Wednesday, September 18

(all times are preliminary and subject to change)

12:00pm – 4:00pm Executive Committee Meeting  
2:00pm – 6:00pm Registration  
5:00pm – 6:30pm Opening Reception

Sponsored By:

7:00pm Dinner (On Your Own)   


Thursday, September 19

(all times are preliminary and subject to change)

7:30am – 11:30am Registration  
7:30am – 8:20am Breakfast  
8:30am – 8:45am Convention Welcome
Co-Chairs: Susan January, Leanin’ Tree & Dave Phipps, Avanti Press
8:45am – 9:00am GCA President’s Opening Remarks
Speaker: Carlos Llansó, Legacy Publishing
9:00am – 10:00am

Cards Do More
Speaker: Kristy Lewis, Hallmark

Are greeting cards still relevant? In this evolving consumer landscape, that’s a common question, and Hallmark set out to find the answer. Hear from Kristy Lewis, national marketing director, about how Hallmark took what they learned to develop new strategies that invited people to experience the power of greeting cards.

10:00am – 10:15am Break

Sponsored By:

10:15am – 11:15am

Greeting Cards in the Key Account Channel
Speaker: Sadie Piller, Paper Source

Sadie will address the ongoing relevance and importance of greeting cards, how science supports the consumers’ need for the tactile retail shopping experience, and how card publishers can best market themselves and their products in the key account channel — including how to land that first order and how to keep building a mutual beneficial partnership.

Sponsored By:

11:15am – 12:15pm Greeting Cards & the Independent Retailer – Q & A Retailer Panel
Moderator: Carlos LLansó
12:15pm – 1:30pm Lunch On Your Own  
1:30pm – 2:00pm *NOTED Expo – Brooklyn, Golden Gate, & Beyond – Shaping Our Event
Speakers: George White, Up With Paper & John Smyth, A Smyth Co 
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Heart & Hustle: The Inklings Story
Speaker: Lindsay Henry, Inklings Paperie

Lindsay Henry, Founder & Creative Director of Inklings Paperie, will share how the combination of “heart and hustle” has made Inklings a retailer and consumer favorite, and an award winning stationery and lifestyle brand. Her presentation will be filled with personal anecdotes, epic failures and surprising wins as she tells the story of how their small company’s paper goods found their way to the shelves of Starbucks in 2018. Rumor has it that scratch-offs and swag giveaways will also be a part of this not-to-be-missed session!

3:30pm – 4:30 pm Ask the Mentors – Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Industry But Were Too Afraid to Ask!  
5:15pm – 10pm Social Event: Pure Naples Sunset Cruise Ι Dinner at The Riverwalk

Sponsored By:


Friday, September 20

(all times are preliminary and subject to change)

7:30am – 8:20am Breakfast  
8:30am – 8:45am Friday Morning Announcements
Co-Chairs: Susan January, Leanin’ Tree & Dave Phipps, Avanti Press
8:45am – 10:00am

An Update From Across The Pond on the 100th Anniversary of the UK GCA
Speaker: Amanda Fergusson, CEO of the UK Greeting Card Association

This presentation will explore the British greeting card industry. Considering consumer trends, environmental and economic factors, and reflect on its history and why the British send more cards per capita than any other nation, in this, the 100thyear of the UK GCA.  It will also look at the benefits of collaboration, and the importance of working together as an industry, to encourage and increase the sending of greeting cards.

10:00am – 11:00am

Talking to Consumers in 2019
Speaker: Patti Strong, Executive Director of Business Intelligence at American Greetings

With the explosion of digital communication and rapidly changing social norms, it is more important than ever to know how consumers are thinking about and using greeting cards.  The good news is that there are more ways than ever to quickly and cost effectively understand and interact with your consumers.  In this session, we’ll discuss the greeting card consumer of today and provide helpful suggestions on how to use data that you already have as well as cost effective tools to gain feedback and insights to guide your creative development and grow your business. 

Sponsored By:

11:00am – 11:15am Break  
11:15am – 12:15pm The Dating Game:  Meet Your Perfect Supplier Match through Speed Dating with the Associates
Moderator: David Wilke, Leader Paper
12:15pm – 1:30pm Lunch Break

Sponsored By:

12:15pm – 1:30pm Associates Lunch Meeting

Sponsored By:

1:30pm – 2:30pm Sales Management Strategies – How to Find, Hire & Keep Your Sales Reps
Moderator: George White, Up With Paper
2:30pm – 3:10pm

Overview of 2019 Marketing Initiatives
Speaker: Chris Karpenko, USPS Director of Brand Marketing

Mr. Karpenko will share details on the ongoing cooperation between the USPS and the GCA to promote greeting card sending including an overview of the effort to support ‘Thinking of You’ week and details on USPS plans to highlight greeting cards in it 2019 holiday season marketing campaign.

3:15pm – 4:00pm

Panel Discussion: The Future for Greeting Card Mailers in a 21st Century Postal Service

The USPS is the only economically viable delivery service for more than half of all cards purchased, but the agency faces difficult financial challenges.  Numerous proposals have been made to limit the USPS universal service obligation and reduce service quality.  GCA has fought such proposals in the past but it is clear that major structural changes are coming.  This expert panel of postal experts will explore what greeting card customers can expect from a 21st century Postal Service, the challenges that are coming and what policies those concerned with ensuring that individual consumer interests are protected should support.

Moderator: Rafe Morrissey, GCA Vice President, Public Affairs
Doug Carlson, Attorney and Postal Consumer Advocate
John Kane, Professional Staff for Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
Sarah Moe, Federal Affairs Manager, Hallmark Cards

4:00pm – 4:30pm Ask the Executive Committee/State of the Industry Q&A
GCA Executive Committee


6:00pm – 7:15pm Associates Reception

Sponsored By:

GCA Associate Members

7:15pm – 10:00pm Beachfront Dinner

Sponsored By:

Saturday, September 21

(all times are preliminary and subject to change)

8:00am – 9:00am

Breakfast and Committee Meetings

The following committees to meet:
Annual Convention Committee
GCA Tradeshow Committee
LOUIE Awards Committee
Membership Committee
Postal Affairs Committee
PR & Communications Committee

9:00am – 10:00am Annual Board Meeting
All attendees welcome
9:30am Break

Sponsored By: 

10:00am – 11:00am Annual Business Meeting
All attendees welcome