A virus, lockdown and a roadmap to a new normality: COVID-19 has monopolised world attention for the past few months. It has also had a severe impact on the world of advertising. Many industries have cancelled advertising activities and events have frequently had to be postponed or cancelled, including no less than 2500 trade fairs. Now that some countries are at last tentatively emerging from lockdown, we can cautiously begin to look forward to the future again.
Whereas the current financial year is going to be hallmarked by a severe economic downturn, it is to be hoped that the three trade shows, PSI, PromoTex Expo and viscom (12th – 14th January 2021) will provide the impetus for a fresh start next year. The three fairs will be held, as originally planned, at the very start of next year.
As Petra Lassahn of show organizer Reed Exhibitions and director of the three trade fairs says, “After lockdown, the retail economy urgently needs to start finding markets again. Trade fairs are one of the best tools for kickstarting an economic recovery and can provide a vital signal for a new beginning.” Together, PSI, PromoTex Expo and viscom reflect the entire world of sales and advertising. Thanks to the close bonds between the different branches, they provide a major force for good in the industry and beyond. “Especially when working together as a team, the three fairs can provide an urgently needed stimulus required for revitalising the industries in the short and medium term.”
Comprehensive health protection
Over the last few months, the PSI network has fought hard for the interests of industry players, both on a political level and also by providing many of its own services free of charge. Preparations for organising the fairs in January are now going into the decisive phase. As Petra Lassahn emphasises, “Together with representatives from the relevant authorities and Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, we are compiling a detailed hygiene and safety concept that will protect all participants from a possible risk of infection during the fair.”
New structures, greater safety and maximum flexibility
The three fairs are being completely restructured in January to ensure maximum safety. There will be more emphasis on the themes of product sourcing, sustainability, technology & community in four halls. A key part of the planning will involve guiding visitors more transparently through the fair as well as deciding on just how exhibitors will be able to present their products and services to the public. As Michael Freter of Reed Exhibitions Germany and Managing Director of PSI confirms, “We need to work with the utmost flexibility because circumstances can change on a daily basis at the moment.”
PromoTex Expo will focus on sustainability
As well as having a new hygiene and safety concept, other changes will also be made regarding show planning. PromoTex Expo will move closer to PSI again, with exhibitors from the world of textiles being represented in all four exhibition halls in 2021. “We would like to promote any synergies where they exist,” says Petra Lassahn. “That is precisely what these three shows exemplify in the world of sales and advertising. We will also focus even more strongly on the topic of sustainability at the textile fair because this is something that sets us apart from other textile events and also attracted a lot of attention and support in 2020 – partially thanks to our collaboration with the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development with their new “Green Button” certification.
A second section of PromoTex Expo is moving to Hall 12 where viscom is also being held. An optimised planning concept strengthens the synergies between the two fairs, bringing them closer together without, however, detracting from their independence. The “hands on” approach, so familiar from viscom is not just being retained but also taken a stage further under the motto of “Mach was draus” (English: “turn it into something better”). Advertising technicians, and indeed all visitors, are being encouraged to get stuck into materials and equipment, find answers to their questions, take the opportunity to discuss things with one other and try out new things at different stations. Once again, the focus will be on the workshop, alongside an extensive exhibition of different materials, while experts will also be on site to answer any technical questions relating to equipment or software.
Homecoming for PSI members
Special services will be available for PSI members. They will be able to relax in the PSI Members Only Lounge. There you will not just find all the different PSI service departments represented but also have the opportunity to meet up and network with other members of the PSI family after an extraordinary year. The motto for 2021 is “Coming Home”. Other crowd-pullers will include the GUSTO area, with numerous samples for tasting that will melt on your tongue while indelibly burning the respective brand on your mind. There will also be product presentations to acquaint visitors with novelties and best-sellers in the industry.