Now in its eighth year, the London trade show is set to attract its largest ever number of exhibitors in April at the Business Design Centre, Islington.
A key attraction for visitors are the show’s Stationery Awards, which last year attracted 400 entries across 11 product categories from exhibitors. Now in their seventh year, a panel of senior stationery buyers, chaired by independent retail advisor and Giftware Association chairman, Henri Davis, and including Cult Pen founders Amanda and Simon Walker and Papersmiths founder Sidonie Warren, will judge the products on the first day of the show, with the results announced that evening.
All the products entered into the Awards are gathered in one central display for visitors to review themselves and, for the first time, as part of the show’s 2018 design initiative, will include a new ‘Good Design’ Award.
The new design initiative has focused on encouraging designers and design-led brands to take part in the show. This will use a new part of the exhibition hall and include a new ‘On Trend’ product display, curated by trend forecasters Scarlet Opus.
The Scarlet Opus team has identified three key global consumer and design trends they feel will be particularly relevant to the stationery sector and will select product from exhibitors that illustrate these trends to create their ‘On Trend’ display.
Exhibitors were invited to attend a free trend briefing back in early January to find out what Scarlet Opus is looking for, and to ensure their products are considered.
“Sharing and explaining the impact of global trends and their effect on our sector is vital information for our exhibitors and visitors – it means they can make key commercial decisions about new product development and purchases with confidence,” says Hazel Fieldwick, the show’s event manager.
The display area will include trend ‘mood boards’ and the Scarlet Opus team will be on hand to talk to retailers about how they can interpret the trends and merchandise them in their own stores.
The ‘On Trend’ display will be supported by new ‘Trend Tours’ of the show. Each Trend Tour is a 25-30-minute tour of 8-10 products around the show which Scarlet Opus feels sum up the key consumer trends that will be playing out in the stationery market in the coming months.
Show manager Hazel continues: “Stationery is closely influenced by the fashion industry and has a wide retail appeal. We represent the sector in depth, and weave in not only the current product ‘hot spots’, but look ahead to what will be popular in the future.
“We want our visitors, whether they’re looking for gifts, fashionable accessories or smart essentials, to be able to review the industry’s full product mix and at all the price points available to them.”
“In seven years the London Stationery Show exhibitor and product mix has shifted from primarily office product to retail and gift stationery. The line-up for our eighth year continues to reflect this shift, and proves the continuing popularity of writing and paper products and their broad appeal,” Hazel concluded.