London, Sunday 2 October 2016
The title is a bit misleading because I actually spent most of the show manning our table, rather than getting out and about seeing the show, so I’m probably the last person to be able to tell you what the show was like, what amazing pens there were on show, who was there, the gossip and more. What I can say however is we had a great time at the show, even if I barely left out table.
The highlight of the show was without doubt the fact that so many people came up and said such nice things about us. I couldn’t believe how many people there knew of us and were regular Stationery Wednesday readers. People quoting bits about who was doing this in the office, asking where Mishka was or recounting a nice experience they had had with a recent order. It’s not like I don’t know that Stationery Wednesday is read by so many people but it’s still quite satisfying to know that it gets so well received.
Second on the list was the fact that we did the show in conjunction with KWZ Ink* from Poland – that’s Konrad and Agnieszka who had come over armed with some gorgeous colour charts of their inks and a pen loaded up with each ink to test. All day long we had people sat with them testing out the inks and choosing their favourite. Or favourites in many cases. Like a wine tasting as one person put it, although when he started sipping the inks I did worry he’d lost the plot a bit.
We had come armed with extra inks of what we expected to be the favourites but even that did little to meet the demand for some colours, most notably the seemingly infamous Honey which went very early on. Other notable hits on the day were the KWZ Ink Gummiberry and Grapefruit colours. Other big hits of the show were the Taroko Tomoe River paper books which really had people doing a double take when they saw how incredibly well it handled ink on just 68gsm paper.
A third highlight of the show was the range of people. I know I am generalising when I say I had an expectation of a certain age group (ie mine!) but it was so heartening to see some really young enthusiasts who clearly knew their inks and had a real passion for it all. Apologies if it comes over as a bit patronising, it’s not meant to. It’s just that you are so led to believe that it is the preserve of a ‘older’ people and seeing such enthusiasm makes you realise that it has an eternal appeal.
Lastly, it was nice to put a face to so many names, not least Mateusz better known as @clumsypenman, and the infamous Nib Meister (sadly not his real name – he goes by the more normal name of John I believe).
Anyway, we felt we made a good first attempt of it and are talking of doing more events. Maybe next time with less heavy boxes to lug around though. Paper and ink does it have its downsides you know.
* Please note that we were launching KWZ ink here in the UK at the show, and we will make it available on our website in October 2016 – hopefully by Wednesday 12 October.