Thursday, January 31, 2008

Destination: Action!

I have a love-hate relationship with business travel; I suppose most of us do. On the one hand, it is so worth the excitement; it is full of interest and adventure, meeting great people, visiting new places. But so often it is fraught with hassles, serious schlepping and exhaustion.

The sum total of my trip to Paperworld in Frankfurt last week was that it was worth every ounce of that “other hand”. Visiting shows outside the US plays an important role in shaping my strategic vision for NSS. And, it is the most effective way to observe worldwide trends and attract companies from all over the world to exhibit in America – and I discovered many terrific, awe-inspiring products that will find their way to NSS either in 2008 or 2009 – I’m sure of it!

It was so affirming to know of the NSS’ global notoriety. My many conversations with buyers and exhibitors from Italy, India, Thailand, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Nepal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil – reinforced that NSS is held in extremely high esteem across the globe!

The Messe Frankfurt facility is one enormous and impressive venue. Here’s a picture of the City Entrance and the portal to the 10 multi-floor buildings housed within the complex.
Thank goodness for the shuttles that connect the buildings; each day my pedometer clocked more than 8 miles (in heels, of course). I spent my time in buildings 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 (1, 2, 7, 8 & 9 housed shows for beauty and trim-a-tree)

Because the facility is owned by the organizers, the time in between events can be weeks or even months. I say this to help you visualize exhibits that are true works of construction – and art. The move-in period for the show is 3 weeks! Most shows in the U.S. have a maximum move-in of 4 days.

Here are a few shots of the exhibit floors and of friends from companies many of you will know.

Take a look at these cool booths!

Calligraphy demonstration in the Art Supplies hall

Part of the trend presentation in the Social Stationery hall, featuring "kiddie" as they named it, products

Paula and Kyle Skene, with their German friend Heidi from a booth across from them

The men behind the gorgeous Xylem products

The Turnowsky sales team, taking a much-needed sit down

Me, after a long day of travel, and Yair Greenberg, owner of Yafa Fine Writing Instruments

Two of the owners of Delta Fine Writing Instruments at the wonderful Yafa dinner party

The Israeli export sales executive from Yafa receiving his salesman of the year award

So, I’m behind the desk for a few days corresponding with the hundreds of people I met (well, almost), then I’ll bid Kelly adieu as she departs for the Spring Fair in Birmingham and I leave for another round of travel, this time, domestically. It’s hard on the bod, but boy do I love the action!

Auf Weidersehn.



  1. That's one big show. I've been there every year since 5 years ago and never cease to amaze me. Although LAMY quit to exhibit, which sent a huge message to exhibitors and the organizer, the overall experience as a buyer hasn't reduced a bit coz I'm enjoying talking to as many people as possible.

    I heard LAMY is going to exhibit in NYSS, congratulations! Hope NYSS is getting better and attracts more international buyers/exhibitors. I have feeling that NYSS is more of a domestic show even though I know it is not.

    And I hope you had a chance to visit Maison et Objet, coz comments about that show is getting better and better. Now, I just came back from these shows, staying in Hong Kong for 1 day then heading off to Tokyo Gift Show on 2nd Feb. I'll have more adventures posted soon :)

  2. That looks like a great show. I missed it this year, though. Too busy to break away. Looking forward to next year and joining the gang in the photos.

  3. So happy to have found this blog! I have a line of greeting cards (Multiple Blessings and gift products and have been to the NY Stationery Show to have meetings for licensing but have never exhibited there...would love to though...just so expensive! Atlanta is more convenient but I do hope to do NY at some point. I look forward to following your blog. Many thanks!