National Stationery Show was ‘alive with excitement’
The National Stationery Show® (NSS), celebrated unmatched creativity and variety in the industry at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from Sunday, May 21 through Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Domestic and international exhibiting companies and attendees converged upon the event, which was packed with fine stationery, lifestyle gifts, award-winning new products, trending DIY kits and greeting cards, and a variety of informative, educational sessions.
“This year’s Show was alive with excitement and creative energy. Those whom attend are dedicated to the industry and one another’s success. They are truly passionate about their businesses and want to share that with others,” said Kelly P. Bristol, NSS Show director. “The 2017 Show featured a full schedule of live events, in-booth demonstrations and educational programs. The NSS continues to attract key influential buyers who attend to see new products and plan their purchases for their current needs and the year still ahead.”
“NSS is always…our best show. Every buyer is looking for exactly what we sell here, compared to other shows,” said exhibitor Lisa Krowinski, Sapling Press. “We’ll always do the NSS. If you ever want to be a presence in this market, you have to be here,” Krowinski said.
The “Design Our Valentines Challenge” kicked off 2017 Show buzz in January when exhibitors were invited to submit an original design to be featured on one of two official NSS Valentines postcards promoting the Show to attendees. Mohawk, the official paper sponsor of the Show, provided the stock for attendee and exhibitor promotions, including the Valentines postcards.
Valley Cruise Press, in collaboration with Rachel Peck, created the “Will You Accept…This Rosé?” Card, a takeoff on “The Bachelor” TV show, which was the winner in the Contemporary category. Juliana Tyson, Good Juju Ink, found her inspiration in the animal kingdom, specifically bears and “bear hugs” to win the Traditional category. Inklings Paperie received an Honorable Mention for its tattoo design specific to the Show. Finalists included Quilling Card LLC and JooJoo Paper. All can be viewed at the NSS website.
“Everything at the NSS was fantastic. We ordered from over 45 vendors, and made a lot of progress pre-booking holiday cards and calendars,” said exhibitor Pam Linscomb, Kuhl-Linscomb. “You would chuckle at our intensity – we were still placing orders as they ripped [up] the carpets and dimmed the lights! The NSS delivered a crop of fresh new brands and innovation across the paper categories.”
“A networking and order writing Show, [NSS is] the best place for contacts and relationships,” said exhibitor Shayla LaMoore, Calypso Cards, Inc. “This NSS  has been our best one yet.”
This year, the Best New Product Awards received nearly 200 eligible product award entries, which were showcased in the Best New Product Display in the North Concourse. Lily & Val earned two awards, for Best of Show and in the Craft It Up/DIY category for the Chalk Lettering Tool Kit. Additional exhibitors were awarded in the categories of All Things Paper, Life/Style and Let’s Celebrate. Products new to market since the 2016 National Stationery Show, or after June 1, 2016, were eligible for the competition.
“This was my first time attending the National Stationery Show and I had big expectations to fill my needs as a distributor in India. I was thrilled that the NSS exceeded my expectations as I discovered the latest trends from innovative brands to cater to my Indian clients,” stated attendee Ganapathy Sudhan, SGS Enterprises, Sudhaan, India. “The NSS is an excellent platform to meet new vendors who are prepared to cater to our needs. Being an importer, I was given excellent guidance and hospitality and I look forward to returning.”
On the Show floor, Live @ NSS featured several daily events ranging from creating clever gift wrapping hacks to envelope decorating ideas to increase card sales. Independent business owners took advantage of seminars tailored to their interests such as how to drive traffic and boost sales with in-store classes and special events. And, for the fourth year, #fresh, a juried section of approximately 40 emerging exhibitors in business 0-5 years, captivated attendees with their creative approach to new products, packaging and branding.
“[The Show was a] million percent over expectations,” said #fresh exhibitor Ashley Molesso, Ash + Chess.
First Look: NY NOW at NSS was comprised of a select group of exhibitors that will be featured at the NY NOW® summer market introducing their newest stationery and lifestyle products at NSS. First Look: NY NOW offered buyers an opportunity to get a sneak peek and a boost on their orders for the remainder of the year.
“As we expand our offering in the Party Supplies eCommerce space, NSS provided the fantastic opportunity to introduce us to new opportunities and industry trends. We look forward to returning next year and growing with new brands,” commented attendee Jason D’Agostino, Party Supplies Category, Walmart eCommerce.
Educational programs included sessions on sales and marketing strategies, trend forecasting and two sold-out sessions, “Boss Ladies: The Secrets Behind Successful Stationery Stars” and “Communicating with Color/Design, Inspiring and Defining Essential Trends.” Buyers were encouraged to share their photos from the NSS on Instagram, using the hashtag #NSS2017, and pick up a photo print of their post in the Social Media Hub, courtesy of Paper Pop Cards. The 28th Annual LOUIE Awards gala, sponsored by the Greeting Card Association was held on Sunday, May 21. 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 as well as finalists were displayed in a special area on the concourse.
The 2018 NSS will be held May 20-23 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.