Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hi Bloggers

Arque talking! Some of you may remember me from my days as sales manager of the National Stationery Show. I worked on the Show for 15 years, and a year ago I moved to the Operations Department. As part of “Ops”, I now work on all of the Shows behind the scenes. So, I remain an integral part of the Team, now seated on the logistics end.

In my new position, I work with the operations managers and show managers to coordinate all the logistics to get the Shows up and running. One such piece – near and dear to our exhibitors -is the set-up bulletin which is packed with information from move-in procedures, to shuttle service, to special features unique to the NSS, such as the product donation program, Operation Caring Connection.

This program is really special and popular. Now in its third year, in conjunction with the United Service Organization (U.S.O.) we collect exhibitor donations to ship to our troops stationed in various parts of the world – things like greeting cards, notepads, writing instruments, journals, and books.

This year we had a tremendous response from our exhibitors and sent USO 20 cartons and 1 pallet of great products. I want to recognize the exhibitors who generously donated:

Allport Editions
• Art Sales International
Christoper Vine Design
Knock Knock
Laughing Elephant
The Time Factory

And, give kudos to Freeman Decorating Company and Yellow Roadway Corporation for their donation of freight consolidation and trucking services.

This community effort is one of the things that I love much about this industry - its generous spirit. It’s like giving a big hug to the troops from all of us!

Until next time, Arque

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father’s Day First-Timer

This weekend is my husband’s first Father’s Day…and let me tell you, I feel the pressure. You see, for my first Mother’s Day last month, he presented me with the ultimate new mom gift – a surprise trip to a photography studio for our first family photo shoot.

The. Perfect. Gift.

So now I’m left to compete with a gift that cannot be matched. I waved the white flag early in the gift search process. He wins.

But what I did discover while attempting to “one up” him, is that Father’s Day doesn’t have to include a “#1 Dad” coffee mug or “World’s Best Dad” t-shirt. There are keepsakes out there that my husband will actually adore, that won’t be shoved to the back of the kitchen cabinet or the bottom of his t-shirt stack. Here are some of my cool finds, sure to be a hit with the hubs on his first Father’s Day:

The photo note cube by Making Memories®…perfect for my husband, who thinks one more framed photo of his daughter or wife in his office will make it “too girly”.

Personalized men’s tie by His Favorite®…because he finds no shame in showing off his precious 6-month-old.

Daddy & Me frame by EtcTrade…engraving tugs at the heartstrings, “I may outgrow your lap, but I’ll never outgrow your heart”.

And of course, the card, from Great Arrow Graphics…perfect for this daddy, who lulls his daughter to sleep every night with his guitar.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there, especially those who are celebrating for the first time. Here’s hoping you receive a keepsake that puts a smile on your face when your child is 16, in the thick of those infamous teen years.

Till next time,

Friday, June 5, 2009

Post-Show Bliss

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could just put our feet up and relax after the Show? And by “all” I do mean “all” – exhibitors, attendees, and show management! Okay, yes, we did have the Memorial Day holiday long weekend, and that was bliss, but right after that, it was back to work.

For buyers, I am sure you have dumped out your bags and luggage and are wading through all the information you collected at the NSS. If you didn’t place orders at the Show, I know you are deciding right now on what you want to bring into your stores. Hard work, I know! I can’t imagine being in your shoes, with all the great products you must have seen! All of us on the Show team have already received calls from many buyers who are trying to remember someone or something seen at the Show, but somehow the contact information has been misplaced. We’re always relieved to be able to help in this situation! Feel free to call us if you find yourself in this predicament: 914-421-3250. As it happens, exhibitors sometimes find themselves in a similar situation, and we can help you find a buyer, too.

Of course, lots of buyers placed orders at the Show, and we are also already getting calls from exhibitors who have not had a break yet because once they got back from the Show to their offices and warehouses, they just started fulfilling those orders. Whew! We all agree, this is a nice “problem” to have.

Many exhibitors have been doing their post-show follow-up with buyers, by calling, emailing information, and mailing catalogs and such to those they met at the Show. This, too, is hard work, but is always appreciated. The buyers you met at the Show are swamped when they get back, and a friendly follow-up call goes a long way.

For us here at the NSS HQ, we do still have some work to do to wrap up the 2009 Show, such as finishing labeling all those photos we took at the Show! (Aaron is the lucky one on the team with that task). I can’t wait for us be able to put up our 2009 “photo gallery.” Today we spent some time running the final edits on a video documentary of the Show - it was fun to watch it and relive the Show a little bit. Simultaneous to this, we are working on our plans for the 2010 Show. I’m already getting excited. We’re going to be looking at a new website design in the next couple of weeks, and we have been dreaming up new programs for exhibitors and attendees alike. It might be practically a year before the next Show, but there’s no time to stand still! I’d be willing to bet it is the same for you “Dear Reader” (as Ann Landers used to say).

So… so much for bliss, right? Bring on the hard work and let's keep our businesses moving forward, full steam ahead!

Until next time,