Customer Focus completed their 2016 series of PPE Roadshow exhibitions with three final shows in September at Sandown, Manchester and Dublin.
The biannual, touring exhibition gives suppliers and distributors in the promotional products sector –from established industry giants to budding, homegrown businesses – the chance to meet, connect and talk shop face-to-face.
The Exhibition Centre at the Sandown Park Racecourse, the Manchester Suite at Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium, and the Red Cow Moran Hotel in Dublin provided the venues where hundreds of visitors flocked to enjoy the shows.
New name, same quality
In previous years, the shows were run under the name of The APG Shows. Yet with the hosting company rebranding from Trade Only to Customer Focus, the exhibition shows also got a makeover. The national January event, the Trade Only National Show (or TONS) became the Promotional Product Expo (PPE), while the spring and summer travelling exhibitions, APG, became the PPE Roadshows.
It was soon clear that the rebranding had not affected the quality of this year’s shows.
“I am delighted with the resounding success of this year’s PPE Roadshow series,” said Paul Kehoe, general manager of Customer Focus. “We have seen many new suppliers and new visitors this year, interspersed with many of our established industry guests which helps keep the shows fresh. Most importantly, this helps to engineer new contacts and, with that, new business opportunities for both suppliers and distributors.
“In addition, this year we have seen a number of new product launches at the shows, welcomed expert speakers to deliver educational masterclass sessions which have all helped deliver terrific value for time to our visitors,” added Kehoe.
Among the new products being showcased at the autumn show were four models of Uni-ball pen by Premier Brands, who this month partnered with Japanese manufacturer, the Mitsubishi Pencil Company.
In fact, several suppliers were exhibiting at the roadshow for the first time this autumn, such as Leo B. Stanley, director of Ink Edibles. “It was our first one and we were very impressed. We really didn’t know what to expect, but the feedback was incredible,” he commented to PPD.
Speaking to PPD, Henry Lacey, country manager UK and Ireland for Fruit of the Loom, added: “I thought the quality of people was pretty good.
“It’s more of a PR exercise for us to get in touch with the end-users. We’re not here to sell per se, but we’re here to give brand awareness.”
The shows also act as an important touchstone for overseas companies to touch base with the British market. “For us as a German company, the PPE Roadshows are really important because that’s our chance to meet our British customers,” said Patrik Kaiser of Kalfany.
“We have been doing these shows for years and we have always got benefit from them,” added John O’Donovan, field sales manager of IF Solutions. “We’re in the field, so we get great results from meeting new and existing customers face-to-face. It’s not necessarily just what happens on the day, but what it leads to throughout the year ahead.”
The roadshows maybe done for this year, but there is still time to get involved for 2017.
The Promotional Product Expo is recognised as the biggest and best show in the industry, and will run on the 25th and 26th January 2017 in Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. For further information, please visit: www.ppexpo.co.uk
For stand or sponsorship enquiries for the 2017 shows or any other questions, please call: 0844 880 2751
As per this year, there will be six shows throughout 2017. Contact Stephanie Cunningham to book now: firstname.lastname@example.org