New York Stationery Show

Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 13:07:45 -0500
From: Claudia Sargent
Subject: illustration: NYC and greeting cards

Hi-- Yes, I go the Stationery Show every year now-- it is really worth going to if you have the opportunity. You get a very complete picture of what's being done & who's doing it, and many g.c. co.'s will make portfolio appts. if you call ahead (some will even make same-day appts. at the show!

Anther show to see at the Javits if you're intersted in branching out into merchandise beyond paper is the Licensing Show in early June. Again, a valuable overview of a growing industry in need of image providers--

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 19:46:44 -0400
From: Wendy Christensen
Subject: illustration: licensing - contacts, the Stationery Show

I have been involved in licensing my images since 1988 or so and have the usual collection or horror stories, bad/incompetent/useless/dishonest reps, clients-from-hell, etc. But the bottom line is that you have to become knowledgeable and look out for your own interests, because you can bet that no one else will!

Claudia Sargent is quite correct about the Stationery Show -- it is the single best way to educate yourself in one fell swoop about what's available in the marketplace, who's doing what, what the trends are, etc. Do go, if you can manage it. And be sure to go upstairs to Surtex -- great place to see what's up and coming, collect ideas, etc. I haven't been for the last few years, but I did go several years in a row, and learned a tremendous amount each time. Hint: to avoid driving and parking in NYC, either have some kind soul drive you in, drop you off at the Javitts, and pick you up at the end of the day. Or, drive to somewhere in Connecticut (like Darien), take the train in, and take a cab. (The very thought of driving in NYC is the single most significant factor that keeps me from going to the Stationery Show EVERY year. Of course, I live in rural NH, and am spoiled.)

One caveat: try NOT to get a badge that designates you as an "Artist." The people in the booths will be incredibly hostile to you, as they all assume you're there to either: 1) steal their company's ideas; or 2) harass them by trying to sell them something. (Apparently some artists are rather pushy and rude! Imagine!) In fact, many of the people working the booths are temps or sales folk hired for the show, not actual parties from the company displaying at the booth. So they can't help you anyway. They are there to sell, take orders, etc., and highly resent anyone who wastes their "valuable sales time." Try to get a badge that says "owner" (you don't have to get too specific about what you're the "owner" of) and everyone will give you catalogs and flyers -- great resources to study later. Don't say much to anyone if you can avoid it -- questions seem to make them nervous. Listen, watch, observe and learn. Take notes; carry a clipboard and nod and mutter to yourself a lot.

Unless you make specific appointments to do so, DO NOT try to show your portfolio in the show hall. In fact, most portfolio reviews take place out in the extremely commodious lobby / public spaces of the Javitts Center. The show hall itself is a zoo: crowded, noisy, etc. Not conducive to contemplation or presentation of any sort!

Take Claudia's advice and wear extremely comfy shoes, well broken in. (I always wore my hiking boots, as I ended up walking several miles anyway.) And don't burden yourself down with a coat, heavy jacket, big purse, portfolio, etc. I guarantee you'll regret it! Also, it gets extremely warm in the show hall, and the lack of oxygen could kill you (unless you're an anaerobic bacterium).

Finally, keep your eyes open! The last time I was there, I happened to pass the Amcal booth and blinked, and blinked again. Was that Lesley Anne Ivory, talking to the sales rep? Yes! (She is one of my idols, a fabulous cat artist from the UK.) So, of course, I went over and hung around until she was free and introduced myself. We talked about cats (of course!) and she was lovely and quite gracious. Amcal produces her calendars, and she was on a rare trip to the US to see a gallery opening in NYC of her paintings. Serendipity, for sure! So, do keep your antennae up!

Re licensing: I have developed, over the years, through much trial and error, and with input from many sources, a fairly airtight, fair-to-both-parties template licensing contract. I would be happy to share this with anyone who would like it. I always try to get all my licensees to use my contract; failing that, I try to add as much of it as they will tolerate to their's (most of the licensees' contracts I see are horrendously incomplete, unfair, or just plain laughable). Please let me know by private email if this interests you.

Wendy Christensen

The show runs May 16-19 in the Jacob Javits Convention Center. It is the only show that is geared specifically towards stationery. Although the Atlanta Gift Show in January breaks the stationery companies out and groups them all together. I've heard good thinkgs about this show to.

As far as the National Stationery Show, here is a web address . . . All the info you need to get started can be found here . . .

- -Kevan

"Anybody going to show or visit the card show in NYC in May 99?"

I go every year. It's the place to be to see trends, who's doing what, etc.--- I usually spend a day scoping out the show & another visiting clients. It's best to have set appointments before you go if you're planning to show work, but some places will set up same-day appts. if you bring your book with you. Again-- pre-register for the show, it just makes it easier--1-800-272-SHOW. And SURTEX is upstairs.


NY Stationery Show

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