity to a number of our existing clients will allow us to offer the face to face, personal service we know they appreciate; as well as giving us the opportunity to drop in on any new clients interested in benefiting from our approach”.

The Business Seminar Theatre returned to The Print Show this year,

Industry heavyweights hail The Print Show 2016

Show organisers were celebrating after The Print Show 2016 was confirmed as a big success. Many major brands were in attendance and have paid tribute to the impact of the show, explaining the event helped generate big sales. Meanwhile, the attendance figures have been confirmed as 5,916.

The Print Show 2016 ran from October 11th to 13th at the NEC in Birmingham and featured more than 140 exhibitors from across the industry, covering all areas of the production process. From key manufacturer brands such as Konica Minolta, Presstek, RMGT, OKI, RISO, Morgana, and Duplo, through to key suppliers such as IFS, Apex Digital Graphics, Signmaster Systems and Spandex, the event has been hailed as a success by exhibitors and visitors alike.

Chris Davies, event director, said: “After the success of our inaugural event last year, we were extremely confident heading into this year’s show, and I’m really pleased with how it went. Not only were we able to bring in a number of new exhibitors, but also record a significant increase in the number of visitors that attended the show.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that came to the show – both visitors and exhibitors – and I look forward to seeing you at the International Centre for our 2017 show from October 11th to 13th.”

Duplo at The Print Show 2016One exhibitor quick to pay tribute to The Print Show this year is Duplo, which announced just a matter of hours after doors closed at the NEC that it had signed deals topping £400,000 at the event.

Sarah Crumpler, Duplo UK marketing manager, said: “The show has certainly lived up to expectations. We’re delighted at not only the quality of leads, but the real interest in our market-leading systems that have provided the perfect opportunity for UK printers to come and get their hands-on with live application printing. All our systems are designed to enable customers to work smarter, faster and more efficiently.”

While the doors may have only just closed on another successful edition of The Print Show, there is plenty of interest in next year’s show, as well as new event SignLink Live that will run alongside The Print Show 2017. Both events will take place at the International Centre in Telford from October 11th to 13th.

The key focus of SignLink Live will see it play host to sign-making industry suppliers and manufacturers, the product and services of which span everything from built-up LED illuminated letters, through digital signage, to materials for wrapping buildings in graphics.

Davies, who will serve as event director of both shows, said the two shows will take the entire venue in Telford, which spans some 10,500sq m (113,021sq ft), boasts ultra-modern facilities, and is located just five minutes away from a large, modern hospitality, entertainment, hotel, and shopping complex that features an IMAX cinema, bowling, ice rink and a number of major restaurants such as Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Nando’s and Prezzo.

“We’ve already spoken with a lot of new and potential exhibitors about both The Print show 2017 and the debut SignLink Live, and the feedback we are getting is really positive,” Davies said, adding: “There is a clear demand for a show like SignLink Live, and with an established brand like The Print Show to support it, we are very optimistic about where we can go with this new event.”

PPExpo 2017

New features revealed for PPExpo 2017

Customer Focus has announced exciting new developments for the UK’s largest annual promotional products trade show, PPExpo.

The features were unveiled earlier in October at a special exhibitor information and networking day hosted at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the venue for PPExpo 2017. Enhancements include a streamlined registration process, a new product showcase and catalogue zone, and a special business clinic.

Giving an insight to delegates, Customer Focus’ general manager Paul Kehoe emphasised the importance of creating a digitally-connected show, enhanced by the introduction of a special social media ‘digiwall’ and a specialised PPExpo app.

Paul said: “The digital arena is very, very important for any show. I think creating community, creating excitement … around any event is key and you do that best in this day and age with a very, very good presence through your digital channels.

“More than ever, we are going to work with our suppliers to create that content and to get people excited about you guys and what you are going to be doing.”

Further new elements include a revamped PPD Party, the launch of the PPD Leadership Network, and a special chauffeur service to bring targeted distributors to the exhibition.

The trade show will take place over two days between 25th – 26th January 2017. More details, including event registration, can be found here.

Graham Bennington

Remembering Graham Bennington

A mentor for many and personal friend for many more, the former chief executive of BemroseBooth has died after a short battle with cancer. He was aged 66.

Graham James Bennington was the leader of the UK’s largest manufacturer of machine issued car parking and public transport tickets and joined the then Bemrose Corporation in 1977. He took on a number of different positions within the firm, notably personnel manager and operations director, before rising to the post of chief executive in 2000.

The former BemroseBooth leader was a mentor to Customer Focus and Altitude Group Plc chief executive Martin Varley. Graham introduced him to the promotional products industry and helped the Customer Focus leader to further develop his entrepreneurial skills.

On hearing the tragic news, Martin paid tribute to his “friend and inspiration”.

“He was so talented as a business leader, it was impossible to hold him in anything but the highest of esteems; he was an expert negotiator, HR guru (he called it personnel) and leader. He took a company that was just a supplier of car park and rail tickets to the number one company for promo products in the world.

“He knew when to invest and when to divest, he shared his skills widely, encouraged enthusiastically, and every now and again very elegantly gave you that look and you knew you had not quite done your best.”

“He supported me when I didn’t deserve it, he had my back, front and side and we laughed and we laughed and we laughed.”

Graham died peacefully on 20 October at the Butterfly Hospice in Boston, Lincolnshire, with his wife Sandie by his side.

You can read Martin Varley’s full tribute to Graham Bennington here.


EverythingBranded set to crack America with new US site

The Midlands-based distributor, EverythingBranded, is set to  make a splash on the other side of the pond with the launch of its USA sister site,

The Midlands based distributor is the founding online brand for promotional printing group. After nearly seven years of continued growth and combined sales set to exceed £5m, it was decided that adding a sister site was the natural way to maintain the growth. is working with its core UK suppliers in finding ways to bring great UK made items to the expansive USA market.

Paul Rowlett, managing director of Charles Alexander Distribution, said: “We’re absolutely delighted and overwhelmed at the response we have had from our USA partners. Even though we have grown as a group to over 40 staff we are still a very tight-knit company and everyone here has worked extremely hard to get the company to this point.

“We have launched new websites and brands before but there is something especially different about this new company. The fact that so many companies have failed over the pond just motivates me more to make this work.”

Hervé Argenson

New business development manager for Listawood

Listawood, the European manufacturer of ceramic drinkware, fridge magnets and computer mouse pads, have newly appointed Hervé Argenson as business development manager for France. He will be based at Listawood’s new French office, just outside Paris.

“We are pleased to welcome Hervé to the Listawood team,” commented Alex Turner, Managing Director. “Our new Paris office will provide a stronger platform for us to support and develop the business with our distribution partners in France.”

Hervé has 10 years’ experience in the promotional products industry under his belt, having worked most recently for Adelaide. He will be visiting Listawood’s increasing number of French distributors, supporting them with the promotion of the manufacturer’s product portfolio.

I am looking forward to my new role at Listawood and presenting their exciting product collection to French distributors,” added Hervé.

Clockwork Creatives

Clockwork Creatives launches the Small Business Programme

Clockwork Creatives, the UK-based digital marketing and media production company, has announced the launch of the Small Business Programme, with the aim of bringing the digital marketing techniques of large, multinational companies to smaller businesses.

Aimed at companies from start-ups to medium sized, the programme is designed with the aim of enlightening businesses on the power of digital marketing and how to take full advantage of it.

“The Small Business Programme is something the SME market has been crying out for in recent years,” claims co-founder of Clockwork Creatives, Davin Jeayes.”With demand for original digital content ever increasing amongst consumers, businesses are under increasing pressure to focus their digital marketing budgets on content that resonates with their target audience in unique ways, all whilst operating within budgetary constraints.”

You can find out more about the Small Business Programme via the link HERE.

The Ignite Exhibition

Bright sparks gather for Ignite’s annual exhibition

On 29th September, the Ignite Incentives Group welcomed just shy of 100 promotional products suppliers and distributors to the historic Warwick Racecourse for their annual exhibition and race day.

A marquee was laid out to house the exhibition itself, while visitors were also treated to a hot buffet lunch in the Kingmakers suite (affording a wonderful view of the winning post, which it overlooks) and a party which continued well into the evening.

“I am indebted to our suppliers for their continued outstanding support and to our distributor members who travel long distances to be there,” said Richard Pettinger, director of Ignite Incentives Ltd. “We had members from as far afield as Edinburgh and Cornwall. It is most rewarding to have this fantastic support for the group”

“The Ignite Group exhibition and race day at Warwick Racecourse is always an excellent event and this year was again thoroughly enjoyable,” declared Andy Goffin, sales and marketing director for CHX Products. “It’s a perfect mix of business and leisure.”

“It’s always a challenge to keep replicating a successful event but every year the launch delivers and is certainly a date In the diary I look forward to,” added Jason Grenham, sales director of Sourcing City.

Ignite will return to Warwick on 5th October 2017.

The Fluid Branding team

The Fluid Branding Supplier Awards at The East Anglia Merchandise Show

On 28th September, Fluid Branding hosted the East Anglia Merchandise Show at Newmarket Racecourse, Suffolk. This was the show’s first year since being rebranded from the Falcon Promotion Showcase following Falcon Promotion’s acquisition by Fluid Branding.

“The initial feedback has been totally amazing with visitors loving the fact that they could come along, see and feel the merchandise,” said James Dixon, Fluid Branding’s sales director. “The introduction of the seminars has gone down particularly well with visitors and I’ve had loads of positive comments. We are delighted.”

As well as a broad range of promotional merchandise on display and a series of seminars throughout the day, the event also featured a supplier awards dinner the previous evening.

Peter Murdoch, Fluid’s procurement director exclaimed, “Our suppliers are so important to us, we decided to honour their hard work and dedication and recognise this with an awards dinner that celebrates excellent service.”


The Winners of the Fluid Branding 2016 supplier awards:

Deadline Champion 2016 – The Laltex Group
Quickest response Team 2016 – The Umbrella Company
Best Visuals 2016 – The Bizz Badge Company
Best Eshot 2016 – Adpads
Product of the Year 2016 – Desktop Ideas for the Smartphone fan
Account Manager of the Year 2016 – Ryan Brown
Personality of the Year 2016 – Dave Kershener

The Best Badges team celebrate

Best Badges celebrates 15th birthday

Most 15th birthday parties mark a coming of age and a look forward to the life ahead. This was certainly true of Best Badges in September as they looked back on a decade and a half of achievement and growth. And, of course, there was cake.

Founded in 2001 by bassist Andrew Culture and singer Stuart Tyldesley, Best Badges Ltd was originally focused on the music industry after Andrew and Stuart’s experiences trying to buy promotional items for their band. Their scope, however, soon grew along with the company.

One thing that has remained constant is the company’s commitment to supplying badges without a minimum order quantity. In addition, customers can submit artwork in any format and all the artwork help needed is provided by Best Badges for free.

“Everyone who works here at Best Badges is enormously proud of not only the exceptional growth we have achieved, but also the large number of long-term friendships we have formed with our customers,” said customer relationship manager, Richard Maydell. “We build long term relationships with our distributor and customer base.”


Ocean Media Group buys London Stationery Show and National Stationery Week

The London Stationery Show, its consumer awareness campaign National Stationery Week, and Stationery Magazine have been acquired by Ocean Media Group, a leading provider of exhibitions, events, awards and specialist publications.

Founded by Chris Leonard-Morgan of LMC Media in 2011, the London Stationery Show is the UK’s most important trade exhibition for the paper and writing products industry. It marked its sixth show in April this year. During this time the show has trebled in size and the 2017 show is on course to continue its upward trajectory with over 85% of the 2016 stand space already booked.

Ocean Media Group currently works in three sectors; Weddings, where it runs the National Wedding Shows, and leading consumer events across the UK; Bridal, where it produces the leading trade publication and organises three key trade events; and Housing, a sector for which it organises conferences, events, awards, and publishes the leading trade magazines.

David Watt, CEO at Ocean Media commented, “This is an exciting opportunity to add two more market leading brands, and a new sector, to the Ocean portfolio.  The London Stationery Show has captured the imagination of both mainstream and niche retailers whilst stimulating consumer demand for quality stationery products. Ocean believes it can help foster the sector and help the London Stationery Show continue to grow to meet the demands of this vibrant industry.”

Chris Leonard-Morgan, who will remain in place as an adviser on the show alongside the existing team, says, “The London Stationery Show has much to gain from the Ocean Media Group, who have a wealth of experience working with, and attracting large B2B and B2C audiences to their exhibitions, events and publications.  We are looking forward to making the most of the support, experience and investment which they can offer.”

The 2017 London Stationery Show ( will take place at the Business Design Centre on 25 – 26 April and National Stationery Week ( from 24 – 30 April.

Attendees (l-r) Neil Collis (Promotional Ceramics), Laura Clement (Bizz Badge), Artie Pallari (Fanela), Denise Broom (Broom Incentives), Phil Roberts (Fanela), Yvonne Blackhurst (Bizz Badge), Barry Chamberlain (Global Merchandise & Design), Maureen Wilson (Bizz Badge)

PP heads inspire hope at ‘Believe ball’

Leading suppliers joined friends and industry colleagues at Cardiff City Stadium for a charity ball in September to raise funds and awareness for the charity Believe – Organ Donor Support.

Over 400 people attended the ‘Believe ball’, during which they raised much-needed funds and danced through the night. Organisers said: “We would like to thank Fanela, Bizz Badge, Promotional Ceramics and Senator for their ongoing support and help in raising over £20,000 on this evening alone.”

The newly formed Believe – Organ Donor Support charity was set up by Anna Louise Bates following the loss of her husband and son, and her decision to let them help others through organ donation.

To read more about the charity please visit