Art Licensing at the Surtex 2009 Show

May 29, 2009

Ah, trade show season! We’ve just returned from the Surtex (Surface & Textiles) Show at the Javits Center in New York City. This year’s show was amongst the many successful trade shows we’ve had. Overall, attendance at the show was down, but in the Art Licensing booth that wasn’t evident. Our licensing associates had back-to-back appointments each day and our booth saw plenty of traffic; the three-booth space was full of buyers who were at the show to do business. Many exhibitors as well as attendees were very hesitant as to what we could expect this year. Most exhibitors chose a smaller booth space or joined forces to fill the booth, and some exhibitors choose not to attend this show altogether. The show layout was quite different as both shows were on one floor and the Surtex area of the show was considerably smaller this year. In an economy like ours, the only buyers who were willing to go to the expense to travel to the show were those prepared to make it worth their while.

When walking the aisles of the show, there weren’t many obvious trends that stood out as being new or unique. When times are tough, many vendors opt for the safe options and are less likely to take a risk on something very different. As a result, it’s far less likely to see anything out of the ordinary. Proven colors and designs covered the walls at this show. Since the National Stationary Show ran concurrently with Surtex, many of the trend forecasts focused on the stationary industry. Within this realm, the themes that are predicted to be hot are silhouettes, damasks, lace, lattice, birds & butterflies, and animal prints, amongst others. Pattern is a growing area as well, used as both a focal point and an accent. Below are the predicted color trends by trend expert Milou Ket displayed at the show.

So overall, Surtex 2009 was a success! We went with a strong crew and had a busy booth. Now that we’re back, rested, and unpacked, the focus is follow-up. The licensing team has lists of clients that need requests filled and images sent to them. The booth looked great - full of new images from our strong bank of artists as well as our newly created “Art Wheel” that mixed trend information with product images and artwork.

We’re very pleased with the show and are sure we’ll get some strong blast of business from the many clients who came to visit us. We’re already thinking about next year’s show!

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