June 7, 2016
2016 National Stationery Show celebrates 70 successful years
The National Stationery Show honored its 70th year serving the industry at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from Sunday, May 15 through Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Thousands of attendees from around the globe converged to shop, buy, and build life-changing relationships with others. “This year’s Show floor was electric with energy and inspiration. There is a passion in this business that creates a common bond. The attendees and exhibitors comprise an exceptional group of people that work hard together and celebrate shared success,” said Patti Stracher, vice president and show director. “The 2016 event had a buzz and excitement fueled by the number of live events, educational programs and heavy retailer traffic that flowed through the aisles.”
Exhibitor Nathan Bond, co-founder and president, Rifle Paper Co., agreed. “It was our best Stationery Show ever, based on sales,” said Bond. “The spontaneity of what happens at this Show is almost unquantifiable.”
It was a year of “firsts” for the Show, which released a commemorative set of thirty “Class of ’70” trading cards, in partnership with exhibitor Legion Paper, based upon popular baseball trading cards from the 1970s. Attendees collected the cards by visiting each participating exhibitor’s booth. A specially-designed matchbox to hold the set awaited recipients who collected all 30 designs.
This year also marked the first collaboration between the NSS and the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), State University of New York (SUNY), which created a special display design for the 20th anniversary of the Best New Product Awards. More than 600 eligible products were submitted for this competition. Printable Wisdom earned two awards, Best of Show and DIY-Do It Yourself for The No Fuss Brush Calligraphy Starter Kit. Additional exhibitors were awarded in the categories of Eco Chic, All Things Wedding, Seasonal Greats, The Desktop, Celebrations, Lifestyle and Paper Love.
“This is my very first time visiting NYC and I have been blown away from day one. The experience of meeting so many people from all over the world has been truly eye opening,” said Patsy Howard, owner of Village Press. “The National Stationery Show has exceeded our expectations and has me wanting to already come back next year.”
On the Show floor, several live, daily events were presented by experts on topics that ranged from making life-like crepe paper flowers to giftwrapping packages of varying shapes and sizes. Entrepreneurs seeking business advice met with representatives from SCORE NYC for 1-on-1 coaching sessions. Mohawk hosted selections from The Strathmore Archive, a treasure trove of over 100 years of rare, historic Strathmore paper promotions. And, as always, #fresh, a juried section of more than 100 “young” exhibitors in business 0-5 years, captivated attendees with their creative approach to new products, packaging and branding.
“The NSS is not only the place to find beautiful and creative product for your store, it is also a place to build and maintain relationships with your vendors, other retailers and press; it is like summer camp, you look forward to it for months leading up to it, love it while it’s happening, and can’t wait for it again next year,” said Kate Strzok, owner, Broadway Paper.
Educational programs included jam-packed sessions on marketing, social media strategies, and trend forecasting. Those looking to decompress during the Show headed over to the Social Media Hub, which encouraged everyone to tap their inner artist and color on the giant, interactive coloring wall, sponsored by OMY Design & Play (one of three such sponsored walls) or submit photos from the Show to their Instagram or Twitter accounts.
The LOUIE Awards gala, sponsored by the Greeting Card Association (GCA), which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, was held on Sunday, May 15. The LOUIEs 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. Winners were announced in multiple categories, including religious celebrations, seasonal and birthday.
“Best National Stationery Show in years. It’s been a phenomenal Show for us,” said Nicky Burton, managing director, Calypso Cards. “We’ve seen a lot of companies both big and small. We are thrilled to bits.”
The next National Stationery Show will be held May 21-24, 2017 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.