30 November 2012


A pen show is always an overwhelming experience. There are too many pens on display and too little money. On top of that, a pen show is a meeting point where a number of stylophiles congregate. It is easy -and convenient too!- to talk and to exchange information and experiences. Those are, in fact, the basic elements of a pen show—the commercial and the social.

However, not all pen shows cater the social aspect in the same way. The raison d’être of a any such event is obviously the commercial, and its success is based upon the arithmetic of the trade. The social aspect is, therefore, too often overseen by the organizers.

Vymars's table.

The De Leo and Gargioulo's tables.

Such is the case, in my opinion, of the Madrid Pen Show. This year, the change in the venue roughly doubled the available space, but it seems that only traders could benefit from this. Most of them could display more pens, and they were more comfortable behind their tables. But we visitors felt there was not much more space to move around than on previous years. On Saturday, the big day of the event, the lounge was truly crowded. I should also note that this year there were more cafes and restaurants around the hotel, but many of us thought they were too far away.

Sarj Minhas's table.

Toys from the Attic.

It is my contention that the social networking associated to these events does generate economic benefits that would cover for the cost of devoting some specific space to this more relaxed activity.

This year, the bare figures of the Madrid Pen Show –on its ninth edition— matched almost exactly those of the past year45 traders from eight different countries, and about 800 visitors. Given the condition of the Spanish economy, the Madrid Pen Show was a big success.

Pilot Elite, pocket pen, posting nib – Pilot Blue

Bruno Taut
Madrid, November 29th, 2012
labels: evento, Madrid, mercado

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