National Stationery Show August 2019
As you might know, we debuted our sweet little card biz at the Greeting Card Association's expo *Noted in May of 2019.
It was somethin'.
We really loved the experience aside from the extreme lack of buyer traffic. Sniff sniff. We were there to sell, ya know? We loved every moment, but we didn't make our investment back.
The National Stationery Show is a big-hitter in the greeting card industry, and most of the "anybody who's anybody" brands exhibit at NSS each year. It's expensive as f*ck, time consuming, and a crapshoot if you're a new business.
This summer, NSS decided to layer in a second show and branded it asCo-located with NY NOW® Summer 2019!". I decided to scope it out before making the investment because 1.) we wanted to know what to expect if/when we decide to exhibit, and 2.) a 2nd show in 2019 seemed like a ton of money for something we had NO IDEA would convert to meaningful sales.
I walked the show and gave some hugs to our fave card buddies (looking at you Kitty Meow Boutique and Stephanie Tara!) and asked a lot of questions. How was the foot traffic compared to *Noted? Was it a worthwhile investment?
What I noticed immediately was how segregated the two shows were. And evidently a third show was occurring simultaneously, but the name escapes me. This convention center is enormous (and beautiful) and really overwhelming.
The NSS portion of the show was quite small and was located in a totally compartmentalized portion of the building. I had a hard time finding it, and I was looking for it specifically. This led me to understand that very little NY NOW® traffic made their way to NSS, and they sure as hell didn't stumble upon it. So, I wasn't really buying the whole "Two shows, one fee!" line.
The show itself was lovely, but not nearly as much as *Noted was in Brooklyn last May. That place was elegant and dazzling. NSS was less glamorous.
With that said, I'm still under the impression that NSS delivers more results than *Noted did, although we hope that the scales tip towards *Noted with each proceeding event. We intend to exhibit at both in 2020 and will be sure to share our results and experiences with you after each. Did you exhibit at NSS this year? Did you exhibit at *Noted? We'd love to hear your thoughts below.