GCA Dragons Speed Dating

Feb 25, 2022 | GCA Events

The GCA’s Dragons Speed Dating event is a fantastic opportunity to meet key retail buyers, and join in a discussion with GCA Council Members on the key issues in the industry, getting your questions answered.

This blog gives details on the event, sharing photos and film from previous years.

2021 Dragons Speed Dating Event

This popular annual GCA event takes place annually at the Business Design Centre, Upper St, London N1.

What is Dragons Speed Dating?

Dragons Speed Dating is a GCA members event. First launched in 2017, it is a fun way to meet prospective business partners, network with existing business contacts and keep up to date with current industry issues.

Publishers will meet at least 3 buyers and have the opportunity to leave samples with all 18 buyers attending.

What is Dragon Speed Dating?

This member’s event is open to up to 72 different publishers and 18 different retailers.

Over the course of an afternoon the retailers meet 12 different greeting card publishers for 10 minutes each.

Publishers get the opportunity to have a 10 minute meeting with 3 different buyers, one national account, one small group and one independent. Publishers can also submit up to 3 cards for the buyers ‘goodie/sample bags’.

During the afternoon there is also a GCA Panel Seminar, led by some of our GCA Council Members, all experienced business leaders in our industry. Publishes attending are asked to submit questions ahead of the event to set the agenda for this relaxed discussion.

Retailers range from large national accounts, through to small groups and independents. They come prepared with a cabin-sized suitcase to take home the publishers samples!

There have been many mutually beneficial business relationships started at the GCA Dragons Speed Dating. See PGBuzz article: Which Publishers slayed the dragons?

This event is open to all GCA publishers, of all sizes. It is a great forum to test out reaction to new designs, build on exiting relationships or indeed meet buyers for the first time.

Highlights from the 2021 event:

Retailers attending included buyers from John Lewis, Oliver Bonas, Scribbler, Sainsbury’s, Moonpig, House of Cards, RHS, Card Factory, Lark London, Objectables, Stationery Supplies, Garsons, Walkers Books, Mooch (Ealing), Morleys Stores, The Medici Gallery, Diverse, Belly Button.

The day also included the opportunity to put business questions to our expert panel. Sharing their business experiences, and responding to your questions, were GCA Council members Rachel Hare owner of Belly Button, Daniel Prince MD of Danilo, Adriana Lovesy owner of Mrs Lovesy, Darren Cave Commercial Director at UKG, and supplier GCA member Will Miles from Briffa, legal specialists in intellectual property law.

Over 100 participants met up at this year’s event (see PGBuzz for photos and lots of stories from the day).

Further information

Publishers – if you’re booked to attend GCA’s Dragons Speed Dating, please see our How to Slay the Dragon blog in the members’ library.

Listen to well known retailer buyer/Dragon, Sally Matson from Red Card Petworth, and GCA Council members Adriana Lovesy and Carolyn Verderame, share their top tips to help you prepare to get the most out of this popular event. They also answer questions from publishers booked to attend.

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