Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last Day!

The National Stationery Show closed at noon today (Wednesday), and at the moment we are at the tail end of move-out. Freight has been returned to exhibitors, and most of them are packed and gone (a very fond farewell to them all).

It was a great Show. By and large exhibitors came to us - in the aisles and the Show Office - to tell us how pleased they were with the Show.

Patti was to write this post today, but honestly, she's exhausted! Aren't we all!! These Shows really take it out of a person. The adrenaline rush has surged through us all working the NSS, in fact Aaron says its gone. Officially gone. We love seeing the exhibitors at the Show we work on all year long, lookign at their new products and their beautiful botohs. It is finished too fast. Arque says it seems like yesterday we were just setting up. We wish we could see everyone during the Show, but when the buyers are with their vendors, we do just "walk on by." To those of you we didn't see, forgive us. We tried!

A big thank you to the thousands and thousands of buyers who came from all over the country and world to see their vendors and write orders. I have a feeling we're all going to see some great new products in your stores very soon!

We are actually closing the office up, and so I must go. Let me say again how much we appreciate all those who were here supporting each other and this incredible industry!

We'll be back here soon, but please don't blame us if we take a day or two off for the holiday!

See you soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 National Stationery Show Rainbow Room Bash

On Sunday night we had our annual National Stationery Show Bash at the Rainbow Room. As I watched the guests dance against the glorious backdrop of a night-lit NYC, I found myself reflecting on the past year.

This year has been a challenging one for businesses and the industry as a whole. As if the global financial situation was not scary enough, we also had to deal with the Swine Flu. I spoke with several vendors who voiced concerns about traveling because of this.

In the end, these vendors pulled their resources together, braved the dangers and got themselves here for the 2009 National Stationery Show. The buyer turnout has been great and the products being exhibited are as creative as ever.

What occurred to me as I watched exhibitors, buyers and GLM Show staff meeting and getting to know one another at the party; was that the stationery business is essentially all about connection. Through their talent and originality, many of our exhibitors have made connection and communication their life’s work. Perhaps that is why these very special people were able to pull through such scary times to make the 2009 National Stationery Show such a success. It leads me to believe that, armed with enough determination and Purell, we can survive anything.

See you around the Show,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Opening Day!

Notebook? Check.
Comfy shoes? Check.
STATUS Directory? Check.

Buyers were ready and eager to hit the Show floor running today…OPENING DAY! So what’s the buzz from Day 1? Two words are circulating among the crowd... “new” and “fun!”.

Prompting the “new” comments…the New Product Display was a first glimpse at more than 300 new products launching at NSS this week. Located in the Crystal Palace just beyond registration, it was literally the first stop for everyone.

And it’s no surprise that attendees are noticing early on that NSS has a few “fun” enhancements this year. Those participating in Passport to Discovery are vying for one of these 15 fabulous designer tote bags overflowing with more than $400 in goodies.

Also on the “fun” radar – Get Married. Check out these incredible wedding vignettes drawing attention to the 1400 aisle. They speak for themselves!

And for those who remember my previous NSS blog post – aka, the girl with the extra large ladle at the Get Married chocolate fountains – my “fun” find at NSS was brought to my attention from our own Kelly Bristol. This product speaks to me…my picture on a chocolate lollipop. Here is Kelly with hers…and I NEED to get to the 1200 aisle for mine!

We’re in full swing in NYC…and looking forward to what the next few days have in store!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Horsin' Around

The Preakness runs today and as I walked around the Javits, I noticed that animal themes are always in vogue. People love big, fluffy cats or man’s best friend, as well as many other wilder creatures, depicted on magnets and posters and whatever. As I considered Mine That Bird or Rachel Alexander, touted to win today’s big race, I spotted lots of wonderful horse-related products.

Shaena from Paper House Productions(booth 2762) showed me two of their new launches for the show.

Karen from Mead (booth 1320) picked out another card with a horse that looks it might be a future contender.

And Westerman Manufacturing (booth 3341) has an assortment of wonderful animal padblocks.

The National Stationery Show is likewise coming up to the starting gate. It’s almost show time, the floor is looking great, and in no time we’ll be off and running. There’s no “show” or “place” here – it’s a sure bet, the National Stationery Show is the winning event to see the newest and most creative products, as well as your all-time favorites!

We’re here on site in NYC and doors open at 9:00am Sunday morning. We hope you’ll race on down to see us!!

We'll be back tomorrow!

- Alyson

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's starting to look like a show

Things are picking up today, and there are a ton of exhibitors here at the Javits Center setting up their booths. Alyson and I were talking with Hank Bereson of William Arthur this morning. Hank is the VP of sales for the company, but today, he's in a t-shirt, because setting up a booth as big as theirs is a bit of a "dirty job" shall we say. There's crates and boxes to unpack, displays to be assembled and so forth. When the buyers get here, they will be wowed by the products in this great booth. William Arthur has a terrific location at one of the entrances to the Show - booth 2220. But, buyers, by the time you get here, Hank will greet you in his suit and tie!

Dave Phipps of Avanti has been here for a couple of days already, and some fun things will be happening in Avanti's booth this year. I look forward to seeing what the Avanti team designs each year. Avanti is in booth 2502. Here's a little preview of Dave with one of his displays:

The ladies at Prints Charming are here working hard on their display, as well! I caught Sharon, who was sweet enough to let me take her photo in the midst of her assembly! The booth is looking cute! Find Prints Charming in booth 2911.

I am really excited that NYC Photobooth is at the Show this year. This company sells photo booths (you know, the kind you go into with a friend or boyfried and take silly photos...) Well, the idea is the same, but the technology is much improved! The folks at this company tell me these photo booths are a hit at bar & bat mitvahs, parties and weddings! Stop by booth 1217 to get your own free photos. Liz Beauregard, who is floor managing the 1100 - 1600 aisles of the Show and I stepped into the booth this morning. Here's our results:

We're looking forward to welcoming more exhibitors at the Javits Center tomorrow, and to Opening Day on Sunday.

One of us on the team will be back here tomorrow, so until then!

- Kelly

Thursday, May 14, 2009

nss set-up day 2 - getting busy

Hello from day 2 of set-up at the National Stationery Show! It's been so busy here on-site! More exhibitors have shown up to set-up their booths, and many of those who are here are also dropping off their products for the Best New Product Display which will be in the "Crystal Palace Lobby" near the entrance of the Show. It's exciting to see all the submissions - sorry I can't share pics with you! You will have to be at the Show to see these!

What I can share is more photos from on-site as the Show builds up around us!

Here's Patti Stracher "the boss" - a.k.a. National Stationery Show Manager with Mike Ruberry, GLM's vice president of operations. This picture was taken in the Show Office located on the 4B Terrace. Note the walkie-talkie in Patti's hand. Even in though we all have cell phones, we mostly use our "radios" to communicate with each other here at Javits.

Display Designs creates fabulous booths for so many exhibitors in the Show. But before the booths get set, they get delivered in these distinctive crates! I'm not quite sure which exhibitor's booth was inside, but it could have been for MomAgenda, Anna Griffin, Olivia Reigel or Maude Asbury, to name a few!

This shot is overlooking the Show floor from the office Patti and I are sharing here on-site. It's a view of the Notes & Queries booth.

Manny Stone Decorators has been here since yesterday installing colorful foam board walls and bright white masonite flooring for a large number of exhibitors. The Show is going to look great! Here's Lloyd Stone (right) with one of his terrific colleagues.

Denise is one the security guards who will be scanning attendee badges at the Show. She's friendly! Make sure to say hi to her as you enter the Show floor.

Exhibitors at the Show are so incredible. Not only are they talented - producing drool-worthy products, but they really spend a lot of time creating great looking booths to welcome their customers once the Show is open. It's hard work, but it can be an enjoyable experience! I was so happy to come across the team of fun-loving folks at Dabney Lee's booth. As you can see, they are painting their booth a bright green, and they've gotten into the spirit of the day, and have their "war paint" on their cheeks! Here's Dabney and Courtney - looking forward to a great Show, ladies!

It has been so great to walk the Show floor and chat with exhibitors new and "old." Everyone keeps remarking on how happy they are to be here, and how much they are looking forward to seeing the buyers. The excitement is building, and I think it's going to be a great Show!

Until tomorrow - Kelly

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

on-site fun

Here we are again, back at the Javits Center in New York, setting-up for the National Stationery Show. I love the energy of move-in. Many exhibitors are already here, as are the service contractors who are building some of the largest booths. Freight is being moved in on forklifts, the place is noisy with men yelling, and equipment being used - it is a construction zone, to be sure, and the excitment is in the air.

Here are some pics I took walking around the Javits today:

Patti was excited to see our "ad" on the new digital display sign outside of the Javits Center. I think it looks great!

Like I said: a construction zone with forklifts! Hardhats not required, but be careful!

Here's John, one of the head electricians. If you're an exhibitor in the 2400-3000 aisles you surely know him, and should stop here to be sure your order is in!

Doug Duncan of Motel Deluxe, getting a nice head start.

Vera Bradley's and Knock Knock's freight has arrived!

Here's Randy from InScribe - he was waiting for his freight when I came across him, but it magically appeared when I showed up! (o;

Here's Constance Kay, checking in with the electrician in her area (Mattie, not John).

And here's my cab! Aaron and I are headed out to dinner in the City with a group from work tonight. Should be fun!

- Until tomorrow!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Keeping Up With Trends

I’ve been thinking a lot about trends as I prepare for NSS. I truly believe that consumers count seeing trends in their favorite stores. They want to know what’s new, what’s now, what’s fresh, what’s fantastic in the market. Today’s trends are turning over faster, and more than ever are tied to current events, lifestyle demands, and most importantly, fashion. What’s hot in fashion – from polka dots and embroidery, to retro-60’s mod, from eco-chic green fabrics to affordable luxe and bling on a budget – will be reflected, interpreted and designed for products to please the current crop of fashion-savvy consumers.

The National Stationery Show (NSS) is a treasure trove of information and products that showcase the latest fashion and lifestyle trends. Paper products are relatively inexpensive to produce, attracting some of the most talented designers, who are on the cutting edge, to get into the business. Many of the trends that have dominated fashion and home d├ęcor over the past few seasons –such as oversized black & white damask designs – were first reflected in paper. The social stationery industry was offering recycled and environmentally responsible products long before “Green” appeared on everyone’s radar. NSS was the first show to blend fashion with function for today’s expanding home office product demands, and its exhibitors were earlier innovators in the lucrative, ever-changing ‘tween market.

Stationery has become so important to the lifestyle market I recently learned that internationally acclaimed designers Vera Wang, Lilly Pulitzer, Martha Stewart and Kate Spade are debuting social stationery collections at the Show!

Here’s what I’ll be looking for this year:

 The evolution of “green” products which combine great design with cause-related consciousness

 Humorous or caring cards which uplift the spirits and cause a chuckle in these challenging times

 Executive accessories and leather goods which dazzle with vibrant colors and on-trend animal prints

 Designs which interpret world-style motifs in a fresh and exciting style

As a veteran trend-tracker, I’m so excited about the upcoming NSS. See you on the aisles!!!

- Deb Gold