The 67th annual National Stationery Show (NSS) saw a 31 percent increase in attending stores for the May 19-21 event, held at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The return of market features such as the NSS party and LIVE! demonstration theatre, combined with a far-reaching VIP attendee outreach programme and launch of Creative & Lifestyle Arts (C&LA), garnered the attention of thousands of new and former attendees.
“Attendees and exhibitors witnessed the first phase of a refreshed NSS, with many new experiential introductions to create an exciting, productive atmosphere,” said Patti Stracher, GLM vice president and NSS show director. “In addition to the many new products rolling out and hundreds of new companies debuting, the launch of C&LA and addition of spaces on the show floor for networking and community building generated great buzz. While we recognize that retailers are sending fewer buyers to cover shows, we welcomed their return and were thrilled with the substantial increase in the number of attending stores.”
Perhaps the most successful venture in drawing more stores to the NSS was the introduction of a white-glove VIP program that welcomed select buyers at New York City airports with town car service direct to their hotels, and return service following their show visit. The VIP package also included complimentary educational sessions and access to GLM’s exclusive Club Lounge. In addition, the NSS partnered with a local car service to pick up stationery store owners within the five boroughs and bring them to the show.
“We’re enjoying the after-glow of the NSS,” said Sachi Komai of Anthology in Madison, WI. “We wrote 42 orders at the show and have added more since returning. We came back truly inspired, and are even talking about opening a second location. Seeing the products in person is so much more satisfying than clicking through images in an online catalog. I’m far more likely to place an order in person. We felt like royalty being treated to car service to and from the airport as well as access to the Club Lounge. We were refreshed and invigorated being whisked right to the show.”
This year, GLM also introduced a co-located show, Creative & Lifestyle Arts. This launch added to the increase in attending stores and educated buyers about the advantages of cross-merchandising social stationery with craft and creative hobby products. The two shows enjoyed cross-over traffic by thousands of retailers eager to learn about the synergies between these two sectors.
“The introduction of Creative & Lifestyle Arts added a new dimension to the marketplace, offering exposure to a new niche with tremendous profit potential for retailers of social stationery, given the national popularity of DIY and crafting among people of all ages,” said Lynn White, NSS and C&LA show manager. “We anticipate strong growth of C&LA in 2014, on the heels of a successful debut for our inaugural exhibitors.”
The 68th annual National Stationery Show, the nation’s leading marketplace for the social stationery industry, runs Sunday, May 18, through Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The Show features nearly 800 exhibitors and attracts some 11,000 attendees.