UK – On January 21 and 22, 2015, this year’s Trade Only National Show took place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. According to the organiser, Trade Only, 350 exhibitors presented their products and services to promotional products distributors from all over the United Kingdom. Many of the exhibitors came from abroad, since the show is an obligatory event for suppliers, who want to export to the British market. The official attendance figure of almost 3,000 visitors means that the Trade Only National Show attracted slightly fewer visitors than in the previous year – in 2014, the 3,000 mark was exceeded. This didn’t affect the good, working atmosphere that prevailed at the trade fair – a further indication that the British market certainly succeeded in gathering considerable momentum.
The BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) already staged its Education Day on the eve of the fair, as well as its Annual Awards at the dinner on the first evening of the show. The BPMA Awards went to the British companies Brand Addition, Preseli, Face2Face, Outstanding Branding, The Pen Warehouse and the Orb Group, “Personality of the Year” was Steve Bodgers (SPS). The BPMA conferred its awards initially for the last time at the Trade Only Show: As the organisers announced, in 2016 the BPMA Awards will be replaced by the National Promotion Awards that are organised by Trade Only. The show itself is going to be rebranded as well and will be staged under the new name PPE – Promotional Product Expo in 2016. The first PPE will also be held in the Ricoh Arena, on January 20 and 21, 2016.
A detailed report will follow in the next issue of eppi magazine, No. 103 (February 18, 2015).