The London Stationery Show 2016

What an amazing event the 2016 Stationery Show turned out to be! The two-day show on the Tuesday and Wednesday of National Stationery Week was the biggest, and I would say, by the far the best yet. With 155 exhibitors compared to just 71 five years ago, the show attracted a record number of visitors...

Last year I asked exhibitors to make the most of the marketing opportunity that entering the Stationery Awards presents – and they didn’t disappoint.

The entries in 2016 were up more than 100 on 2015 at 350 new product entries, which made for an excellent competition. I was lucky enough to Chair the Awards again this year and was pleased that the Judges were thrilled by the strength and diversity of the products entered.  With four new Judges on the panel there were comments about how useful it was to see focused selections of new products to evaluate and compare.  They were all making notes of products they wanted to follow up on.

Nuco International also had a successful Guinness World Record attempt for the World’s Largest Notebook!

To celebrate World Stationery Day (Wednesday, 27 April) Rebecca Saunders, Head of Development at notonthehighstreet.com, and Phil Pond of trend forecasters Scarlet Opus were invited to speak.

“Rebecca and Phil’s presentations proved that there is everything to play for in the stationery market as the products are recognised not only as making perfect gifts and self-gifting treats, but also as accessible fashion items and accessories,” said Chris Leonard Morgan, organiser of The London Stationery Show.

For me, The London Stationery Show has given life back to the UK retail stationery market; we now have a forum in this country where we can see the best of the stationery available in the UK so retailers can offer it to UK consumers. The market has a growing vitality and is gathering real momentum - which is very exciting.

I have worked in the industry since 1989 and despite threats of paperless offices in the 1990’s, the disappearance of paper diaries because of electronic organisers, and mobile phones as we entered the new millennium - our love of stationery has endured and sales of paper and pens are still strong. The biggest threat currently is our children not being encouraged to write and/or draw, and losing their manual dexterity because of the use of computers and iPads in schools. (More on this in my next blog.)

The 2016 show was a fantastic success and there is no reason to think 2017 won’t be great too. I for one am already looking forward to it!