Exhibitors delighted by keen demand / Sustainability a growing trend that now extends to promotional products
Despite the difficult economic climate, the recent International Trade Fair for Promotional Products (IAW) in Cologne produced encouraging results. In fact, the 10th IAW was clearly a positive sign for the entire business sector. Nearly 6,000 trade visitors from across Europe came to the city to discover the latest trend-setting promotional products in every area of retailing. They not only showed keen interest in the products, but also took part in numerous fruitful business talks with approx. 200 exhibitors, one quarter of whom came from outside Germany. The positive mood at the trade show, underlined by excellent business, helped secure many stand bookings for the next event in March 2010, which will again take place in Cologne.
“Demand remains strong despite the economic crisis”, was how IAW managing director Ulrich Zimmermann of Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft explained the large number of orders taken at the event. He added: “Promotional products and bargain items do particularly well in times such as these because the end consumer is more price conscious.” This was confirmed by the large number of buyers from consumer markets, discounters, supermarkets, buyers’ organizations and mail order companies, as well as furniture, DIY and home stores, who flocked to Cologne during the three days of the event.
Product highlights set new trends Known as the Oscar of the trade, the IAW Trendseller Product Award went to Inter-Trade XXL from Wardenburg for its universal ceramic sharpening system. The winning product best exemplifies sustainability – a major trend that made a bigger impact on the tenth IAW than at any of the previous trade fairs. “An awareness of environmental issues has influenced the promotional products sector for some time”, comments marketing expert Ulrich Eggert from Cologne, who also chaired the panel of expert judges. The patented ceramic system sharpens the internal blades of kitchen equipment, thus considerably extending product life. The system is also capable of sharpening razor blades up to fifteen times.
Solar charging equipment and lamps, bio products and durable, long-lasting products are extremely popular. Another example of this trend and a big crowd-puller at Germany’s biggest showcase for promotional products was the innovative piccolo bottle holder with an integrated drinking straw. The traditional Franconian vinery Johannes Deppisch came up with a fun product that is both environment-friendly and functional. Washing glasses and clearing up broken glass at parties and big events is as passé as hideous plastic cups or cans of drink. This new product not only tackles the problem of mounting waste – by suspending the bottle in a special harness system, it frees the hands of party-goers and other users so they can eat or applaud. It also prevents the drink from getting warm whilst being held. The harness and straw system can be used time and time again.