Looking back on 10 years of PG Live

Can it really be 10 years since the very first PG Live?!
Can it really be 10 years since the very first PG Live?!

With this being the 10th anniversary PG Live (June 5-6 at London’s Business Design Centre), PG Buzz turned back the clock and asked a trio of directors from their respective companies of their memories of the first show, their companies’ last decade as well as their planned launches for this year’s show.

Ade Longe, managing director of Sensations:

In the beginning: “I remember the early shows with the major fun-fare, great lunches and Opening Night evening drinks for everyone – all unique to PG Live and have endured through the years – Well done! I remember our stand was initially upstairs in the early days (which wasn’t bad as everyone had to pass in front of us to get to the food…) but now we have a stand among the main players downstairs (which is equally good).”

Ade Longe (centre) and the Sensations team about to go off to the Shard to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary recently.
Ade Longe (centre) and the Sensations team about to go off to the Shard to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary recently.

Sensations’ decade: “The business started with Sensations (a DTR greeting card company) but later expanded to develop another company (Xpress Yourself), which has now become a major player in the greeting card wholesale sector. We have also made major inroads into the impulse and general gift market through Sensations Gifts ranges.

We were very happy to celebrate Sensations International’s 20th Anniversary earlier this year.

To mark it, we invited all our area sales managers to our new HQ in Park Royal London and together with our office/warehouse staff went off to the Shard in London for a sumptuous lunch.”

Big industry changes: “Many companies have come and gone. To survive in the changing times everyone, like us has had to kept reinventing themselves to be relevant and help customers ever more.”

A taster of Sensations’ new DTR range, Diamonds and Ice.
A taster of Sensations’ new DTR range, Diamonds and Ice.

At this year’s show: “We have gone full circle on Sensations cards and are going to be launching a new DTR-only premium range with lots of attachments and finishes at excellent value.

Meanwhile on the gift side, we are launching new candles with sentiments and also age foil balloons greeting cards.

On the wholesale front we are relaunching our award-winning Keepsakes Treasures and Henries finalist Opacity code 72 greeting cards.”

PG Live Stand 417

Retailer Chandra Kahn (left) of Just Write redeeming his Silver Ticket on the Tracks’ stand with the publisher’s co-founder Clive Field and national accounts/export manager Debbie Hare.
Retailer Chandra Kahn (left) of Just Write redeeming his Silver Ticket on the Tracks’ stand with the publisher’s co-founder Clive Field and national accounts/export manager Debbie Hare.

Laurence Field, sales director of Tracks Publishing:

In the beginning: “I remember that at the first show our stand was located towards the back of the hall, whereas now we are situated at the top of the stairs as people come onto the mezzanine.

Due to the focused nature of PG Live, we know that the visitors who come to the show each year are always passionate about the industry, something that has remained the same throughout the last ten years.

You can really see how much work and effort goes into making it the ‘go to’ show for greeting cards. We have never exhibited anywhere else where we have been treated so well, every step of the way. The level of care given to exhibitors is unparalleled, from the lunches to the services offered as we pack up at the end of the day. It’s still the best show for greeting cards.”

One of the 120+ designs in Tracks’ Britannia Collection.
One of the 120+ designs in Tracks’ Britannia Collection.

Tracks Publishing’s decade: ”Over the course of ten years, naturally things change. We have continued to look for something new to bring to the industry. Our photographic cards, many of which feature cute and funny animals, have evolved into further ranges with the application of gogglie eyes and most recently fake fur, on our Fluff range. We have adapted our foils and sparkly cards, moving from a flitter finish to cold and now hot foils.”

At this year’s show: “We will be showing our Britannia Collection, a photographic range showcasing landmarks and landscapes from across Great Britain. What is great about this range is its interactivity, as we are encouraging any photographer to send us their own photos of Great Britain that could be featured as a greeting card design in the range.”

PG Live Stand 401

Julian Hunt, managing director of Lesser & Pavey:

Lesser and Pavey has expanded its Mad Dots range to include ceramics, glassware, jewellery and baby gifts.
Lesser and Pavey has expanded its Mad Dots range to include ceramics, glassware, jewellery and baby gifts.

In the beginning: “Lesser & Pavey was delighted to exhibit at the very first show. Like any new event there was a worry that it would attract buyers and some were concerned by the venue with it not being one of the normal haunts for the gift-related trade.

The mix of original and inspiring stands delighted us back then and we had an excellent first event, showing a small selection of our gift-related products – and we’ll be there again for the 10th!”

Lesser & Pavey’s last decade: “The last ten years has seen card retailers look to supplement their main lines with complimentary gift ranges. This is a strength of Lesser and Pavey as many of our ranges are specifically designed for this market sector.”

The industry’s biggest changes: “While previously retailers would focus only on one product sphere – eg greetings and wrap, tabletop, clothing, etc, the barriers have loosened with stockists moving into other areas to compliment their main product ranges, thereby providing greater scope for the consumer in one outlet.”

At this year’s show: “We return this year with a whole host of new innovative gift ranges targeted at this market.

Our Mad Dot Collection, produced under licence from card publisher Heart Designs, continues to grow as a success story for us, to now encompass ceramics, glassware and jewellery.

Our Mad Dot Collection now includes wedding items (such as fine china mugs and glassware, decorated with 18ct gold and include a diamanté heart) and we have a new Mad Dot baby range that we are looking forward to showcase.”

PG Live Stand 318

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