When the doors open at PG Live 2018 this year (5-6 June) it will be the 10th time the dedicated greeting card trade show has brought the industry together at London’s Business Design Centre. Where have the years gone?! There are almost 50 exhibitors at this year’s show who were also at the 2009 debut, and many of those have been present at each and every show over the last ten years. These loyal publishers include Grassroots, Wendy Jones-Blackett, Gemma International and Danilo. Even more impressively, Noel Tatt, Paperlink, The Art File, Pigment and Paper Salad have actually retained the same stands for all ten shows!
Karen Wilson, co-owner of Paper Salad remembers when Warren Lomax (joint show director) first approached the Manchester publisher about exhibiting at the very first PG Live in 2009. “We were a little sceptical as there were already other established trade shows and we were only just starting up but we had a feeling this was going to be good. We loved the show right from the start and have stuck by it every year. Each time we exhibited PG Live got busier and busier and it is now our best show! We always come away with lots of new leads and lovely new customers.”
Danilo is another stalwart from the inaugural show and keep coming back as “it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase any new licences and show off our best brands to retailers,” comments Daniel Prince, Danilo’s managing director. “It’s a fantastic achievement especially in today’s world with less people visiting trade shows, for PG Live to start a new specific greeting cards-only show, which now 10 year later is seen as the global show piece event for publishers and retailers. The event is very well run, and the past few years we have always had some licensed characters make their presence known at the show, be it in recent years Paw Patrol, or the Minions from Despicable Me. Wait and see who will be on the Danilo stand for 2018!”
Wendy Jones-Blackett says her first PG Live was fuelled solely by coffee! “The first PG Live was just amazing, it was so exciting to be part of. I genuinely didn’t sleep a wink the night before and did the whole first day plus drinks and taking customers out for dinner fuelled by coffee. Having only exhibited at Spring Fair and Harrogate, Steve and I weren’t sure what to expect but there was what I can only describe as an avalanche of buyers and customers when it opened – as there were no giftware companies to compete with and buyers were 100% focused on cards, it was busy all day. It has changed over the years, we have digital printing now so there are a lot more start-ups and small businesses in the Springboard section and new blood blossoming from that which keeps the industry fresh and innovative!”
PG Live’s Warren Lomax, says: “We are so proud of what PG Live has become over the past ten years. Each year our exhibitors manage to go several steps further in terms of originality, imagination and quality and this year’s offering really has to be seen to be believed!”
In addition to exploring all the very latest card trends, visitors will also be able to relax and enjoy the famous PG Live hospitality, with a complementary two-course lunch, endless tea and coffee refreshments (thanks Fedrigoni) and a free drinks party on the first night (courtesy of GF Smith).
Greeting card buyers, distributors and retailers looking to plan ahead for their visit to PG Live 2018 should register for their free tickets now in order to ensure they are part of the celebrations.