Oliver Bonas, National Trust, Between the Lines and Longacres enter the Den with cardies

National Trust card buyer, Bianca Mastrodemenico (formerly of WHSmith) is up for being a dragon.

Oliver Bonas’ buyer Natalia Kosterska, National Trust buyer Bianca Mastrodemenico and Longacres’ buyer Kim Lewis are the most recent ‘dragons’ to have agreed to join other leading greeting card retail buyers in the ‘den’ for the GCA’s second ever Speed Dating with Dragons event. After last year’s massively successful GCA Speeding Dating event, which sees card publishers pitch their companies’ ranges to retailers, ‘mark 2’ looks set to be even better! When the tickets went on sale for the April 20 event on Tuesday (March 6) they sold out within 35 minutes.

The GCA offered the opportunity to all its publisher members to participate in the Speed-dating event on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
The GCA offered the opportunity to all its publisher members to participate in the Speed-dating event on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

Having given prior warning to its publisher members, soon as the email went out around 11am on March 4 the GCA inbox went into a frenzy, says Sharon Little, GCA ceo. “I knew it was going to be popular, but the response was off the scale! We have some great new retailers as dragons and 60 publisher members all fired up to make their pitches. It’s going to be great!”

Following the same format as the inaugural Speed-dating event last February, attendee publishers will have the opportunity to make a series of short one-to-one sessions to pitch their cards to a variety of different retail buyers.

Sharon Little, GCA ceo addressing the audience at last year’s sell out event.
Sharon Little, GCA ceo addressing the audience at last year’s sell out event.
Longacres Garden Centre buyer Kim Lewis is only too pleased to be involved in the initiative.
Longacres Garden Centre buyer Kim Lewis is only too pleased to be involved in the initiative.

In addition to the aforementioned, among the retailers which have confirmed their participation this year include: Sainsbury’s, Frosts Garden Centre, House of Cards, Postmark, Unit 7, Little Paperie, Calliope Gifts, Creased Cards and Moonpig, with many more in the pipeline.

Each publisher will have three ‘speed dates’ lasting ten minutes. And each retailer will see 12 publishers.

All participating publishers will also have the chance include some cards in goody bags for all the retailer Dragons.

In addition, the event will also enable attendees to sit in on two seminarsBusiness Strategy with Ged Mace, md of The Art File and Licensing with Kelvyn Gardner, md of LIMA UK, the licensing industry association.

Publishers will be given 10 minutes with three different dragons to pitch their ideas. In full flow at last year’s event (front left-right) Alexa Stretton from Always Sparkle, Marina Brook from Marina B and Lizzie Chancellor of Lizzie Chancellor pitching their cards to some ‘dragons’.
Publishers will be given 10 minutes with three different dragons to pitch their ideas. In full flow at last year’s event (front left-right) Alexa Stretton from Always Sparkle, Marina Brook from Marina B and Lizzie Chancellor of Lizzie Chancellor pitching their cards to some ‘dragons’.

 

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