Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Client Visits”

Recently, Patti and I had the opportunity to visit with two NSS exhibitors while we were on a trip to California.

Our first stop was San Francisco (or, more accurately, Emeryville) to visit with the folks at offers personalized cards for every occasion, and they license artwork from exhibitors in the National Stationery Show for its on-demand portion of the business. Some of these companies include Driscoll Design, Great Arrow Graphics, Spruce Avenue and Pipo Press – to name but a few.

Their offices are in this former industrial section of town, and they occupy a few spaces on the block – all just steps away from each other. They have one area for their offices (with loft ceilings), one for print and production and another for fulfillment. It was fun for Patti and me to see their printing equipment in action – and to see the custom orders coming out the other side. The VP of Operations, Paul Felber is amazingly knowledgeable in all kinds of printing equipment and inks (that’s years of experience for you), and he described how the different machines worked to Patti and me. I love this behind the scenes stuff! I’m sorry I can’t show you!

But here is a photo outside the office.

That’s Paul (L), Matt Cedillo, account manager (center) and Marty Reed, the company’s new CEO, (R) . (Matt has been my main contact at the company for 3 years and it was fun to see him in his home environment, so to speak).

Patti and I also met with Katy Borden, the Creative Production Director, but alas, only after this photo was taken. Katy has a great artistic eye, and I had a lot of fun getting to know her.

On Monday, I received this great, personalized thank you card from Marty. (I’ll just show you the front…)

The design is by Lilla Rogers Studio.

The next day, Patti and I went down to La Jolla, and got to stop in on Elum Designs! I have known Melissa and Brad Foster since before they joined the National Stationery Show for the first time back in 2002, so needless to say I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see how they create their beautiful line, and what it takes to store, pack & ship!

When we were visiting, we got to see Melissa finishing up an order of gorgeous letterpress invitations to a swanky fete that was being held in, of all places, White Plains! (That’s where we are, here at GLM). Her choice of paper and ink color and overall design – exquisite! It sure made me want to go to that party! (Don’t worry, I didn’t crash it!)

Elum has a few Heidelberg presses to handle the volume of custom letterpress invitations and announcements they create. I love these dependable machines – they look so big and clunky, and make a bit of noise, but they produce such lovely, even delicate results. Here’s one all inked up for a run. The press guys were shy about having their photos taken, though!

We also were treated to a tour of the warehouse. I was amazed by all the products there – staged to be shipped. I get to know exhibitors products by how they display it in their booths. So to see all the great giftwrap, notecards, journals and those amazing stationery desk sets (a Best New Product winner at the 2008 Show) on high shelves was really cool. I got a better idea of the sheer volume of products that this company is turning out. And to think, they got their start just a few years ago with a few lines of letterpress invitations. That Melissa, she’s talented!! (And she has a great team, too!)

When we were there, Patti asked about their efforts to be a “green” company. Brad told us that they use tree-free and recycled papers for their various products, and that they even recycle their steel-backed letterpress plates.

Here’s Melissa and Brad in one of their workrooms at the offices / warehouse.

You might be able to see that their workspace is clean, bright, organized and beautiful. What else would I expect from such a well-run company?

Thanks to both of these great companies for allowing Patti and me to have an inside look at their operations! We love to always be learning about how our customers do their business in order to fulfill the needs of their customers!

“Until next time!”


Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, Baby!

Oh boy, oh boy – it’s a boy! One of my closest friends is having a baby boy in November, and I (silly me) offered to help her select the announcement. Of course, since I work in the stationery industry, I am supposed to be the expert amongst my friends. Sure. My friend’s mom said, when a person is surrounded by beautiful things all the time, it is harder to make a single choice. Does she have that right! I see amazing baby announcements all the time! Some of the most delightful and enduring social stationery design trends come from the "New Baby" category. How will we be able to whittle it down to just one? And my friend is not sure whether or not she will use a photo of her little newborn, either. So, we’ve got lots of options!

Here are some of the contenders for photos announcements:
From Stacy Claire Boyd for Tiny Prints. The colors match the colors my friend is painting the baby’s room – blue & white, with brown & green accents.

I also found this next announcment It's from Simply Put by Ashley Woodman. I think this looks wintry – perfect for a November baby.

Here are a couple that would work if she goes sans baby’s photo:

This one is from Inviting Company. We’re still going with the blues and browns, but now with cute illustration.

This one from Bonnie Marcus spells out Bebe in blocks. It’s definitely a great choice for my friend, as she is part French, and proud of it! (And so is grandmere!) And as you can see, blue and brown again.

And finally, this announcement is from Oblation Papers and Press. I love the size of the letterpress on this one, and the simplicity of it. Plus, the paper is handmade. And the type is brown!

I have no idea what announcement my friend will select. But, I can tell her – “the clock is ticking like this!” She only has another month or so to go before we meet her baby! I will get her to make that decision soon!

There are a growing number of companies focusing specifically on baby announcements, and the National Stationery Show is where they will debut their new collections. Be sure you put the show on your calendar now; May 17-20, 2009.

Until next time.. .

- Kelly

Friday, July 25, 2008

We’re back!

Oh, who knew there would be such a delay in our postings? It has been a busy summer thus far. How does a girl get it all done? In fact, how does a man?

Speaking of men, we now have a guy on the NSS team. How ‘bout that? So what do we do about our blog name? Shall we become the NSS Girls and a Guy? That doesn’t sound bad – kind of has a ring to it!

Soon, exhibitors in the National Stationery Show and friends in the blog community will get to know the new members of our team:

Alyson Milbourn

Alessia Adler

and… the “guy” – John Kelly

All of them have worked at GLM for a number of years, and I’m excited to have the chance to work with each of them as they join the team.

They all have joined the team because we’ve done some shuffling around of jobs here, and that has really been keeping us on our toes!

That said, remember when Jess posted her farewell blog? Well, there must be some kind of saying about saying goodbye too soon. Whatever it is, it applies to this situation, because as it turns out, she will continue to help out on our team, along with her new responsibilities here at GLM. And, we just couldn’t let her off the hook with blogging (and frankly, I think she would have missed it!) so, she will be back on our page here soon!

Arque has joined the operations team here at GLM, so exhibitors can and will chat with her about booth display, move-in, move-out and all kinds of logistics related to the NSS, and all of our other Shows.

Rosanne has left us, and is about to set sail on a wonderful family reunion cruise! We wish her nothing but the best!

Meantime, Patti and I have been out and about in the market this summer (and we’re not done yet!) I’ve had the opportunity to chat with current NSS exhibitors as well as potential new ones, and I can tell you, the excitement and interest for the 2009 Show is already building! One new company I met is very well positioned to join the Show. That company is Tachits. The product is a decorative item that allows one to attach a greeting card to a wrapped gift or gift bag. This is most handy for showers, as any of us “girls” who have attended showers can attest. It is not a good thing when the card and gift are separated from each other! The clever sisters behind the product spent a lot of time in research and development on their line and it shows. They have a good sized line (and growing) and they would find a great audience in the buyers at the National Stationery Show! Fingers crossed they’ll be with us next May!

Where I was, I couldn’t help but notice that the black & white trend is going strong! You already know this of course, but that color combo is on everything – invitations, notebooks, notecards, pens, pads, bags – you name it! And it does look stylish right now. One of my very favorite items is this computer bag from Anna Griffin, sported by our very own Patti Stracher.

And I love this chain link pattern on notecards from Boatman Geller.

Animal patterns are still going strong, and the zebra stripe hits the mark twice – black & white and animal. Check out this great invitation from Whitney English.

Another animal trend going strong is the giraffe pattern. You must have seen this at the National Stationery Show this past May, but have another look at this great set of notecards from Toss.

I’m a fan!

One shot of color that I thought stood out was a bright sapphire/cobalt blue. I saw this at another show, in a booth of an exhibitor with home décor items. The rest of the booth was black, gray and white, and the blue looked especially beautiful. The company that did this (sorry, remaining nameless) is somewhat of a trend-setter, and I fully expect to see more of this color moving back onto all kinds of products. We’ll see if that bears out!

We should be back with a post soon, and as September rolls in, we’ll be back to our usual weekly schedule.

For now, I hope you are having a summer that is both productive and enjoyable!


Monday, June 23, 2008

About to be Summer

The NSSGirls are taking it slower now that the demands of National Stationery Show have calmed. Our blogging will be occasional through the summer and will pick up steam as we move into fall.

It’s been a lot of fun to chronicle the experience “show side”, talking with you, cultivating our community of “blogatives” – that’s our pun for relatives in the blog world – our extended family, so to speak. We’ll surely stay in touch through our favorite blogs. Remember, you can always find us at

Thanks for your loyalty over the past several months, and for sharing your stories. We’ll be back soon!

Have a wonderful summer,

The NSSGirls

Patti, Kelly, Arque, Jess and Rosanne

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jessica's Fond Farewell

Although June is dedicated to post show talk, this week we’re taking a break with a special show team announcement. Our show coordinator, Jessica Reiche, has been promoted to Administrative/Conference Manager of the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS) as well as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) within GLM. As a result, tomorrow is her last day on the NSS/TSS team and this will be her last blog as part of the NSS Girls. Please join us in wishing her the best in her new role.

It’s with mixed feelings that I’m leaving the Show. With excitement for my new role and new shows but with sadness because of the great memories I have working with the NSS Team and of course the exhibitors. The Stationery Show was not only the first trade show I’ve ever worked on – it’s the first trade show I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe all the hard work and effort that goes on behind the scenes involving many people and companies to make an annual 4 day show so successful. At first it was so exciting to see the big displays and meet key people in large companies I only knew of from shopping in the stores, but as I got more involved I saw the excitement behind the smaller companies as well. Each new company has a dream and a story and I love hearing how the National Stationery Show helped them grow and succeed.

Looking back 2+ years ago, when I joined the National Stationery Show, I realize that I have changed a bit due to being in the industry.

No longer can I pick up (or receive) a card without turning it over to see who made it.

I truly appreciate handmade cards and will buy much nicer cards for my friends and relatives than I used to.

I’ve always loved stationery and “pretty paper” as I used to call it, but now I’ve got some of my friends into it also.

As a pen lover, I now know why people spend a lot of money on “the perfect pen.”

And I think most importantly to the Show, as a member of the “paperless” generation, and a person who communicates mostly through email and text messages (even with my own mom!), I truly know the importance of writing and receiving a handwritten letter or note.

Now I could end this blog here, but what fun would that be? Here are the top 10 things I will miss about working on the Stationery Show (and I apologize in advance to anyone that may get embarrassed by this – that’s what you get for not being in the office on my last day!)

10. Tuesday morning team meetings that usually do not have an “end time.” There’s nothing like walking into a meeting realizing that you probably shouldn’t have had a large mug of coffee right before sitting down.

9. Patti’s excitement when something good happens. It’s contagious.

8. Sitting between Rosanne and Arque every day – it’s always an adventure!

7. Answering the group line – you never know who’s going to be on the other end and what they’re looking for. I think we’ve all ended up in some really strange conversations.

6. Food shopping for the Show Office. It’s always interesting when Rosanne and I have to shop for 15+ people for 8 days, some with very specific requests!

5. Talking to really nice exhibitors. I think the Stationery Show probably has the most chatty, personable exhibitors around and its fun to hear their stories. So many of them really appreciate my help and it makes the job much more pleasurable.

4. Sitting down the hall from my best (work) friend. With a new position comes a new desk and I’ll be on the other side of the office! I think we became best friends because we see each other countless times during the day.

3. Sitting next to the copier that many people in the office do not know how to work. Lucky for them I knew how to help them, but they’re in trouble now!

2. Working on the blog. I’ve had a huge role developing and maintaining the blog; it’ll be hard to not be a part of it.

1. The NSS Girls as a whole. I’ve learned so much from each one on the team and I’m extremely grateful for this experience. I know whoever takes my place on the Show will learn as much as I did!

So farewell NSS/TSS and hello IH/M&RS & ICFF (what’s with GLM and all of our acronyms anyway??) - I’ll see everyone at the 2009 Show (although I’ll be downstairs now!)


Friday, June 6, 2008

We’ve got that After Show Glow

Though a couple of weeks have passed since the conclusion of the National Stationery Show, this team still has that “After Show Glow!” On Wednesday, the last day of the Show, I think we would have meant the glow that comes from hard work (packing up boxes, just like the exhibitors – all that stuff we hauled in – phones, files, etc. had to be packed back up). But today, I mean that kind of glow that comes from knowing that the Show was incredible – “a triumphant Show” to quote a source!

As Jess said last week, we have loved reading the blogs being posted by exhibitors and attendees alike. The many members of this stationery-loving, design-oriented community clearly enjoyed – in fact, couldn’t get enough of – all the offerings at the Show.

We didn’t have enough time to blog from on-site once the NSS was open (we promise, we’ll work it into the schedule next year!) but here are some highlights:

I was beyond thrilled to meet Leslie Moak Murray, creator of Murray’s Law, the funny, funny line of cards, books, and other products she whips up for (and with) Design Design. Here I am with Leslie (center) and Don Kallil, president of Design Design at the Show’s Opening Night Party at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center.

It was a whole lot of fun to present the Best New Product winners with their awards on Sunday afternoon! Here’s a photo of Melissa and Brad Foster of Elum. They won for their Wood Grain Desk Set, a complete collection of varying sized letterpress note cards and custom envelopes, each designed with the latest interior design color trends and packaged in a custom-printed fabric box. I’ve known Melissa and before they’d ever exhibited in a trade show. It really was a thrill to present this award to them.

This year, our operations team came up with a great way to help attendees figure out where the line ended for each shuttle bus route. The start of the line is indicated with a big sign, but often lines can get so long, it’s hard to tell where, say, Route 1 ends and Route 2 begins. Here are our intrepid on-site staff members demonstrating the signage for the “end of the line!”

That’s Scott Kramer (#1), Mike Ruberry (#2) and Randi Mohr (#3). Note that Arque (bottom right) thinks this is pretty funny!

I also got to meet the “lips lady” at the Show this year. “Who is the ‘lips lady’?” you might ask. Well, if you’ve attended the Show, I’m sure you’ve noticed our big blue banner at the entrance. The design is of a back of an envelope, and it bears the Show name at the top, and then has this big “S.W.A.K.” (sealed with a kiss….) mark on the bottom and reads “P.S. we’re glad you’re here.” The banner was designed by the talented Cliff Doenges of Freeman, and it debuted at the 2007 Show. We love this banner, but had to know where the lips came from. Story is that he asked his colleague, Anita Moreano Zales to put on some red lipstick and kiss a piece of paper a few times. The rest is history. It was fun to meet Anita. Here she is under her big smooch!

By now you’ve seen some awesome booths at the Show from the pics posted on these various sites. Kudos to all those great companies who spend their year working on designs for paper, but for the Show, diverted their attention to designing for walls that are 8’ high and of various depths and widths. This is no small challenge, and we applaud the creativity that was so apparent.

Every year, I wonder what the color trend will be in booth design. To get a hint on this, I ask Lloyd Stone, of Manny Stone, to tell me what color of foam board was most requested. This year, not surprisingly, the color was brown (BTW, last year it was green). Check out all of these brown booths!

Abby Jean line by Fontaine Maury – sleek and stylish. I love the white carpet and those “ghost” acrylic chairs.

Always a Girl’s Girl – I like that she’s brought in the pink lilies that match the pink border.

9SpotMonk – very inviting booth, Vivian! Great job! The side walls were a different shade than the back wall. Check out that sofa - I bet the buyers were happy to have a chance to sit.

Marsupial – I like the different colored dots at the top, and the clever creation of an extra short wall inside their booth.

That Sky Blue - An unpredictably brown back wall, with great shelving used to display their designs.

Here’s the new team photo, taken during the Show…

Rosanne, Jess, Arque, Kelly, Patti

I know you’ve seen and heard lots more than this, and I am just scratching the surface. We plan to give you more pics and insights from our perspective of the 2008 National Stationery Show in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

- Kelly

Friday, May 30, 2008

In "Recovery"

Well we’re back in the office and still have not figured out where the time has gone. Was the show really over a week ago already?? I don’t know about you but the Show FLEW for us. We can’t wait to post about the Show but right now we’re still “recovering” a.k.a. tying up all of the loose ends so we can start planning the 2009 National Stationery Show! In the meantime we’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts about their experience. It’s great to read about the perspective of the exhibitors and the attendees. We’re glad to hear that so many exhibitors had great Shows and are already looking forward to next year.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
The NSS Team

Monday, May 19, 2008

Live From Show Site!

The 62nd National Stationery Show opened yesterday! 1 day down and 3 to go! My first day was so full of excitement; I feel I need to blog about it.

As the sales manager on the Show, I am what I call the “women about the floor”. I spend my day walking the aisles speaking with customers helping wherever needed. Yesterday I was on break duty for our “Passport to Discovery” program. You ask what is Passport to Discovery? Well, as the name passport implies, buyers travel from country to country receiving a stamp for each place the visit. They also received an exhibitor donated product. At the end of the voyage the traveler is entered into a drawing for either a free round trip to the next NSS or a $200 American Express card. What a fun addition to the Show! It’s great to see our retailers having such a great time searching for their next country.

- Arque

We can’t believe the Show is half over already! We’ve been so busy that we haven’t had much time to post blogs, but we can’t wait to update you with stories and pictures once we’re back in the office. And we also can’t wait to hear YOUR stories and see YOUR pictures too!

*The NSS Team*

Friday, May 16, 2008

As Seen Around Javits

So here we are, day 3 of setup, and I have one thing to say…I hope you brought your umbrella! (Told you it would be a good thing to pack!)

Now if you’ve never been to NYC before let me point out a few traditional things in this picture – the yellow cab, the hot dog cart, the traffic, and the construction zone.

For those of you who have been to NYC but never to the Javits Center, let me point out a few fun things worth knowing about.

Meet Mr. Jacob Javits! A popular photo-op here at the Show.

Here’s the convenient subway cart in the Crystal Palace which serves breakfast, lunch, beverages (anything from coffee to beer) and snacks.

These Hudson News stands are in multiple locations and have everything you need for your 3:00 “pick-me-up.” Candy, magazines, souvenirs and disposable cameras make the post-lunch business day a little bit more exciting!

Before I go back to meeting exhibitors and answering phones, here are a few people who are making things here at the Show run a lot smoother (and didn’t fight me on having their picture taken).

Laura from our Operations Department:

Bibi from the New York International Gift Fair team:

And Ray from our Customer Relations Department:

See you when you get here (if I haven’t seen you already)!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Move-in Day 1 – the realities of set-up!

Here we are at the Javits Center, moving in for the National Stationery Show. I love watching the set-up of a Show take place. Just think of it, we start with the big empty hall, and in just 4 days of move-in, voila! we have a Show. The gang’s all here, and we’re in the midst of setting up the Show Office. Here’s Laura Susi, of our Operations department (at the desk) and Arque, checking out the floorplan. Our Show Office overlooks the Show floor.

As I write this, I am looking down from the Show Office onto the Show floor, and right below is the Crane & Co. booth at the beginning stages of installation. All I can show you is the space they will inhabit, and this is through the window – it’s a big open space, right now, ringed by their boxes, waiting for the carpet to go down. After that’s installed, the walls can go up. So this is the very beginning….

Just wait until it’s finished! Crane always has a beautiful display (as well as product!)

Lots of other exhibitors, both large and small, are already here, too. I’ve seen Randy from InScribe, Brian from Design Design, the set-up folks from Designer Greetings/CardSmart, Andy from Corners of the World, Michelle and Martin from Bob’s Your Uncle, Lesley and Adrian and the crew from Acme Studios, and more. I also got to meet two new exhibitors today - Rupa from Bring It In A Bag – she’s nearly done with her booth, and it just so happens that her across the aisle neighbor Jennifer, from Owen Says is here. How great to get to meet some of our new exhibitors on the first day of set-up.

Exhibitor freight has been arriving all day, and the truckers, and anyone arriving using the loading dock will stop at the Freeman Check-In Trailer first. Here it is…

And here are the trucks at the loading dock:

Some exhibitors send their freight by way of FedEx. In fact, many exhibitors choose this option, and it does mean that there is some extra sorting for Freeman to do once the truck is unloaded. And believe it or not, the FedEx truck drives onto the Show Floor at the back of the hall! Here it is:

And here’s just a portion of the boxes that have come off the truck, and are being sorted:

And that’s not the half of it! Not even close.

We’re also working on setting up the Lobby, and SOME of us have really gotten into the spirit! Look at Patti, here with Mike Ruberry our VP of Operations, in orange, and Bill Martin of Freeman, in blue. Is it just a coincidence that they are wearing the colors of the Show décor?

Despite the freight, the unpacking, the noise, the hectic nature of it all, set-up is an exciting time for the Show, and those of us who work on it all year. We can’t wait for you to get here, and for a great Show! More tomorrow!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

About our picture blog

To all email subscribers - the slideshow for the picture blog will not come through via email. To view the pictures please visit our actual blog:


Pre-Show Craziness!

So here we are – only 6 days away from arriving at the Javits Center and things are a little busy around the office. I’m a firm believer that actions (and pictures!) speak louder than words so I hope you enjoy today’s photo blog.

But before we get to that, here’s a quick reminder of what we look like so you can stop us and say hi at the Show!


See you soon and don’t forget that we’ll be blogging from the Show!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Show Prep 101

According to my calendar today is May 1st and that means that in less than 2 weeks we leave for the Show – I can’t believe it. I’m sure everyone who is going to be at the Show is feeling the same way right now…a little frantic. So I’m here to help! Here are a few hints, tips and reminders to help take the edge off a bit.

1. Don’t forget a pair of flat shoes. Heels are cute but there will be some point during the Show that your feet will need a rest and it’s not very professional to be walking around barefoot (and you definitely wouldn’t want to in the Javits Center anyway!). I always throw a pair of ballet flats in my bag to switch into at a moment’s notice.

2. If you’re anything like me, you probably won’t eat too healthfully at the Show but it doesn’t mean you can’t make up for it in other ways. Walking is a great (and free) alternative to taking cabs or public transportation. Also, many hotels have a gym that you can use for free – pack some workout clothes and a pair of sneakers and you’re all set!

3. There are a few things you should keep on (or near) you at all times: band aids, aspirin, Tide-to-Go or some kind of stain remover, money, a pen or 2, business cards, mints and a nail file and clear nail polish. Power bars, granola bars, your favorite wrapped snack is important to have on had, too (Clif Bars are actually my favorite).

4. Here’s a tip: the Starbucks in the Javits Center is almost always busy. If you’re the type to “need” your Starbucks, plan to go on an off time (not when the Show just opens and not at lunch) or prepare to stand in a long line. In NY there is a Starbucks on almost every corner; you might want to grab something on your way to Javits in the morning. And in my opinion, if you’re only looking for coffee - the food cart (looks like a shiny metal subway car) in the Crystal Palace is a great alternative, it’s much quicker and cheaper.

5. Check your hotel’s website prior to arriving – you might be surprised what you get (or don’t get) with your room. I was very surprised to find that the W does not have a dresser for folded clothes but fully stocks their bathrooms with great spa products.

6. Bring an umbrella. If it starts raining you will probably have a hard time finding a place to buy an umbrella, and vacant cabs become 10 times harder to find. Believe me, I speak from experience.

Planning on eating out? 2 tips. 1 - Buy a Zagat, or do your research ahead of time. In my opinion, NYC is like going to a Chinese buffet – so much great food but way too many options. I like looking through a Zagat (which will tell you what the each restaurant serves and where it’s located) and not relying on “finding somewhere to eat on the way back to the hotel.” 2 – Make a reservation. A few places you’ll be able to walk right into, but at the end of a long day who wants to hope there won’t be a long wait? I like knowing that when I show up within a few minutes I will have some food in front of me! And if you’re planning on eating out on a Friday or Saturday night, have a Plan B when trying to make a reservation. Every May I try to eat at Carmine’s on a Friday night and every May I discover a new restaurant to add to my favorites because I can’t get into Carmine’s – next time I’ll try calling the day before!

7. Utilize those small corner stores to stock up your hotel room. Vending machines and room service sound like fun until you realize how expensive they are. On my first night in the city I stop by a corner store and buy a few bottles of water, a few late night snacks, and sometimes some magazines and Sudoku books to keep me occupied.

8. Pack a camera and your cell phone charger. These are two things you will probably regret forgetting if you do!

9. And lastly, as we’re all thinking of packing and getting ready for the Show – let’s not forget mom! Mother’s Day is May 11th and although I’m sure she’d understand how busy you are – she would probably appreciate it if you didn’t forget to at least send a card and some flowers.

Now here’s the fun part – I’m sure you have lots of tips that you’d like to add to this list so please take a quick minute to post a comment sharing, or tell us a quick story about your traveling “learning lessons!”

See you soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are you ready yet?

Oh my gosh, the National Stationery Show is quickly approaching – in less than 3 weeks the NSS team will be on-site at the Javits Center moving in. You will find us on the floor walking the aisles, and you’ll find us in the Show office – “4B Terrace” - take the elevator under the big banner that reads “Show Office” up to the 4th floor, and you’ll find a friendly group, ready to help you.

I have had lots of conversations with exhibitors and buyers – of course this is an everyday occurrence - but the calls are more frequent as we get closer to the Show. We have talked about all kinds of things, too! One frequent topic is what to wear during set-up and the Show. So here it is, my expertise on What to Wear @ the NSS.

Exhibitors: Set up wearing closed-toe shoes or sneakers – it’s a construction site during set-up, lots of wooden crates & boxes, and lots of hammers, nails, fork lift drivers – you name it. You don’t want your toes to get crushed, and you want to be comfortable on that cement floor. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of Croc’s at the Shows. There must be a reason why… Also think of wearing layers – you may start off feeling a little bit chilly, but as you get to working, you’re going to want to peel those layers off – setting up a booth is fun, but still, it’s lots of unpacking of boxes, and displaying things just so. And you might think to wear khakis or jeans - something you'd be comfortable in while sitting on the floor. It can get dusty, and I see a lot of exhibitors sitting during set-up doing last minute fixes of things. If you’ve never done set-up before, it is something to behold! This is when I remind myself what a glamorous life we all lead! (Shared smiles and laughs over that, but we love it)! As far as Show days, dress to fit your company’s style You’ll see everything from suits and professional attire to trendy outfits and even costumes! But whatever you decide to wear, make sure you’re comfortable enough to be on your feet most of the day.

Buyers: Let me start by saying that ifthis will be your first show, you might consider signing up for our New Buyer Webinar taking place on Monday, May 5. This is a valuable call-in and log-on program, and industry experts will talk about preparing for the Show. Now as far was what to wear, think comfort. The Show is BIG and with so much to see, you will want to make sure you’re able to be on your feet all day long.

Aside from what to wear, we are fielding lots of calls from exhibitors about their displays. I have to say, the National Stationery Show is known for the beautiful booths (as well as for beautiful product) and from the calls we are getting, I know this year will be no exception. Be prepared for one gorgeous display after another!

Another question I get from buyers and exhibitors alike is about how many business cards and/or brochures to bring. My answer makes me feel like a mathematician (and I am so not!) but here we go: The Show is 9am-6pm for 3 days, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. That’s 9 hours a day x 3 days = 27. On Wednesday, the Show is 9am-3pm, or 6 hours. So add that in. The Show is 33 hours long, which is 1,980 minutes. That’s it! So, if you think you can speak with one person per minute (and you won’t…) then you will be fine bringing 1,980 business cards. But seriously, that’s a great place to start to figure out what you need. And, can you believe that’s all the time there is? Yikes! It’s like Thanksgiving, or a wedding, etc. You prepare for months, weeks, hours, for the occasion, and then it is gone in a flash. Make sure to make the most of your time at the Show everybody! Stay as long as you can, and get as much business done as possible. There’s so much talent on display at the Show, and so little time to take it all in. You will be wiped out by the end of it all, but energized, too. Attending or exhibiting in the National Stationery Show can be the most fun you’ve ever had while doing work!

And here’s the cheesy part…you will make lasting friendships! I mean it. This is a wonderful industry, and buyers appreciate what exhibitors have to offer, and exhibitors – you will inspire each other, and will really enjoy the camaraderie of seeing your new friends and neighbors for the duration of the Show. I told this to an exhibitor in NYC once, and although she politely listened to me, I could tell making friends with exhibitors and buyers wasn’t her top priority, let’s just say … Well, after the Show, she called me, and said she had to admit, it was a wonderful experience, and not only did she make friends, but her experience was benefiting her design work, too! “Who woulda thunk it?!”

To that end, we recently launched a “Mentor program” for our new exhibitors to be matched with exhibitors who have a little “trade show chops,” if you will. We’ve matched up a couple dozen pairs already, and we still have some new folks waiting for a mentor! If you are a “sage” exhibitor, and would like to mentor someone and share your knowledge, please email me at and we’ll match you up! We’ve heard from a number of our mentors already telling us how much they enjoyed talking with a new exhibitor and how refreshing and inspiring the conversations were. It seems to be a great program!

Oh, I wish I had pics for you this time around, but I don’t. Next time! And just to give you a sneak peak of what’s to come, we’ll be blogging from Show site! We’ll be bringing you stories, pictures and an inside look at what goes at the NSS (from setup to break down).

Can’t wait to see you at the Show… in comfortable shoes!
- Kelly

Friday, April 18, 2008

Love is in Bloom @ NSS!

Tying the knot has never carried with it so many social stationery options for the bride and groom. Customizing the look, the feel, the vibe, the ambiance of the big day - and the honeymoon - has never been as much an adventure. This year’s NSS is proof of this!

The product on the exhibit floor will be a veritable feast for retailers who want to cash in on this category – from the latest wedding invitations, announcements, save the dates, gift tags, packaging and bridal accessories to products for showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, to travel gear. To outfit the honeymooners in style, the selection is remarkable.

So get ready for some serious bridal buzz @ NSS… Here’s why!

Reporters and camera crews from Get Married will rove the show floor to spot trends, in product and merchandising, as well as interview bridal experts on all sides of the business to be featured on future segments of Lifetime Television’s weekday morning program, hosted by celebrity event designer David Tutera. You can also visit in booth 3932 at the Show.

Educational seminars and trend forecasting will augment the bridal buzz:

The Association of Bridal Consultants(ABC) will exhibit, host an ABC member meeting during the Show, and present a seminar entitled “Wedding Invitations: How to Sell Them Alongside Your Event Planning Services.” Christine Figliuolo of Creations by Christine Events, LLC, will present the seminar. Registration is available online, at, under Programs & Events.

The Knot’s Senior Editor Christa Vagnozzi will reveal this year’s hottest wedding trends, including unexpected color combos, cultural twists on the typical wedding, styled catering presentations, seating arrangements, signature cocktail bars and more. She also will provide insight into how the stationery community can build relationships and better serve the engaged consumer in her program on Monday, May 18. Registration is available online, at, under Programs & Events.

Trends Predicted by Bridal Guide

Bridal trend predictions from Bridal Guide Senior Associate Editor Elena Mauer will be featured in the “Trend Walkway” in the Crystal Palace Lobby of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

You don’t want to miss this!
- Patti

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hello, cupcake!

Recently, I’ve received several calls, from different exhibitors in the National Stationery Show, asking if it would be okay for them to serve cupcakes in their booths. I’m thinking, what is going on here? All these requests for cupcakes!! Okay, we know they’re easy to serve, we also know that if you’re of a certain age, it was still okay for mom to bake 24 cupcakes for your kindergarten class to help you celebrate your birthday. So for some of us, cupcakes conjure up a great memory.

But here we are, and they are still going strong. After all, New York has its famous Cupcake Café – and I know many exhibitors in the Show have visited it! It’s so close to Javits – on 9th Avenue between 40th and 41st Street – an easy walk on a nice day! Here’s a photo of one of their delicious cupcakes. Yum!

I am totally excited to see all of the amazing cupcake wrappers offered by Paper Orchid at the Show this year. Here’s a picture of one – look at that intricate laser-cutting to make those butterflies! Just lovely.

Check out this cute birthday card – and wrapping paper - from Snow & Graham! (Ladies, can’t wait to see you again this year at the Show!!)

That wrapping paper is single sheet, by the way, and exactly how I like to buy gift wrap these days.

Boatman Geller has cute stationery (more pink and brown!)

Mrs. Grossman’s has these cute stickers! I like that the cupcakes on these stickers have sparklers on the top. I think a lot of folks actually are serving them that way these days. What fun!

I know I’m only scratching the surface here on the cupcake “thing!” I’m sure there are loads more exhibitors in the National Stationery Show who will be featuring cupcake product. My question is, when exactly did this get so hot? Jess and I were musing about this the other day, and we couldn’t quite put our finger on it. All we know is that it most certainly is a “thing!” By the way, if you’ll be offering cupcakes in your booth at the Show, please save me one! (My favorite would probably be chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting!)

- Kelly