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New Manchester Stationery Show line-up takes shape

By Mark Hayhurst 12 Jul 2017

The new Manchester Stationery Show, which will run at the end of October, is already developing its own ‘industrial chic’ style with exhibitors, speakers and show features coming together nicely.

Confirmed exhibitors to date include Go Stationery, Manuscript Pen, Leuchtturm1917, Silk Hat Greetings, Dear Prudence, Tallon International, Pomegranate Europe, Castelli, Stabilo, Allsorted, Charfleet Book Bindery, Portico Designs, Postsafe, Premier Stationery, Durable UK, ExaClair and Toscana Carte. Organisers Ocean Media Group are aiming to attract more than 50 exhibitors showcasing around 150 brands to the event in October.

The new trade show is sister to the already established and successful London Stationery Show, organised by the same team at OMG, every April.

Like London, the Manchester show will run for two days - on Tuesday, 31 October 31, and Wednesday, November 1 – and it is also a specialist writing and paper products show, focused on design-led and fashion-forward product. It will include a New Product Display Showcase, a hands-on Creative Hub area, a LaunchPad area for new stationery suppliers and designers and a full speaker programme.

The show will take place in the heart of Manchester at the Cotton Sheds, part of the Victoria Warehouse venue in Old Trafford.

The Manchester show’s timing and venue, however, mean that it is already developing its own ‘industrial chic’ style! The backdrop of exposed brickwork and beams with plenty of twinkling lights and colourful product will create a welcoming environment for visitors in the run up to their busy Christmas sales period.

Hazel Fieldwick, of Ocean Media Group, said: “The Manchester show is designed to complement London. It offers the stationery industry a second touch point in the year to come together – not only is it the perfect time to see the latest products on offer for spring/summer 2018, and pick up some great last-minute Christmas deals – but also to catch up on design trends and developments in retail generally.”

The show’s speakers will include Phil Pond of trend forecasters, Scarlet Opus, High Street commentator Michael Weedon of exp2 and industry expert, Giftware Association chairman Henri Davis and Tracey Bearton, editor of leading trade press title Greetings Today, among others.

The new show launch was decided upon as the London Stationery Show visitor data reveals a clear pattern of attracting a southern biased audience – with just over 65 per cent of all visitors travelling to the show from London and the South East.

This is reflected by national high street data which shows a 60/40 split in stationery and gift retailers based south and north of the Midlands.

The choice of Manchester as a location is based on its links not only to the north of England, but also the Midlands, making it well-placed to become a stationery magnet for the region. Easily accessible from both the North and South by car, train, tram and bus, the Cotton Sheds sit within a great transport network with a good choice of travel options for the show’s target audience.

Ocean Media already has access to the UK industry key players and to current retailer and buyer data.

The Manchester Show is targeting the visitors from across the industry including booksellers, craft retailers, dealers and wholesalers, department and variety stores, gift and greeting card retailers, mail order and online business, visitor attractions, specialist print and copy shops and stationers and all the national supermarkets.

Fieldwick added: “Stationery is on trend and in fashion. Research by GlobalData has shown that the UK Stationery market will add £49.1 million to its value by 2021. Growth will come from the trend of purchasing stationery as a gift, partly driven by increased personalisation, increased product ranges and design-led products and innovation. We want to share that message across the UK and support the growth of the stationery industry.”

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