It has come to that time of year again – the London Stationery Show Round Up 2019! The London Stationery Show comes every year to the London Business Design Centre, falling on the last week of April – also known as National Stationery Week!
I’m sure however, you aren’t here to read all about the history behind the London Stationery Show, but all about the amazing brands we were able to talk to.
Well… what a vast change! If you read my round up of the London Stationery Show 2018, you would understand that I wasn’t the happiest stationery lover in the world at that point in time. But, my goodness, what a change in atmosphere. Unlike last year, I wasn’t bombarded with sheets of rules that I had to abide by, instead the organisation was much more prepared and emailed me a couple of rules a few weeks prior to the event.
I am also incredibly relieved to announce that, unlike last year, I was not overlooked by the majority of stands due to simply being a writer and not there to obtain a wholesaler account. The overall attitude of the organisers and the stand holders, in my opinion, have improved significantly and it was a joy to leave the show feeling excited, rather than disheartened.
A few of my favourite stands this year would have to include Ótima again, Stalogy, Santoro, Rystor, Royal Talens (which include Sakura) and, of course, GoStationery! Each one of these stands not only took the time to really interact with me as a visitor of the show, but also really engaged with me once they found out I was a writer and not a buyer. Therefore, I want to say a massive thank you to each of these brands for making the show absolutely amazing, and I cannot wait to be able to work closer with you in the future.
I would also like to say a thank you to Leuchtturm who actually took their time to introduce me to their brand new product which hasn’t even launched yet in the UK, rather than ignoring me like last year. Your time was very much appreciated, and the journal/book will definitely be in my wishlist once it is released in June.
Unfortunately, despite the massive overall improvement in attitude, it was still rather sad to see some of the brands still overlooking journalists and press. It is even more saddening to note that the brands that overlooked me, were rather well-known companies. As a writer, one of the rules I had to abide by was a reminder that if a stand was busy, I had to accept that buyers would be first priority. I completely took this in my stride and this did not bother me at all, until we came to Stabilo, Zebra and Uniball. When I arrived at these stands, each were fairly empty (in fact at one point I was the only person at the Stabilo and Zebra stands). However, stand holders saw my badge and refused to give me much information about their products as I wasn’t looking to buy.
It wasn’t just information which bugged me about these three stands either. I spoke to a lovely man at the Zebra stand who seemed rather excited to talk to me, however when he spoke to his marketing manager and said that he really wanted her to meet me, the marketing manager instead looked at me, shook her head and clearly said no… in front of me, then proceeded to physically turn her back on me. Safe to say, I wasn’t impressed.
Uniball also surprised me as last year they were one of my favourite stands. Yet, this year, instead of taking the time to talk to me about each of their products on the stand and how I could use them, I was simply told by the woman on the stand, and I quote, “Well, if you like the pens, just go to a WHSmith store and buy them,” in a blunt manner. I didn’t receive any information about their brand new range of pens and walked away feeling rather confused, which is a shame because I was and still am rather intrigued by their brand new pens and would have loved to have tested them out.
Putting these three brands aside, I can certainly say that the London Stationery Show has surpassed my expectations and I will very much be looking forward to attending the show next year and possibly meeting many more brands in the future. Although there is still a little work to do on the stand department, Stationery Show – you have done us press, journalists and bloggers proud this year.
Although we now have a full year to wait for the London Stationery Show 2020, I was kindly offered a few samples of products from a couple of the stands, which I will be reviewing on here for you and sharing across social media – so definitely keep an eye out over the next few weeks!
Until next time…