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 d├ęcor?

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!