What is Noted and why did it start?

Noted is a re-imagination of a trade show for the greeting card industry. After the move of the National Stationery Show to February, the members of the Greeting Card Association all felt like there might be a hole in the industry.  

For 70 plus years a May trade show had been a key element of the industry and had over the years shaped the way we all worked. Release schedules, Christmas/winter holiday sales and connecting with our community all revolved around May. Our gut instinct was confirmed after reaching out to designers, manufacturers, sales reps and retailers in the industry, the community still wanted a May event, but no one wanted it to be the same as before. 

Noted is the result of talking to companies of all sizes across the industry on what they wanted out of a May event. This year the feedback had us stay in New York City, Brooklyn to be exact, from May 18th to the 20th. Noted was truly built by the community, for the community and will continue to evolve as we learn together.  

How much does it cost to come to Noted?

A multi-layered question. We are working to make all aspects of attending as inexpensive as possible. Exhibit space is: 6’ x 3’ Display Space - $1,995 (GCA Member)/$2,395 (Non-member) 10’ x 10’ Exhibit Space - $3,495 (GCA Member)/$4,195 (Non-member)  

What do I get for my money?

Exhibit space in an open, well-lit space filled with qualified buyers. Your space will be 6 by 3 or 10 by 10, your choice. You will get white hard walls, lighting, shelving, a table, and stools. Each day you will get lunch, water and soda and some nice person will bring you a donut in the morning. Coffee is being debated now. 

To create a more inviting atmosphere and drive more retailers into your space, we pulled the side walls of the 10’ x 10’ inline exhibit spaces back to just over 6 feet and placed the tables and stools in the space outside the structure of the space, in the front 4 feet.

You will also get a ticket to the Louie awards ceremony and a VIP reception on the opening night. 

The goal is no surprises. One price and easy setup and you are ready to go. 

Can I paint/drill/glue the walls?

Not this year. You will be provided shelving and you can use any removable hanging products. Also, we will have a list of printers you can use to produce static wall hangs for logos and other small decorations. You can also pay to add color to the walls in certain neighborhoods. This was all part of keeping it easy and keeping the price down. Personalization equals time, money and union workers. A full set of rules are available. Please contact Juana, juana@greetingcard.org

Did you say other small decorations, why?

The goal with Noted is to focus on the cards, not the exhibit. There will be no 3 story booths, things hanging from the ceiling or anything more than 12ft. Also, no exhibit space is larger than 20 by 20.  

Can I bring my own furniture, walls, flooring?

There are certain neighborhoods where you can bring your own walls and furniture. The floor of the Expo Center is a very nice dark wood tile, no need to cover it up, so no flooring also.  

You keep saying neighborhood, what is that?

As we fill the exhibit space, we are going to create groupings on like-minded exhibitors. One section will be white walls only, this is the Gallery Neighborhood. Another might be the Letterpress neighborhood or Big Box Neighborhood. Each Neighborhood will have Block Captains, members of the GCA, to help with questions, lead VIP retailers through the hood, and to get help if you need it.

Why is New York City such an expensive place to exhibit?

We agree. We moved Noted out of Manhattan to help bring down prices of everything. Hotels in Brooklyn and Long Island City are only 2 subway stops away or a short walk away from the Expo Center and range from 99 to 250 a night. We are working with a hotel group to bring down those prices too. We are also covering lunch on Sunday and Monday. Also, dinner at the VIP reception on Saturday and dinner at the LOUIEs on Sunday. Monday we are going to have sponsored happy hours and dinners in Brooklyn so the community can stay together. Also, we are working a deal with a Brooklyn based car service for reduced rides for new customers.   

In the end, we need to sell our cards, what is the plan to get retailers there?

  1. Personal invites to the big guys. Paper Source, Wegmans, TJ Maxx, Target, and Barnes & Noble are already signed up
  2. Partnership with Stationery Trends, Museums and More and Gift Shop magazines for ads and direct email and mail marketing to their 1000s of retailer subscribers.
  3. Ground up campaign – this is the, “For the community, By the community” aspect. We really want everyone to be part of the new direction and success in creating something wonderful.
    1.  Every exhibitor gets to invite their Top 10 customers to the VIP reception. GCA will follow up with them and make it special
    2. Asking all exhibitors in late Feb early March to send a direct invite in their voice and style. GCA will provide some design elements if you need them: logos, Instagram graphics, etc.
    3. Lending your mailing lists to the GCA for email and mail marketing
    4. Social media – hashtags and shared imagery and design elements
  4. Sales reps will also be directly invited, please invite yours
  5. Social media – paid and organic    

What is the VIP Reception?

Noted opens the evening of May 18th with an invitation-only Opening Party from 7-9. Each exhibitor can provide up to 10 retailers for the Noted committee to invite to this Opening Night party, which will include Brooklyn’s best offering of beer, wine, and food. This event will provide a festive, low-pressure atmosphere for the most important retailers to visit all the booths—and even place “spirited” orders. 

Earlier you said this year. Is there a plan for next year?

Yes! We are already planning Noted 2020, next May in San Francisco. We have an amazing venue lined up and we are partnering with the Blue Print (Licensing) Show. If you exhibit in Brooklyn you are guaranteed space in San Fran!

So… who profits from Noted?

The cheesy answer: you and the greeting card community! But really, there is no corporate entity behind Noted, just the Greeting Card Association (GCA). The GCA is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit entity made up of hundreds of greeting card companies of all sizes. Because the GCA is a non-profit, the hope is simply to break even on the event. However, any profit that does result from the event will be put back into the budget to help the GCA plan future events. 

Anyone who has ever wanted to have a say in how their exhibit dollars are spent, or how their own show experience unfolds, benefits from Noted. By getting involved now, you will be shaping the look and feel for the event in 2020—and beyond. Join the GCA and we have a place for you on the committee that is involved in making all event decisions! Visit https://www.greetingcard.org/ for more information. 
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