“As the world’s two largest greeting card markets, there is huge merit in ensuring there is an open dialogue so that the learnings from each side of the Atlantic are shared,” Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the UK GCA told PG Buzz, having been invited to speak at the Oceans of Opportunity Retreat and Convention, instigated by the US Greeting Card Association which is due to take place this September 18-21, in Naples, Florida at the beachfront boutique hotel, LaPlaya Hotel and Resort.
As one of the key speakers Amanda, who accepted the invitation as part of the UK GCA’s centenary anniversary celebrations, will share not only the association’s activities, but also highlight some the trials, tribulations and triumphs being experienced within the UK card market.
“While there are so many differences between the UK and US card markets and we each have our own battles to face – as the US’ successful exclusion of greeting cards from the imminent tariff list for China imports testifies – we each have good ideas to share, for our mutual benefit,” stresses Amanda. Thinking of You Week is a case in point with the UK GCA-instigated week long event now fully embraced by its US counterpart, to take place concurrently both sides of the pond (September 22nd -28th)
Amanda will share the podium with a myriad of US greeting card luminaries, including Kristy Lewis, national marketing director of Hallmark Cards whose speech will attempt to answer the question “are greeting cards still relevant?” She will also share how Hallmark has developed new strategies that invited consumers to experience the power of greeting cards.
Patti Strong, senior director of consumer marketing services for American Greetings will share with us how, with the explosion of digital communication and rapidly changing social norms, it is more important than ever to know how consumers are thinking about and using greeting cards. She’ll discuss the greeting card consumer of today and provide helpful suggestions on how to use data that you already have as well as cost effective tools to gain feedback and insights to guide your creative development and grow your business.
Providing a retailer perspective, Sadie Piller, merchandising director for Paper Source, a leading design-led specialist (a Paperchase equivalent) promises to reveal what’s working, what’s not at the retail chain, as well as imparting advice on how to best present card ranges to retail buyers while Lindsay Henry, founder and owner of Inklings Paperie will share how the combination of ‘heart and hustle’ has served to create a retailer and consumer favourite retail brand.
Self-confessed anglophile (and regular attendee of PG Live), Susan January, vice president, product management for LeaninTree (which has a licensing agreement with Pigment) is chairperson for this year’s newly named ‘Retreat and Workshop’, its title superceding the historic ‘Convention’ to echo its more relaxed vibe and interactive feel.
“We are gearing up for what looks set to be a great few days – and we would love any of the UK GCA publisher members or associate members to join us to further add to the flavour,” Susan told PG Buzz.
For more details and to register for the event, please go to https://www.greetingcard.org/2019-gca-workshop-retreat/.
Top: The Florida sunshine beckons for those at the Oceans of Opportunity of event this September.