Robert Allen’s guest on this Meet the Masters is Patti Stracher, Show Manager of the National Stationery Show (NSS).  Patti acts as the event planner of the largest annual trade show where stationers and gift retailers from across the country and around the world come to see the latest trends in specialty paper to purchase for their stores.

The NSS is a key resource for the weddings industry, particularly in the custom social stationery, invitations and lifestyle gift categories.  Nine hundred companies will exhibit their glorious products in all price points, techniques, materials, and packaging.  This event is NOT open to brides, but professional event planners are welcome and can check out the program and registration information below.

No two couples are alike; therefore, no two invitation ensembles will ever be either.  The wedding invitation is your first opportunity to express joy, inject personality and a sense of the event into your wedding correspondence.  Patti discusses paper as the ultimate medium for personal expression versus email invitations & online purchases which are often transactional and one dimensional.

Today’s bride often begins her search digitally to get a feel for the variety of invitation design options available, the companies that specialize in wedding invitations, the various printing techniques and price points.  Absent from this is the most important part of the decision, which is the experience of seeing the samples in person – touching and feeling them.

Brides need to understand that developing a relationship with a local wedding stationer for their event is very important.  The retailer becomes a consultant, a partner – and often a friend.  The discussion often begins with getting to know you and your vision for the wedding.   Understanding ways to add flair and other unique elements takes knowledge and experience. The retailer can offer ideas and guidance on design types of printing, paper stock, timing for mailing, issues of etiquette and wording for the invites.

The 65th annual National Stationery Show® (NSS) is on May 15-18, 2011 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The NSS attracts a diverse global attendance of 11,000 buyers from stationery, card and gift shops; bookstores; bridal shops; party stores; department, chain and specialty stores; large chains and “big box” mass retailers; online retailers and mail order catalogs; as well as importers and distributors.

National Stationery Show

NSS 2011 Buyer Education Program

NSS Registration Information (note: not for brides, wedding professionals and trade only)

Patti’s blog post on The 21st Century Bride website

GLM dmg events

Companies mentioned in today’s episode:

Crane & Co.

William Arthur