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Powering on flowers for PG Live

Cardies get stands ready to show off at London’s BDC tomorrow

 

There’s less than 24 hours to go before the doors open for Progressive Greetings Live 2023 – and people have been busy, busy, busy across the weekend getting everything ready for the show.

Paint, paper, ornaments, ladders, plants, miles of shelving and lots of dungarees have been broken out at London’s Business Design Centre as cardies from across the UK and the world to perfect their displays for the wonderful retailers set to descend for the two-day greetings extravaganza from 9am tomorrow, Tuesday, 6 June.

Above: The Forever Friends bear gets in on the flower power action
Above: The Forever Friends bear gets in on the flower power action

And one of the biggest undertakings has been by Hallmark with its handmade flower wall for the teddy bears picnic-themed lunchroom, with a little help from the Forever Friends bear as the 3D and innovations team were handmaking hundreds of flowers from fabulous coloured paper donated by Lake District-based paper company James Cropper.

“The Hallmark team felt very honoured to be given the opportunity to dress the room,” the publisher’s head of creative Claire Marsom told PG Buzz, “enabling them to showcase their papercraft skill, while hopefully bringing joy and smiles to those visiting PG Live.

Above: James Cropper board was key to building the flower wall for the lunchroom
Above: James Cropper board was key to building the flower wall for the lunchroom

“Our amazing 3D & Innovations teams have created a wall made up of 700 handmade flowers, as well as 50 flower table-centres – once PG Live has finished we’ll be recycling the flowers into something exciting that we can share at a later date.”

That makes it a double recycling effort as the Vanguard papers from James Cropper contain a minimum of 30% upcycled fibres, and a company spokesman said: “We’re delighted to support our partner Hallmark Cards as they bring the gallery space to life with our sustainably sourced and manufactured paper.

Above: Hands-on – and laying down! – action from exhibitors
Above: Hands-on – and laying down! – action from exhibitors

“In their creative team’s hands, our collection of Vanguard papers has been transformed from a humble sheet of paper into a visual oasis of sculptural design, art and craft. Upcycled fibre lives a second life within Vanguard and is blended with fresh fibre from sustainable forestry sources. This is a combination that keeps materials in use and helps the regeneration of natural systems.”

Above: The Max Publishing team get busy on the goodie bags
Above: The Max Publishing team get busy on the goodie bags

Now in its 15th year, PG Live has its largest contingent of international exhibitors yet, as everybody who’s anybody in the industry will be at the event billed as “the greatest greeting card show in the world”, from the biggest names all the way to the complete newbies in Springboard Intro.

Above: The Retas finalists like Stationery Supplies’ Sarah Laker and Hugs & Kisses have lots of vouchers to spend
Above: The Retas finalists like Stationery Supplies’ Sarah Laker and Hugs & Kisses have lots of vouchers to spend

The full list of PG Live exhibitors can be found here – so you can plan your route round the BDC just like indie retailer Jane Hunnam from Zest in Crowborough who will be at the show tomorrow courtesy of organiser Max Publishing, as she was the lucky winner picked at random in last week’s draw for a free hotel room.

Above: All smiles on a busy set-up day
Above: All smiles on a busy set-up day

After arriving at the BCD in the morning – complete with her The Retas Awards finalist vouchers to spend with suppliers – Jane will be just a hop, skip and a jump away from her hotel room at the adjacent Hilton Hotel to lay her weary head having checked out many of the exhibitors and enjoyed the opening night party.

If you still haven’t got your ticket for PG Live tomorrow and Wednesday, it’s easy to register to attend for free just by clicking here, then you’ll be all set to join the wonderful two-day gathering of the global greeting card community – and find out exactly how all that hard work on setting the stands has paid off.

Above: Rollers at the ready to brighten up the stands
Above: Rollers at the ready to brighten up the stands

The full list of PG Live exhibitors can be found here, and everyone who visits the show will receive the special keepsake cloth tote bags sporting incredible artwork from sponsors Abacus Cards and Clare Maddicott, plus there’s the delicious free lunch for everyone on both days in the Hallmark-decorated teddy bears’ picnic room, plus complimentary tea and coffee available from the roving trollies, as well as the fabulous first-night party at the end of tomorrow’s opening day where everyone is very welcome to pop in to enjoy the drinks and great company.

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