Lauren Boggs Meslar
We're back and we're talking about beve's debut experience at the 2014 National Stationery Show. We were part of NSS, but exhibited in the new #fresh section of the show and were affiliated with Etsy Wholesale's NSS presence. For our pre-show preparations, check out our first blog post (ever!).
After driving into the New Jersey area at about 2 AM to stay with our family friends, we took the drive to Javits mid-morning on Saturday, hoping to finish setting up by early evening. As children under 14 aren't allowed during set up (or take down, which isn't as publicized), Lennox was babysat by our family friends while Grandba helped us set up. It was great having two other people to help set up. I handled the more delicate and detailed items while my husband, Chris, and his father assembled furniture and the lights, etc. I also dropped off our press kits and Best New Product competition displays. Set up surprises? Even though I'd called to verify the height limit, the car garage wouldn't let us in with the cargo carrier on top. We had to pay extra for a VIP spot (but our coupon helped cancel out the extra cost). A more pleasant surprise: Javits provides big, flat bed dollies (and pushers) for folks dropping off their own items (vs. shipping)! I was terrified we were going to get a $200 bill or something after they took our booth number down, but it was free! Go Chris for having the initiative to ask the folks at the door about it!
Here's what our booth looked like when we first started setting up
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!