Thursday, March 25, 2010


What, too busy to blog – who me? Here I sit at 5:01 pm on Thursday realizing that I haven’t had a moment to myself today to write and “publish” this week’s blog. And it’s my turn. Hmmm… What to share…

We have been so busy here on the NSS team that we hardly have time to say hello to each other! The phones have been ringing non-stop with vendors looking to book exhibit space - lots of exciting new companies coming to the Show this year. We’re psyched – the Show is going to be great!

Our exhibitors new and experienced have an excellent opportunity (FREE) to reach out to the Show’s buyers this year. Exhibitors, please check into the “marketing opportunities” section of the website next month to learn more. We know that buyers love to receive information about who’s exhibiting ahead of time. Don’t miss this great opportunity to tell them about your company’s participation!

We already have 3,500 new buyers registered for the Show. That’s a lot! Of course, this number doesn’t even include the thousands and thousands of buyers about to receive their badges in the mail. Exciting! And we know there will be more buyers registering in the next several weeks leading up to the Show. We really are looking forward to a busy Show with bustling aisles.

I can’t wait for this year’s Opening Night Party! The new venue, Battery Park Gardens, boasts a great view of the Statue of Liberty. It’s always fun to get together on the after the first day of the Show is done. The energy is always high and palpable. – Funny, just as I was writing this an exhibitor called me to ask about this party! (We’re looking forward to seeing you at the party, folks!)

Another question I get asked often enough is about hotels in the City. Please know that I have not stayed at every single one of them. (Though it would be fun to attempt to do so – I just think it would take years!) We have a great variety on “the block” that Travel Planners puts forward – and most are on the shuttle bus route to the Javits Center. Check out photos and shuttle bus info on our website, and book your accommodations soon, if you haven’t already! Rooms are filling up fast.

One more thing - as I was about to conclude this blog, I received an email from an exhibitor who asked about getting help with in-booth sales. Help is available! If you have reps, of course ask them to spend some time with you in your booth meeting customers and taking orders. If you don’t – or you just need to staff up, let us know – we’ve got resources for this, and can recommend you to companies that provide exactly this kind of service.

So, that’s it for now from me. Big hellos to the entire NSS team – you’ll probably read this before you see me, we’re all so busy!

Until next time -


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Students: The Force Behind the NSS New Product Display

Seems like it was not so long ago that I was a college student searching for internships and volunteer work to boost up my rather meek PR & journalism resume. Obituary writer for the local weekly newspaper…coffee runner for a local PR firm…intern for my college PR office...and the list goes on.

They all sucked the life out of me, but I graduated college with a respectable resume and great references that helped me land my first job. Never mind the salary, which was even more humble than my resume was just one year earlier.

For the 2009 National Stationery Show, and again this year, I have been privileged to work with a select group of visual merchandising students and faculty from Manhattan-based LIM College to design and merchandise the NSS New Product Display. From the ground up, this display is all them. This special focus area is the first glimpse buyers get of the hundreds of new products launching at NSS, immediately after they walk through registration. To these students, it’s a highlight for their resume…a feather in their cap.

The social stationery industry is no different than any other. Current students are our future. They are our future designers, artists, retailers, manufacturers and more. So stop by the New Product Display and give these students the kudos and encouragement they deserve. You will like what you see, so don’t hesitate to snag one of them up for an internship or volunteer project before it’s too late. They are at the NSS to build credentials and network – just like you and me back in the day.

See you soon,

PS – If you’re an exhibitor and haven’t submitted your new product(s) yet for the Best New Product competition and display, you have only until April 12 to do so. Enter today by clicking here (scroll to bottom of page).

Monday, March 8, 2010

One Person’s Perception is Another’s Reality

The days are getting longer as the show is getting closer. So many pieces are coming together both here at GLM and within our exhibitors’ businesses. New product releases, new booth displays, celebrity appearances, artist signings and other in–booth events in the making – these are just a few of the things that will make the Show so exciting for retailers.

But what retailers want most when they put in time and money to visit a show is to see vendors in booths that are filled with products and warm sales people ready to serve them!

This brings me to what is most on my mind after looking through the non-exhibiting manufacturer badge requests last evening. As an industry event – and one that takes place only once a year – surely everyone wants to be there. But, attending the Show in a way that best represents your business and best serves your customer is a very tactical decision.

Attendee and exhibitor badges are different colors, so at a glance the difference is clear. All badges include business type, job function and company name: Retailer, Owner, The Paper Place; Retailer, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Target; Manufacturer’s Rep, Owner, Roadrunners; Exhibitor, President, Design Design, Exhibitor, Owner, Smock Letterpress.

Non-exhibiting manufacturer (NEM) badges are denoted the same way: Non-Exhibiting Manufacturer, President, ABC Company. Non-Exhibiting Manufacturer, Creative Director, DEF Company. When established companies that should exhibit don’t, and instead attend, it sends a peculiar message to the retail customer walking the show: Why isn’t company ABC exhibiting? Is the business in trouble? Isn’t my business important enough to invest in presenting the lines to me in a booth? And, to the industry peer who has spent real time and money to exhibit and in front of whose booth the NEM stands talking to the retailer that the exhibitor has paid to see, the mindset is one of real frustration: How in the world does the NEM feel right conducting business in front of my booth? Why the heck aren’t they exhibiting? I’m going to talk to Patti about how wrong this is!

The bottom line in my head and heart is that no matter on which side of the business we sit, all of us want the social stationery industry to have a thriving future. There is one industry show – the National Stationery Show. This is where you see or you’re seen, you buy, you sell, you learn and you network. And a healthy show is one that reflects its industry at its best and most diverse, serving its customers – exhibitors and buyers - in the most productive and fair way.

I hope that if you are one of the people that have requested a NEM badge, you will call me to request a booth instead, sharing the stage with 900 of your industry peers who have fully committed the continued health of the social stationery industry.