Lauren Boggs Meslar
Hi All! This is beve's first blog post and we wanted to write about our first trade show experience: the 2014 National Stationery Show. Yes, it's a little late, but we just got our brand new site and blog space up, so it is what it is. I hope this will be helpful for any first time exhibitors looking for some information about the show.
I first heard about trade shows from the super sweet Maryellen Kim of Handmade Happiness Boutique in Chester, Virginia in October of 2012. She suggested checking into NSS and in May of 2013, six months pregnant, I headed up to walk the show. I'm so glad I had this experience to pull from in preparation for exhibiting in 2014. The National Stationery Show has such a different vibe and look from so many industry shows, so this really helped me know how we had to present ourselves: design-forward, friendly and professional. Now, that's our kind of show!
Pregnant me at NSS 2013!
We heard about the brand new, juried #fresh section in October of 2013, applied and.. got in! So exciting! We started out with a hardwall booth, but switched to pipe and drape after after realizing we couldn't paint or drill into the walls (this was before they had the new, customizable option available). Initially I contemplated building hard walls, but having a background in fashion design, I decided to create tailored canvas walls. Not only would this be an affordable option, it made it so I could drive my entire booth up myself from Virginia. And by 'myself,' I mean with my awesome husband who took vacation time from his full-time job to come and work the show, my sweet father-in-law who embarked on his retirement by coming with us to babysit our (then) nine month old daughter, Lennox, whose first out of state experience was heading up to NSS, and me, beve owner and designer, Lauren Boggs Meslar. Yep, four people and a 60SF booth in one Subaru Outback. We rocked it!