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As an online retailer the London Pen Show gives us a great opportunity to engage with our amazing customers and the wider pen community. It’s become a really key event in our calendar with preparations starting months before. We get together and look back at what sold in previous shows, analyse current trends on our website and check the calendar to see what new releases we can bring to the show. As the event draws closer it’s booking hotels, transport, packing up stock, unpacking, repacking! Then, on the day before, we make the trip from Tiverton HQ to West London. 

We want to look our best (doesn't everybody?) so show day always involves a very early start. Before the first customers have even made it through the door we’ve seen lots of familiar faces. The show brings together an amazingly eclectic mix of manufactures, distributors, collectors, traders, online retailers and independent sellers- from all over the world! 

Final preparations are always hectic, and get even more hectic when we spy the long queue of ‘early birds’ starting to form at the entrance. We always manage to find an extra box of stock hidden under a table or misplace our pile of diligently-written price labels. There’s never time for that ‘quick coffee before the show starts’. As the doors open we always find ourselves saying the same thing- 'it’s good to be back isn’t it?!' After a few years at the show now it’s great to see the ‘regulars’. We never tire of stories about ‘desks overrun with smile clips’ (free with all Cult Pens orders) and we love the feedback and ideas that you bring. 

London Pen Show organisers told us this was the best attended show yet, with all exhibitor tables sold out long before the show. That didn’t come as a surprise: we were non-stop from 9-4 and we never did manage to grab that coffee!

What you loved: it wouldn’t be a Cult Pens event without a goody bag! We gave one away to each of our first 100 customers on the day. We’ve become somewhat famous for our Pen Show ‘Ink Bar’, diligently overseen by James, Cults Pens' graphic designer. On the day bestsellers included our exclusive 7 Deadly Sins inks by Diamine and anything with ‘Ferris Wheel Press’ written on the bottle. Conor headed up our pens offering and favourites on the day including TWSBI, the new LAMY safari Pink Cliff and Violet Blackberry, limited edition Preppy Wa fountain pens, some very keenly-priced Esterbrook pens and some all-time bestsellers from Pilot, Platinum, Nahvalur, BENU and LAMY. 

Our desk accessories table always brings some interest to the show, with customers often picking up a product they weren’t necessarily expecting to find. Our gorgeous handmade-in-Italy Diarpell notebooks sold out first, with Britton Scotland remaining popular and our SUCK UK Skull desk tidies selling out before lunch- one customer bought 3! 

This year we were lucky enough to be joined by Sunil from The Good Blue. He's a long-standing friend of Cult Pens and we love everything he creates. At the show he was demonstrating some simple calligraphy techniques and showing the versatility of his brilliant flex nibs. 

Lots of customers head straight to our Pen Show ‘Pre-Loved’ pens, with highlights from Visconti, Opus 88 and Faber Castell. We call them ‘pre-loved’, but in reality these are mint condition pens. Chances are the box is slightly damaged or sleeves on packaging may be missing. One thing's for sure - with up to 70% off RRP, they sell very quickly. 

What we learned: Bring more ink! Thanks for all the feedback on colours and brands. The range will be bigger and better for the Autumn show. Bring more converters and accessories! We'll bring more next time. Bring more paper! It's not only essential for testing pens, you wanted to buy it too! After all, what’s a pen without paper?

We also learned that the purchasing dream team - Matt H and Matt P (otherwise known as ‘the Matts’) - love Excel so much, they're happy to spend Sundays on it as well as their working week.

What to expect in October: we’re expecting the Autumn show to be the biggest yet, with even more attendees and exhibitors. We try to bring a slightly different assortment to the Autumn show, because as well as the usual staples, Autumn show customers are often looking for some seasonal goodies. So as well as the favourites you know and love you can expect to see some ‘gifty’ items, a sneak peek of our Advent Calendar and some irresistible pen- and ink-themed Christmas tree decorations. We’ll also have some festive inks and pens to really get you in the spirit. We’re already working on our ‘demo station’ where we’ll be showing off some Halloween- and Christmas-themed techniques. 

So what more can we say! If you visited in March, it was great to see you! If you didn’t make it, October tickets are available now. Get planning and we really hope to see you there.