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mommy mondays: all nighters

Posted by debbie lee on

late nights
i snapped this picture with my phone early this morning.  i stood at the kitchen counter packaging orders that needed to go out while my husband stood at the counter to keep himself awake while working on his laptop.  my husband and i met in college and we spent many nights pulling “all nighters” cramming for exams and writing papers.  it’s funny how years later, we’re still pulling all nighters.  sometimes though, it’s those quiet, long nights when the kids are sound asleep, that the most work gets done.  i imagine i will have had many all nighters by the time the national stationery show arrives in may.  sigh.

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tradeshow thursdays: nss resources

Posted by debbie lee on

diary of a nss newbie, post #3 {65 days left}

how is it that i’m only on post number 3 which was written 42 days ago?  seriously?

now that i’ve tackled indie wed and martha stewart‘s wedding party, all of my focus is on the national stationery show.  with only 65 days away, i have plenty to accomplish.  just because i haven’t blogged much about it, believe you me, nss has been on the brain for a few years now.

the national stationery show is held every year in nyc and is the trade show for the industry.  this year it’s on may 19 through the 22nd… those few days is a huge investment in time, energy, and money.  the show is not open to the general public.  attendees are all part of the trade– buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, and press.  in 4 days, you have the audience of hundreds of industry folk from all over the globe, “11,000 diverse buyers from all 50 states and 58 countries worldwide, attending to stock their shelves and assess the latest trends” –NSS website {that makes me a bit nauseous}.

as you can imagine, there is a laundry list of things to do…. from product development, booth design, press kits, show mailers, line sheets, catalogs… the list is endless.  to give you a visual, robyn of meant to be sent came up with this graphic {pertaining to her business needs and booth size}:

NSS tradeshow breakdown

much to do in the days ahead!!!!

before i even decided to apply for the show, i had read many blogs on people’s experiences with the show.  if you’re thinking of exhibiting at the stationery show one day, there are so many people out there that are willing to share their thoughts and answer your questions.  here are some blogs that i found extremely encouraging and helpful–

rebekah of wild ink press has a great recap of her 2011 show

and her 2012 recap

adrienne  of dingbat press has a whole series of tips and advice {search her blog for the ‘tradeshow tuesday’ category}

claudia of fig 2 design has extensive blog posts on her stationery show experience

it also helps to walk the show and take tradeshow bootcamp

that’s it for now.  wish me luck as i tackle my long list of to-do’s in the weeks ahead!

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my chicago martha stewart’s wedding party recap

Posted by debbie lee on

the acclaimed martha stewart’s wedding party brought their new york show on the road and debuted in chicago this past sunday!  held at the luxury radisson blu aqua and produced by martha stewart wedddings, new york’s claudia hanlin’s wedding library, and chicago’s own lovebird events, the sunday wedding showcase was stunning!

exhibitors were able to drop items off the day before.  here is what i was welcomed to when i arrived on saturday, a highboy table that i requested and a business sign…

warning: not the best iphone pics

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

martha stewart wedding party chicago

we quickly dropped off heavier items and headed back home for last-minute preparations for sunday’s event.  here are some before shots of the venue…

martha stewart wedding party venue before photo

martha stewart wedding party venue before photo

i woke up early sunday morning and set up.  thank goodness i had the help of my husband and my good friend dawn.  here’s my space all set up…

penelope's press at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

penelope's press at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

penelope's press at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

before all the brides arrived, i was able to sneak a peek at the registration area…

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013 registration table

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013 swag bags

i had great neighbors!  tom of xo pictures is a fellow indie wed exhibitor and a motion picture artist!

xo at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

and to the other side, seth of spin spun.  hands down, the BEST cotton candy i have ever tasted in my life!  he offers AWESOME gourmet flavors like lemon coconut, jolly rancher watermelon, white truffle!!!  you need to book spin spun for your next party or corporate event.  not kidding.

spin spun at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

so many beautiful tablescapes…

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013 tablescape

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013 tablescape

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013 tablescape

it’s great seeing familiar faces.  i ran into lynda of greenstar paperie who styled all of the paper goods for fancy candies…

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

the fun table of for your party

for your party at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

and there was food EVERYWHERE.  glasses of mimosa and champagne, sweets, passed hors d’oeuvres…

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

i wish i was able to take more {and better} photos, but was so busy!  i met so many great people and loved talking to all of the brides and grooms.  if you stopped by and said hello, thank you so much!!

as always, a huge thank you to my husband for hauling all of my stuff to and from the show, my sister for her beautiful wedding card boxes and awesome illustrations, and my friend dawn for assisting me the entire day, from setup to break down!

even with the chicago cold and rain, the folks came out!!  thanks to martha stewart weddings, claudia hanlin, and lovebird events for hosting a fabulous party!

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

 

 

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mommy monday: the mother of all wedding shows – martha stewart’s wedding party

Posted by debbie lee on

i disappeared for a little bit there.  i went straight from indie wed to another wedding show… MARTHA STEWART’S WEDDING PARTY!  martha and her crew are taking their well known new york show on the road and bringing it to chicago for the very first year!  there will be be expert panel speakers, breakout sessions, and me!  for all of you lovely readers in the chicago area, i have a treat… i have a handful of tickets to giveaway {regularly $65/single ticket or $110/for two}!!  send an email to hello@penelopespress.com or write a comment below for a complimentary ticket.  hope to see you there!

martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

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tradeshow thursdays: nss countdown

Posted by debbie lee on

national stationery stationery show nss contract

diary of a nss newbie, official post #1 {121 days left}

if you aren’t already sick of me mentioning NSS {acronym for the national stationery show} you’re going to get real sick of me come may.  i’m going to try my best to document my nss adventures {to help out any nss virgins thinking of taking the plunge} because this here said trade show is a big deal {“The National Stationery Show® is the world’s most comprehensive collection of social stationery and related products for gift giving and self-expression.” -NSS website}.  when i’m not on mommy duty or printing a current order, every moment going forward is going to be spent thinking about, making lists for, brainstorming for, and stressing about this show.  this is no joke.

here’s a little timeline to bring you up to date:

  • may 2012 – walked the show, talked to exhibitors, snapped a bunch of photos
  • september 2012 – completed online application
  • october 2012- received booth assignment {#1866!!} + contract + submitted deposit
  • fall 2012 – completed tradeshow bootcamp
  • january 2013 – paid remaining balance of booth {yup, going broke already and it’s only january!

i have lists on my computer, my iphone, ipad, on paper of a bazillion things i need to think about and do for this show…

  • booth design?
  • decor?
  • flooring?
  • signage?
  • lighting?
  • product lines?
  • press kit?
  • samples?
  • product photography?
  • line sheets?
  • paper or online catalog?
  • update website?
  • pre-show marketing?
  • mailers?
  • promos + giveaways?
  • drive or fly?
  • leave booth and store in new jersey?
  • accommodations?
  • ????????

wow.  breathe.  i probably shouldn’t be writing this post right before i go to bed.  hmmm.  well, regardless of the stress, i am excited.  follow along as i blog my nss journey!!!

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