May 18, 2017 • Sarah Schwartz
#NSS2017 Returns to NYC
The National Stationery Show (NSS), the only North American trade show for global buyers and sellers of specialty paper products, will convene on May 21–24, 2017 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Nearly 10,000 total industry professionals are expected to attend the NSS, representing all 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and more than 70 countries around the globe.
“The National Stationery Show offers an exceptional platform for business development, where exhibitors build life-changing relationships with buyers, reps and distributors — and with each other,” said Kelly P. Bristol, the NSS show director. “The highly creative, yet serious atmosphere attracts store owners and top buying executives from thousands of diverse businesses worldwide, and engages exhibitors from designer-makers to well-established companies.”
A combination of industry leading brands and innovative newcomers attend each year. Approximately 800 companies will exhibit their new product offerings, including Anna Griffin, Ash and Chess, Avanti, Ginger P. Designs, Graphique de France, Green Bean Studio, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Haute Papier, Hester & Cook Design Group, Hobbry Design Studio, Kleinfeld Paper, Lifeguard Press, Marble+Vine, Mayd This Way, Meri Meri, Moglea, Natalizia Sas, Old English Company, Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, Paris312, Pens Plus Pals, Peter Pauper Press, R. Nichols, Rifle Paper Co., Signature Collection and Studio, Sugar Paper Los Angeles, The Giftwrap Company, The Madison Park Group and Up With Paper.
On the show floor, attendees will find two distinctive sections: #fresh and The Supply Side. #fresh is a juried section featuring original, authentic products from more than 100 emerging, trend-leading businesses that are one to five years old. The Supply Side section services NSS exhibitors and attending product development and design professionals in the stationery, gift and other creative industries. It features production equipment, services and supplies including die-cutting, foil stamping, embossing, holography, lamination, packaging, converters, paper, printing, thermography, production machinery, envelopes, display/fixture systems and more.
Mohawk is the official paper sponsor of the NSS 2017, providing the stock for attendee and exhibitor materials and promotions, including the Valentine postcards as part of the NSS’s “Design Our Valentine’s Challenge.” Exhibiting artists and companies in the upcoming show were invited to submit an original design to be featured on one of two official Valentines postcards promoting the NSS. Valley Cruise Press and Good Juju Ink were winners in the contemporary and traditional categories, respectively. Inklings Paperie received an honorable mention. Visit the website for more information on the challenge and the winning designs.
Education and Events
A three-day series of educational seminars for buyers will focus on such topics as website/email best practices, in-store special events, color/design forecasts, and success tips for small businesses. In addition, two programs will feature panels — one exploring successful strategies to maintain a robust bridal business and the second featuring women entrepreneurs at the top of their game who will share their secrets to building successful stores and brands. Attendees can register for one or more seminars either online or onsite. The fee for each seminar is $25 prior to May 21 or $30 onsite.
The NSS Theatre, located on the show floor, will be an open format of workshops and demonstrations to include coloring events, giftwrapping, other product demos and flash educational sessions. For example, artists from Hallmark’s creative team will lead “Envelope Decorating Ideas to Increase Card Sales,” a hands-on workshop to help retailers differentiate greeting cards sold in their stores by embellishing envelopes and cards with simple design flourishes. Presenters Tobe Reed, managing editor of Hallmark’s Think, Make, Share Blog, master artist Lynn Giunta, and Lindsay Tippet, senior designer, Trends Studio, also will give tips on helping customers craft personal, meaningful messages to showcase their thoughtfulness.
Once again, the NSS will partner with Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home industries’ sole charitable organization, to participate in the annual AIDS Walk New York to be held Sunday, May 21, the opening day of the show. As part of this collaboration, the Gift for Life/NSS team will recruit walkers to raise funds to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and education. Participants can either walk the actual 10K course that starts and ends at Central Park, or take a “virtual” walk through the show aisles of the Show.
All year round, Stationery Stories can be found on the show’s website and/or by following #StationeryStories on social media. Here, stationery store owners, buyers, designers, and exhibitors share inspirational stories on how the stationery business has influenced them. “Stationery Stories” gives the reader a history and context of their journey and experiences.
Two important award programs occur at the NSS annually. Exhibitors vie for Best New Product honors. This year, the competition and display will debut a new category line-up: All Things Paper, Life/Style, Craft It Up – DIY and Let’s Celebrate. Entries are judged by a panel of leading trade and consumer publication editors and retailers. Winners are announced on opening day, Sunday, May 21, and are featured in a grand onsite display.
The 28th anniversary LOUIE Awards gala, sponsored by the Greeting Card Association (GCA), recognizes, rewards, and celebrates the moment art, editorial and design perfectly coalesce to bring emotions to life and memorialize the numerous milestones in our lives through greeting cards. The program culminates in a gala awards event on Sunday, May 21. A beautiful exhibit of finalists and winners, designed by Universal Presentation Concepts (see sidebar), will be presented on the Concourse Level during the NSS, and a cocktail party will be held with the winners on Monday, May 22.
SURTEX and ICFF
Two additional, Emerald Expositions-owned design events — SURTEX, North America’s premier exposition and conference for the selling and licensing of original art and design, and ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair — will run concurrently with NSS.