Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stationery Show

I know I'm a little late with my post about the National Stationery Show, but I came down with a version of the plague this week, and I've been pretty sick. Therefore, this bit of information had to wait... But since I'm feeling a bit more human today, I figured I'd get it in.

The show was really good. I brought my camera and meant to take pictures, but it was soooo crowded and I really didn't get to do it. Plus, some of the stationers were a little guarded about their work, and understandably so.

Honestly, it was an eye-opener. I used the show as a good lesson on current trends, what's going on with my industry faves, how to hang a show in case that lurks in my future, and basically how/how not to act at a show. Basically, my favorite designers -- Good on Paper, Luella press, etc. -- were all super sweet and kind to whomever came into their areas, but there were quite a few RUDE, MEAN booth dwellers that only wanted to talk to retailers. You just wanted to SMACK them.

I was walking the show with a friend of mine. We met a particularly rude woman who called out to us and ushered us over to her COMPLETELY EMPTY BOOTH (because her work sucked) and asked if she could show us her line. Me, being the ever-kind person, said "Sure!", even though the ever-smarter friend of mine wanted to keep walking. As soon as I went over, the woman said, "Are you looking for stationery to sell in a store?" (or something along that line). I said, "No." She said, "Well then, I need to spend my time on more important people. Thank you."

I was aghast! Aghast I tell you! And that wasn't the only time I got that treatment. My friend got treated better because she somehow received a "retailer" badge instead of an "artist" badge like mine -- so she got more of the swag and nice conversation, while I was ignored. I understand that people at the show need to work the retailers, but honestly, everyone there is a possible buyer. You don't want to insult your buyers. I've never seen that before. The ICFF is not like that -- the designers are much kinder to other designers, regardless of whether or not they have potential to pick up their furniture. They know it's a possible buyer, press, blogger, etc., and it's a much friendlier show in that way.

The bad vibe aside from some of the booths, the rest were great, and the art from the good ones was VERY GOOD. Trends this year are silhouettes, printing on wood, and styled journals. Metallics are coming back. Lots of printing with words too... some with curse words! Some just with clever, subtle phrases.

If I'm not ready to show by next year, I'll definitely attend again. It's worth going to get a sense of what's going on, meet the people that you want to meet -- to put a kind name with a kind face -- and I'll have my kicking shoes on for those rude booth dwellers!

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