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Reports on shows, trends, and more

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New York Stationery Show Report

Some much more than just stationery.

by Ellie Joos, Ellie Joos & Associates (June, 2004)

As I walked this show, several times I had to remind myself that I was covering the Stationery Show and not the Gift Show, Accessories Show, or Scrapbook Show. The crossover of products has become stronger and stronger as card and stationery stores add other merchandise to expand their sales.

Now the retailer can shop here for everything from fabulous handbags and jewelry to candles, body lotions, and cookies. Over the last several years, the newest category, scrapbooking, has grown and it is evident that the buyers are curious about the opportunities this category offers them. The booths with these products seemed busy and the on-floor demonstrations sponsored by Greetings Magazine were filled to capacity.

Overall, the show was exceptionally colorful; the bright colors that are permeating fashion have crossed over into these products, as have embellishments such as bead work and embroidery. Textiles are also being used to cover albums, journals, and frames, giving these products a definite up-scale look.

As for the actual cards, the handmade look is stronger than ever, with some very lovely new lines making their debut at this show. Many of these are gifts in themselves with small charms, ribbons, pressed flowers, crystals, beads, and other embellishments. Other trends in cards include girlfriends/girl-power; mini motifs combined with rhinestones or beads; the Red Hat phenomenon; vintage; retro florals, dots, squares, and stripes in pinks, greens, or turquoise – often combined with each other or brown; shoes/fashion; and cards for "tweens."

New gift bag lines had handle treatments and embellishments that made the bags something to keep and reuse.

New products & ideas.

Chocolate Greetings: "Love," Thanks," "Happy Birthday," and more from Chocolate Talk; and Boyfriend Replacement offered chocolate bars, and "prescription" pills to heal your heart.

Bridal Accessories: Bayje offered gorgeous upscale, elegant fabrics – an Asian influence with beading and embroidery.

Pets: Hunkydory introduced cards for every pet occasion with great black and white photography. Visual Circles Press had whimsical watercolor-painted stationery for the pet lover.

Values: NoteNiks unveiled brightly colored comics with special messages for teachers and for parents to give their children.

Fantasy: Charming flower characters in stationery, learning activities, and garden accessories from Princess Posy.

I am always fascinated by booth displays, and once again some of the most exciting were by small companies exhibiting for the first time; they used interesting materials, colors, and even floor treatments, and most importantly, great lighting. A booth could look really good but fade into the background if the lighting doesn’t make it pop.

What also caught my eye was the creativity in the press kits. Everyone who exhibits at trade shows needs to remember that the media is presented with dozens of kits in the press room and the most eye-catching kits are the ones that go first.

New product award winners included Some Publishing for its Forget Me Not Calendar, Inovent for its GiftWrap Cutter, and Benis Design Publishing for its Sketch Lights card and miniature novelty light.

Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email eleapple@hotmail.com. Ellie also reported on trends at the recent Quilt Market. To read that report, click on Category Reports in the left-hand column.

xxx

 

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