May 8, 2018
Highlights from this year’s London Stationery Show

What a year for the London Stationery Show!  The event, which ran at the Business Design Centre on 24 & 25 April, hit its target of 2000 visitors, attracting buyers from across its key sectors.

“We’re delighted that the show continues to go from strength to strength,” says event manager Hazel Fieldwick.  “We want our event to be the place to find writing and paper products – whatever your starting point of interest may be, so it’s great to see such a mix of visitors attending.

This year’s show attracted all the national key stationers and a strong line-up of indies. In addition, buyers from garden centres, bookshops, gift and greeting stores, print and copy shops, department store groups, publishers, visitor attractions, educational establishments and colleges, dealers, distributors, wholesalers and plenty of craft and art supplies retailers all spent time at the show.  The show also welcomed a growing number of licensors and licensing agents and high street fashion and accessory retailers including Asos, Next, Monsoon Accessorize, Missguided and Amara Living.

This year’s Stationery Awards judging panel
The Reeves sponsored Creative Stationery area
New Stationery Trends Hub and Trend Tour starting point

Show highlights this year included the 7th Stationery Awards with the judging panel picking out product from two of the show’s LaunchPad winners and regular exhibitors Lime Stationery & Art and Abrams & Chronicle each collecting multiple awards.  A new ‘Good Design’ Award was introduced this year, won by Back Pocket for their range of notebooks made from the new range of GF Smith Extract paper. To see the full Award results click here.

The new design award was introduced to recognise the show’s efforts in attracting more design and designer-led stationery brands to exhibit. To support this initiative the show also introduced ‘Trend Tours’ and a Stationery Trends Hub area.  Curated and designed by trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, both these new features proved very popular, with several companies booking private tours with Scarlet Opus for their own marketing teams.

“For retailers and suppliers who want to plan beyond the next season, understanding how trend forecasting works and marrying the information to what they know about current customers – or indeed the customers they’d like to have – is of real commercial benefit.  It allows retailers and suppliers to focus on what they need to maximise future sales. This is an area we’ll definitely be developing further next year,” commented the show’s marketing director, Vanessa Fortnam.

Another first for this year was the launch of a new Student Stationery Award scheme.  The show has partnered with The Paper Library, which runs a paper resource service for colleges and design students across the UK, to help foster the links between design students and the stationery industry.  Design managers from Paperchase, Portico Design and Caroline Gardner, who are each supporting the new competition and offering a student placement as a competition prize, attended the show and took part in a Q&A about their jobs and roles within their respective companies.  They were questioned closely by students visiting from design courses as far away as Dundee!

This year’s show co-incided once again with National Stationery Week, which this year saw key suppliers Nuco, Staedtler, Mustard, Santoro, Crafter’s Companion and AT Cross take a leading role on each of the ‘Seven Days of Stationery’.  Coverage and enthusiasm for the week remains as high as ever – inspiring mentions on Huffpost, the Daily Mail’s You newsfeed, live coverage on Absolute Radio and plenty of store and online retailers using it to run special offers and competitions.

Other popular features included the Reeves sponsored Creative Stationery Workshops, hosted by Julia Bonnar on behalf of the AFCI.UK, the Live Talks programme and Retailer Workshops – all of which created good pre-bookings and were busy throughout the show.

“The London Stationery Show is the perfect event for buyers to review what’s new in the sector and consider how writing and paper products fit, or might fit, their product mix – a fashionable gift, a ‘must-have’ treat, a smart home or work essential – stationery is increasingly regarded as fashionable lifestyle accessory and an on-trend element of many product assortments,” concluded Hazel.

The 2018 Show in numbers:

  • This is the eighth time the London Stationery Show has run
  • The show increased in size by just over 9%
  • It had 155 exhibitors (and 158 stands), of which
  • 79 were either new to the show, didn’t exhibit last year, or were one of the show’s 12 LaunchPad winners
  • In addition, over 300 brands and licenses were also represented
  • 27 exhibitors are travelling from abroad to be at the show, and many more overseas brands are being hosted by UK distributors. The countries represented are Australia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the USA.
  • The 2018 show attracted 2007 visitors (compared to 1877 in 2017) an increase of over 6% (6.47%)

The next stationery show will run at The Point, part of the Emirates Old Trafford venue in Manchester on 9 and 10 October 2018.  The venue is the home of Lancashire Country Cricket Club and just 3 miles from the city centre, with free parking and its own tram station.

“This is just the second year for our show in Manchester.  It is a great addition to its older sister show in London and offers a new opportunity for the industry to meet up, talk stationery and catch up on new product developments for the 2019 season,” said Hazel.

Stationery Show London 2019 will run at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London on Tuesday & Wednesday – 30 April and1May.

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