Frequently Asked Questions
Virtual *Noted/GCA Marketplace Questions
What platform will you be using? *Noted will be a mix of live and pre-recorded content, as well as exhibitor and sponsor content, on a virtual event platform (Swapcard). Exhibitors will build their booths within the platform.
What is the GCA Marketplace? The GCA Marketplace is an online B2B platform exclusively for GCA members and it is open now for retailers to make purchases. Members can sign up to participate here. If you are not a GCA member, you can join here.
How does the Marketplace tie in to *Noted? The GCA Marketplace is where *Noted buyers will go to actually place orders. Exhibitors will be able to build their booths on Swapcard and they’ll have the opportunity to highlight some “featured items”. A featured item will be an image of your card, a description, and then a direct link to purchase at the GCA Marketplace. There will also be a spot in your exhibit booth that says “Buy Now” and will take retailers to your individual page on the GCA Marketplace to make purchases and place orders.
Think of your Virtual *Noted booth as a page where you will highlight your best sellers or newest cards, and then the GCA Marketplace as the repository that will house your entire line and offer more product discoverability and searchability. Your Virtual *Noted page is your “storefront” so buyers can find your brand, then if interested they can dig deeper by shopping the GCA Marketplace.
If you prefer to use a different transactional platform, GCA will review requests on a case-by-case basis.
How does the GCA Marketplace work? The GCA Marketplace is hosted on Brandwise’s Reach 2.0 platform and is a standalone B2B site for sales. Marketplace participation and is available to all GCA members with no set-up costs and low 3% transaction fee on sales. You can read more about the GCA Marketplace here.
How will buyers discover and browse brands? Exhibitors have the opportunity to feature a number of products, videos, etc. within their individual exhibit booths on the platform, and to select categories that best describe their cards—numbers of featured products and categories will vary based on exhibit level. Buyers will access the exhibitor’s Virtual *Noted page, and from there can link directly to the exhibitor’s GCA Marketplace Brand Page, or specific product page, to find out more and make purchases.
When is the deadline to sign up for an exhibit booth? May 4th is the official deadline to sign up, but by waiting until then, you will only have 5 days to set up your virtual booth. The earlier you sign up, the better!
What are featured products? The featured products are those items that you wish to show in your booth. The number of products that you will be able to show in your exhibit booth varies based on the exhibitor level you select. You can choose any of your products that you wish to feature. Think of these as the “highlights”, new and unique products that you want to feature and that will grab buyers’ attention. You’ll upload images and details into your Virtual exhibit booth and be able to link directly to the product in the GCA Marketplace so buyers can place orders.
What are categories? Categories in Virtual *Noted will be similar to those which you can select in your GCA member profile. Log in to the website and go to My Account. You can add detail to your profile which then makes it easier for people to find you in GCA’s searchable Member Directory. Examples include types of card (seasonal, Birthday, Valentine’s Day, etc.), printing processes you use (embossed, quilling, foil, letterpress, etc.), as well as business categories such as family-owned, woman-owned, etc. You determine the categories uniquely for your brand and products. In the GCA Marketplace, categories are totally self-defined and self-selected – so once you attract buyers from Virtual *Noted to your brand page in the marketplace, you’ll be able to help them discover products any way you wish.
What is the Meet Your Maker video? Exhibitors “Meet Your Maker” video will be uploaded to the platform for buyers to view throughout the conference. You have the creative freedom to make this how you’d like, but we recommend about 1 minute in length (even shorter if you can!) with an introduction to you, your line, and/or your story. Think of it as a 1 minute elevator-Pitch! If you have signed up to exhibit, you can upload your Meet Your Maker video here. The deadline to submit is Friday, May 7th.
What will Lead Retrieval entail? Lead retrieval is an important business tool for any show, real or virtual. Virtual *Noted lead retrieval begins with a basic list of analytics (number of views on your profile page, number of contacts made, number of people who bookmarked your profile) for the Basic Exhibit Booth. For upgraded booths, Premium and above, a full list of contacts is included and will be sent to you after the show (first, last, company, title, email).
Is there a limit on the number of booth personnel that exhibitors can register? As of now, there is not, but all booth personnel must be valid representatives engaged by your company. You will have the opportunity to add your personnel when you build your booth.
When will exhibitors have access to the platform to build their booth? You will receive log-in information end of April (4 weeks prior to the launch of the event) including step-by-step instructions, graphics information, and more.
How many exhibitors do you expect? As this is our first time going virtual, it’s hard to say. We are hoping for 50-70 exhibitors.
Will there be a live chat feature? Yes! You’ll be able to chat live with buyers who stop by your booth, and you’ll be able to chat with the show services support team in case you run into any problems.
Will there be an option to schedule meetings with attendees or exhibitors? Yes!
What is the difference between “exhibitor” and “associate” options? Associate options are only for GCA Associate members, those who supply the industry with products or services such as paper, envelopes, printing, etc. Exhibitor options are only for card makers and publishers.
How does winning something at Noted@*Noted compare to The Louies? Which has more submissions?
The main difference between the Louies and Noted@*Noted is that the former is for cards produced/sold in 2020 and the latter is for cards produced/sold on or after January 1, 2021. *Noted buyers are looking for what’s truly new, so the competition reflects that! By virtue of the smaller window for cards being produced, *Noted has fewer entries than the Louies.
Is the Pitch Program only available at Premium and above? Yes, only exhibitors at the Premium level and above are eligible to participate the Pitch Program. However, there are two Pitch Programs which are sponsored and include generous scholarships – Find New Makers and Discover Diverse Makers. Makers selected for these programs pay just $249 for a Premium Booth, and are included in the relevant Pitch Program! More information, eligibility requirements, and application forms are coming soon!
What kinds of buyers/retailers are you targeting/have signed up to attend? This is our first Virtual *Noted, so it is hard to say exactly what buyers will attend, but attendance is focused on qualified buyers. We have a list of 10,000+ retailers that we will be inviting. We also encourage all of our exhibitors to invite their lists of buyers, or to provide their information to GCA so we may extend an invitation for them. Based on our 2019 in-person *Noted, we are hoping to attract around 500 buyers. Of course, if all exhibitors extend invitations to their current buyers, that number could grow as the community helps increase attendance.
What kinds of outreach will I be able to do before the show to connect with buyers who’ve signed up (will I get lists of buyer’s emails/names, etc.)? Exhibitors will not get the list of buyer’s information beforehand. However, the platform will open about 4-7 days early, so you can go in and request to connect with buyers or invite them to your booth within the platform itself.
What will the virtual set-up look like in terms of connecting with potential buyers? The virtual platform will enable you to set up and view your own booth with graphics, links, etc. Buyers will be able to roam the platform, search for specific items that they are interested in, filter exhibitors by pre-defined segments, and click into any booth. Within your booth, buyers can request a real-time video chat with you or can book a meeting slot based on the appointment times you make available.
In addition to greeting cards, I sell journals, notepads, tags, etc. Am I able to put more than just cards on the GCA Marketplace? Yes! You may include products other than cards. However, please keep in mind that most buyers coming to the GCA Marketplace will be looking for greeting cards!