Show Recap: Orlando Pen Show

Do people write posts analyzing second year pen shows? 2022 was the first year for the Orlando Pen Show and I have seen plenty of posts looking at the event – did it live up to the hype? Did it have any new events or features? But I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a post specifically looking at a second year show.

Well, this won’t actually be a post analyzing a second year show. Not from the perspective of one who attended the first year, at least. I did not attend the first year Orlando Pen Show in 2022 but I did work at the Orlando Pen Show 2023 with the Dromgoole’s crew.

The show began Thursday evening for weekend pass holders – I know there was plenty of fun at the Thursday night pizza part and many items were raffled. However, Thursday night was set up night for our booth.

In my experience, the Dromgooles attempt to bring most of their store stock with them to a show. This is fabulous for individuals looking for items that are harder to find but can be tough on the backs of the people setting up the booth! But all tables were set up the evening before the show started.

I love the vast amount of ink on display at the Dromgooles table. And the display quality of these inks is incredible! Day 1 dawned with a nice volume of attendees looking for the wonders held within the showroom. The entrance room had tables for sitting and resting, a table full of donated ink for testing and playing, and a pen show exclusive ink for purchase. I do admire the pen show for their choice of theme colors – purple.

I wasn’t able to take many photos at the Orlando Pen Show this year, but those I did take have plenty of character. After a first day at the pen show, Marty and Kimberly (who help with Retro 51 and Rickshaw products) were happy to have time to sit down to a good meal and visit.

Christine and Michael Dromgoole were also happy to sit and eat. Michael loves his Dromgoole’s shirt enough to wear it even after hours!

My favorite Rickshaw fabric is this that I call Scruffy Kitty. I love his little pink toe beans! This pattern has been very popular in all styles of cases.

I was lucky enough to get a surprise visit from a famous pen star – Brad Dowdy. I asked if he would autograph a notebook but no one could find a pen…

The end of the second day of the show brought a large raffle to the show room floor with everyone gathered around. Pens created by independent pen makers were given away with the funds donated to the Reef Relief charity.

One downside of working at a vendor table is staring at a product all weekend. I was forced to purchase the Panda Hobonichi cover in the “Love It” pattern because I couldn’t bear to leave Panda behind. He now has a good home.

With a show so near Walt Disney World, there will be plenty of Disney products seen in the wild. My favorite siting was a Little Mermaid wallet disguised as a video tape cover!

The Orlando show was well-run from the point of view of a vendor. The presence of fast food nearby helped, cold water was always available, and attendance was managed well.

Did you go to the Orlando show as an attendee? What is your opinion on the show?

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  1. Since my show – the Commonwealth Pen Show was cancelled last minute, my wife and I decided a trip to Orlando for Pens, and a side trip to Disney was in order. We were at the show all day on Friday and it was ink-credible. At Dromgoole’s I found an old Retro 51 Christmas Pen I had been looking for, and Marty said he might have the two others I am looking for – I eagerly await his text message! I bought the 4 New England Sailor States inks at the Dromgoole’s table also – as a side note: I disagree with Sailor’s color choices for New England, but it is what it is! LOL All the vendor’s were friendly, my wife got her first pen, and we met some wonderful people. I too met Brad Dowdy and though I am sure he’ll never remember me, it was nice to meet him. Also, I hung around the Esterbrook table a while, Carey and Neil are great to speak with, and I was able to get a Grail pen there! Special thanks to Vanessa the “Pen Gangsta” Langton – we chatted for a long while and spoke on many topics and I was so pleased to meet her . Many Thanks Orlando Pen Show for a wonderful time !! We will be back next year!

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