Successful National Stationery Show driven by emphasis on innovation, community
An increase in attendance and a focus on design, innovation and community presented by a compelling mix of veteran and first-time exhibitors, added up to an outstanding 2015 edition of the National Stationery Show — the nation’s only marketplace devoted exclusively to social stationery and related products. The show took place May 17-20 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
“The brisk business and great energy on the Show floor emphasizes the continued importance of personal communications and the written word,” said Patti Stracher, vice president and National Stationery Show director. “The market continues to deliver on its promise of innovation and excellence across all social stationery categories and 2015 proved to be no exception.”
Thousands of attendees from across the United States and around the world sourced and shopped across a specific range of synergistic product categories, providing a unique and productive buying experience. Beyond the best and brightest names in social stationery, highlights for 2015 included an influx of more than 250 innovative new designers, with a concentrations in #fresh, a juried section featuring some 100-plus exhibitors — including a contingent of 25 Etsy Wholesale designer-makers — and a first-time GCA (Greeting Card Association) pavilion with a core group of emerging businesses.
“The National Stationery Show is an important show to keep our greeting card offering fresh and new,” said retailer Ron Wootten, owner of Paper Skyscraper in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Our reputation for having great cards brings in a lot of customers, and my objective at the NSS is to search out those new lines. I want to keep hearing my customers say ‘you have the best cards in the city,’ and the National Stationery Show is a very efficient way for me to assure that.”
Retailer Lin Logan, of The Stationery Company in Denver, added, “I wouldn’t think of missing the National Stationery Show. It keeps my passion for the industry alive and well! I always come away rejuvenated and ready to express my enthusiasm to my staff and customers. With times so rapidly changing in our industry one must keep up with the latest and newest products. The NSS definitely does that … the quality is quite apparent and it actually seems ‘fresher’ than ever.”
Many exhibitors also commented on the National Stationery Show’s unique “vibe” and palpable sense of energy. “The Show seemed well organized from the onset. The traffic was very good and the shopping was serious. We also exhibit at the gift markets and to have an informed audience that really is focused on paper allows us to cut to the chase,” said exhibitor John Cook from Orange Art.
In addition to the Show’s core offerings for social stationery, greeting cards and invitations, a curated selection of related resources also were presented for retailers. These additional product offerings ranged from paper crafting and party kits, to embellishments, art materials and other supplies for creative pursuit; as well as complementary, trending lifestyle products. Beyond B2C resources, a host of manufacturing resources for social stationery and giftware companies, were part of The Supply Side, a B2B section of the Show.
Beyond the exhibitor floor, an extensive lineup of special events, seminars and displays, complemented the product finds. A series of educational seminars presented by industry professionals addressed design trends, customer engagement, marketing and social media strategies. Two panel discussions offered in depth perspectives on the industry’s vibrancy and diversity through the eyes of talked-about designers and retailers, as well as blog trends from the point of view of four top bloggers. After hours, special social events, including an onsite cocktail reception, and the GCA’s LOUIE Awards, offered plenty of industry networking opportunities. In addition, best new product awards were presented in eight categories, with Best of Show honors going to Hester & Cook Design Group (Nashville) for its Gold Imprint Table Runner/Gift Wrap, printed with soy-based metallic gold ink on FSC-certified paper.
The National Stationery Show is North America’s most comprehensive source for greeting cards, social stationery, complementary lifestyle products and resources for creative pursuits, taking place annually at the Javits Convention Center. The show, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2016, features nearly 800 exhibiting companies and attracts some 10,000 buyers worldwide. The Show also presents extensive educational programming, industry events, and networking opportunities throughout the market week.
For additional information and registration, visit www.nationalstationeryshow.com.