Friday, April 30, 2010

Lists, lists and more lists

What’s on your “To Do” list? How do you keep it? I got intrigued with the question after viewing the exhibit “Lists” at the National Portrait Gallery in DC this past February.

Check out this packing list by Adolf Konrad. I love it. Plus it looks like Adolf was a pretty dapper guy! Does anybody out there know anyone who creates a list like this?

Guess what? “ There’s an app for that!” There really is; you take pics of your clothes and create outfits with it – think InStyle pages, but with your clothes.

Speaking of InStyle , In the April 2010 issue, the feature “Life, etc.” profiled Rory Tahari, creative director of Elie Tahari. Rory has just come out with a book, "Lists For Life: The Essential Guide to Getting Organized and Tackling Tough To-Dos” I haven’t bought it yet, but I’m interested in knowing what’s inside.

By the way, I’m happy to give a shout out to InStyle, as some of its editors are registered to attend the Show again this year!

Here’s another list I thought was interesting - a list Pablo Picasso made recommending artists for the Armory Show in New York. Look at that handwriting!

So, how does the Show Manager of the NSS keep her list?

In a nice Lily Pulitzer notebook from Lifeguard Press (we must admit to a certain addiction to these). Patti makes nice neat check marks when she's gotten something "off the list."

Laura Susi works in our Operations department (she’s the one you can thank for arranging all the shuttle buses we have on-site, among other things). Here’s her method of keeping a “To Do” list – a flower-shaped sticky note!

And finally, mine. I like to use 2 pencil colors – one to make the list, and the other to check off with. I use an “X” for done, and a "/" for when something is part-way done.

How do you keep your lists? Anyone doodle? Do you use pens, pencils - is an eraser a bad thing, by the way? Meaning, who wants to erase something, when you can check it off the list and feel that sense of accomplishment? And on the topic of of erasers… we just booked Fashion Angels into the Show! Yay. Check them out for their line of cute puzzle erasers… Hi to Sarah!

That’s all for now. So much to do in the next couple of weeks before the Show. Looking forward to seeing everyone on-site at the Javits very soon!

Until next time - Kelly

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get Smart!

It seems hard for me to believe, but I’ve been developing retailer education programs for almost 20 years now. Those two decades translate into over 500 seminars, endless retail roundtables, product demonstrations, make-it-and-take-it events, and all sorts of keynote addresses. I’m still passionate about programming educational events for trade shows, because these buyer education programs make a real difference for store owners large and small, novices and veterans alike.

I was reminded of the impact of educational events while speaking one year with a wonderfully talented and successful retailer, Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Carolyn owned five retail stores in California and Las Vegas, and all of them were thriving. Every year at the California Gift Show, Carolyn always would come to a variety of seminars, demonstrations and networking events, and I was fascinated that she would take time out of her very hectic buying schedule to attend so many events. Finally, I asked Carolyn why, and she replied: “I come because I’m always open to learning how to be better at what I do. I come because if I pick up one idea, one suggestion, one tip, one skill that serves my customers, and makes money for my stores, then my time was well spent. And I come because nowhere else can I meet face-to-face with industry experts for such a small investment.”

Buyer education programs are one of many things that make the National Stationery Show such a productive expertise for our valued retailers. And what a lineup of authorities we’ve gathered together for 2010! Linda Cahan is an internationally recognized expert in visual merchandising and store design. Leading trade magazine editors Sarah Schwartz and Caroline Kennedy are trend gurus. Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Darcy Miller, is one of the foremost authorities and sought out speakers on the bridal market. Peggy Post carries on her family’s illustrious history as an heir to the Emily Post Institute’s famous guidelines for social etiquette. Stacie Francombe is on the cutting edge of the lucrative wedding market. And Patricia Norins, publisher of Gift Shop magazine, along with Carolyn Howard-Johnson -- who has transitioned from being a top retailer to a best selling author and speaker on retailing, promotions, and the social media -- will facilitate two intensive roundtable discussions on today’s most in demand subject.

Fun and entertaining are the Daily Demos on the show floor. These spot-on presentations provide terrific tips, techniques, tricks and ideas that you can readily bring to your stores to create excitement and stimulate sales!

Knowledge is power. Plan to become more powerful with the help of the National Stationery Show’s expanded and in-depth educational programs!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

April Fool’s Day is one of those holidays that I’ve always hated. Blaming it on my shy personality and lack of creativity, it’s a day that I annually spend dodging my brothers, ignoring my friends and finding tranquility in my calm, prank-free home. What about you? Are you the top prankster in your company or the shy girl hiding in the corner? Either way, I will admit that it’s a fun holiday. Check out some April Fool’s worldwide history I found on!

• In 1962 the Swedish national television did a 5-minute special on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomena was included.

• In 1980, the BBC reported a proposed change to the famous clock tower known as Big Ben. The reporters stated that the clock would go digital.

• In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

• In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.

• In 2008, all featured videos on YouTube's front page hyperlinked to the Rickroll. The prank began with international YouTube portals before appearing on the main site. In 2009 the videos, links and most text (using Unicode substitution) were turned upside down and there was also a link to help users view the new site layout with hints such as hanging the monitor upside-down or moving to Australia.

• Expedia ran a prank on 1 April 2009, offering flights to Mars. This was internally known as Project Dawnstar.

Pretty funny stuff! I can’t help you with any good pranks but I can tell you something that’s going on this April Fool’s Day here at NSS Headquarters that is true…some of our seminars are close to being sold out, our sales team surpassed their sales goal for March way before yesterday and the National Stationery Show is only a month and a half away… Now that’s no joking matter!

Until next time,