Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Man's View on Stationery

Masculine Stationery

These two words are rarely said together. I don’t understand why it is that most stationery products are created for a primarily female market, but they are. Now don’t get me wrong, I find all kinds of designs, color combinations and artistic styles beautiful. You’re just never going to see me walking the show floor with a bright pink and baby blue notebook. Instead, I’ll be carrying a yellow legal pad or plain spiral notebook; that seems to be my only other option.

That is why I am really excited to see that there are a few new companies out there that are in some way catering to me and my half of the species. “Big Fat Black Cat” is a brand new exhibitor at the Show and I am really looking forward to stopping by their booth to check them out. They registered to exhibit in my first week of working for GLM and I was drawn in by their vibrant colors and fringe style. I think that it also gave me a nostalgic feeling for the CD cover artwork of the Swing revival of the late ‘90s.

Coffin Skull Print from “Big Fat Black Cat”

“ManCards for the Thoughtful Gent” is another company that will be exhibiting at The National Stationery Show. Their products have a decidedly masculine bent. Their basic and elegant style appeals to a desire for simplicity inherent in most men. With mellow, cool colors their note cards lend a feeling of serenity and peace to an occasion. It’s the kind of card that I wouldn’t feel weird displaying on my bookshelf. And, they are packaged in a really cool metal tin.

Green Note Card from “ManCards for the Thoughtful Gent”

So here’s the insider information about how most men shop for greeting cards. We wait until the last second. I consider myself to be a very thoughtful guy and generally I plan ahead, but I will freely admit that I almost always buy greeting cards on my way home from work, on the day of the event.

Since we buy so last minute, we tend not to buy cards online (we don’t plan that far ahead when it comes to these situations). Most of us buy them either at a store in or near our office building, or wherever it is most convenient; the grocery store, drug store, hardware store, etc.

I believe that there is a huge untapped market out there. I know that the common belief is that men do not buy social stationery, but like the famous line from a movie the man in your life is sure to have seen, “If you design it, they will come.” I know I would.

- Aaron

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Experience!

Okay so I wear a lot of grey… and black and tan and brown… well, you get the picture. I’ve worked at GLM for 18 years but at a very different industry. The Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show is a fabulous show but it’s so different from NSS. It’s very corporate and everything is more….. tailored!

This will be my first Stationery Show and thus far it’s been a great new experience! I’ve been meeting Stationery exhibitors and their enthusiasm runs wild. It’s an infusion of art and creativity by a group of people well able to express themselves – artists interpreting feelings, poets penning appropriate sentiments. And then there are those colors - a fearless array of hot pinks, vibrant greens, bold yellows - flowing freely from exhibitor booths, creating very emotional and happy feelings. I’ll have to get used to that!

What a wonderful industry that celebrates every day life! While emailing friends is fast, there’s nothing like receiving an envelope with greetings in the mail. This, in itself, has become a special event. It’s good to know that the tradition of being socially connected continues. And where better than the National Stationery Show.

As a newcomer myself, I’m especially impressed with some of the programs developed to support new exhibitors. There are mentoring programs that take the fear out of a first-time experience by pairing the new with the seasoned exhibitor. Free attendees labels that allow a first-timer to reach a legitimate number of potential clients. For small businesses and owners who wear too many hats, it’s a welcoming gesture from an industry that embodies thoughtfulness.

I’m looking forward to my first show. So if you see me in the aisles, stop me and say hello. Normally I’d say I’ll be wearing a charcoal grey skirt and white shirt but this year it might be different… I might be flaunting turquoise slacks or a violet shirt, maybe a pink skirt and a yellow scarf, no it could be an orange suit or a …..


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weddings and Chocolate and Prizes, Oh My!

I’m the typical woman – I admit it. I gush at all-things wedding...I could survive on chocolate alone…and top-of-the-line stationery freebies are the greatest thing ever. So I’m sure you can imagine, the upcoming National Stationery Show is turning out to be a little slice of heaven for yours truly. If you haven’t connected the dots already, let me fill you in...

Get Married ( is back, and bigger than ever. This year, the Get Married booth (1214) and surrounding area will showcase a collection of the hottest wedding-related products found on the Show floor through four table vignettes. A MUST see Show floor feature!
For those of you who can relate to my pesky sweet tooth problem, this is where that chocolate comes into play! From 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Sunday, May 17 – Tuesday, May 19, Get Married will offer attendees a mid-afternoon pick-me-up with two chocolate fountains. If you would like to meet me, I’ll be the one dipping the extra large ladle into the fountain.

Another feature that returns this year is Passport to Discovery. If you’re looking for a great way to shop the Show – or a change of pace from your regular aisle-to-aisle routine – this is the program for you. And it’s simple, which will make you love it that much more. Just pick up your Passport in the lobby bins where you grab your badge holder, visit the six key booth locations to have it stamped, and drop it off at the Gifts & Decorative Accessories booth (2500). One of the booths you’ll stop by is Get Married, where you’ll pick up a free bag packed with goodies from NSS exhibitors! And it doesn’t stop there…attendees completing the program will be eligible to win one of 15 designer tote bags overflowing with stationery products from exhibitors.

So much to see and do at this year’s NSS…and these two programs are just the beginning! So put Get Married and Passport to Discovery on the top of your “NSS To Do” list, dig out those comfy trade show shoes that you haven’t seen since last May, and pack that extra large ladle you’ve been thinking about since you read the part about the chocolate fountains.

We’ll see you soon…

NSS Marketing Manager

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Role, New Excitement!

I just passed my 3 year anniversary at GLM and thinking back, a lot has happened these past 3 years. I remember the days when I didn’t know what a directory looked like and S-T-A-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y was the way I spelled the cute paper that I write my notes on (admit it, most of us have made the mistake!) I also remember the first time I saw a concrete, open space transform into an exciting trade show, danced at my first opening night party and attended my first seminar.

My first trade show was the National Stationery Show.
My first opening night party was the NSS Rainbow Room Party.
My first seminar was about successful and effective visual merchandising.

This May I’m excited to continue this annual tradition of working the National Stationery Show. With all of the bright colors, new products and people from all over the world, I would be crazy not to be excited. I love talking to new people and learning about our exhibiting companies. No matter how many trade shows I’ve been to, there are always great people to meet and things to learn.

Speaking of new, I have a new role at the Show this year as Conference Manager. I’ll be spending most of my days on Level 1 of Javits coordinating the seminars and meetings. Although I’m not an exhibitor or an attendee, I try to attend the seminars to better understand various aspects of the business. This year’s topics are very interesting and the speakers are well-known experts in their field. My hope is that all will run smoothly, so that I’ll be able to learn from the pro’s!

Then, after an expectedly chaotic opening day, I’m excited to celebrate at our annual Opening Night Party at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. Let’s face it, it’s not every day I get to watch the sunset over the New York City skyline while eating amazing food and chatting with exhibitors and attendees of the Show. Then after the sun has set I love watching people smile and laugh while dancing on the rotating dance floor. And okay, once and a while I join them too!

Well the Show isn’t here yet, so I must get back to work. I hope some of you faithful readers will be joining me at these exciting events (make sure to say hi)!

Check out our website for information on the show, seminars and party. Or send me an email and I’ll help as best as I can: