Paperchase, Cardzone, Oliver Bonas and Bentleys Buyers Commit To GCA’s Speed-dating With Dragons Event

Joe Guest, senior buyer of Paperchase; Paul Taylor, owner of Cardzone; Siobhain Watkins, assistant buyer of Oliver Bonas and Stephen McHale, co-owner of Bentleys (all pictured above) are among the latest prominent buyers to commit to participating in the imminent GCA Speed-dating With Dragons event, which will take place on the afternoon of Monday 16 March at London’s Business Design Centre.

The anticipation for the event is building by the day, with the booking form going live next Tuesday (February 16) at 10am, which will be hosted on the GCA website in the news section (http://www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk/).

Above: Paperchase senior buyer Joe Guest (far right) is participating as a dragon for the first time. Seen here with assistant buyer Daisy Enticott (second right) on the Paper Salad stand at Spring Fair last week with the publisher’s co-owners Karen Wilson (far left) and Claire Williams.
Above: Paperchase senior buyer Joe Guest (far right) is participating as a dragon for the first time. Seen here with assistant buyer Daisy Enticott (second right) on the Paper Salad stand at Spring Fair last week with the publisher’s co-owners Karen Wilson (far left) and Claire Williams.

Joe, Paul, Siobhan and Stephen will be joined by 14 other leading greeting card buyers from multiples, groups and independents to make up an impressive line-up of ‘dragons’ to which a total of 72 card publishers will be pitching their products in a series of 10-minute one-to-one pitches. Other retailers involved include John Lewis, House of Cards, RHS, Garsons, Red Card, Objectables and Marple Stationery Supplies.

Above: Last year’s Speed-dating with Dragons event underway.
Above: Last year’s Speed-dating with Dragons event underway.

Each publisher attending will have the opportunity to make three pitches, one to a multiple buyer, one to a small group and one to an indie over the course of the afternoon.

Each of the dragons will be given a ‘goody bag’ with a sample from each of the publishers attending so they can follow up with those who they didn’t meet during the pitching sessions.

Above: Just prior to pitching, publishers hold up their cards to make the ‘dragons’ selection easier.
Above: Just prior to pitching, publishers hold up their cards to make the ‘dragons’ selection easier.

As Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA commented: “It is fabulous that these well-respected and knowledgeable retailers are so keen to be involved with this year’s Speed-dating with Dragons event, providing invaluable feedback to publishers as well as no doubt forging new business relationships that will benefit both parties,” commented

Following on from the success of last year’s event, the afternoon will also include a panel discussion with Ged Mace, md of The Art File; Rachel Hare, md of Belly Button Designs; Daniel Prince, md of Danilo; Chris Bryan, general manager of Second Nature and Brett Smith, managing director of Emotional Rescue sharing their wealth of expertise across a number of salient topics.

The cost of attending the event (1pm-5.15 pm) will be £90 (+VAT). While no one is able to book before next Tuesdays, details on how to book will be sent to all GCA members. Contact Amanda Fergusson or Sharna Walters on hello@gca.cards if you have any queries.

PG Live 2020 exhibitors meeting

With just over three months to go, plans for the 2020 PG Live are taking shape. Ensuring that exhibitors are ‘in the know’ a meeting is taking place on the morning of Monday 16 March, the same day as the ‘Dragons’ event and in the same venue, London’s Business Design Centre, the home of the show.

“As there is such a cross over between publishers hoping to attend the GCA’s Dragons event and our lovely PG Live exhibitors, we wanted to make it a full and worthwhile day so,” explained Jacqui Parr, marketing manager of PG Live.

The meeting will enable the strong line-up of exhibitors to maximise the opportunities in the run-up to the show (which takes place June 2 and 3).

The meeting is open to anyone exhibiting at the show, but is particularly targeted at those exhibiting for the first time.

“This exhibitor meeting is a great chance for all new exhibitors to find out more about the nuts and bolts of PG Live,” says Jacqui. “We go through multifarious details, including setting up, packing up, marketing, logistics and so much more. It’s a brilliant chance to meet the PG Live team and ask those niggly little questions that may be worrying exhibitors.”

Above: PG Live 2020 exhibitors will have the chance for their cards to feature on the meeters and greeters dresses for this year’s show.
Above: PG Live 2020 exhibitors will have the chance for their cards to feature on the meeters and greeters dresses for this year’s show.

The meeting’s agenda will cover the marketing plans for the show – including the ‘card dresses’, ‘Gold, Silver and Sunshine tickets’ – as well as special features (not least the free lunch and opening night party).

The meeting, which is free to attend, will take place 10.30-12.30.

Any exhibitors who would like to attend the exhibitor meeting and haven’t already registered to attend, should send an email to Jacqui Parr

Registrations are now open for PG Live 2020, so visit the https://pgl-2020.reg.buzz/ now to register for your free place!

Top: Among the retailers who will be the ‘dragons’ are (right-left) Paul Taylor (Cardzone), Joe Guest (Paperchase), Siobhain Watkins (Oliver Bonas) and Stephen McHale (Bentleys/Maddison).

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