Let’s get ready to rabbit!

Hop to it a book a Retas Awards ticket for 4 July and celebrate wonderful retailers

 

Are you all ready to rabbit? If you don’t have your Retas Awards tickets already you’d better get in there sharpish as Peter Rabbit and chums are waiting to meet you – along with over 400 leading retailers and publishers.

The big event is on Thursday, 4 July – yes, it’s also election day but you can cast your vote on the way to the ballroom at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel or on the way home as it’s an afternoon do and polling stations don’t close until 10pm.

Above & top: Hallmark’s lovely invitation for The Retas 2024
Above & top: Hallmark’s lovely invitation for The Retas 2024

If you’re travelling from further afield you have until 5pm on 26 June to apply for a proxy vote so there’s nothing stopping even the most ardent politics junkie from joining in the fabulous annual celebration of greeting card retailing.

With this year’s theme of the World Of Beatrix Potter, which has the full blessing and support of Frederick Warne & Co and Penguin Ventures, and images supplied courtesy of the Frederick Warne Archive, everything in Mr McGregor’s garden will be rosy on the day, giving industry pals plenty of time to rabbit on about anything and everything – although we’d rather the political talk takes a back seat!

And there’s lots to look forward to, starting with the gorgeous fold-out invitation winging its way out to attendees thanks to the artistic talents at Hallmark, which is now the master licensee for Peter Rabbit greeting cards and giftwrap.

Above: The place cards will be a Peter Rabbit or Flopsy Bunny plush from Rainbow Designs
Above: The place cards will be a Peter Rabbit or Flopsy Bunny plush from Rainbow Designs

Every place setting at the luncheon will be marked with an individual Peter Rabbit plush, courtesy of sponsor Rainbow Designs, as well as a copy of one of Beatrix Potter’s timeless tales books plus, ahead of its official release, a Toasted Crumpet licensed The Tale Of A Snowy Day soap bar.

The main mammal himself will also be attending, with a full-size Peter Rabbit very happy to pose for photo opportunities, with something special being created by packaging maestros N Smith, as the fabulous nominees – the full list of finalists for The Retas 2024 can be found here – arrive to discover who will be revealed as the winners of the awards owned and organised by Max Publishing.

There will be fun and laughter thanks to event host Andrew Ryan, whose storytelling and cheeky, friendly personality make him a natural observational stand-up, with his recent Sure, You Know Yourself winning awards and sell-out performances.

Above: Every attendee will receive a super soap from Toasted Crumpet
Above: Every attendee will receive a super soap from Toasted Crumpet

He has been on Comedy Central Live, Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live and Comedy Central at The Comedy Store, and makes regular appearances on TV3’s The Six O’Clock Show as well as BBC One NI’s The Blame Game, contributes to The Line Out for Virgin Media TV, and hosts the Q Radio Breakfast Show.

“This last year especially has seen our wonderful greetings retailers pull out the stops, with their product selections, engagement with customers, store environments and initiative galore,” said Jakki Brown, Max’s md and co-owner.

“The Retas 2024 finalists’ roll call exudes excellence right across the spectrum, thanks to the huge input from publishers, reps and agents the number of nominations for this year’s awards was off the scale, while more retailers than ever took the time and trouble to submit their own store’s entry.

Above & top: Andrew Ryan will be the event’s comedic host
Above & top: Andrew Ryan will be the event’s comedic host

“We’re really looking forward to having the chance to rabbit with so many retailers at the luncheon, which is nothing less than they deserve as they work so hard throughout the year – and we can’t wait to reveal this year’s winners!”

Just being a finalist in one of the 22 categories raises the profile of stores in their community, as Milford Cards & Gifts found out a few days ago when Kayleigh and Sinan Hisim’s indie shop, nominated for Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Home Counties & South East, was featured as Trader Of The Week in local paper The Daily Echo.

“This newspaper gets distributed across Southampton and Bournemouth area so is great advertising,” Kayleigh told PG Buzz. “We love being a part of the greeting card industry it’s such a friendly and inclusive group. It brings out so much creativity and inspiration in us and we get excited to fill our shop with new cards.”

Above: A Retas nomination has earned great publicity for Kayleigh and Sinan Hisim, pictured spending the Sunshine Ticket, for being a 2024 finalist, with White Cotton Cards at PG Live
Above: A Retas nomination has earned great publicity for Kayleigh and Sinan Hisim, pictured spending the Sunshine Ticket, for being a 2024 finalist, with White Cotton Cards at PG Live

The Retas 2024 is supported by a strong roster of committed sponsors which include Abacus Cards, The Art File, Carte Blanche Greetings, Cath Tate Cards, Danilo, Hallmark, IC&G, Ling Design, Lucilla Lavender, Museums & Galleries, Ohh Deer, London Stationery Show, Paperlink, Pigment, Progressive Greetings Live, Rosie Made A Thing, Sensations/Express Yourself, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, UK Greetings, W Select, Wendy Jones-Blackett, and Woodmansterne Publications.

To be among the UK’s best greeting card retailers as well as some great card publishers at the ceremony, you can book your tickets online to The Retas now via Max-Tickets.net or contact The Retas’ awards manager Clare Hollick, director of Createvents, on 0118 334 0085 or email clare@createvents.co.uk.

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