The love flowed at the recent GCA ‘Speed-dating with Dragons’ event. Newbie publishers presented their wares for the very first time to retailers; more established players demonstrated how their ranges have moved on; the ‘Dragon’ retailers were on the lookout for publishing gems while industry stalwarts shared their wealth of knowledge in a panel discussion.
In the first of a series…PG Buzz catches up with Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards, the Home Counties based group of seven shops to find out what he got out of the event as well as which publishers’ products stood out for him…
“I loved the Dragon’s Speed Dating event. It was very well organised, had a great buzzy atmosphere and was just brilliant to see so many happy, positive publishers,” commented Miles. “The format works very well and gives everyone a fair chance to see who you wanted and if you couldn’t then people made time during the breaks which was really lovely.
Compared to previous year’s events, it was noticeable how much the quality of the publishers had improved. Even if the publisher was maybe not right for our stores it was good to be able to give feedback/advice if required.
It was a really fun day, great idea and nice to be a part of it.”
What were your Den delights?
“From the 12 publishers that I had ‘dates’ with I was especially impressed with Deadpan Cards, Bewilderbeest and Meg Hawkins Art.”
“On top of this, buoyed by my goody bag of treats, plenty more caught my eye, including Penguin Ink, Shmuncki, Santoro, Swizzoo and Two for Joy Illustration.”
Any firey blasts of advice?
“I have to say the approach participating publishers took with the presentation of their samples in the goody bag each dragon took home was very varied. Some dis an amazing job of putting together a really nice sample pack, beautifully presented and personalised. Some however (who shall remain nameless but they should know better) were utterly dreadful and showed that they couldn’t be bothered!
Top marks go to Deadpan who popped a little bar of chocolate in with a really nice string-tied sample selection of clearly top sellers…not rocket science!”
Top: Miles Robinson with Emma Bryan of Emma Bryan Design at the Dragons’ event.