Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Greetings card show off to a buoyant start

Publishers, retailers, distributors and suppliers to the greetings card industry have descended on London's Business Design Centre in Islington today for the third successive year of Progressive Greetings Live.

The show has got off to a fine start at with over 250 companies exhibiting to a captive audience of buyers from the UK and further afield.  In addition to being a key sales platform for publishers and designers, the event provides a great opportunity for industry players to meet up with colleagues, reps and agents in one place.   Literally hundreds of thousands of new product lines are on offer, with many exhibitors showing new ranges to test out among buyers at todays event.

Sales Director of Art Marketing, Darren Runnette said: "It has been buoyant so far."

Organisers of the show, Max Publishing have been pleased with the turnout.  Vanessa Fortnum, Marketing Manager for PG Live said, "This year we can say it's a truly international show.  Overseas visitors were treated to an international reception last night and we had people from all over Europe and as far as Australia."

One distributor from Portugal gave his reasons for attending.  Jose Correa Mendes is from Lisbon-based company Dargil Lda which supplies cards to over 200 shops back in mainland Portugal.  He said: "The Portuguese send less cards than the British, our culture is to visit friends and family to celebrate occasions.  There's no comparison with the UK market which is the biggest in the world but we do sell cards in Portugal, mainly birthday, new baby and christenings which sell in gift shops and bookstores. The UK leads the way in design so I'm here to buy stock to take back home."

A ribbon cutting ceremony also marked the official opening of the event with a high swirling ribbon and 30 pairs of scissors handed out for people to snip at the opportune time.  "It was a very special moment.  We have retailers big and small including John Lewis, Paperchase, House of Cards taking part." Vanessa comments.

"It all goes to show that the greetings card market is very much alive and kicking.  Another area that has has boomed this year is the area for brand new exhibitors, Springboard.  "It has been conceived for new and emerging publishers and is our biggest year yet."

Organisers can be spotted wearing custom-made jackets and ties, made from fabric printed with this years greetings cards imagery to reflect the creativity and flamboyance of the industry.

The show has additional benefits for attendees, in particular companies who were nominated and won awards at the RETAS (retail) and Henries (publishers) award ceremonies.  In true Willy Wonker style, winners from this years awards have been given a silver or gold ticket worth £50 or £150 respectively, to redeem on products of their choice at the show, courtesy of Max Publishing.

Visitors still have one more day at the show, which opens again tomorrow from 9.30am-4pm.

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