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Love you London – roll on Manchester!

Stationery goes down a storm in the capital with northern show a date for your diary


WITH the London Stationery Show having completed its eighth outing on a high, October’s event up north is definitely a date for the industry diary.

The Manchester Stationery Show is set for October 9-10, the second time the city has hosted the fair and this one will be at The Point, part of Lancashire County Cricket Club’s home at the Emirates Old Trafford.
Just three miles from the city centre, with free parking as well as its own tram station, the venue is perfectly placed, and event manager Hazel Fieldwick said: “It’s a great addition to its older sister show in London and offers a new opportunity for the industry to meet up, talk stationery and catch up on new product developments for the 2019 season.”
The Manchester show follows on from a very successful London event, where organiser Ocean Media Group beat their 2,000 visitors target with a 6.47 per cent increase from 1,877 last year to 2,007, and the show increased in size by more than nine per cent.
“We’re delighted that the show continues to go from strength to strength,” Hazel added, “we want our event to be the place to find writing and paper products – whatever your starting point of interest may be, so it’s great to see such a mix of visitors attending.
This year’s show at the Business Design Centre attracted all the national key stationers and a strong line-up of indies. In addition, buyers from garden centres, bookshops, gift and greeting stores, print and copy shops, department store groups, publishers, visitor attractions, educational establishments and colleges, dealers, distributors, wholesalers and plenty of craft and art supplies retailers all spent time at the show. The show also welcomed a growing number of licensors and licensing agents and High Street fashion and accessory retailers including Asos, Next, Monsoon Accessorize, Missguided and Amara Living.
Show highlights included the seventh Stationery Awards with the judging panel picking out product from two of the show’s LaunchPad winners and regular exhibitors Lime Stationery & Art and Abrams & Chronicle each collecting multiple awards.
A new Good Design category was introduced – won by Back Pocket for their range of notebooks made from the new range of GF Smith Extract paper – to recognise the show’s efforts in attracting more design and designer-led stationery brands to exhibit.
To support this initiative the show also introduced Trend Tours and a Stationery Trends Hub area curated and designed by trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, with both features proving very popular.
Show marketing director Vanessa Fortnam said: “For retailers and suppliers who want to plan beyond the next season, understanding how trend forecasting works and marrying the information to what they know about current customers – or indeed the customers they’d like to have – is of real commercial benefit.
“It allows retailers and suppliers to focus on what they need to maximise future sales. This is an area we’ll definitely be developing further next year.”
Another first was the Student Stationery Award scheme launch where London Stationery Show has partnered with student paper resource service The Paper Library to help foster the links between design students and the stationery industry.
Design managers from Paperchase, Portico Design and Caroline Gardner, who are each supporting the new competition and offering a student placement as a competition prize, attended the show and took part in a Q&A about their jobs and roles within their respective companies where they were questioned closely by students visiting from design courses as far away as Dundee.
This year’s show coincided once again with National Stationery Week, which this year saw key suppliers Nuco, Staedtler, Mustard, Santoro, Crafter’s Companion and AT Cross take a leading role on each of the Seven Days Of Stationery.
Coverage and enthusiasm for the week remains as high as ever, inspiring mentions on Huffpost, the Daily Mail’s You newsfeed, live coverage on Absolute Radio and plenty of store and online retailers using it to run special offers and competitions.
Hazel said: “The London Stationery Show is the perfect event for buyers to review what’s new in the sector and consider how writing and paper products fit, or might fit, their product mix – a fashionable gift, a ‘must-have’ treat, a smart home or work essential – stationery is increasingly regarded as fashionable lifestyle accessory and an on-trend element of many product assortments.”

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