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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

Interview with Arni Esra Einarsson

Filed under: Interviews

I get to travel quite frequently as an ASI editor, though I have never been to Iceland. After meeting some Icelandic distributors at the PSI Show, I have learned two things: First, like Poland, Iceland has a rapidly growing economy and one that supports a vibrant promotional products industry; Second, I don’t know if because of the 24 hours of sunlight that makes their capacity for consumption flourish, but these people party like Vikings… to the point where they made me seem downright Amish.

I talked with Arni Esra Einarsson, who runs one of the largest distributorships in Iceland, Margt Smatt Bolur (translation: “Many Small Things”), located in Reykjavik. He is as smart as he is hearty in his partying.


Interview with Philippe Varnier

Filed under: Interviews

Towards the end of the PSI Dusseldorf Show, the traffic didn’t dissipate and the excitement continued right up until the end of the show on Friday at 4:00 p.m. Trends on the show floor included metallic accents and embellishments, a continued emphasis on eco-trends including one company, Everything Environmental, who carries pens made from recycled CD cases, and Polyconcept, who showed items powered by water instead of electricity. Wooden toys, too, were prevalent, in response to the backlash against metal toys.

I spoke with my favorite French-accented industry oracle, Philippe Varnier, chairman of Polyconcept, and asked him for his outlook on upcoming trends.


Interview with John Lynch

Filed under: Interviews

I sat down with my friend John Lynch, a native of New Jersey who moved to Krakow, Poland to start his own supplier company, Lynka.

Now, 14 years later, his company is one of the largest promotional products businesses in Poland and John is both an expert on this emerging market and quite the fun expat if you’re ever in the area and want to know the best restaurants and where to find the most sublime Polish vodka.


Partying in Dusseldorf!

Filed under: Fun, Travel

Lest you think I’ve totally lost my luster and missed out on the social events, there were two of note. The World Advertising Gift Exchange (WAGE) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a festive reception that drew over 100 attendees.

Polyconcept’s annual party on the boat they bring in especially for the occasion. Philippe Varnier and his team invite clients, friends and competitors, all of whom clearly revel in the open bar, sumptuous buffet and electrifying band.

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Hello from PSI Dusseldorf

Filed under: Travel

Hello Everyone —

Welcome to my first blog. Now, when I travel to every show — in the U.S. and abroad — you will be there with me, for the good, the bad, the wacky and the (really) weird.

I am here in Dusseldorf at the PSI Show — Europe’s largest show — which today, the opening, saw a 5% increase over last year’s attendance. The show, as always, is the epitome of appearance. From the booths (see photos) to the exhibitor staff, these people treat the event as if it were a fashion, design and hospitalty extravaganza. I don’t think it’s any secret for those of you who know me, that Europe is my happy place and this show is my favorite of the year.

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