Enthusiasm Abounds As John Lewis, Utility, Card Factory, Zo&Co, House of Cards And Postmark Commit To Judging The Henries 2020

Thousands and thousands of designs from over 250 different greeting card publishers have entered The Henries 2020 greeting card awards – and there are still a few hours left for companies to submit their finest creations. Meanwhile, The Henries 2020 Judging Panel, comprising entirely of leading greeting card buyers and retailers from across the spectrum is shaping up wonderfully.

And there’s more good news – a new later date of Thursday 10 December has been secured for The Henries 2020 actual awards event, to be held in its ‘spiritual home’ of the Royal Lancaster Hotel, opposite London’s Hyde Park. Previously, The Henries were due to take place on 8 October 2020.

Above: The Henries 2020 awards have been entered by over 250 different publishers.
Above: The Henries 2020 awards have been entered by over 250 different publishers.

“The passion, creativity and true grit of the UK greeting card industry is so evident in the response to The Henries this year, not only in the quality and sheer number of entries, but retailers’ enthusiasm in wanting to join the Judging Panel as well as our sponsors’ ongoing commitment all collectively ensure these important accolades will be awarded,” stated Jakki Brown, joint managing director of Max Publishing, which owns and organises The Henries. “We really hope that by pushing the date of the awards event back two months we are in with a chance of being able to all get together physically, but whatever the scenario The Henries 2020 will happen!” added Jakki.

While the official deadline for entering the product categories of The Henries is midnight tonight (July 28), in response to pleas from publishers for an extension, the entry portal on The Henries website (https://www.thehenriesawards.co.uk/) will remain open until 5.30pm on Thursday (30 July).

“Our decision to move the entire entering process for The Henries online, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation has certainly not deterred publishers from entering – and retailers are keener than ever to join this year’s Judging Panel and vote online for what they consider are the best,” added Warren Lomax, joint managing director of Max Publishing.

Above: All entering for The Henries this year has been done digitally.
Above: All entering for The Henries this year has been done digitally.

Buyers from John Lewis, Utility, Card Factory, House of Cards, Postmark, Zo&Co as well as many leading independents have been among the first to enthusiastically commit to joining The Henries 2020 Judging Panel, with many, many more expected to come on board over the coming days.

Sarah Moughtin, partner and junior buyer of John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose for stationery, partyware, giftwrap and greeting cards and her colleague Chloe Cartwright, buying assistant are “delighted” to be on the judging panel. “The Henries is the one event that grabs the attention of retailers!  It’s a great opportunity to see all the talent together, which is brilliant and I’m always on the lookout to see if we’ve missed a trick!” says Sarah.

“The whole world has changed, but at least The Henries will still be going ahead!” stated Nigel Williamson, partner of House of Cards, who has been a judge for The Henries every year since they started. “I will love doing the judging for The Henries, albeit online rather than the usual sociable judging day. Just like everything else it won’t be the same, but far better than a total lockdown. We have all missed out on so many things in the past months. With no more trade shows all the judges will be looking for inspiration!”

Sharing her views, Steph Lloyd, buyer of Utility said she sees The Henries as “such a great way for new and existing designers to get their products in front of retailers! With little opportunity to meet with suppliers this year, the competition is an ideal way for us to view the best the industry has to offer. It costs nothing to enter, they’d be a fool to miss out!”

Mark Janson-Smith, managing director of Postmark has always championed the merits of publishers entering The Henries.  “I have always said publishers are mad not to enter The Henries as it costs nothing and it gets their prdoucts in front of the eyes of serious buyers who are always looking for new designs. This year more than any, I’d say that entering The Henries is an absolute must. Great news that we can spread the judging over a number of days as I love to see everything!”

“We are honoured to be asked to judge The Henries,” said Paul and Zoe Carter, co-owners of the Zo & Co group. “It’s so important for publishers to enter because for us to sell their cards we need to see them, and The Henries is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Above: Last year’s Henries Judging Panel and Henries’ organisers. Although this year the judging is online, the Judging Panel will be made up of equally enthusiastic retailers.
Above: Last year’s Henries Judging Panel and Henries’ organisers. Although this year the judging is online, the Judging Panel will be made up of equally enthusiastic retailers.

Briony Clarkesenior buyer for cards at Card Factory sees The Henries as “such an amazing opportunity to showcase fantastic designs and put them in front of everyone in the card industry.

For us, cards are about helping to celebrate life moments, whether that is a happy or sometimes sad occasion, and this year in particular has really re-enforced how important those occasions can be and there are so many small publishers who are out there doing a fabulous job… they need to shout about it!

Even if it’s just a card to say ‘hi’ or ‘thinking of you’, cards can have such a massive impact on people’s lives and the best thing… they make people smile!

As a buying team, we are always looking for something different that catches our eye, makes us smile, laugh, even cry and simply resonates with the audience. I can’t wait to see the entries!”

Above: Last year’s Henries winners (with host Tom Allen in the centre). The new date for The Henries 2020 is Thursday 10 December.
Above: Last year’s Henries winners (with host Tom Allen in the centre). The new date for The Henries 2020 is Thursday 10 December.

The Henries Awards 2020 have the strong backing of major names in the industry as official sponsors. These include Alpha ColourEBB Elliott BaxterFedrigoni, FoilcoGF SmithGouldHerbert WalkerThe Imaging CentreLB WarehousingLoxleysPaperchasePG LiveSherwood GroupSkeetUK Envelopes, and Windles.

The finalists of The Henries will be announced in August while the winners are now set to be unveiled at an evening extravaganza event to be held on Thursday 10 December in The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Tickets and tables can be reserved quickly and securely online by clicking here or visiting Max-Tickets.net or by contacting Clare Hollick of Create Events: clare@createvents.co.uk or phone +44 (0)1183 340085.

Top: (left-right) Sarah Moughtin (John Lewis and Waitrose), Steph Lloyd (Utility) and Mark Janson-Smith (Postmark) will be among the judges for The Henries 2020.

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