January 12, 2013

Sure has been a while since I've posted here (I hope you follow me on Twitter and the Fig. 2 Design Facebook page because I've been a bit more active there). My lack of posting here is all because I've been so focused on getting ready for National Stationery Show prep... we started planning in August!). Yep, it's that time of year again and what a better way to start the year than with a big announcement, right? 

I am so excited to share that Julie O'Brien of Sweet Paper in La Jolla, CA will be a panelist (aka Camp Counselor) at Paper Camp! Julie is one of the nicest retailers I have had the pleasure of working with. She has a great eye, gives wonderful feedback and insight and works hard to form partnerships with the designers she carries. You're in for a real treat! 

What, you don't know about Paper Camp? You all know how much I attribute my success and confidence to Tradeshow Bootcamp (TSBC), right? It has been a huge part of my career as a stationery designer. I was thrilled to help Katie announce Paper Camp, an in-person two day workshop in LA this February! That's right. It's time for some fancy pants glamping. Ok, we're not that fancy, but it's still better than actual camping in my opinion. No bugs, no bears, no leaky tent. Instead be prepared for 2 full days of awesomeness: learning, seeing, hearing, and networking. 

Trust me, it will be MORE than worth it to attend. Yes, the traditional teleconference and webinars TSBC has hosted in the past are great and very helpful, but there's a huge advantage to going to the in-person workshop.

Here are my top 10 reasons to attend: 

  1. You'll have an opportunity to see and learn about the wedding album process. Personally, I would have paid a million dollars before my first show to learn what you'll learn in these two days. Erika Firm of Delphine and yours truly will talk all things albums: from conceptualization, to production, to selling through retailers, and pricing. You'll get to hear our perspective as designers and manufacturers and Julie's perspective as a retailer. Seriously, you don't want to miss this.
  2. Not selling albums? No worries. We’ve got you covered. Hear about selling note cards, boxed sets, gift-wrap, etc. Learn about quantities, pricing, and expectations... basically everything you've ever wanted to know. You'll pretty much walk away with a Masters in Exhibiting and Selling Wholesale. 
  3. Before my first show, I had no idea what a rep did. Sorry, Carina! I didn't understand the process but lucky for you, Carina Murray of Crow and Canary will be there to explain all the ins and outs. She reps some amazingly talented lines and has exhibited at various shows. She's a pro and gives excellent advice and perspective. 
  4. Ever wish you could pick a fellow exhibitor's mind? Because Katie is a smart cookie, she wants to keep the group on the small side so that every participant (aka Camper) can ask questions and have some one-on-one time with the Camp Counselors. When else do you get to meet past exhibitors, retailers, reps, and designers and printers all at once and actually have a conversation with them? That sure doesn't happen everyday. And remember, class size is limited so be sure to sign up early and take advantage of the early bird special! Even more amazing is that you can win a scholarship! Click here for details!

  5. Not sure what type of walls to get? Want to see what really goes into a catalog? What the heck is a line sheet? What do you include on an order form? Get touchy feely in the TSBC Supply Closet. See real life samples. Again, another huge benefit to being there in person- we are all visual people in this industry so it's very helpful to see it all first hand. 
  6. Scared about the booth prep? Don't be. Pro's Amber of Flywheel Press and Rachael of Pistachio Press will calm your nerves (and make you laugh). Is it worth it to spend the money on a Parcan? It's a big debate among us exhibitors. Personally, I'm team Parcan. Amber, not so much. Come hear the debate! 
  7. The age old question is budget. Lucky for us, headmistress Katie from Kelp Designs is a pro. Seriously, she's going to celebrate her 5th year at NSS so she knows what she's talking about. Katie knows what to expect with regards to retailers, pricing, booth emergencies, even gives advice on what works in terms of shipping from the west coast. 
  8. One of the best things is you'll leave the workshop with the TSBC Workbook. Yep, a whole workbook with notes about schedules, booths, resources (!), and lots of other very useful info. This helps because you can pay more attention and not worry about taking notes obsessively and then having to stay up all night re-writing them because they weren't neat enough and living up to your OCD standard. Oh please, you know you do that. 
  9. It may sound lame to you West Coasties... but us East Coasties could use a little sunshine and warmth. Yep, I just pulled the weather card. 
  10. Last but not least, I guarantee you'll make really great new friends! I'm not kidding. I attended Paper Camp last year and became besties with some of this years panelists. We text each other non-stop at 4am before NSS. It's a great support group and it's simply an amazing experience. 

That's right, kids. You'll be one heck of a happy camper, so sign up! Pack your suitcase and get ready to be prepared like there's no tomorrow. Pinky promise. 

And don’t forget to enter for the chance to win a scholarship! Can you imagine the excitement? Win the scholarship and use the money to splurge on a Parcan! I bet even Amber would agree ;)


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