Posted by Louise Prance-Miles on 1 November 2021
The London Stationery Show has reported a successful event for its live show held in October, with both visitors and exhibitors alike reunited with friends, colleagues, and clients.
According to the team, it didn't take long before stationery buyers were placing orders face-to-face, keeping up to date with current trends and getting hands-on with new products.
Alex Butler, Event Director, says, "Having had a tumultuous two years, we were ecstatic to finally get back to the Business Design Centre and bring the stationery community together once more."
This year's visitors included Amazon, Anthropologie, B&M Retail, Costco Wholesale Ltd, Disney, Fortnum & Mason, Hallmark, Harrods, Hobby Craft, Marks & Spencer, Merlin Entertainments, Ocado, Paperchase, Ryman, Scribbler, Selfridges, Smythson of Bond Street, Staples.co.uk, Tesco, The Works, T K Maxx, Waterstones, WH Smith and WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC.
There were also representatives from heritage sites, independent gift shops and specialist stationers including, Bartrums & Co Ltd, Blenheim Palace, Colemans, Creoly, Essex County Council Library Services, London Graphic Centre, Royal Museums Greenwich, Scriptum Fine Stationery, The Southbank Art Company, Under the Rowan Trees Ltd and Whipsnade Zoo.
This year's Trends Hub was curated by Sally Angharad, who searches out the latest innovations and identifies new design directions for designers, manufacturers, and retailers. The overall theme was based around 'Being' and focussed on four key elements – living, restoring, connecting and escaping. Each of the four elements related to different colours, types of materials, textures and sustainability – all correlating with new product launches on display at the show.
In place of the Stationery Awards for 2021, we saw the introduction of the Buyers Choice Award. Visitors were able to view more than 100 hero products put forward by exhibitors in order to win 'best in show'. Visitors voted in their hundreds, and at the end of day one it was proving to be a close battle, but by the end of day two, there was a clear winner in sight, with Nice & Graphic and its handmade letterpress print picking up the inaugural Buyers Choice Award.
LaunchPad, the competition for new stationery suppliers looking to break into the dynamic, design-led stationery market, gave the opportunity for Love Writing Co., My Happy Journal, O What A Feeling and Wrag Wrap to exhibit and showcase their products in front of a large audience for the first time.
The Retail Matters live talks returned and proved a big hit yet again, with Martha Keith, Founder of Martha Brook mentioning, "I had such positive feedback on the presentations and visitors seemed to take away a lot of advice."
Martha's presentation focussed on how stationery and gift retailers can build their brands through effective use of social media. Whereas Catherine Erdly, Founder of the Resilient Retail Club, gave all the latest information on how retailers can move on from the disruption caused by COVID.