It was impossible to extinguish the passion, enthusiasm and sense of belonging that was apparent at the first ever GCA Meet the Buyer event – think Dragons’ Den, but with nicer dragons – which took place at the end of last month.
With the tickets selling out in a matter of hours, 60 lucky publishers were able to make the most of the opportunity at the afternoon event (which took place at London’s Business Design Centre) to pitch their products to a trio of the 15 retail buyers who fully embraced the concept of the quickfire 10 minute feedback sessions. Buyers participating were from multiples, small chains and independent stores and included representatives from Clintons, Cardzone, Scribbler, House Of Cards, Frost Garden Centres, Belly Button Designs, Calliope Gifts, Forget Me Not Stubbington, Little Paperie and Unit 7.
Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, organiser of the event said: “I’ve been overwhelmed with the fantastic feedback I’ve received from both publishers and retailers. It’s brilliant to have so many retailers involved in the GCA and taking part in events such as this – we’ll definitely be doing more!”
While half the publishers attending were pitching to the dragons, the other half had a chance to listen to words of wisdom from GCA president Ged Mace (md of The Art File), and London agents, the ‘two Jos’, Joanne McFarlane and Jo Bannister, in intimate group discussions.
Dale Woodcock from Little Fingy made the trip down from Leeds for the event and commented: “It was fast and frantic but I think it went OK. It’s a really good idea and hopefully I’ll hear back from some of the buyers!”
Artist Joe Cole from Natural Partners said: “It’s a really good chance to get your catalogue and work in front of someone that you otherwise might not. The buyers I spoke to seem interested and even wanted to talk prices!”
Pictured at top: The ‘dragons’ were divided into three groups: multiples, small groups and indies. The multiple dragons were (left-right) Emma Cove (Clintons), Eliot James (Scribbler), John Procter (Scribbler), Paul Taylor (Cardzone) and Nicola Miller (Clintons).