Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of being a GCA member?
Members benefit from GCA’s educational and networking events including its annual Convention, mentorship program, (January networking event in conjunction with America’s Mart) and the LOUIE Gala (in conjunction with the National Stationery Show). Additionally, GCA represents the industry and the “Citizen Mailer” on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, advocating for an independent and sustainable U.S. Postal Service that delivers mail and provides services six times a week.
How do I become a member?
First you will need to complete and submit an application. Next, you will need to provide payment and mail in card samples to GCA Headquarters. It typically takes about two weeks to become an active member once your samples have arrived; new members are approved by the GCA Board of Directors.
What is the GCA's Mentorship Program?
The GCA’s Mentorship Program is a unique opportunity to connect newer publishers with more established publishers for mutual benefit — whether that’s broadening each others industry knowledge, solving problems or helping each other grow their business.
What are the LOUIE Awards?
Often considered the “Oscars of the Greeting Card Industry,” the LOUIE Awards recognize excellence in greeting card design and production across more than 60 categories. The Call for Entries opens in September; winners are announced at the LOUIE Awards Gala in conjunction with the National Stationery Show each May. The LOUIE Awards are named in honor of Louis Prang, the “Father of the American Christmas Card.”
How do I get started in the greeting card industry?
If you are thinking of starting a greeting card business, congratulations! You’ve chosen an industry that takes pride in its work and helps others to celebrate some of the most important events in their lives. Starting your business in this industry can be fairly inexpensive. Just a few materials, a quiet work space, and your creativity.
Please consider the following elements:
Determine the look
You probably already have a look in mind. It would be worthwhile to research some card publisher homepages, and visit a variety of retailers in your area… especially smaller gift and home stores where you will often see quite a variety of cards. Is the look you are considering unique in some way? Have you thought about employing a particular type of paper, packaging, or other ornamentation? And what retailer might be the perfect distributor for your cards? Have you thought that there might be a specialty out-of-the-ordinary retailer who might be a perfect partner for you? The more time you spend researching what others have designed, successfully produced, and offered both at retail and online, the more you will be able to clearly define your personal brand, and decide if you will go it alone or with a partner.
Do your homework
Think long-term. Do you have a business plan? How are you at working with others to have them display your finished product in their shops? How might you structure those agreements, while also safeguarding your ideas and your product? Have you thought what you might do if your card line really takes off?
Considering having other publishers use your work? Consider creating a collection of several designs in a certain look. This can help a publisher see your skills, style and how you carry out a theme. Be sure your submission will “match” the publisher; a traditional Christmas scene, for example, will not be of interest to a company that publishes only humorous everyday cards.
Already have a design or copy ready to go?
Several GCA Member companies are currently accepting outside art and writing submissions.
Where can I submit my designs or writing?
Several of our member companies accept outside submissions. Please reach out to them directly. The GCA does not produce, sell or purchase greeting cards, designs or artwork.
Do you have a list of sales reps available?
Unfortunately, the GCA does not keep a list of sales reps at this time.
How can my company sponsor a GCA event?
There are many large and small opportunities throughout the year for your company to sponsor a GCA event. Contact Julie Elfand (Julie@greetingcard.org), GCA’s Director of Meetings, to discuss sponsorship options that best meet your company’s needs.
Who attends GCA events?
GCA events are attended by small, recently established publishing company members, large publishing companies, and our supplier company members.
Who are GCA members?
GCA members include greeting card publishers of all sizes as well as affiliate members (companies involved in services to the industry such as printing, production or related services). Approximately 150 companies, comprising nearly 95% of the greeting card industry, are GCA members.
How many members are in the GCA?
The Greeting Card Association is made up of nearly 200 member companies big and small that collectively represent nearly 95% of the industry. Our members include card producers, artists, writers, designers as well as companies that provide finishing services, paper and other materials.
How can I submit an article to the GCA publication "Card Talk"?
In order to submit an article to Card Talk, please email GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty at Peter@Greetingcard.org
Are greeting cards taxed?
Please refer to the USPS information on greeting cards at the link below
I have found/acquired some old greeting cards - are they worth anything?
Please see the below website for information regarding old/antique greeting cards.
How much does registration cost for the annual convention?
For information on the next GCA convention, please visit the Events Page.
What is included in registration cost for the annual convention?
A full registration cost includes all educational sessions, breakfasts, lunches, and evening dinners and entertainment for the entire conference.
One day registration cost includes all educational sessions, breakfasts, lunches, and evening dinners and entertainment for the specific day registered
Spouse/Guest registration includes all educational sessions, breakfasts, lunches, and evening dinners and entertainment for the entire conference
Entertainment/Dinner registration includes the GCA dinner and evening entertainment provided on either Thursday or Friday