A refreshed Melbourne Pen Show
After a number of years under the same management, the 2017 Melbourne Pen Show sees a new team who have taken up the organisational mantle. The new organising committee members have been meeting regularly over the last few months to ensure the 2017 edition of the show is the best yet. The new team comprises of a number of experienced event planners who each bring their own perspectives on planning the show.
We had a great time at the show last year and you can see our wrap-up of that show here.
We had a chat with Rebecca, a member of the new committee and a valued member of the Melbourne pen community, to get an insight into the reinvigorated show for 2017!
A chat with Rebecca
Nibspotter: What changes can we expect compared to years gone by?
Rebecca: Loads! Now, where should I start? We’ve got showbags with ink samples and other goodies – all kindly donated by our sponsors. The Brew Sisters will be there to supply caffeine needs and Chocolette Patisserie for the sugar cravings! We will have more online retailers this year, and I think is reflective of the younger generation of pen and stationery lovers who tend to do more online research and are comfortable making online purchases.
Nibspotter: What was the planning process like? Any major challenges you faced?
Rebecca: It has been like herding cats! No, I’m kidding. I’ve been on the organising committees of some huge international conferences before, where we’ve had to sort out flights and schedules for over 20 speakers from around the globe and registration for >3000 attendees. The Pen Show isn’t a major task in comparison. The pen/ink/stationery community is also really supportive, which has had the process so enjoyable. I got to know people who have a passion for this very niche area so it has been really fun for me!
Nibspotter: Who are some vendors you are excited about?
Rebecca: Oh, that’s so hard to pick! I’m really looking forward to seeing James Finness from Pensive Pens because I bought my first handmade pen for my husband, from James. Then there is our local online retailer, Tingo from MyHeartyTimberBox, who will be bringing some exotic brands that I’ve not had the pleasure of working with before. I’m also looking forward to seeing what the antique pen dealers will be showcasing because their goodies change from year to year.
Nibspotter: Who are the sponsors of the show this year?
Rebecca: Robert Oster, Fiorenza Luxuries, MyHeartyTimberBox, Chocolette Patisserie, BookBinders, Pensive Pens, Stephen Hull
Nibspotter: With the announcement of the Sydney Pen show, do you see this as a reflection on the growing community in Australia? Are you involved in the Sydney show planning?
Rebecca: I think so – the community is growing and the interests are diverse, which is fantastic. I’m not involved in the planning of the Sydney Pen Show, so I can just rock up and enjoy the day!
Nibspotter: What are your goals and vision for the show down the road? Would you like to see some more international vendors?
Rebecca: We would love for the show to grow in terms of diversity and size. A show or festival is always more enjoyable when one can pick up a new interest, or learn a new skill. I see this happening with greater interaction with the rest of the stationery loving community, such as penmanship, papermaking, calligraphy etc. Given our location, I would hope that we can eventually attract some Japanese vendors. Japanese fountain pens and inks are almost a genre unto themselves and it would be amazing to have them as part of our Show some day.
Nibspotter: Where, when and how much?
Rebecca: Malvern Town Hall, 26th November (Sunday) from 9am to 4pm, $10 admission – Free for students under 18.
Nibspotter: Anything else you want to add?
Rebecca: Keep an eye out for me and say hi! And buy a raffle ticket or two, to support the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Some amazing prizes to be won!!
For those of you in the area, be sure to head to the show this Sunday the 26th. Take this as the opportunity to drag your friends and family along to see the infectious and passionate environment that pen people create.
For our international readers, be sure to follow along with all the action on social media and back here on our site where we will have a full review of the show. You can find out more about the show via their website or Facebook page.
A big thank you to Rebecca and the rest of the planning committee and the sponsors who help make the show possible. It was also great to hear the show mentioned in a recent episode of the Pen Addict Podcast!